We stopped by The Express in Centre Hall a few weeks back on the first really warm spring day. I wanted to check out Sammis Greenhouse located just down the road, but first, we needed to grab some lunch.
The Express, is located in the old Whistle Stop location, originally a late 19th century train station. From what I understand (thanks CDT) , the owners, Greg and LuAnn Yearick started with a Cajun Food Truck and then decided to open a restaurant. The Express features barbeque, sandwiches, entrée platters, soups and snacks.
I ordered The Conductor which featured some delicious bbq; pulled pork, baked beans and fries on a bun. My husband ordered the Brisket sandwich.
Its Lent, which means, Friday nights we eat seafood. The first week of Lent we went to the Bellefonte Knights and Catholic Daughters Fish Fry – located at the St. John’s Catholic School. If you are looking for something to do on Friday evenings check it out. Even if you are not Catholic or celebrate Lent you are still welcome and can enjoy a good fish fry.
The second week of Lent we wanted to try the fish and chips at My My Chicken (the BEST fried chicken in town) – but…..we arrived, ordered drinks and then were told that they SOLD OUT of the fish. It’s a chicken place, so nothing else on the menu for us 😦 Our back-up plan? Faccia Luna.
Of course Faccia Luna makes great pizza but did you know they also have some of the best seafood in town. The seafood menu is usually their special, Friday and Saturday nights.
We are D.C. transplants, and in D.C. there is a restaurant for every culture and cuisine. I miss that. We were just discussing the other day that State College has no Lebanese restaurants, very little Central and South American cuisine, little to none? African cuisine, but we have thousands of sushi places. Okay maybe not quit a thousand, but if you really think about it, we have A LOT OF SUSHI PLACES !. And we are not even close to water!
But everyone who I’ve asked what is the best place in State College – more often than not I hear, Sakura. It was time to go try.
Located on South Atherton, (across from my ahem ‘favorite’ Mexican place )Sakura offers more than just sushi. They specialize in Japanese cuisine with a menu ranging from Hibachi, Teriyaki, Tempura, noodle dishes and of course sushi.
We noticed that they have a board with daily specials – and the two sushi specials looked really good, but if we are trying a new place and they have it, we order the Volcano roll. That is our sushi place gauge, just like General Tso’s Chicken is my Chinese take-out gauge.
The Volcano Roll was delicious! Paper salmon, cream cheese, avocado – fried with spicy crunchy tuna on the top. This roll, like most specialty rolls is much larger than a typical roll. This came with eight pieces and I highly recommend it.
We also ordered the Spicy Roll Combo; which included spicy crunchy tuna, spicy crunchy salmon, and spicy crunchy yellowtail. Our favorite of the three was the yellowtail, followed by salmon and tuna – but as you can tell from the photo below, they all looked similar so who knows what we liked best. They were all good. Sushi entrees are served with a bowl of miso soup and a side salad.
We will definitely be back, especially since there was a lot of rolls I want to try. Plus, the table next to us ordered Pad Thai, and a few of the non-sushi entrees and all of them looked and smelled great.
I really love Mexican food, I really do, but this is not food that State College is known for. Having just come back from a trip to Southern California where there is real, authentic and delicious Mexican food – seemingly offered on every block, the State College three selections of; Mad Mex, Rey Azteca and Plaza Mexican don’t seem to really stack up. It is after all, Central Pennsylvania so I do understand what we are up against.
I’m really hoping that our visits to Mad Mex and Rey Azteca deliver – because sitting #3 out of 3 on our list of “best “Mexican” restaurants in State College” has got to be Plaza Mexican.
Like most everyone around here I was sad to see Spats close after 30 years but….so happy to see that they have partnered with Hotel State College to bring back Spats at the Allen Street Grill. The Grill has always been a great place to go for great food and what I think is one of the best settings in town. It’s always fun, no matter the season to sit (hopefully at a window seat) and look down onto the cross roads of downtown.
We happened to be there on a very cold, very rainy winter night – but still fun to look out and be glad that we were not the ones dogging the rain.
We normally hit up the Pump Station Café for coffee and sometimes a breakfast sandwich in the mornings but never for lunch. I enjoy the coffee and morning sandwiches and I have to say this is one of the few places on the South side of town that you can pop in for a quick bite to eat or coffee. Its located on Boal Ave across from the Military Museum.
They recently changed they organization and look inside and I can’t say I’m a total fan of the new look. There was something cute and kitchy with the old look that worked better. The new plexiglass storage for the pastries could of been done better. The cream and sugar were moved which now creates issues when there is a line of people waiting to order food or when food is ready for pick up – there is no room for those who want to add cream and sugar to their drinks. But details details.
On a recent very cold Saturday night we wanted something to warm us up and Kimchi Korean was the perfect choice. Kimchi Korean is located next to Domino’s Pizza on North Atherton – for those of you who have been around State College long enough its the location of where Kenny Rogers Roasters once stood and before that, Dunkin Donuts. A fun fact – when I google Kenny Rogers Roasters – they only have one US location left, in California and 155 locations spread throughout Malaysia, China and Indonesia. Who knew.
Back to Kimchi Korean – It actually looks the same as what I remember from Kenny Rogers Roasters, and I swear its the same layout. They offer dine-in with waiter service or take-out. The menu is typical Korean fair featuring, rice and noodle dishes served in the typical Korean hot stone pot. They also have soups, appetizers and a kids menu. Considering the semester was over and town was empty of students, the restaurant was about half full on a Saturday night which I took as a good sign.