Kondu

Kondu

How much did we love Kondu? Enough that we went twice in one week!  Seriously, had it once, and then we both (secretly) were craving it.  My husbands attempt to go at lunch (without me) was thwarted.  As he told me how his lunch plans got off track I realized that I too had been craving it again.  So…we went…for dinner, again…during the snow storm – which was fun.

I think part of my love for this place has been compounded by the fact that I have been in a sushi deficit so this fulfilled my sushi craving and lets face it its SUSHI THE SIZE OF A BURRITO.  What could be better.

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The Field Burger and Tap

The Field Burger and Tap

I think, at least until proven otherwise, if you want a really good gourmet burger in State College, The Field at Toftrees is the place to go.  Sure, Kelly’s Bison Burger is delicious, but its the only fancy burger there.  At The Field, you have an entire menu of burgers, not just one.  We came on a Tuesday evening, and……had to wait!  Can you believe it?  Waiting for a table for two on a TUESDAY ?!? Unheard of.  I take this a good sign that The Field is not just a weekend place, and not just for visitors who are staying at Toftrees.  Our wait, wasn’t too long and we ended up with a table situated close to the fireplace and next to a window.

drinks first!

Another great thing about The Field, is their beer menu. It features not only beers from PA, but it rotates the selections with the seasons so there is always something new (and good) to try.  They also have a wine and cocktail menu that utilizes local products such as Big Spring and Tait Farm.

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Barrel 21 Distillery & Dining

Barrel 21 Distillery & Dining

Barrel 21 Distillery & Dining is part distillery and tasting room, part event space and part restaurant.  And all good.

Spicy Korean Meatballs
Spicy Korean Meatballs

Barrel 21 is the sister restaurant to Otto’s pub which is located next door on North Atherton.  We were pleasantly surprised and happy to see a place that featured local fresh ingredients, distill their own spirits, all in an environment that is modern, fresh and clearly someone thought about it.  There are a lot of places in town where the design and atmosphere are clearly not valued or thought about, and they should be. As an Architect, I can tell you that it matters and translates into more customers and better experiences.

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Red Horse Tavern

Red Horse Tavern

Red Horse Tavern located in Pleasant Gap, PA is on the corner of N. Main Street and E College Ave.  Part bar and part restaurant the Red Horse offers freshly prepared food with great service.  According to a StateCollege.com article, the current owners took over the Tavern in 2012.

Red Horse Tavern, Brisket Sandwich
Red Horse Tavern, Brisket Sandwich

We came on a Saturday and at first, my husband was worried as we were one of the very few cars in the parking lot.  And once inside we were the only people in the dining area.  But…while we were there the dining area filled up with a good lunch crowd.  (Apparently we beat the rush and arrived a little too early for lunch)  The menu offers starters, salads, sandwiches and burgers.  There is a dinner menu available after 4:00pm which also looked really good (so we will be back for that !).

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D.P. Dough

D.P. Dough

When I was in school at PSU I seriously thought that D. P. Dough was just a local place.  Well turns out they are not.  I learned this when visiting the University of Maryland and saw it on what is their equivalent to “College Ave” (trust me people, its not even close)  A quick google search, and turns out D. P. Dough is a college town staple located at schools all across the country.  There is only one in State College, so it does feel local in that sense.  They have all sorts of menu items ranging from tots, wings, salads (these did not exist when I was in school) and stix – but the real reason you come to D. P. Dough are the Calzones.  If you can’t find one you like, you can make your own in the “Construction Zone”.

D.P. Dough
D.P. Dough

In school, my go to Zone was called the DMZ zone. And they no longer have this on their menu :(.  I can’t really tell you what was in the DMZ zone, only that it was the best, and If anyone out there remembers what was in it please tell me so that I can re-create it again.  At one point in college, I decided that I would try all of the zone’s they offered and slowly made my way through their list.  I didn’t make all the way through, I would always get stuck ordering my favorites, like the DMZ. 

Eggplant with spinach, garlic, and ricotta
Eggplant with spinach, garlic, and ricotta

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Austin’s Texas Hot Dogs

Austin’s Texas Hot Dogs

Austin’s Texas Hot Dogs in Tipton, PA has been an area staple since opening in 1978.  Although its gone through many location changes throughout the years, the same great taste and quality remains.  They now have a new(ish) opened in 2015 location just down the street from the DelGrosso’s Park.  I remember going here as a kid when we visited what was then called Bland’s Park.  This technically does not count as a Centre County place, but just over the County line, its worth the drive. In fact my parents have on occasion, driven to Austin’s for some good Texas Dogs and back, just because.  Plus if you are on your way back from visiting further South, this is a perfect stop.

Austin's Texas Hot Dogs
Austin’s Texas Hot Dogs

Austin’s specializes in well, hot dogs, Texas style.  Fresh-cut fries, and Old Fashioned Frozen Custard.  I like my dogs with just about everything on them, chili, mustard, onions and relish.  You can also add cheese and ketchup.

look at those dogs!
look at those dogs!

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My My Chicken

My My Chicken

Stepping into My My Chicken was like stepping into a hipster cool local hangout you would expect to find in a beach town or nestled into some trendy neighborhood in Brooklyn. Well my friends, if you haven’t already noticed, Westerly Parkway Plaza is not Brooklyn. Its not trendy, hipster or cool however, the addition of My My Chicken definitely elevates the shopping center into a location worth turning into.

My My Chicken
lovin’ that logo

First the aesthetic:  This place has a great vibe – walls decorated with skateboards, most featuring a chicken of some sort.  Seating is ample.  There is a pick up / take out order area when you first walk in, sharing its space with some classic video arcade games. Sadly, a lot of them were ‘Out of Order’;  still cool to look at and for those of us who are old enough, to reminisce about.  The larger dine-in area features just about any type of seating you would want; table and chairs, booths, a bar area, and lounge seats by the window. Okay okay, so the place is cool but how is the food you ask?

true statement for life as well
I think this might be a life lesson too….

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