As a kid we would head out to Way Fruit Farm to pick out pumpkins, and get apples in the fall. Sometimes in June we would go and pick our own strawberries to make jelly and shortcakes. When I recently discovered that Way’s had food service, I was intrigued. After reading an article listing them as a great place to get brunch, I decided we needed to check it out. Not knowing what to expect, and only armed with memories of Ways from years ago, I was in awe of their operation. I’m not sure when its transformation happened, certainly before I moved back to State College a year ago. However, Ways has turned itself from a small side-of-the-road farm stand into a large, diversified operation. More than just a farm stand, they now have a huge store that sells in addition to fresh farm produce, meats and cheeses, packaged goods such as jams and sauces, pastas, an entire wall of pickled goods, baking ingredients, gifts, candy and hard to find sodas. Ways has a lot to offer and is well worth the trip. We have become hooked on a ginger soda they offer by the bottle (it’s a good mixer for drinks) and now make a trip out there every few months to stock up on our soda.
The Way Café, Bakery and Deli offers lunch, dinner, Saturday breakfast, deli and bakery. We came for breakfast and I ordered a Scramble and my husband ordered an egg sandwich with bacon. A Scramble consists of 2 scrambled eggs mixed with home fries and your choice of mixed in options such as cheese, bacon, onions, broccoli, tomatoes. Other menu options include oatmeal, fruit, eggs, French toast and bakery goods.
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.
Rothrock Coffee, located off of South Atherton in the shopping center that is also home to Honeybaked Ham and PYP Studio (you will notice a high percentage of patrons at Rothrock dressed in work-out gear). It opened a few years ago, and I am so glad that there is an option on the South side of town. They roast their own beans in the store, which are for sale both in store and at many local grocery stores. I especially like their aesthetic. Clean lines, a long wooden counter with stools that separate tables against the side wall and the coffee prep area. Its modern, hip(ster) but not pretentious. It seems every time we are there that the crowd is a mix of post-workout (see proximity to PYP Studio above), students (large quantity of people on laptops), and locals who just want a great atmosphere to sit and sip.
We have stopped by Rothrock many times to grab coffee in the morning and stopped in to buy whole beans to brew at home, but never stopped in to stay, drink and order food. Today was our day. My husband was so excited to try the Peach Ricotta toast that a co-worker kept talking about. We ordered and while I was pouring cream into my coffee I overheard an employee say to another “we have no peach toast today”. They, of course, had no idea that we were within earshot or that we were the ones who ordered it. I quietly warned my husband that in 30 sec someone was going to come up to him and inform him of this terrible news. Turns out the last day for the Peach Ricotta was…..yesterday. Insert sad face here.
Remember when Bagels had a moment? I mean really, there was a bagel shop on each street corner. Then, muffins then donuts. We seem, as a carbohydrate loving culture, to always be in an endless loop of one “it” carb after another. And. Its. Great.
During collage, I worked at Chesapeake Bagel (for those of you who remember located next to CC Pepper / College Buffet near Walmart on North Atherton.) On occasion, I even donned a bagel costume, stood out on North Atherton Street and waved enthusiastically at future bagel buying patrons. Okay, maybe not so enthusiastically, but you know, minimum wage gave only so much motivation.
My last count of Bagel shops in State College include; Irving’s (which when it first opened was called Irving’s Bagels), and Bagel Crust. Panera has bagels, and I suppose bagels can be purchased at Dunkin Donuts . But why go to Dunkin to get a bagel? This brings the bagel shop count up to a solid three (four if you through in Dunkin’) BTW the current count of donut shops in this area is six, No official ‘muffin only’ shop, I’m not sure those even exist. The only one I knew of was the Top of the Muffin shop in Seinfeld.
I don’t think I’m alone in thinking sometimes that the only option for breakfast in this area (or at least in State College) is the Waffle Shop, Or I should say the ORIGINAL Waffle Shop. The Waffle Shop is great. Always has been, and I can only assume always will be. It’s a staple. A place you bring your out-of-town guests, a place you will stand outside in a long line for, a place you make sure that you have cash on hand for.
But,…. I’m looking for more options. After recently reading about The Naked Egg, in a StateCollege.com article, I added it to my list of places to eat. (I should note that my list is currently 121 places long).