Located in Toftrees, the American Ale House is a hidden gem. For some reason I don’t always think of it when the preverbal “I don’t know, where do you want to go eat?” comes up, but every time we go, I’m always impressed with the menu and wonder why we don’t come more often? Plenty of outdoor seating (plenty of indoor too), a great bar area, live music, a steam bar, brunch, daily specials and….great food. The menu offers a great range of salads, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, specialties such as Amish Chicken and Crispy Duck, a Steam bar with mussels, jambalaya and gumbo. If you are an oyster fan, they also have a great selection of oysters on the half – always fresh.
I can always find something, usually more than one something on the menu that I want to try. In the 90s they had a Cowboy Tri-tip wrap that I ALWAYS ordered (I can still taste it) that sandwich is long gone from the menu however, their Cowboy Steak Sandwich is a close alternate and it is my tried and true go-to order.
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Located on High Street in Bellefonte, The Governers’ Pub offers casual sit down dining, open for lunch and dinner. It is a ‘Pub’ so a big selection of draft and bottled beer; located next door is their sister place, Talleyrand Tavern. The menu has burgers, salads, sandwiches, tacos, and appetizers plus it has a great selection of comfort food and entrees. Items like Fish and Chips, Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken and Waffle, and Crab Macaroni and Cheese all caught my eye. We came a lunchtime, so we stuck with the sandwich part of the menu.
I was in-between ordering the Robert Walker Reuben and the Daniel Hastings Stacker. I am a sucker for sauerkraut, I am equally a sucker for a sandwich that also has fries, so I went with the Daniel Hastings Stacker. In addition to fries it also had, coleslaw, turkey, swiss, LT and 1000 Island dressing. The cross section of this sandwich was equivalent to the cross-section of the Grand Canyon. It. Was. HUGE. My husband ordered the Curry Chicken Salad Melt, which was curry chicken salad with melted cheddar cheese.
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We went to Liberty Craft House on one of those June nights that made us want to sit outside and enjoy the season. I’ve wanted to try it for a while but, that’s not going to happen during the semester. If you are local or above the age of 22, best to go during the Summer. It is part of the Dante’s Restaurant group who’s other restaurants are conveniently all located in the same block; Hi Way Pizza (its back !) The Deli, The Saloon….. My mother recalls getting Hi Way Pizza at the original location just around the corner on Heister Street in the 60’s – 10¢ a slice two for 15¢.
All the restaurants in one location make me think that they all share a kitchen, and certainly resources. Its a good business model but often in those cases all of the places end up tasting the same. I am happy to report that Liberty Craft House felt unique and we were pleasantly surprised. The menu had so many great choices; meat and cheese plates, snacks, salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and casseroles. They tout using local, natural and sustainable products – and we certainly noticed the quality of ingredients in our meals.
They also have beer. Lots of beer. They have 46 drinks on tap which change out with the season.
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