Discussion Forum

Food in Happy Valley

Being a cheap bastard bachelor, my idea of good food is a bit skewed. I’ve never been a high end, fine dining fan. A college town with a population of State College will never be a dining destination. However, for all of it’s faults, the food scene has improved drastically since I arrived in 1990. I remember when the first Taco Bell opened, there was a huge line out the door all day. Not because anyone thought Taco Bell was good food, but because it was so different than what was being served around town. When I came here there were basically five options. Pizza, hoagies, burgers, diner blue plate, and a very narrow range of Chinese-American.

Compared to now, it’s night and day with the range of choices. Even the menus at the Chinese-American joints have broadened significantly. And in an interesting turn, a good diner blue plate has become hard to find.

I still miss Herwig’s. That’s my all time State College favorite. Hofbrau in Bellefonte is still my favorite pizza.


A PSU-HBG student stayed local and opened up an authentic Chinese restaurant catering to the significant number of Chinese students studying here. It is TRUE Chinese food, and an amazing difference to what we think of as Chinese-American.

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Did he ever work out his problems with the boro?

So I heard a rumor that the autoport property and 2 adjacent lots down to University drive are getting bought up by a group that has other properties in the work around town.

Who? The quote button is your friend.

Sorry, hot the wrong reply button.

Middletown boro was citing the Chinese restaurant guy because of parking or some other issue and he was threatening to leave.

The last I heard was they were waiting to see if they could get one parcel that is owned by the church behind them rezoned so they could purchase it and add it to the Autoport property.

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As far as I know, they’ve patched things up. The place is still there, and doing well. As you can imagine, trying to do business between a 200 yr old sleepy industrial boro, and someone born in China and trying to make a go of it in a town that’s transitioning into a college town is bound to have some misunderstandings. To open up a restaurant that used to be a BnB in a residential part of town is going to cause some questions from local officials.

Middletown is an interesting place at the moment. There’s a real transition going on and it’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. The rapid increase in the college enrollment is creating opportunities, but also changing the dynamics of what was a very close-knit community of mostly long-time multi-generational residents.

Not to belabor this point, but Chinese-American cuisine has itself now been around for about 150 years and by this point has become fully integrated into the American dining scene.

But you hit the nail on the head when you talk about the differences between what people in the US think of when they hear “Chinese” food, and what a student from China (or even Taiwan) would want in terms of cuisine. Most Chinese-American dishes are heavily-modified Cantonese and Hunanese inspired dishes; you’ll almost never see Fujianese (too much focus on seafood for American palates), Sichuan (too spicy).

You may have already seen this, but for everyone else on this thread…

Chinese restaurant owner plans to appeal $14,800 in fines over parking lot | Press & Journal?

Did PJ Harrigans ever reopen after the shooting?


The Field is getting way too much press for my liking. In addition to the above Athletic article, the HBO cameras were there showing the PSU linemen chowing down at “their favorite restaurant” during last Wednesday’s PSU special.

This afternoon ESPN’s cameras took over. Apparently The Field will be providing nourishment for the College GameDay crew while they are on air Saturday morning. If you think the above Franklin burger looks huge, wait until you see what they have cooked up for Lee Corso.

If all these people keep showing up, I’m going to have a hard time grabbing my favorite seat.

BTW - I had the grilled cheese sandwich, aka “Not Mom’s Grilled Cheese”, today and it was spectacular. Although, I’m not sure that my bar maid appreciated it when I said I wanted the sandwich that they added especially for last week’s Alumni Weekend, i.e. the “Hot Mom’s Grilled Cheese”. She gave me a bit of a dirty look (although she did check the menu first to make sure that they hadn’t actually changed the name). Given that they do have a chicken sandwich called “The Hot Chick”, I don’t think that my comment was all that out of line. :slight_smile:

Somehow I have a feeling that was not the first time a bar maid gave you a dirty look. :slightly_smiling_face:


The Eat N Park group opened a new place where the Diner used to be. More burgers and salads.

Actually Grand Opening is in 90 minutes. :grin:

Oh, whoops. Well, go check it out and let us know how it is!

I’m thinking of heading there (or BRGR) tomorrow afternoon. I’m headed downtown to watch a friend rappel off of the Hyatt (for charity) at 2 pm - might grab a bite afterward. There’s also a rumor that Franklin might do it (the rappeling not the burgering) too. If I get there and see ESPN cameras, I’ll know the rumor is true.

Wound up going to BRGR. We decided my friend needed a drink after the rappel (the wind was blowing like crazy and made things a bit harrowing) and Hello Bistro doesn’t serve alcohol. (Note: Franklin didn’t make an appearance.)

The burger was decent but wasn’t as good as The Field’s. Here’s a pic.

Speaking of The Field, they are going to be serving the GameDay crew Saturday. I’ve been told about the special made burger that they are giving Lee Corso and can’t wait to see it.