The New, Tasty Places to Eat and Drink
By Holly Swanson
The State College area is experiencing a lot of growth with the development of the downtown Fraser Centre and other multi-use buildings. Here’s a rundown of the most recent restaurant openings and what we can expect in coming months.
My My Chicken
536 Westerly Parkway, State College
A new favorite located on Westerly Parkway, My My Chicken is a take-out only restaurant featuring (guess what?) chicken. Filling a much-needed void in the pick-up chicken market, My My offers a menu of American and Korean style chicken with a surprisingly diverse lineup of side items, including macaroni and cheese, veggies, and crinkle cut fries. A rotating features menu offers oven-roasted chicken with a lemon thyme vinaigrette on Fridays and Saturdays and a chicken pot pie on Thursdays, but it’s still a good idea to check their website or call them to find about their latest offerings. And calling ahead is a good idea since it’s the only way to place your order right now. My My prepares their food fresh when you call—there’s no dried out chicken sitting under a heat lamp here, but that minor inconvenience for would-be walk-ins is more than made up for when you taste this homestyle chicken. They also offer gluten-free options, so there’s no reason that your whole family won’t be satisfied by the selection.
128 East College Ave., State College
Taking over the space previously occupied by Corrinado’s Pizza on College Avenue, Mamma Mia’s brings an already popular Centre County restaurant to the masses of downtown State College. Open every day until 11 p.m. or later, Mamma Mia’s is more than just a pizza joint. The new location in State College features their premium pasta dishes, delicious appetizers like bacon cheddar fries, and traditional homestyle pizza made with locally sourced ingredients. But Mamma Mia’s is also dedicated to supporting their community by giving back in local fundraisers, like the YMCA and Science U, so you can feel good about supporting a small business that supports Happy Valley.
Fraser Centre, on the corner of Beaver Avenue and Fraser Street
The soon-to-be opened Federal Taphouse will offer the best of both downtown worlds—a full service, high-quality restaurant with a fully stocked bar featuring at least 100 draft beers. This small restaurant chain, owned by Penn State grads Corey Fogarty and Judd Goodman, already has successful locations in Harrisburg and Lancaster, and the duo is looking forward to opening their third restaurant in State College in the summer of 2016. As a Pennsylvania-based company, Federal Taphouse prides itself on its farm-to-table style. Fogarty and Goodman use only local products like hand-cut meats and Eastern Shore seafood. Most of their cooking is done on mesquite charcoal and natural fuel, such as local hardwoods. After the restaurant opens, Federal Taphouse will also expand into off-site catering and expects to employ as many as 50 full-time workers. The Taphouse seems like a good investment, both for those of us who like high-quality food and beer and for local business leaders who want to see steady job growth in the area.
The Field Burger & Tap
One Country Club Lane, State College
Dining at The Field, located in Toftrees in the former Down Under Steakhouse, can be an overwhelming experience. Although it’s billed as a family-friendly burger joint, it’s really anything but. The servers were excellent and the atmosphere was perfect, but the burgers strayed pretty far from the definition of a burger. If you dine with children who just want typical cheeseburgers, they’ll be disappointed. If you have a sophisticated adult palette, you will think you’re in Disney World.
Try the Lancaster Burger, which includes local bacon, a fried egg, greens and tomato slices, with sharp cheddar and horseradish mayo. Or there’s The Field’s Surf & Turf burger. It brings together beef, lobster meat, white balsamic vinaigrette, roasted tomato jam, greens and truffle butter. No cheese? You can always request a slice of cheddar or Swiss.
The Field welcomes the local farming community with open arms. Their hope is that they can find sustainable way to provide food for their restaurant that is also respectful of the animals and crops being harvested.
1736 South Atherton Street, State College
The area’s newest coffee shop held its grand opening in January and already has a devoted following. Located in the Creekside Plaza on Atherton, Rothrock Coffee is owned by BMXer Jamie Bestwick, who spent about a year learning the secrets of running a successful coffee shop. Coffee beans are roasted on site, and there’s a quaint seating area for about 35 people.
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