On the quality of restaurants in State College

My fellow Nittany Lions, I am here to tell you that the state of the restaurants in State College is weak.

Seriously. I was not the biggest fan of Charlottesville, VA, while I lived there (most people that live there fall hopelessly in love with the place and can't bring themselves to leave), but I will say one thing about C'Ville -- the restaurants were amazing. There is a reason you have to get to Continental Divide the minute it opens at 5:30 or else you are facing an hour wait -- the food is that good. There are plenty of small, independent places that all were pretty reasonably priced (that is, a grad student could afford to eat there occasionally) and good.

Contrast that to State College -- we've had a boom in chains lately (Olive Garden, Outback, TGI Friday's, Applebee's, blah blah blah), but there are really no reliably good restaurants in this town that are moderately priced. There are definitely some very good restaurants (Zola's, Kelly's, and La Bella Trattoria), but they are all pretty high end (well, La Bella isn't quite in the same league as the other two). There are lots of mediocre spots (The Deli and Mario & Luigi's come to mind), but really if you don't want to spend $40 a person on dinner, one of the chain places is in my opinion the one option where you can at least expect the food to be consistently of the same quality.

Tonight, I went to Garfield's for the first time with some friends. First off, the hostess was giving us all sorts of mixed messages (15 - 20 minutes, no 20 - 30 minutes, you are third in line for a table, oh wait, you are up), and in the end we wound up waiting not quite an hour before we got seated. Our waiter was good, but we waited a while for our food, even longer for the check, and even longer for the credit cards to be swiped. All in all from arriving to leaving we were there almost 3 hours. The food was pretty good, but not 3 hours good. Mark another one off the list...


Post a Comment

<< Home