Passage to India: Delicious Indian
My wife and I were staying in the area and had a craving for some Indian food. I googled and found Passage to India.
The restaurant was easy to find; right by the River and attached to a hotel. From the outside we weren't impressed but the interior was very nicely decorated. We arrived at their opening time so we were one of two parties of diners in the restaurant. We were seated at a table for two by the window and handed menus. The menu was full of the classic Indian dishes as well as some regional specialties.
We decided on some drinks; an iced tea for Liz and a Taj Mahal for me. We decided to share an order of the Vegetable Pakoras an an appetizer. For our main course I chose the Lamb Saag and Liz chose the Palak Paneer. We also ordered some Garlic Naan as well.
Our appetizer arrived very quickly and was a nice assortment of onion, potato, pepper and califlower fritters. Very good but too much food for two people. Our main dishes were also very good but too much food. My lamb was very nice and tender. Liz loved her Paneer and the Garlic Naan. Thankfully our hotel had a fridge and microwave so we brought the leftovers back to our hotel so we could snack on our leftovers later.
I have to say I was quite impressed by the food, the decor and the service. If this place was closer to home, I'd be here way too often.
Stoltzfus Farm Restaurant: Natural and Homemade
For those eating mainly fast food, this must be quite an experience. We are luck to have each day homemade food, and, top luck, Portuguese homemade food.
That's why I must confess that the food was OK, gently served, but... not a particularly great lunch. Fernanda loves jam (I don't), and enjoyed also the desert that I didn't taste.
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
Bayou: Bayou: New Cajun in town
This place just opened on 2nd Street. We had a great meal there. The seafood gumbo is dark, rich, and perfectly seasoned. I had a fried catfish "blue-plate special" that was done to perfection. And "Chocolate bread pudding with Jack Daniels sauce" is as good as it sounds.
Four of us (two of us had blue-plate specials, all four had appetizers) ate for $110 including tip, BYOB. And they practically had to roll us out the door, we were so full.
Favorite Dish: One of our dinner companions had an alligator dish with shrimp, that came with a sauce so good that he ate all the sauce off the plate. He gave me a piece of the alligator and it was indeed delicious.
Manna Cafe: A Secret Sunday Soul Food Buffet
This Sunday-only buffet is run by the local Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and is the place to go for delicious soul food, homemade desserts, great gospel music, and friendly people. It's a part of the community: You will not find it in the phone book or area restaurant guides. Ain't the Internet grand?
For some odd historical reasons, this all-you-can-eat brunch is $9.96 a person.
Thanks to my friend Becky Myers for taking me here!
Favorite Dish: The corn pudding is awesome: creamy / crunchy / tasty. The greens are great. The fried catfish is yummy. And the desserts...oh, the desserts...
Pho Oanh, Pho Vietnam, and Garden Vietnamese: A Vietnamese Trio
According to my friend Becky, the Vietnamese community in Harrisburg came by way of a resettlement facility at nearby Fort Indiantown Gap.
Any of these three places can serve up a tasty Vietnamese dish. Keep in mind that, in Vietnamese cuisine, "soup" can be a full meal--often with leftovers for the next day!
Favorite Dish: Being a non-meat-eater, I go for the seafood soup. Pho Oanh and Garden Vietnamese give you fresh basil and cilantro leaves to add yourself.
Cafe Fresco Center City: Customer Service not worth the hassle
Cafe Fresco has been a restaurant that I have frequented on several occasions. I keep returning because I like the atmosphere and menu. That all changed tonight.
I took a large group to Cafe Fresco - 16 people in all. The reservation was amended via a phone call during the day, from 15 to 16. When we arrived, the table was set for 15 people. The manager was going to give us another chair and we had to ask him for another full table so 2 people were not sitting on the end of a table. This was a sign of things to come.
We asked our waitresses (we had 2) if we could split the check into 4 separate checks. We were informed Cafe Fresco does not split checks for more than 8 people. When we asked the manager for some help, he told us they cannot split checks for more than 8 people because it would take the servers too long. Allow me to put this into perspective. We had 2 waitresses and at the time we were ordering, only one other table was occupied and they had already ordered. We also had to ask the bar to find our waitresses so we could order.
When we asked the manager if we could put in multiple credit cards, he told us we could, provided the check was split equally among the cards.
Personally, I find the policy of not splitting checks ridiculous. Especially when you consider we could have separated our big table into 4 little tables (hindsight....).
The real rub of the evening was the manager's unwillingness to even meet us half way or compromise at all. It was his behavior that caused all 16 of us to decide we wouldnt be coming back to Cafe Fresco.
I should mention the food here is good, but its simply not worth the customer service. You can get equally good food at a number of other restaurants in downtown Harrisburg. Skip Cafe Fresco. Its not worth the hassle.
cafe fresco downtown: service a nightmare at cafe fresco downtown
The service,management, and ownership at Cafe Fresco downtown has much to be desired. My recommondation is to take in any of the other high quality establishments which inhabit our restaurant row. The management and owner takes no responsibility for the horrible service!!
Panera: not just sandwiches
You can get soup and salads here besides sandwiches and wraps.
Seafood, beef, chicken, Greek and Tex-Mex additives can be put on the salad for more nutrition.
Soup flavors include: broccoli, onion, chicken-n-rice, veggie, potato.
Since they are a bread company, you can always get a hot or cold sandwich or a wrap.
My favorite is the Smokehouse Turkey Panini or the Chicken Caesar Sandwich.
For a full menu, see the website below.
Prices are reasonable. Atmosphere is bright, art-deco with tables and counter service.
The staff are friendly (my wife can carry on a conversation with them for hours). The order is filled quickly. The only problem I have is that the open-environment can get a bit loud during busy times of day.
So stop in and have a bite.
Don't forget to take home some bakeries goods while you are at it.
Favorite Dish: Hot Turkey Panini
- Road Trip
Appalachian Brewing Co.: Best Cask ale in the region
A must visit if you are in the Harrisburg area. Appalachian brewing co. has four locations to better distribute their fine food and beverages (see website below for other locations). There is ample room for large groups in the upper or lower dinning areas. The large L shaped bar can seat about twenty people comfortably.
Favorite Dish: One of the best IPA's I have ever had the pleasure of tipping back. It was a delectable smooth and heavenly hoppy. I had a spiced turkey burger with fries that really hit the spot.
- Beer Tasting
- Historical Travel
Scott's is one of the top restaurants in Harrisburg. Specializing in steaks, they offer only the finest Angus beef. They also have an excellent variety of pastas and seafood. Steaks are around $30 while other main courses cost $15-$25 each. On my visit, I had an outstanding swordfish steak with tomato-kalamata tapenade (whatever that is) for about $21. They also offer great local beers from the Appalachian Brewing Company, and they have a huge wine list.
The atmosphere was upscale but comfortable and the food was great. Definitely worth the price!
- Road Trip
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
The Quarter is a relatively new Cajun/Southern restaurant located at the northern end of Second Street in downtown Harrisburg. It offers such items as Po' Boy sandwiches, catfish, and gumbo. During our visit we had a shrimp po boy and a catfish po boy...both were excellent on fresh bread with lettuce and tomato.
The restaurant has a huge bar, huge windows along the street for dining, along with a second floor with a Bourbon-Street style porch. We visited on Memorial Day in the middle of the afternoon and the place was packed.
- Road Trip
Molly Branigan's: Erin go Braugh..cough gag gurrgle
The thing is with all restaurants in downtown Harrisburg they turn into the actual nightlife spots too, so keep that in mind when you're planning your visit to the lovely 'burg'.
Molly's is one of the only true Irish pubs because they are constatnly showing soccer (football for the rest of the world).
They offer a good range of what we consider irish meals with all the brews you might think of asking for...miller lite, coors lite etc. Bad joke but the place is good and worth the buck you spend here.
They offer trivia on Wednesdays and a real life DJ on weekends.
Favorite Dish: Fish and Chips mate or is that Enlgish? don't get that confused in there cause we all know how mics feel about the brits...just shout 'go celtic' when in danger.
Ceoltas (ponounced w/ a K sound): Musical event (so says the irish guy there)
Typical Irish/American pub with Dublin time and four leaf clovers everywhere.
Ceoltas is an aestetically pleasing pub, every seat offers something different with how the place is laid out.
The live music is good even if it isn't always irish and they have trivia night on Tuesday nights at 7:30 pm.
Try hanging out at the bar, three of the bar tenders are irish and are actually cool guys...until the scottish kiss you right in the mouth.
Favorite Dish: Fish and chips of course...the food is ok here, I prefer Molly Branigan's food but this is not a bad compromise.
Mangia Qui: Mamas and the Tappas
I've met the owners who have wonderful credentials when it comes to knowing how to run a restaurant and especially how to cook the food.
They recently opened a new tappas section which is on the second floor of the establishment.
Its a very quaint restaurant with good wine and great food.
It might a bit on the pricey side but if you're looking to treat yourself to a well deserved meal after a long day in the burg, please stop in, you won't regret it.
Favorite Dish: Anyone of their featured dishes is good, there is quite a bit of spanish and italian influence in the cooking, so you can't go wrong in my book.
Rancho Grande: More chips please
I lived in New Mexico of a year and feel a little entitled to be able to comment on this restaurante (notice the "e").
In temrs of authenticity it comes pretty close. The selection offered may not compare to the eaterys down south but remember you're in PA so whatever they do to keep it close is more than appreciated.
The service is super friendly and the chips keep coming as if they know you have a tapeworm in your stomach (seriously, its hard to refuse them because as long as you finish the basket, they'll bring more out)...Chips are no appetizer aqui.
Favorite Dish: Tamales and enchiladas with some carne adovada is the way to go.
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