Aangan Indian Cuisine
3500 Walnut St., Harrisburg 909.7777

**** We’ve been to Aangan several times. The food is excellent (from the saag paneer to the vindaloo) and the staff wonderful. The appetizers are perhaps the only thing that could be improved. Be sure to order the special coffee just to see how it’s poured.

**** After living in India with an Indian family for 5 months I fell completely in love with the food. And i worried about being able to find Indian food even close to what i enjoyed in India. When i was completely unimpressed with Passage to India, a Punjabi friend of mine took me to Aangan. He told me that the head Chef here was the head chef at a 5-star thai restaurant in Delhi. Whether or not that is true, i cannot vouch for. What i do know, is that the food at Aangan is fantastic, and is the most authentic Indian food i have ever had outside of India.

**** My wife and I have been here several times. The place is average looking on the outside, and average to “comfortably nice” on the inside. The service is great, but the food is outstanding. But don’t take my word for it, I work with several people that are from various parts of India. On the whole, this is the consensus favorite place for Indian food in the area. Prices are reasonable, and the sunday buffet is a deal too

Appalachian Brewery

50 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg 221.1080
3721 Market St, Camp Hill 920.2739
401 Buford Ave., Gettysburg 334.2200

***Great beer, good food, mediocre service

Alfred’s Victorian Restaurant

38 North Union St., Middletown 944.5373
**** Well, it’s tough to beat, of course. Filetto Rosina is to die for. Truly special cuisine, prepared table-side. But you WILL pay. 😉 (jr)

Al Mediterraneo

288 East Main St., Hummelstown 566.5086
** If you’re a fan of nouvelle cuisine, add a star and a half. But I don’t like being able to fit my entree in the palm of my hand. (jr)

Bangkok 56

1917 Paxton St., Harrisburg, PA 236.2931

*** Big menu, fresh tastes and full-flavored seasoning

Bangkok Wok

Gateway Square, Hampden Twp. 795.7292

**** Traditional Thai seafood, chicken, pork and vegetarian plats, freindly and fast service … “curry dishes that are interplayed with coconut milk and Thai seasonings.”

Bayou BYOB

1530 N. Second St., Harrisburg 236.1122
**** good Cajun/Creole food, easy atmosphere, great service (psc)

Benihana Of Tokyo
2517 Paxton St., Harrisburg 232.6731

*** The Benihana of Harrisburg was one of the best dining experiences of my life. The atmosphere was great, and the food was the best Asian food I’ve ever had. I was lucky enough to celebrate a birthday there and the cake as very remarkable as well. This is a great restaurant.

Best Wok

3407 Derry St., Harrisburg 909.6666

** Mild, fairly standard Chinese dishes

Brewhouse Grille

2050 State Road, Camp Hill 737.0030

*** Smoked meats, solid entrees and local microbrews

*** “Unless you show up at the opening bell, or maybe in the middle of an ice/snow/sleet/freezing rain storm (maybe this is where the governor and PennDOT were hiding out when things went sideways), expect to find a crowd. Beers have been superb.”

Bricco 

3rd & Chestnut Streets, Harrisburg 724.0222
****What a great new restaurant in Harrisburg!!!! The food was amazing. The service top notch. And the atmosphere exceptional. All this and a teaching restaurant. Make sure you get a table near the kitchen so you can watch the action. (trex)
**** had a great meal here, decent service, and nice atmosphere — all reasons for going back (cg) …
**** best wine policy in Harrisburg, beautiful salads, slow kitchen (psc)

Bumper Bob’s Seafood House
1875 Old Trail Rd., Etters 938.9208
**** A real sleeper of a place in Newberrytown, just off I-83. Steak-seafood specialties. The scoop: Portions are ENORMOUS. Largest crab cakes you have ever encountered. You will not leave without a doggie bag. And it’s all quality. (jr)

Cafe Fresco

215 North 2nd St., Harrisburg 236.2599
**** great (lunch) experience — both with our food (delicious wraps) and service — all in a fun, unique setting (cg)

Cafe Magnolia

4700 Old Gettysburg Rd., Mechanicsburg 901.9700

*** Fusion menu, good service

Cantone’s

4701 Fritchey St., Harrisburg 652.9976

*** Always mentioned in conversations about midstate restaurants, probably because it was your uncle or cousin’s favorite. I don’t quite see it. It’s average Italian fare; nothing on the menu that’s done better than several other places. Nice ambience, tucked away on a back street in Colonial Park. But just OK. (jr)

Cedars

2153 Market Street, Camp Hill

** This place needs waitstaff desperately. Good food, bad service.

Ceoltas

310 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg 233.3202
** similar to Coakley’s but better atmosphere — preference for Irish grub would be Molly Brannigan’s (cg) …
*** had a great party for eight, good service (psc)

Char’s Bella Mundo

540 Race St. Harrisburg 213.4002

**** A classy restaurant with good food and perfect drinks, a fun place to people-watch. Char herself is a plus and nurtures a top-notch staff. Probably the closest thing to a “real” Parisian bistro in this area. The pear and endive salad, the fish, mussel appetizer, Bella Mundo parfait – the list goes on – all are memorable. Specials change daily and are always interesting. The noise level gets high when the place fills up. Expect to pay top dollar. (lt)

Coakley’s

305 Bridge St., New Cumberland 774.5556

*** Their Crab and Filet Tower should count as two meals. Herb and Bleu Cheese Crusted Delmonico is terrific. Smoked Mozzarella and Fresh Basil Ravioli is good, too. Always has seemed a bit of a “club” to me, though; if you’re a newcomer, people peek over their shoulders at you. (jr)

* I think this place is over-rated…our meals were never extraordinary nor was the service — it’s unfortunate since the restaurant itself is somewhat cute (cg)

Da Pits

2101 North 2nd St., Harrisburg 233.7487

****Go for the ribs, but come back for the fresh salads and lick-the-bowl-good soups. (kw)

Culhane’s Steak House
1 Laurel Road, New Cumberland 938.0930
**** An overlooked gem off the Fishing Creek exit of I-83 in northern York County. Culhane’s serves some of the best steaks around at reasonable prices. Wine prices are reasonable as well, although the selection is so-so. Their house salad dressing–a sort of French & Thousand Island combination–is superb and almost worth a trip in itself. (ddk)

Dolce Vita BYOB

173 S. Enola Drive, Enola 732.7202

*** Authentic home-style Italian, good service, large portions.

Dorado

1300 Camp Hill Bypass, Camp Hill 612.9747
**** When you go out, you want to find something new, something you don’t see anywhere else. Dorado’s menu isn’t all that deep, but just about everything they offer, you don’t get anywhere else. Gorgonzola Buttered Filet and Pasta Rustica … special dishes you will remember. (jr)

Duke’s

313 S. Front St., Wormleysburg 737.1313
1715 E. Chocolate Ave. Hershey 533.5541

**** This has already outshone its predecessor, the Gingerbread Man, if only for the huge portions. But it has variety, too, with original dishes and great appetizers. You can’t beat the view at the Wormleysburg location, overlooking the Susquehanna. (jr)

Firehouse Restaurant
224 N 2nd St., Harrisburg 441.3106

*** Good crab cakes, good filet

Fisaga

201 North 2nd St., Harrisburg 441.1556
** Fisaga. Very disappointed about the cut-back menu. Three years ago, it was a dining experience. Now, it’s an interesting place to milk a drink and watch the people walk past. (jr)
** not a bad atmosphere especially in the summer months, but the food is average (cg)

** usually good service, needs better food (psc)

Flinchy’s

1833 Hummel Ave., Lower Allen 761.9000

*** Great appetizers, big menu and a deck that’s a lot of fun.

Gabriella

3907 Jonestown Road 540-0040

*** Classic trattoria food, good atmosphere and service.

Garrason’s Tavern

400 Forster St., Harrisburg 232.2028

*** Good hangout, good steaks, generous portions

Golden Sheaf

1 North Second St., Harrisburg 233.6000
**** Reliably good. The ambience is probably the best in the area. The cocktails are generous and well-made, and the wine list is extravagant. The desserts are imaginative, especially at the holidays. (For CHristmas, there’s a Yule log!) The duck is the best around, only surpassed by Char’s. (lt)

Gulliftys

Cedar Cliff Mall 761.6692
**** People forget this place sometimes, and it’s still a favorite old standby. Good variety in the menu. They do seafood, Italian, Mexican all well. The red stuffed pizza is among the best pizza in central Pa. Good, experienced waitstaff.(jr)

Here’s my E-Z Ratings Guide:

***** This is a great place.
**** Definitely going back.
*** Worth the money.
** This joint needs …
* Never again. Ever.

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Bonjour!

In culinary school and getting ready to trade the writing life for the cooking life. Or not. Might do both. At the moment I'm a feature writer for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. My name is Pat Carroll.

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