There are many challenges when moving, particularly to a new country, but perhaps none more daunting than the life-long daily requirements of food and dining. These are my struggles.

When it comes to restaurants, there are really four primary considerations: Sushi, Mexican, Pubs and Delivery. Here's what you need to know about Pennsylvania in these departments.

Sushi - Hibachi. Hibachi everywhere. I don't know what it is about being somewhere that can't decide if it's in the south or not, but just about every sushi place is hibachi, and those that aren't (i.e. the ones I'll actually go to) have not impressed. Not with poor quality, but the most underwhelming, generic and mildly-bland-but-not-so-much-that-it's-necessarily-bad.

But hey, perhaps that should be expected that in a place so devoid of an Asian community that there be a lack of Japanese cuisine. Let's try our hand at Mexican. The first thing to note is that Mexican here seems to be very chain-heavy. Not much in the way of local options. We did go ahead and try a local place that was terribly bland and utterly disappointing. Chains of Fiesta Mexico and El Rodeo have been solid choices despite failing to wow. Lest you, as I did on one El Rodeo occasion, happen to order something just slathered in cilantro when you're someone who finds cilantro tastes like grass and dirt.

Alright, I'm effectively in a college town though, so pubs should be a slam dunk. I can always go for some quality nachos or a veggie burger. So what do you have here? Pump cheese everywhere. It's a land that has lost the concept of melting grated cheese over tortilla chips. Never did I imagine it would be so hard to find. My last outing found some well put together nachos with real cheese, but were unfortunately the chips half of the nacho equation was salted into oblivion. There are veggie burgers scattered in a few places, but far more difficult to find than north of the border.

When all else fails though, turn to the quick answer: delivery. Sometime's you're just lazy but still want good food. That's when you pay someone else to do all the work. Being tucked in a tiny town just outside of other larger towns, most places don't delivery here. But maybe that's a good thing.

The Chinese food is underwhelming.

The pizza is abysmal.

I don't understand how so many places can not know how to make pizza. Do people think it actually tastes good? Have they ever had good pizza? It's a pitiful attempt at New York style pizza that is undercooked and underseasoned. The crust is soggy, seemingly cooked at too low of a temperature, perhaps in a cooking sheet, like some sort of bastard child of a deep dish pizza. Without exaggeration, Pizza Hut looks good by comparison. And the one thing the entire country can agree on is that nobody likes Pizza Hut.
Posted by Yodariquo Sun, 27 Nov 2016 20:35:11 (comments: 11)
next >>
Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:21:22
I do not envy your food situation and am truely aware of how lucky I am to live in a place with so many quality restaurants.
Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:31:06

Okay first off all, as a former Pizza Hut employee, I feel obliged to defend their pizza like substance. That said, I'm not sure I can really do it with a clear concious. Still, I have a perverse love for it. If you're ever stuck with it get a Meat Lover's pizza. There's so much meat and grease on it that it does a good job of disguising all of the other shortcomings.

The only tip I really have for you (aside from move) is to check out any Vietnamese places if there are any available. Chinese places are always of varying quality, but you'll never really find a bad Vietnamese place since there aren't a lot of short cuts that get used in Chinese restaurants like flash cooking and msg laden sauces.

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:06:16
My friend who lives in America says the pizzas there aren't very good and not like ours. So whenever he comes back, he insists on eating nothing but Pizza Express.
Mon, 28 Nov 2016 23:50:23
robio said:

The only tip I really have for you (aside from move) is to check out any Vietnamese places if there are any available. Chinese places are always of varying quality, but you'll never really find a bad Vietnamese place since there aren't a lot of short cuts that get used in Chinese restaurants like flash cooking and msg laden sauces.

The one good place has been a Thai place with weird, awkward service that's really slow, but the food is great.

Haven't been to a Vietnamese place around here, so I decided to take a look around and found this brilliance:


Tue, 29 Nov 2016 00:10:27

To me that just says they're authentic.

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 00:31:51

I'm from Pennsylvania yeah a lot of the food isn't really that good at restaurants. I guess that is why I usually cook at home.

Sure we sometimes get Pizza it's my favorite food. We have a local place that I used to hate but now I like it. The thing I hated about it was the crust which is what everyone loves about it. The crust is basically pie crust but on a pizza. I used to think it was too seet. Some Pizza places are good but it depends on which one you get pizza from. Fox's is pretty good it isn't like the New York style pizza at all. It is a franchise that started in Western Pennsylvania but the quality is dependant on which one you order from. In my area we always have to order from the one that is a little further away because the one that is closer always messes something up. Though they recently changed their sauce and it is spicy.

A lot of the state they serve food you would find in Germany or Poland and other countries around that part of Europe.

Philadelphia area the only thing I like from that half of the state are cheesesteaks.

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:59:49
In NY we saw a menu for a Chinese restaurant that said "Brack Brean sauce" repeatedly. I think they lose business straight away when people see mistakes like this.
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 08:20:49
Agree with what Robio said. My Vietnamese friends could never quite get their heads around what "vegetarian" meant. I once had to explain why a blood pizza was not vegetarian "But there is no meant, only blood".

For those of you who do not know what a blood pizza is, which I hope is most of you here is a link:
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 10:03:29

Never had Vietnamese food.  What is it similar to? Hibachi or Chinese?

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:23:47
Vietnamese is kind of its own thing. Lots of similar ingredients to Chinese food, but nowhere near as greasy. Little more emphasis on fresh herb and vegetables. It's kind of an Asian and French fusion. I always recommend people start out with a soup they have called Pho. Chicken Pho, Pho Ga, is my go-to meal for when I'm feeling sick. Always seems to fix me up very quickly.
next >>
Log in or Register for free to comment
Recently Spotted:
Login @ The VG Press
Remember me?