Posts Tagged With: Miller’s Diner

“What’s the Special Today?”

One dilemma that happens with 80 degree days in April is: “Should I turn on the air conditioning, or not?”  For those of us without central AC, turning on the air conditioning means cleaning windows and sills, cleaning and lugging a window unit out of the basement or attic, mounting it, and hoping the fact that you have never recharged it doesn’t come back to haunt you this summer.  For all of those reasons plus the savings on the electric bill, most of us try to hold out as long as possible before turning on the AC.  With that in mind, we offer this article by our friend Ken Hull, author of Going Local! An Adventurer’s Guide to Unique Eats, Cool Pubs & Cozy Cafes of Central Pennsylvania.  After all, the last thing you want to do on a hot day without air conditioning is cook!  This article first appeared in the 2009  edition of the Raystown Lake Region/Huntingdon County Visitors Guide.  Ken has since published Going Local 2: A Second Helping.  

For some great options for eating out on  a hot April day, visit Raystown.org/Places-To-Eat.  Enjoy!

Ken Hull with a beer at Selin's Grove Brewing

Ken Hull

by Ken Hull

I love Huntingdon County. Though a Centre County native through and through, I have close ties to this region to my south and visit often. My buddy’s folks have a cottage along the beautiful Juniata River and I’ve spent many a lazy day drifting quietly in a peaceful cove at Raystown Lake. Not only that, but I live in a structure that grew out of the rich mountain soil of Huntingdon County nearly a hundred years ago. What I mean is; I built a log cabin out of trees that came from a wood lot south of Cornpropst Mills. It’s a beautiful place to live and every time I travel down Rt. 26 I recall the adventure of finding these logs and the great experience of moving them to Boalsburg.

Speaking of adventures and experiences, I’ve recently published a book about them in regards to unique eats, cool pubs and cozy cafés of central PA. The book is called Going Local and it chronicles my journeys as I crisscross the state aboard my 1994 Harley Sportster in search of locally owned places to eat and drink.

One of the best reasons to take a ride, whether by bike or car, is a food destination. My friends and I always look for scenic roads that include, or eventually lead to, a great restaurant, pub or café. And since I’m somewhat of a “gastronomical guru,” I’m always the one in charge of the route we take because my foodie and beer geek friends know we’ll end up with a very cool trip and very happy bellies. The funny thing is that as soon as we crest the Tussey Mountain range outside of Pine Grove Mills and enter our neighbor Huntingdon Co., I know they’re all wondering which roads I’ll choose and where we’ll end up. Because in this place, the roads are amazing and the eats are awesome! But since this is about dining and not a guide to sweet curvy byways, I’ll stick to what makes you go “mmm!”

As I mentioned, I only go to the local places (of which there are many here) and I go for everything from breakfast to dinner, coffee to a beer, and pie to ice cream. Actually, most folks would prefer pie AND ice cream but I like mine separate as to appreciate the differences of each dish. But every once

Going Loca! An Adventurers Guide to Unique Eats, Cool Pubs and Cozy Cafes of Central Pennsylvania by Ken Hull

Going Loca! An Adventurers Guide to Unique Eats, Cool Pubs and Cozy Cafes of Central Pennsylvania by Ken Hull

in a while I “let my hair down” and go for the stack. But only if the pie is warm, otherwise the ice cream doesn’t melt into the pie and create a whole new blend of flavors. However, I digress. Seriously though, Huntingdon Co. has it all, so let me just get to some of the things you’ll find here to fill your stomach, warm your heart and support independently owned businesses.

Breakfast places are a good place to start and why not? Where else can you show up with bed head and be addressed as sweetie no matter your age or gender. Simple dishes like bacon and eggs can be found as well as more gourmet offerings like sweet potato pancakes. Coffee in the morning is most folk’s salvation and you’ll find that at all the breakfast spots. But for me a good latte or cappuccino in the afternoon is always an option and there are even cafés here that offer those.

Lunch is one of those meals that gets the shaft a little I think. You’re either too busy or needing to get somewhere to stop. Well, most of the rest of the world considers lunch the main meal, so if you want to join with them Huntingdon Co. has plenty of places to stop, take some time and enjoy. With great soups, sandwiches and even pizza, your midday meal will not only be yummy but keep you going on your adventures.

Now about dinner; my friends, it’s a tough call here. As I so boldly stated, I’m somewhat of a food snob and most definitely a beer snob. Not that I look down on things like onion rings (which, by the way, there’s a place in Huntingdon that has the world’s best – no lie) because in my book (literally) I consider a good burger as sacred as a good steak. There’s casual as well as fine dining, and let me tell you, you’ll be blown away by both. And, whether a hand-crafted beer or fine wine is your choice with dinner, or a perfectly made martini beforehand, you will find all and in atmospheres that are welcoming and easy-going. No taste bud or stomach is discriminated against here… only embraced.

Yeah, Huntingdon Co. is not just a bunch of scenic roads and beautiful waterways; it’s a place where you can have many great experiences and adventures by just pulling over, pulling up a chair, and saying “what’s the special today?”

Enjoy!

Categories: 2009 Visitors Guide, Dining | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Made to Order Moments- Dining in the RLR

by Luana Lindberg

Good moments, bad moments, embarrassing moments, hilarious moments….moments, moments, moments…We all have our moments!  Now we want to give you a different moment…A made-to-order Raystown Moment!

From the moment you arrive, we are ready to serve you.  Want a quick lunch before you head to the lake?  Burger King and Wendy’s are quick and tasty and you can always grab a sub at Subway.

Maybe your Raystown moment will come after the campers are set up and camping gear is put away.  You could steal a moment to relax at Memories at the Lake.  Enjoy their award winning wings or one of their famous burgers while watching the boats sail into dock at the 7-Points Marina.

If you want to make your own Raystown Moments on the lake last as long as possible, then the Light House Concession might be the choice for you.  Just call you order in from your boat, pick-it up, and enjoy while you soak up the last of the sun’s rays as they set over beautiful Lake Raystown.

Looking for a little nightlife?  Does an ice cold beer sound good after a day in the sun?  You won’t find better choices anywhere than Boxer’s Café in Historic downtown Huntingdon.

Got the whole family? Great!  We have some fabulous family restaurants to make your moment special!  Try Top’s or Miller’s Diner.  Whether its pancakes for breakfast, a burger for lunch, or pork chops for dinner, these two are hard to beat.  Miller’s offers free pie if a train stops at the diner and the engineer comes in to get something to eat.  THAT is train stoppin’ good!  Maybe steaks and salad are more to your liking, try Hoss’s Steak and Sea House.

Need a sports fix?  No problem.  Try Main Street Café or Memories, both local sports bars with great food and drink.

Looking for a quiet candle filled moment? Then Mimi’s is the place.  A more upscale restaurant with great food prepared by local chefs and a wonderful martini bar.

Did you say I need a cup of coffee?  Well then check out the Standing Stone Coffee Co. in uptown Huntingdon.  They offer great coffee and pastry in a cool coffee bar setting.

Yes, everyone has their moments.  Let us make you another one…a Raystown moment…made-to-order.

Categories: Dining | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Triple Sorrow

It has been said that death comes in threes.  That has certainly been the case in the past week in the tourism community of the Raystown Lake Region.  In the seven days from January 20, 2012 to January 26, 2012, we said goodbye to three remarkable men, who each made our tourism product offerings better even if that wasn’t their primary goal, or even within their thoughts.

Larry Way at Miller's Diner, photo by Abram Eric Landes

Larry Way at Miller's Diner, photo by Abram Eric Landes - aelandesphotography.com

On Friday, January 20th, Larry Way, owner of Miller’s Diner 3 miles east of Huntingdon, succumbed to a heart attack.  Larry was an ardent supporter and promoter of Raystown Lake.  He would engage anyone who would listen in conversation about the lake, its tremendous impact on the local economy, and its potential to increase that impact.  Larry had an infectious smile, and was not shy about speaking his mind on any topic.  His restaurant has a hometown air about it, and it is very common, and oddly welcoming for conversations to be taking place between booths, tables, and even the counter seating, engaging every patron there at the time.

On my first day as Executive Director of the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau, my staff arranged to have lunch delivered by Miller’s Diner to the Visitors Center.  This isn’t a normal service that the Diner provides, but Larry was eager to meet me and help to shape my vision of the area and its tourism industry, so he brought the meal out himself.  We wound up sitting at our conference table engaged in conversation for more than two hours.  I was already enthusiastic about my new job, but Larry’s viewpoint helped me to put into perspective the tremendous opportunities that exist here for residents and visitors alike.

Much local and national publicity has surrounded the second death that affects Huntingdon County’s tourism industry, that of Joe Paterno on Sunday, January 22nd.  While not directly involved in HCVB, there is no denying the overwhelmingly positive impact he has had on our tourism industry.  Six weekends per year, more than 100,000 people flock to Beaver Stadium in State College to experience a game day at the best show in college athletics.  Joe Paterno is singly responsible for that volume of visitors to Central Pennsylvania.  The lodging establishments of Huntingdon County have no trouble selling their rooms on those weekends.  It is entirely likely that  JoePa never considered his impact on the rural county to his south, but it certainly exists.

I am not an alumnus of Penn State, nor have I ever shaken hands with the man, although I have been in the audience while he addressed an assembly of high school student government participants more than two decades ago.  However, I am and always have been a Penn State Nittany Lion fan.  And I for one, will always remember the beloved coach, philanthropist, educator and family man fondly.

On Thursday, January 26th we lost a man whose dedication to his job rivaled that of coach Paterno in its loyalty and longevity.  Stanley Hall started with the East Broad Top Railroad in 1959 as a painter, fresh out of high school.  He was charged with preparing the narrow-gauge railway’s cars and engines that had been dormant since it ceased operations in 1956, for an excursion to celebrate the Orbisonia/Rockhill bicentennial.  From that moment he dedicated his life to the EBT, doing every job involved in running a steam railroad, including serving more than two decades as its general manager.  The monumental task of maintaining 32 miles of railroad right-of-way, century-old machinery, acres of wooden and steel structures, and running weekend excursions with all of it for 50 years, boggles the mind, yet that’s what Stanley did.

Stanley Hall being inducted into the Keystone Society for Tourism.  Photo by Ed Stoddard

Stanley Hall (center) receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Keystone Society for Tourism in 2010, presented by Deputy Secretary J. Mickey Rowley (left) and Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland (right). Photo by Ed Stoddard

I had the great fortune to nominate and witness Stanley Hall’s induction into the Keystone Society for Tourism, Pennsylvania’s tourism honor society.  He had amazing stories to tell about the railroad over the years, and quite literally dedicated blood, sweat, and tears to its operation.  As I sat in the Governor’s Mansion in Harrisburg with the Hall family, and listened to all of Stanley’s accomplishments read as the award was presented, and saw the pride in their eyes, and the sense of satisfaction in his for recognition of a life of dedicated service, I was nearly brought to tears.

I consider it a true blessing to be promoting an area that has been so greatly influenced by these three great men.  My heart, and those of the entire tourism industry in Huntingdon County is saddened by their passing.  To their families, please know that their impact on the area they loved so much, is sure to be felt for generations to come, and will not be forgotten.

Sincerely,
Matt Price
Executive Director
Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau

Categories: Lifestyle | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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