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Tag Archives: ethnic food

It has recently occurred to me after randomly stumbling upon a few wonderful ethnic grocery stores that Harrisburg has quite a few shops unfortunately existing under the radar for most people. As such, I’m starting a list of the shops that I’ve visited personally or am aware of around Harrisburg, please feel free to leave a comment with any additions you might have as I know I have probably missed a few. These places are truly unique and well worth trying for something new or unusual.

Choe’s Oriental Food Market, 829 State Street, Lemoyne. (Asian)

Dong My Asian Special Foods, Westshore Farmer’s Market, 900 Market Street, Lemoyne. 21

European Restaurant and Food Market, 5202 Simpson Ferry Road, Camp Hill. (Eastern Europe)

Fraulie’s German Delicatessen and Import Shop, 224 S 3rd Sreet, Lemoyne.

Fuji Do Japanese Market, 1701 Paxton Street, Harrisburg.

Goldy Market, 110 Old York Road, New Cumberland. (Eastern European)

Hampden Grocer – Asian Indian Grocery, 4704 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg.

India Groceries and Fashion, 2650 Walnut Street, Harrisburg.

Josie’s German Food & Deli, 5238 East Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg.

Kim’s Oriental Food, 2501 Paxton Street, Harrisburg. (Asian)

La Kasbah Deli, 913 North 2nd Street, Harrisburg. (Moroccan)

Landau Jewelers & Antiques, Asian American Market, 3507 Simpson Ferry Road, Camp Hill. (Vietnamese/Asian)

Little Saigon Food Market, 2800 Paxton Street, Harrisburg. (Vietnamese/Asian)

Madina Halal Meat and Grocery, 407 North Front Street, Harrisburg. (Middle Eastern/North African)

Mid East Market, 829 State Street, Lemoyne. l2

Oxford Hall Celtic Shop, 315 Bridge Street, New Cumberland. (Brittish Isles)

Saint Thomas Village Store and Oriental Market, 5978 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg. (Filipino/Asian)

Shab’s Pita Stroller, 2269 Paxton Church Road, Harrisburg. (Mediterranean)

Tu Do Food and Gift, 2223 Derry Street, Harrisburg. (Vietnamese/Asian)

Tres Hermanos Taqueria, 216 N Front Street, Steelton. (Mexican/Latino)


Who said Harrisburg doesn’t have culture? Anastacia’s Restaurant/Bar is a brand new establishment that serves up authentic Puerto Rican cuisine at its finest! I had on a number of occasions passed by their location on 6th Street as they were renovating the building and decided the place certainly wasn’t appealing enough to check out upon completion. However, after a quick glance through some of their pictures on myspace I was surprised to see how nice of an establishment it really was, not what I expected at all!

I had to see/taste the place for myself, so I decided to drop in for lunch. Now don’t be fooled into thinking that since the restaurant is on 6th Street it clearly must be a dive like I had mistakenly done, the place is quite nice. The inside is colorful and neat, with a decent size bar and dining area complete with 4 flat panel TVs and a large chandelier. Everything is brand new, but the menu is seriously authentic – they even serve up Patitas de Cerdo, pigs feet! I wish I could say I’m that adventurous, but I stuck with the stewed chicken and rice ‘n beans  which was absolutely delicious. Service was great, and I’ll be going back, maybe this time to try something a little more out of the ordinary. The menu is different depending on the day, but the prices are all quite modest.

Check it out for yourself, the owners are hard working people and have done an excellent job renovating the entire place. It’s hard working small business owners such as these that really do enormous good for the city, so show your support by enjoying some delicias latin cuisine!

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As mentioned in a previous post, I made sure to visit this Jamaican/American restaurant to see what the place was all about. The restaurant is next door to Garden Vietnamese Restaurant, a block over from the new Harrisburg Area Community College Midtown Campus – in my opinion an excellent location to open up shop. At any rate, the place just opened a week ago, and is modest looking on the outside as well as inside. Downstairs there are a few tables, a billiards table and an electric jukebox, I’m foreseeing this place as a pretty nice little student lounge for HACC students. Up the small stairway there is a counter immediately on the left where you can place an order and a number of little tables that fill the room. Again, pretty modest inside but what is most important to me is what’s really most important (that’s the food of course). You can see the menu in my previous post, but you can see that the place is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I tried the curry chicken with steamed cabbage and rice ‘n beans. Absolutely delicious. I was a little doubtful of the authenticity of the food until I had a taste, then there was nothing except planning a return visit to try something else. The food really did it for me, and the authenticity of the place was confirmed when I met Kenny the owner, or as everyone calls him “pops.” From the 5 minutes we chatted, Kenny seems to me a pretty stand up guy. He’s got an obvious Jamaican accent and has tried his hand at making a successful Jamaican restaurant a number of times before. I’m optimistic that this place will stick for him though as the food and location are both great.

By the way, for anyone curious pops explained to me that “Jameans With Papine” is a combination of American and Jamaican names, synonymous with the type of food served from the kitchen at 306 Riley Street in Harrisburg.

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Taj Palace in case you don’t already know is a brand spanking new addition to Harrisburg’s collection of diverse dining options. I stopped by the place a week or so back to see if 405 Jazz and Sophia’s replacement was a worthy eatery.

The inside of the place has not changed at all from the previous venues that existed, but really a change of decor is unnecessary as both 405 Jazz and Sophia’s were quite nice inside if you remember. Just replace the jazz with Indian music and you’ve got a pretty good picture of what Taj Palace is like inside. I was definitely impressed by the staff as they were very accommodating and courteous, but with a number of other Indian restaurants already in Harrisburg, would Taj Palace be any more worthy of a return visit than the others?

Hands down yes. The curry tasted so complex and well balanced that I couldn’t help but scrape the bowl clean with a piece of fresh naan. By the way, the bread was exceptional. All in all, I would say Taj Palace serves the best Indian I’ve had downtown, the prices were reasonable and I know I’ll be back to try another item from the menu. It’s definitely worth a try, check it out and see for yourself.

Harrisburg is lucky enough to have a variety of Vietnamese restaurants to choose from: Pho Vietnam, Little Saigon, Garden Vietnamese, and Rose’s Vietnamese Cuisine. I have been to all 4 (if you know of any others please let me know) as well as the Vietnamese food stand in the Broad Street Market called Golden Gate, and I honestly have a very tough time trying to choose which spot has the best cuisine. What I can speak to are my individual experiences at each place separately, and I am happy to make recommendations to all 5 spots.

I went to Rose’s not long ago, and believe me I have always been skeptical, but my curiosity and love of Vietnamese cuisine eventually led me inside the place. It’s located in a small strip mall a few miles outside of downtown Harrisburg on Walnut Street. Like all the other Vietnamese restaurants around Harrisburg, Rose’s isn’t much to look at once inside. But to me it’s really not about aesthetics unless I’m paying for it, and Rose’s is anything but expensive. I went with the lemon grass grilled chicken over white rice. The wait was a little longer than expected but believe you me, it was well worth it. The chicken was really like nothing I’ve ever had before. I can honestly say I’ve never had chicken that tasted so fresh and so tender, it was incredible! It was later explained to me that the delay in receiving my food was because they only make the chicken after you order it, everything is made fresh. I can live with that for sure.

On the way out I had a short chat with Rose herself (I had to compliment the food) and she assured me that her restaurant sold the best Pho in Harrisburg so naturally I am planning a return visit. Exceptional food, I fully endorse Rose’s Vietnamese Cuisine.