Penn State Fans Guide to Dining Close to the Action at MetLife Stadium
A lot of Penn State fans will be traveling in and out of New York City to watch the Nittany Lions play Syracuse at MetLife Stadium.
But the Big Apple isn't the only game in town.
There are good times, and good food, to be had in and around East Rutherford, N.J. where MetLife Stadium is located.
After all, you can't cheer for Penn State on an empty stomach. If you're wondering where to eat this weekend, here are some places to try:
Redd's Restaurant- 317 Washington Ave., Carlstadt, N.J.
On any other night this is just a regular American sports bar and pub. But on Friday night and Saturday Redd's will host the Penn State vs. Syracuse Kickoff Classic Tailgate Party sponsored by the Northern New Jersey chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association.
Board Member at Large of the Northern New Jersey chapter of the Alumni Association Jon Pelter said that while the deadline to buy tickets for the Friday night event is over, Redd's will be offering a tailgate Saturday before the game for all those who don't want to lug tailgating supplies around. Redd's will also be offering parking that day to those going to the game, and a shuttle to the stadium.
Redd's offers typical sports bar type food, including wings and sandwiches, but close proximity to the stadium makes it much more appetizing.
Vesta Wood Fired Pizza & Bar- 64 Hoboken Road, East Rutherford, N.J.
Vesta, goddess of the home and family, was so highly-valued by the Romans that they built a sacred fire that burned at her temples where they would sometimes eat. While the brick ovens of Vesta Wood Fired Pizza & Bar aren't exactly sacred, you can still get some good pizza here.
The specialty here is obviously wood-fired pizza. You can get any style -- ranging from a traditional margherita to a Boscaiola pie, which includes pancetta, shiitake mushrooms and red onions, according to the menu.
Vesta also has a nice selection of Italian beers, on top of domestic beers, including beers from breweries such as from Birrificio Le Baladin and Birra Del Borgo in Italy.
Sorrento Ristorante- 132 Park Ave., East Rutherford, N.J.
When most people think "New Jersey Italian," they most likely think of heaping piles of omnipresent red sauce strewn over lasagna, spaghetti with meat balls and breaded veal cutlets. While Sorrento has all of those delicious symbols of Italian-American cuisine, it also goes beyond that.
Named after a town in Southern Italy that overlooks the Bay of Naples, the restaurant uses classic Italian ingredients, such as pancetta, prosciutto and fresh tomatoes, according to one review done by northjersey.com. The restaurant is BYOB.
The number one recommended East Rutherford restaurant on TripAdvisor.com has just as many dishes you may not see on a classic Italian-American menu, such as wild salmon, red snapper and filet. They even incorporate some French elements to the menu, such as foie gras from New York and escargot.
Cafe Panach- 130 E. Main St., Ramsey, N.J.
If you're looking for a little bit more upscale setting on your trip, you might try Cafe Panach, in nearby Ramsey.
Named one of the top-rated New Jersey restaurants of 2012 by New Jersey Monthly, this restaurant tries to focus on healthy cooking through the use of fresh ingredients chef Kevin Kohler personally harvests from local farms every day. Even though you might not see too many other Penn State fans at this restaurant, it can be worth the trip outside your comfort zone.
Even though the restaurant focuses on healthy eating, that doesn't mean it doesn't have its decadent side. Menu items include filet mignon ravioli, foie gras mousse and a confit of duckling breast roasted rare with a peach puree. It's not your typical tailgating fare.
Prices are a little steeper, so if you're looking for a quick cheap bite on your way to the game, this might not be your place.
Hunkar Turkish Mediterranean Kebab House- 319 Hackensack St., Carlstadt, N.J.
For those looking for a bit more of an international experience while in North New Jersey, they should try the Hunkar Turkish Mediterranean Kebab House, where the atmosphere is casual and the lamb is plentiful.
While the restaurant has your traditional meals associated with Mediterranean cooking, such as lentil soup and all different types of lamb dishes, it also has some dishes that may cause startle your taste buds at first. Calf's liver is on the menu along with stuffed cabbage, made with lamb, rice and onions.
Even though you may not associate Turkish cuisine with New Jersey, why not give it a shot while you're in town for the game?