A recent trip to NW Pa. had me swing thorough State College. My conclusion: The Creamery at Penn State is my number one American ice cream experience ever, and in fact, I can't even think of an American ice cream that is a close second. My favorite flavor was Alumni Swirl (a blueberry swirl with mocha chips) with Sesquecentennial coming next. Not only is the ice cream of the finest ingredients and technique, but it is served at the perfect temperature, something which almost every place gets wrong. Walk around the PSU campus a bit - this is the only place in America where you will see people walking around with enormous ice cream cones at 10am on a Sunday morning.
A couple of nights in Erie showed me a vastly different side of Chowhounding than I am used to. I stopped off at Pio's on the East side for a slice of Erie ambience and Italian-American flavor. My quest was the Pepperoni Balls, and I have to say they really are unique to Erie. Not like Knots or Rolls like you might find in New Jersey, but large, yeasty, golden brown dinner rolls stuffed with pepperoni. Good stuff. Also had the homemade Wedding Soup and the very large and particularly zesty meatballs with spaghetti. Reminded me of the old Alka Seltzer commercial, "that's-a-spicy-meat-a-ball!" I thought about getting a Greek hamburg or dog from New York Lunch across the street, but I was too stuffed. The next day, took a trip to the Pittsburgh Inn for a Lake Erie Perch dinner. Unfortunately, the fish was completely tasteless. Also, the "Ox Roast Sandwich" turned out to be just a French Dip, but I had to ask for the Dip. Was not interesting.