Editor’s note: This story is part of the Eat, Play, Live special section.
If you’ve yet to discover Carvers Deli, tucked off North Atherton Street in State College and a little easy to overlook , then you’ll be disappointed that you’ve missed out for so long.
With a gargantuan menu that appeals to every taste, the small, locally owned restaurant can make a sandwich lover out of anyone. Slow-smoked barbecue, house-brined corned beef, house-roasted deli meats are just part of what makes up the base of the wide selection guests can choose from.
The sandwich list is expansive, and all offer mouthwatering combinations that you won’t want to pass up. There’s the Nittany Lion — roast beef, provolone, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and horseradish on ciabatta bread — or the Penn Steak, with hot roast beef, American cheese and all the fixins. If you want to head a little to the west, you can grab a Pittsburgher, which is grilled chicken with an array of toppings, including cole slaw and thousand island dressing.
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There are, of course, deli classics that are just as good as the locally inspired originals; you’ll find grilled cheese, BLTs, Cubans and tuna melts, just to name a few. Then, you’ve got the array of wraps, following a football theme, from the Linebacker — pastrami, corned beef, Swiss, cole slaw and toppings — to the Cheerleader — all veggies, with lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, peppers, pickles, cheddar, hummus and ranch.
If you still can’t pick out of the many options provided, you can always opt to build your own sandwich, but that comes with an entirely new obstacle — deciding between all the bread, meat and condiment options.
However, while the sandwiches are great, the barbecue is some of the best you’ll find in State College. You can go with a barbecue plate and choose from beef brisket, smoked chicken, pork ribs and pulled pork, and top it all off with one of four delicious homemade barbecue sauces.
Lastly, you just have to grab your side and go, but even there, the decision can be tough if you’re trying to narrow your choices down to just one, as Carvers turns out some fantastic mac n’ cheese and potato salad.
You’re probably already thinking that Carvers sounds like a great joint to go to for all your tailgating food needs. Anticipating the demand, they’ve put together four different tailgating menus to choose from that can feed a good-sized party with pulled pork sandwiches, wings, ribs, chickens and all the rest.
Carvers Deli & Barbecue
Where: 1633 N. Atherton St., State College
Info: 237-0620, www.carvers deliandbbq.com