Irvingâ€™s Bagels, a Penn State restaurant staple, has expanded its downtown domain with the opening of Fiddlehead, a soup and salad cafÃ© located on 134 W. College Ave.Â As a salad enthusiast, I can say that the cafÃ©â€™s crunchy, fresh salads and savory soups did not disappoint.
After winding my way through the packed cafÃ©, I came to the front of the soup and salad factory line and was able to custom order any salad I chose. Fiddlehead offers six specific salads on its menu, but customers can choose to create their own from more than 40 ingredients. It also presents a variety of made-from-scratch soups daily.
When I walked into the cafe, I was immediately greeted by a positive environment â€” welcoming cashiers, cheerful lime walls and the sounds of K.T. Tunstall and the like subtly crooning from the radio. But the wall color isnâ€™t the only thing thatâ€™s green. Fiddlehead prides itself on its â€œgreenâ€ approach â€” most of its materials used are either recycled or made from renewable resources. The restaurant also purchases supplies from local businesses and promotes a cleaner environment for Penn State
This cafÃ©, though, is not easily a â€œsit-downâ€ eatery. I quickly grabbed a chair when a costumer left, but there was only one line of face-the-wall seating and three tables near the window. Itâ€™s a better place for people wanting to eat healthy on the go.
In the end, though, I left Fiddlehead feeling full, fit and content. I will surely be back soon to try the soups.
For more information on College Avenueâ€™s new cafÃ©, visit www.fiddleheadstatecollege.com.
Photo by Ian Lopera