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Recreating Our Favorite Irving’s Menu Items At Home

It’s no secret that one of downtown State College’s gems is Irving’s, and our staffers may just be the cafe’s biggest fans. Honestly, we practically live there back in the good ol’ days.

Irving’s offers a plethora of smoothies, coffees, and sandwiches that often draw packed crowds.

Sorely missing frequent stops by, some of our staffers decided to recreate some Irving’s favorites at home.

Ryen Gailey: Breakfast Sandwich & Chocolate Milkshake

My go-to order when I’m at Irving’s is typically a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a plain bagel with a chocolate milkshake. It’s the breakfast of champions.

Years ago, I used to order pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwiches, but nothing quite compares to the actual pork roll I’m used to back home.

I actually have a significant bit of experience making breakfast sandwiches. Every summer, I work in Ocean City, New Jersey at Boyars Market, where we make approximately 200 breakfast sandwiches a day on the weekends.

I started by gathering my supplies. I chose a poppy seed bagel for my sandwich because honestly, it was all I had left. I had my eggs, milk, ice cream, and chocolate sauce all ready to go, too.

One of my very few criticisms about Irving’s milkshakes is the type of milk they must use. I swear it must be whole milk, which I quite literally never drink otherwise because it upsets my stomach. I get through about half of an Irving’s milkshake before making a beeline for the bathroom.

Today, I added about three scoops of ice cream, about the equivalent of a mug’s worth of lactose-free milk, and some chocolate sauce. The milkshake was delicious, but I definitely added too much chocolate sauce. It was a bit too sweet for me.

My next step was to get the sandwich cooked and assembly, all while in a breakout room during my 8 a.m. Zoom class. My greatest accomplishment in life is being able to crack an egg with one hand after all my practice at Boyars, so luckily this multitasking wasn’t too difficult. I cooked the egg in the same pan I cooked the bacon in, so it soaked in some of that grease and flavor, too.

I typically prefer egg whites, but for this sandwich, I made a fried egg and melted the cheese on top once I flipped it. I also toasted my bagel slightly, something Irving’s doesn’t do unless you ask, so I could get a little extra crisp.

Finally, I assembled everything and enjoyed breakfast outside while finishing up my class.

Considering how much I love breakfast food, and specifically breakfast sandwiches, I would definitely recreate this again. The idea of a breakfast sandwich is pretty simple, but something about the atmosphere and types of bagels from Irvings are unmatched. Although this was fairly quick and easy, Irvings will forever have my heart…and my wallet.

Ava Brendgord: Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich

I am a big fan of the Grilled Chicken Pesto sandwich, and after realizing that I had all the ingredients in my fridge, I decided to make it at home!

I started by slicing up a tomato, white onion, and baby lettuce. The Irving’s recipe calls for red onion, but I had only white, so I needed to make due. I then mixed together mayo and pesto to recreate Irving’s “house-made pesto mayo.” After that, I seasoned and grilled a chicken breast and toasted two slices of multigrain bread.

Irving’s usually uses fancy French bread for their sandwiches, but I had only multigrain. 

When the chicken was done, I smeared the pesto mayo on the toasted bread and stacked the chicken, tomato and onion slices, and baby lettuce on top.

This sandwich was absolutely delicious! It was easy and quick to make and tasted just like the original Irving’s Chicken Pesto Sandwich. I will definitely be making this again!

Lauren Wysseier: Going Green Smoothie

Irving’s is easily my favorite café and study spot in State College, but it’s not exactly budget-friendly to be going out to eat multiple times a week. My favorite smoothie from Irving’s is Going Green, which definitely is on the pricier side. Naturally, I decided to remake it at home to see how similar it would taste.

With no car at school, my grocery options are quite limited, so I stopped at the Target near my apartment to gather the ingredients. The smoothie calls for a banana, lemon, spinach, mango, and coconut. I was unsure what form of coconut to use, so I decided to settle for coconut water — I didn’t have too much faith in our downtown State College Target to carry any other specialty coconut ingredients.

I didn’t follow a specific set of measurements, but it seemed to me that the amounts I added of each ingredient were spot-on: one whole banana, about two handfuls of baby spinach, the juice of half of a lemon, about 10 pieces of mango, and a good pour of coconut water. I also decided to add a few cubes of ice to reach the ideal texture and temperature.

I was beyond impressed with the result and didn’t know I was capable of making such a delicious smoothie. It tasted almost exactly like Irving’s Going Green smoothie.

Now I know exactly what to do when I’m craving a smoothie from Irving’s while living on a college budget.

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