Kassabs Restaurant - South Side
Kassabs is a small Lebanese restaurant located in Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood which offers a variety of Middle Eastern foods such as gyros, fatoush, tabbouleh, moussaka and falafel. During my visit we started with hummus and their fresh, soft pita bread. Next I had a schawarma while my friend tried the lamb sandwich--both were excellent and huge! Fries and a coke rounded off our meal for just $21. This is an outstanding little restaurant in a nice new location with a friendly wait staff.Related to:
- Budget Travel
PEPPI'S: For the #7--GO STEELERS
In honor of the Steelers recent victory at their 6th Super Bowl, my son and I determined to celebrate belatedly at PEPPI'S, where we experienced a #7--in honor of Big Ben Roethelisburger.
This immense sandwich lives up to its namesake, for it makes for a huge meal: sausage, ground beef, topped with an egg and American cheese and placed on a hoagie sized bun ($7.26). We split this giant meal accompanied by a heaping order of french fries, but it was much too large for even two of us...but very TASTY!
Our son, Christopher, having journeyed from Chile for a family matter in Pittburgh, did NOT want to leave the area without sampling a #7. We were not disappointed, for it was all that we imagined.
Other choices might be:
Ultra Cheese Steak-loaded with 6 oz. of steak, provolone and grilled onions ($6.50)
The Cathedral-a triple decker sandwich with hot grilled turkey and ham covered with provolone and crisp bacon ($6.65)
Steak Salad-topped with fresh cut fries, juicy steak and grated cheese ($6.65) or Fish Sandwich ($6.10), as well as, plenty of other selections.
This casual establishment located in the North Side neighborhood was friendly and very busy. Seating consisted of booths and tables spread throughout two narrow rooms--cozy is the word! There are three other locations: The Strip district, Downtown and Point Breeze.
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10am-8pm; Sat. 10am-5pm ONLYRelated to:
- Family Travel
FATHEAD'S: Southside Favorite
Fathead's, a popular eatery in the Southside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, has always been a bustling place when we've stopped by. Its oversized portions and friendly atmosphere is a draw for visitors and regulars alike.
When you enter you'll go through the bar (pic #2) to tables placed nearby or into an additional seating area, which is fronted by large windows facing the street. This is where we were seated and seemed to be particularly suited for family-dining.
On a recent visit, I wasn't in the mood for a burger so I ordered a Fried Fish sandwich--a filet of ocean white fish lightly breaded and topped with lettuce and tomato with homemade tartar sauce on the side. It was one heaping sandwich (!) served on a freshly baked bun, but I could only eat half ($7.95). We don't remember what Jim ordered, but he recalls that it was tasty!
Other selections might be:
Fat Head's Buffalo-Style Shrimps dipped in cornmeal, deep fried and coated with wing sauces ($9.95);
Mo Burger topped with Swiss cheese, sauteed roasted red peppers and red onions ($8.95);
The Killer Chicken with ham, melted Swiss cheese and sweet roasted red peppers, topped with spicy Caribbean Killer Sauce and Ranch dressing on the side ($8.95).
Fathead's has a line of shirts, hats, etc. that can be purchased and it has become somewhat of a fad to take one's photo while traveling in this gear and send it back where it is sometimes featured at the restaurant. Example: while riding a camel in CairoRelated to:
- Family Travel
Il Pizzaiolo: Appealing Pizzeria
Before leaving Pittsburgh after the Christmas holiday, our daughter wanted to acquaint us with Il Pizzaiolo, a unique pizzeria located beyond Pittsburgh proper near Mt. Lebanon in a very appealing shopping district along Washington Road (pic #2).
To say it had loads of atmosphere is an understatement, for it felt as though we were dining in an aged villa with its Tuscan-style wall art and romantic candlelit tables in a separate building a few steps away from the main dining room.
We began our meal with the Antipasto Misto--prosciutto, salami, several cheeses, roasted red pepper, artichokes, olives and a fagioli puree. A full plate of appetizers which we shared.
As for dinner, I chose the Pappardelle Con Salsiccia ($17)--handmade fresh pappardelle, sweet fennel sausage, onion, wine, provolone cheese and marinara sauce suggested by our waitress and delectable!
Jim ordered the Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese ($17)--handmade fresh tagliatelle, parmigiano cheese with meat ragu and delicious! Our daughter and grandson enjoyed their choices, as well.
Other entrees were:
Assorted pizza choices ($12-$16),
Numerous panini sandwiches ($8-$14)
Pastas such as: Rigatoni Alla Siciliana with eggplant, fresh mozzarella, pecorino cheese and marinara sauce ($17)
Rigatoni Con Polpette with meatballs, pecorino cheese and marinara sauce ($17)
Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca with garlic, anchovy, gaeta olives, capers, chili pepper and marinara sauce ($16) and more.
Pizzaiolo follows the Neopolitan style recipe for pizza and according to its literature has received the Vera Pizza seal of approval--which considers them 'one part artist, one part chemist and one part historian'. We would definitely want to stop here again!Related to:
- Family Travel
LEGENDS: North Side Italian
If you are traveling through the North side of Pittsburgh, to the Mexican War Streets or to Allegheny General Hospital, Legends would be a good choice for a meal. We dropped by at lunch time when the tables were filling up quickly.
We were led passed the snug counter seating to a comfortable table for two near a window overlooking the corner of North Avenue and James Street. Someone promptly took our beverage order and in minutes we were reading over the menus. It was flurrying that morning, so I quickly asked for a steaming cup of hot chocolate which really hit the spot!
The Fish Sandwich (fried cod with tartar sauce on a Kaiser roll) looked like a great choice. I ordered fries to accompany my meal and Mom chose wedding soup. The fish was very good, but the bun disintegrated as I nibbled. The fries were not very crispy either. However, Mom's wedding soup was delicious with large chunks of meat and vegetables with a delicious chicken broth. We shared a generous slice of coconut cream pie, saving some calories...ok, we should probably have skipped it, but....it was so good.
Other choices might be Penne Vodka ($10.95 & $14.95); Gnocchi Bolognese ($10.95 & $14.95); Lamb Rack Chops ($20.95); Pizza Margherita ($15.00); Deluxe Cheeseburger ($8.95).
Hours are Mon.-Thurs. 11am-9pm; Fri.-Sat. 11am-10pm; Sun. catering and private parties.Related to:
- Family Travel
Thai Cuisine: Good Thai Food
One of the best Thai restaurants in the city. It's a pretty unassuming little place - not too fancy, not too expensive, but the food and service are both good. It's BYOB.
Favorite Dish: The House Noodles are one of my favorities, but everything I've had has been delicious there!
PENN BREWERY: The best beer in the Steel City
Following the lead of the Beaver State - Oregon - Pennsylvania, in 1987, changed its laws to allow beer production in brewpubs. Pennsylvania Brewing began brewing their product in 1987, initially contract brewing, but moving into their present location - the former Eberhardt and Ober Brewery - in 1989. Three of the original E & O buildings remain from the pre-Prohibition days when Pittsburgh had been a major beer-brewing center. The beers on offer here are good Germanic offerings in a grand old setting. The food reflects the Teutonic history, as well. All-in-all, the perfect way to preserve the past here on the edge of East Allegheny - Deutchtown!Related to:
- Beer Tasting
- Historical Travel
Six Penn Kitchen: Restaurant Near Heinz Hall
Our daughter's birthday was approaching, so I asked her to select a nice Pittsburgh restaurant for her celebration dinner. She chose Six Penn. After having eaten here for lunch, she was impressed by the sleek ambience of the place.
It was a beautiful, mild Fall evening when my Mom and daughter and I stopped by. We were shown to a plush, comfy booth by the window, where we could watch people scurrying along the sidewalks.
Our waiter seemed attentive at first and quickly took our beverage order, then delivered a basket of foccacia and thick, white bread to our table. As we chatted, he returned to take our order. Mom and I ordered the aged rib-eye steak with garlic potatoes and asparagus ($26) while my daughter chose a special of the evening featuring trout (which she said was delicious).
From this point on, our waiter seemed to lag. We had to ask someone for the dessert menu, then seemed to wait an inordinate amount of time for it to be brought to the table. Mom and I selected warm apple pie with cinnamon ice cream--when it finally came it was delectable! My daughter declined any calorie-laden dessert, so was able to leave the restaurant feeling guiltless and svelte.
We had to wait once again (patiently!) for the bill, which when it came was not itemized. By now we were anxious to depart, so I just left a moderate tip and we departed hoping the amount was correct...Related to:
- Women's Travel
Sushi Kim: Best sushi on the Strip
Here is a first-rate Japanese sushi joint right on the western end of Pittsburgh's strip. Private rooms are available, on request.
Favorite Dish: The variety platters are best. Some are enough for two. All are exquisite.Related to:
- Food and Dining
City Of Bridges Cafe: An Airport Eatery
I've never stopped at The City of Bridges at The Pittsburgh International Airport, but it's a sampling of what is offered the traveler.
There are a number of eateries at this top airport mall--making it a pleasure rather than a bore to be waiting to board a flight here! Once you take care of your hunger, browse through the airport mall. There are some great shops here!'
Although the airport isn't the busy hub it once was, it caters to a traveler's needs magnificently.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Hoss's: This has a great salad buffet!
When we drive to Pennsylvania, we make sure to stop at a Hoss's which can be found off several exits of the turnpike. The extensive salad buffet draws us, but steak, fried shrimp, chicken filets and other entrees are available. We've always found the service to be friendly and prompt!
Upon entering you'll see a large selection of entrees and you'll place your order with a cashier. Once at your table, you wait for your entree or go directly to the salad bar. There are always 2-3 choices of soups and a nice assortment of breads--try the iced cinnamon loaf! The salad buffet offers many different toppings and dressings,plus desserts. There's so much offered there's little room for an entree as well!
Nothing fancy, just quick service and good food.
Favorite Dish: I go for the salad buffet every time!Related to:
- Family Travel
BRAVO!: Italian With Atmosphere
We're enthusiastic about Italian food, so when we travel we often choose that particular cuisine for dinner.
Bravo! has a loyal following, so it's usually crowded when we stop for a meal. Since we were visiting over Easter, we thought it would be nice to take some of our family there to dine after the holiday.
First of all, I love the atmosphere! Conjure up the image of a courtyard somewhere in Tuscany, with crumbling walls (faux, of course) and old world ambience.
The menu is extensive and includes something as simple as pizza or chicken rosemary sandwich to lobster and shrimp ravioli or tortelloni florentine. Everything we've tried through the years has been wonderful!
This time I ordered a petite filet garnished with a jumbo shrimp, served with Tuscan mashed potatoes, green beans, roasted vegetables and salad. Delicious!Related to:
- Family Travel
Union Grill: Good, Classic American Fare
Located practically right between The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon, this is a popular spot for students, especially when parents who can afford to pay for it are visiting. The place is usually packed, which leads to long lines and sometimes slow service, but it's good food and worth the wait.
The Pines Tavern: A Little Further Out
The Pines Tavern as been attracting hungry patrons since 1914 and was 'originally the gathering place for the workers of the three great estates of Pittsburgh's industrial captains'.
We've always thought of The Pines Tavern as a special occasion place. Perhaps meeting there for a birthday, anniversary or for a rehearsal dinner, as we did for our son and his future wife. It has also been a great place to meet friends in order to catch up on things, which is what we did a couple days ago while visiting Pennsylvania.
The Pines feels like a country inn or hotel with traditional patterned wall paper on the walls and period furnishings to complete the look. We were led to a small nook overlooking the outdoor dining area, where a table for four was located (opening pic).
Unfortunately, the door leading to the outdoor area had to be accessed by our table so there was quite a bit of traffic as we conversed. Nevertheless, it was wonderful to see Becky and Wade and the dinner was superb just as we remembered it to be!
I selected a succulent filet mignon, with crisp sliced baked potatoes and tender asparagus tasting like it was freshly plucked from the field.
A sampling or 'flight' of white wines can be purchased to accompany the meal if so desired. We shared an upside down pineapple carrot cake for dessert--a somewhat exotic end to our dinner!Related to:
- Women's Travel
First Watch: Beyond City Limits
First Watch is a casual dining spot in the burgeoning community of Cranberry Township, twenty miles North of Pittsburgh. Although I site Pittsburgh as being my hometown, I actually grew up in this area and still have family here.
For a last get together before we flew back to Texas, we joined my Dad and his wife, Charlotte, for breakfast (pic #2). The sun-filled room was packed with customers, but fortunately Dad arrived earlier to snag a table near the window.
A Belgian waffle seemed perfect for my meal and it was a good choice. I asked that it be done extra crisp--well, it was sort of crisp--and it arrived warm, coated with a fine topping of powdered sugar with maple syrup on the side.
Although the waitress forgot to crisp Charlotte's English muffin and omitted my husband's bagel, which he received after mentioning the oversight, we enjoyed our meal and conversation. I would return to enjoy another breakfast here on our next visit!Related to:
- Family Travel
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