Sushi Kim: The Burgh's Best Sushi (and Korean Food).
Sushi Kim is an understated restaurant near Pittsburgh's Strip District. Although, I don't dare compare it to the sushi in LA or Shanghai, it is pretty good for the Burgh's standard.
The sushi is good, as are the rolls, and you definitely can't go wrong with any of the Korean dishes.
If you're in the Burgh and are craving decent sushi and/or solid Korean food, give Sushi Kim a try.
Favorite Dish: Favorite Sushi - it's all good.
Korean dishes: Galbi (Grilled steak) and Daji Bulgogi (Grilled spicy pork).
Island Cafe at Station Square: Good Variety & Inexpensive
The walk around Station Square really gave us an appetite and since there were so many restaurants, it was difficult to decide where to eat. An employee of the Sheraton Station Square suggested the "Island Cafe" and said it was pretty good and inexpensive too! I'm glad we took his suggestion because it turned out to be a nice find.
Facing Station Square Drive itself, the "Island Cafe" is a small place with some tables inside and several tables outside as well. The cafe is setup similar to a cafeteria, however, you order your choices AND pay at the cashier, then pick up your food or they will deliver it to your table outside. Since it was such a beautiful day, we chose to sit outside even though tables were hard to come by!
The Island Cafe has a good variety of choices and the prices are great: paninis ($6.50), hot dogs, burgers and sandwiches ($2.35 to $5.50), wraps ($6.00), wings, platters ($5.00 to $6.75) , soups ($3 & $4) & salads( $5.50 to $6.75) and side dishes ($2.50 to $3.50). The dessert choice was limited to Baklava ($1.75).
The service was friendly and as fast as it could be considering how busy they were. The portions were large and tasty. Drink refills are free if dining inside. The inside of the cafe was non-discript, but not unpleasant. All in all it was a good experience!
Favorite Dish: I chose the Fried Shrimp platter which came with what seemed like a double order of shrimp, coleslaw and french fries and was so good. My hubby had grilled mushroom burger which he really enjoyed. If I didn't like shrimp so much I would have chosen the Greek Salad, Steak Panini, or smoked turkey wrap. Oh, and the baklava definitely!
The Spaghetti Warehouse: Italian Food in "The Strip" District
On the second full day of the tournaments, the volleyball team and we parents decided to go out for a group dinner and someone picked the Speghetti Warehouse in The Strip District. It wasn't far from our hotel, and it could accommodate our group of about 20 people easily.
The Speghetti Warehouse's interior feels like a combination of an old barn and a storehouse. Big, wooden beams, support posts, and brick walls add to the ambience. A balcony or loft area above provides more seating. But even with red-checkered table cloths, the Speghetti Warehouse feels like anything but an Italian restaurant! It very much has an electic feel with posters, memorabilia, antiques, chandeliers and such applied to walls or hanging from the ceiling--similiar to Appleby's but not as well done or intimate.
For an all inclusive price, our group split two huge appetizer trays with fresh bruschetta, spinach artichoke dip, mozzarella cheese sticks and lots of other goodies which were delicious; good salads; one of your choice of 3 entrees; garlic bread/rolls; and beverages. This came to about $16 per person including tips which was a great deal!!
My choice for an entree was the combination plate with Chicken Parmigiana, manicotti and Italian sausage with crisp garlic toast. It was a huge plate--enough for two. Service was pretty fast considering the size of our group and the food very good. My hubby choice the lasagna, and Italian sausage which was also multo bene!! I resisted the turtle (caramel & pecans) cheesecake and tira misu for dessert!
If you care for a before or after-dinner drink, the Speghetti Warehouse has an interesting bar, also with an eclectic decor.
There is plenty of free, off-street parking for this restaurant!
Favorite Dish: As good as the entrees were, the appetizer or antipasto platters were unbelievable. The bruschetta was so good that everyone raved about it!
The Hard Rock Cafe ~ Pittsburgh: One of My Standard Favorites
Many people don't like to patronize chain restaurants when they travel and would rather enjoy meals at local, independent restaurants. I understand that and like to do that as much as possible too. However, there are times when you might just like to eat where you know the types of dishes offered, you know what your favorites are and you know that it will enevitably be good. For me, one of those places is any Hard Rock Cafe restaurant.
Hard Rock restaurants have a music and music memorabilia theme, and although the music is usually too loud for me, I like to see the different pieces of memorabilia from different bands and singers. For those who are real music and band afficionados, the Pittsburgh Hard Rock Cafe features a jacket from Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain's guitar, drums from the band "Kiss", and also jackets from Elvis Presley and John Lennon.
Favorite Dish: The Hard Rock has all kinds of different dishes to entice your appetite: for appetizers try the "Rock Your World" quesadillas with grilled chicken and pineapple, melted jack cheese and Aerosmith's mango-peach tango hot sauce; goes good with fajitas! But I prefer one of their burgers with bacon, cheddar cheese, crisp-fried onion ring, lettuce & tomato! Delicious! I also like their Honey Citrus Grilled-Chicken Salad! Yum! After this kind of meal, there is usually no room for dessert but if there was I'd choose the Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae with vanilla ice cream and walnuts.
Service has always been attentive and not intrusive. In the States, show them your AAA (Auto club) card and get a 10% discount and the same on any merchandise you buy. Of course, I had to buy one of their guitar pins for my collection!!
Hey, if people didn't like Hard Rock Cafes, they wouldn't be in business!
Grandview Saloon: Beautiful view........
There are many restaurants along Grandview Ave. on Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh. But most of are more formal and require you to have lunch or dinner if you want to enjoy the incredible view of downtown Pittsburgh.
The Grandview's food is not spectacular, and most times I have gone, I did not even eat. They have the typical burgers, sandwiches, wings. etc. The nice thing about the Grandview is that you can enjoy a moderately priced drink (not inexpensive and not at the high-end as far as Pittsburgh prices go) and grab a table outside on the balcony (weather permitting) and enjoy an incredible bird's eye view on a balcony literally hanging over a steep cliff.
If you've never been to Pittsburgh, you can drive along Grandview and see the same view, but if you want to relax, grab a bite to eat, and have a drink at a reasonable price, the Grandview Saloon is the place.
ONE MORE NOTE: I prefer this place (and Grandview in general) at night. The view is great anytime, but I prefer the evenings when the City is all lit up.
Favorite Dish: None in particular. A drink and a table out on the balcony.
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
Sbarro: If You're Hungry For Pizza
You'll find Sbarro Pizza shops all around the Pittsburgh area. This particular shop is at the Pittsburgh International Airport. The pizza is pretty good and made quickly. Sbarro can also be found along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, where a prompt meal is appreciated!
There are better pizza houses, but Sbarro does a fair job of presenting a tasty pie!
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
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
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
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
Gab'n'Eat: Locals vote this "Best Hamburger"
This must be the original "greasy spoon"! The open grill is in the front with a counter alongside, and booths in the back. People wait in line to get in, but that's part of the fun. Everyone talks to each other, and the line moves fast. There's even an occasional celebrity. The breakfasts are fantastic, and this place won a city-wide contest for best hamburger, and that's saying something! We like to go after church for a breakfast that holds us all day.
Favorite Dish: I love the mixed grill...great home fries with peppers, onions, loose sausage (sweet or hot), eggs. Or, the pancakes. Or, the belgian waffles. Or, the hamburgers. Or....everything is my favorite!Related to:
- Road Trip
DeLuca's: Great Pancakes!
DeLuca's is one of Pittsburgh's famous family-run diners in the Strip District. If you come on Saturdays during peak hours, there is always a line waiting to enter. Everything is made fresh here in a somewhat nostalgic atmosphere. The short stack is absolutely delicious and the portions are quite large and very affordable! I have been here a few times, and I always leave full and satisfied!Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
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