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Restaurant suggestions for University Pittsburgh?

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Hi everyone.

We will be staying briefly at the Wyndham Hotel on Forbes Avenue to visit University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Melon. Any suggestions on breakfast, lunch, and dinner places? Traveling with a fussy-eater teenager who likes hamburgers, Mexican, or pizza. (Boring!!!)

Thanks!

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  1. Actually, my husband conducts business at the Wyndham Garden Hotel frequently and said that the food in the hotel is pretty good.
    I like Ali Baba on Craig Street for Middle Eastern. Also on Craig is Union Grill which you might enjoy, and LuLu's Noodle Bowl in the same area.
    Another poster Aimee P. seems to enjoy Spice Island Tea House.
    If you give in to the fussy teenagers desire for pizza I would certainly drive to Sq. Hill and have a couple of slices of Mineo's pizza. Just follow Forbes Avenue out of Oakland to Murray Avenue in Sq. Hill, turn right and go down the hill until you get to Mineo's.

    As a mother of a child in the class of 2007, I will be delighted when these college tours are finished!!!

    1. Thanks for the suggestions grapevine!

      I too will be happy to be done with the college visits. If I have to sit through one more razzle dazzle info session I'm going to scream. And this is our second time through!

      :)

      1. I second Spice Island! If you are worried about a fussy eater... I say head around the block to Fuel and Fuddle, which is just south of Forbes on Oakland Ave (a few blocks from your hotel, I believe). It's sandwiches and fries, tasty combinations, and beer for the parents!

        Afterwards, hit Dave and Andy's for great homemade ice cream (south of Forbes on Atwood- the street with Spice Island).

        Another favorite of mine is in Shadyside, off of Walnut Street, on Copeland Street, the Pittsburgh Deli Company... an order at the counter sandwich shop that is excellent.

        Also, if you want cheap eats, ask the students! I'm a Carnegie Mellon alum and spent many semesters looking for deals off-campus... current students would know better than me where the cool places are!

        While on the Carnegie Mellon campus, hit any of the lunch trucks, they are tasty and cheap!

        1. Your hotel has a nice Sunday breakfast buffet that's affordable. A couple of blocks away on Forbes Avenue is Joe Mama's for nice Italian. Yes on Dave and Andy's! The fussy teenager will want all his meals there. But for real burgers, it's not hard to get to Fat Heads on the South Side. Now we're talkin' Headwiches! Check their web site. I was on Forbes on Sunday and it looked like the Dirty O is open. That's the Original Hot Dog Shop and a Pitt tradition. CMU, too.

          1. As a proud alumni of Pitt, I am more than happy to weigh in dining options. I actually only live now ten minutes from campus, so I have not strayed too far from my roots. Alright, enough about me - on the the food.

            Burgers - Tessaro's - hands down one of my favorite places to eat. Located in Bloomfield (Pittsburgh's little Italy), has arguably the best burgers in town. From the Wyndham, follow signs to Bigelow Blvd. Follow Bigelow toward the city. You will make a right to cross Bloomfield Bridge. At the end of the bridge, make a right onto Liberty Ave. Tessaro's will be two blocks on your left.

            Sandwiches - Yayadave was right - you have to check out Fathead's on Carson street in the South Side. Large menu will satisfy the picky eater and the portions could feed a small family. From your hotel, you will want to follow Fifth Ave past the University on your left. Make a left to go across the Birmingham Bridge (Over the Mon River) - make a right onto Carson Street. I think Fathead's is between 18th and 19th street on your right. If the weather is nice, hit the outdoor patio.

            Italian - Girasole in Shadyside on Copeland. Very quaint Italian restaurant that several people are fond of on the board. Little more pricy than Tessaro's or Fatheads, but the food is top notch. On a side note, the salad that comes with your dinner is by far the best salad I have ever had, and that includes all the a la carte places I have eaten. From your hotel, head on Fifth Ave towards Shadyside. Make a left onto S. Aiken street, and a right onto Walnut street. Copeland Street (where the restaurant is) will be one of the first streets that intersect on your left. It is a one way street, so you can't turn down, but there should be parking available on Walnut or one of the side streets. If all else fails, make a left off of Walnut onto Bellafonte, there is a garage on your left.

            Ice Cream, Dave and Andy's - top notch.

            Thai - Huge Spice Island Fan. Last time I went there, I was a little disappointed. Hope it was a one-off exception. Sure it was since I have had 10-15 great meals there. From your hotel - follow Fifth Ave. towards downtown, make a left onto Atwood Street. Pass over Forbes Ave. Spice Island will be on your left in two blocks. You may have to walk to find it - it is the most unassuming restaurant.

            As for what others have recommended- Fuel & Fuddle and Union Grill are both excellent casual dining places. Both are within a 10 minute walk of your hotel.

            Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions.

            1. Joe Mama's cracks me up. The food is real and tasty, but everything else is fake.

              1 Reply
              1. re: grapevine

                I think it's spozzed to be. But the spumoni is from Dave & Andy's.

              2. Thanks everybody! This is great. I think we might stay and extra day, so I'm happy to have this list.

                jameswilmotrogers: How did you like Pitt?

                1. I'd definitely say to try Pamela's for breakfast. I'm a huge fan of their crepe like pancakes. My wife recently told me they also have "normal" pancakes so make sure you get the good thin ones.

                  1. If you get a craving for Mexican while you are there, try Mad for Mex, which is only a couple of blocks from your hotel. Definitely Pamela's for breakfast. Joe Mama's is good but I am sick and tired of it, having eaten there virtually every time we go visit my daughter. And how could we all forget Primanti Bros???? Not to mention the "O".

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Rondo

                      The food at Mad Mex is not so bad, but one of the restaurant's greatest virtues is that even *they* don't pretend it's actually Mexican food.

                      Wingos? Cheese steak wraps? Please.

                    2. CindyK.

                      Loved Pitt. Great experience. Loved it so much, I decided to stay in Pittsburgh and work.

                      1. Thanks everybody - We had fun meals and a great time in Pitt. We ate at Pamelas, Fuel and Fuddle, La Fiesta, Original Hot Dog, Dave and Andy's, and Primanti's. Now I have to fast all week - this fare may be fine for college kids but EEK my wasteline!!!

                        Peeked into Mad MEx - and it was MAD. Jammed with kids! We didn't take our car out of the valet parking at all - so we only went places we could walk. No fine dining - next time I guess.

                        Stayed at the Wyndham for $50/night through priceline. Excellent value, convenient to both U Pitt and Carnegie Mellon.

                        Thanks again.

                        1. Pamala's for breakfast. Luca's or soba's for dinner.