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Mar 25, 2008 02:19 PM

NYC Chowhound looking for Pittsburgh eats near the int'l airport

I'll be passing through your fair city for business in a few days and staying near the int'l airport (Crown Plaza, specifically). I have a car, but as a NYer, I'm an awful driver / hate driving. Is there anything near my hotel that's worth eating and that isn't horribly expensive, since someone other than me is paying? (entrees $30 or less if possible)

My favorite sorts of food: sushi, izakaya, Vietnamese, Thai, dim sum, Greek, Mexican...
Aw heck, I like almost anything.

'Preciate the recs!

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  1. here's a couple of thoughts: Mad Mex is good and interesting mex fusion, if you will!
    look at and go to Robinson location. good, fun food with large beer selection at good prices.

    have not been but I think decent review at Ya Fei. look up
    lots of chain restaurants in that area.

    for Italian, Papa J's in Carnegie might fit the bill. haven't been in awhile but always found tasty and haven't heard they've changed.

    hopefully RICK will chime in with his south of the Burgh perspective! Enjoy

    1. There is a woeful lack of decent places near the airport. It's almost all chains. And I can't think of a single Asian place west of the city that I'd recommend. For Latin, perhaps Rivas in Carnegie (Nicaraguan). It's a bit on the "charming" side as far as the interior and seating... but the food can be decent. Sharp Edge Creekhouse in Crafton is worthy for the Belgian beer and some of the food. Don't be tempted by the ostrich burger though. Dry as the Gobi.

      As you're a NYer, the one solid reco near the airport I can give is to go visit the Mediterra Bakehouse outlet off the Campbells Run exit of 279. Get a couple of bagels. Or more. They are worth it and they are true NY-style water bagels. They're the only ones in the region worth a dang IMO.

      1. Here are a couple of old style places, unpretentious, not self important. They both do a good local business. Not fancy. Not horribly expensive. I'm putting down the addresses so you can do a Mapquest map for directions.

        Crowne Plaza Hotel
        1160 THORN RUN ROAD
        CORAOPOLIS, PA 15108

        Harold's Inn Tavern
        2134 Brodhead Rd, Aliquippa, PA 15001

        13 min 8.68 miles

        Costa's Restaurant
        680 CLIFF MINE RD

        9 min 4.93 miles

        1. As a NYer you probably won't be impressed by anything near the airport. The good thing is (if you consider it a good thing), you won't have to spend anywhere near $30/entree. ;-)

          I've only been to Ya Fei once and it was years ago, but it's still there and is sometimes mentioned as good. Unlikely to hold up to what is available in NY of course. Main claim to fame now may be that it's owned by the now-wife of Richard Chen

          I happen to enjoy Mad Mex on occasion, but others here do not. You'll have to decide for yourself. If you go in to have a margarita and sorta mex fusion food as mentioned above it may not be bad. Or maybe that's something you'd hate. I dunno. Just do not go in expecting authentic. Everything is twisted, just have a look at the menu first

          Sharp Edge is certainly known now with their multiple locations in town, but there's another beer place tucked away in a plaza across the highway from the area where Mad Mex and Ya Fei are: Bocktown Beer and Grill. The food menu is burgers and sandwiches, and I dunno how good it is, but they do have a long list of beer choices including various micros from all over. And fries with a long list of toppings, heh. And you can mix and match a six pack to go. The above three are within a few mile drive of your hotel.

          If you want to splurge, Hyeholde is very near your hotel. I don't really get the feeling it would impress a NYer, not sure, but it's there. You can also end up over your mentioned budget. But you can drive a VERY short way ;-)

          Almost everything else is the chain hell and/or mediocre quality you would generally expect from that type of suburban area. I'm sure there could be something we've missed, but generally good stuff turns up recommended somewhere eventually, and we haven't seen it.

          Oh, well, I noticed this recently, absolutely can't vouch for it, but here is what our controversial ;-) reviewer said: Golden Palace may be the only Chinese place in town that has dim sum all the time. Whether it's worth having to you may be another matter.... (Panini Guy have you tried this one?)

          3 Replies
          1. re: CrazyOne

            No, I haven't tried Golden Palace. But it was mentioned in another thread here that it left much to be desired from the taste to the temperature. Rick gave it a somewhat better review than whomever panned it originally, but not good enough that would get me off my couch ;-)

            Any of you guys been on Urbanspoon yet? I think we need to correct some of those listings... I see that Wright's Seafood Inn is the #2 best resto in the 'Burgh according to Urbanspoon reviewers. I haven't been in 7-8 years, maybe it got much better? It's also in Carnegie (Heidleberg) and relatively easy to find from the airport.

            1. re: Panini Guy

              Heh, that's funny, although some of those are not so out of whack. I know that Tin Angel doesn't belong there either. Like almost everything on Mt Washington, the only thing good is the view. So my guess is someone is pumping these up somehow.

              Although, I'm doing this by assumption as well. I'm assuming that if Tin Angel had somehow improved markedly with food, we would know about it. Wright's Seafood Inn, I can't even really imagine. I've never heard it mentioned as good in the 15+ years I've lived here, but then I've never lived or worked on that side of town.

              LOL Did you click on the 100 Best link? It's hilarious.

              "The list of best restaurants is calculated by taking the number of positive votes and subtracting the number of negative votes multiplied by two. Restaurants must have more than five votes to qualify for inclusion in our list. This ordering tends to slightly favor more established restaurants. Note that the Top 10 list on the main Pittsburgh page only shows restaurants that are $$$ or $$$$."

              So the top 10 on the front can only be expensive, but the top 100 list can be anything, like Fatheads at #8 and Cambod-ican kitchen at #1! And Abay can't be in the top 10 (event though it shows #3 on the big list) because it's priced as only "$$"!

              So you can bet this is a stupid ranking so far. ;-) The site could still be interesting if there is more info about the reviews to delve into; I haven't seen that yet.

              1. re: Panini Guy

                Put it this way, Golden Palace is really good considering the few dim sum offerings in Pgh. Compared to some hole in the wall place I went to in San Francisco, it doesn't compare. Unfortunately I don't think I'd tell someone from NYC to go to Golden Palace.

                In the Hyatt at the airport is Olive Press is actually decent, if not a bit overpriced. If you'd rather not drive I think this would be a decent (not great) choice.

                I don't get out past the Robisnon area much so I don't have many good recs out that way. I always have a good time at Mad Mex though others on here sometimes disagree. Mad Mex would be my choice for something close, inexpensive to the airport. My cousin who is very into beer said that Bocktown is overpriced and the food is nothing special, I haven't been to decide for myself. The Mad Mex is Robisnon a nice sized draft beer selection that's half off M-F 5-7, as are their wings. I really love their wings, the chipotle bbq are our favorite.

                Panini Guy's rec. for Meditarra is a great one, I've never had the chance to visit their retail location, but Whole Foods sells their products and I've been very impressed.

            2. Wowie. PA chowhounds are WONDERFUL. Thank you all so much for the help!

              1 Reply
              1. re: cimui

                My favorite restaurant on that side of town is Gab n Eat in Scott Township, its a little hole in the wall dive breakfast place. I have made the drive from Monroeville just to fill my craving for a greasy filling breakfast that actually tastes good (unlike the eat n park and kings around here). At one point in time I think this place was rated best burger in the city. It's a thick griddle burger stuffed in between 2 think slices of Mancini bread. It's awesome I could eat one now!