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s
six dower Dec 2, 2008 09:47 AM

Ok burghers....where have you been lately? Please include good and bad and also cheap and expensive.

  1. yayadave Jan 7, 2009 12:54 PM

    We went to lunch at Cafe Sam yesterday. Everything was good, extensive menu, fine service. I think the place has gotten better than when I first went there years ago. I like that it's not fussy or pretentious. It just serves good food.

    4 Replies
    1. re: yayadave
      d
      Davecli Jan 8, 2009 05:42 AM

      I'll second Cafe Sam...Just a great place, nice atmosphere and very good food. Do they still have the sexy "woman" at the bar???

      1. re: Davecli
        yayadave Jan 8, 2009 07:04 AM

        Yep, just waiting for someone to talk to.

        1. re: yayadave
          d
          Davecli Jan 8, 2009 10:20 AM

          She told me to get lost...

          1. re: Davecli
            yayadave Jan 8, 2009 12:20 PM

            I'm sure she didn't mean it. Maybe you had too much to drink.

    2. d
      Davecli Jan 6, 2009 09:36 AM

      I just went back to the Shiloh Inn on Mt. Washington. This is a place that I went to quite frequently many years ago and always enjoyed, but this trip was just awful, from horrible service to the meal...And believe me, I rarely complain about a meal...I usually enjoy everything. I ordered a steak that was so full of fat and gristle that it was not even possible to eat it. I notified the waitress, and let her know that I did not want to return it, and did not expect or want anything in return.but that she should notify the chef. I politely stated that I'm sure he would want to know. We heard nothing more.

      I know that I stated that I wanted nothing in return...That's the only thing that we got that we asked for!

      On a positive note, we went with another couple to the Georgetown Inn the night before. This is kind of an old school type of place that hasn't changed for many years. This is not known to be "fine dining" but we were very happy with the meal. The service was excellent, all of our food including appetizers were prepared well and the prices can't be beat for Mount Washington. We will be going back!

      1. r
        Rick Dec 5, 2008 09:57 AM

        Tamarind Savoring India in Greentree- Never had a bad meal here, I'm partial to their chicken curry dosa and their poori with chana masala, and the chenna batura.

        Udipi Cafe in Monroeville- I like their paper dosa with a potato filling best

        Penn Ave Fish Company in the Strip- good fish tacos, great mussels, and all you can eat sushi for $18 during lunch on Wed. In my opinion best VALUE sushi deal in Pittsburgh.

        Chaya on Murray Ave- had an excellent, expensive dinner here, We had an assortment of sushi and the cooked tuna collar was great. was about $120 for two, and it's byob.

        Dozen Bake Shop in Lawrenceville- free wifi, free refills on intelligentsia coffee. Their cupcakes and desserts are all good, not excellent, but it's a nice place to sit and catch up on work.

        Sree's Foods- I like the little red lunch truck that's parked over by CMU. The menu changes every so often and for $4.50 it's a really large lunch portion.

        Enrico's in the Strip District- great lunch spot, a little more than I usually like to spend for lunch at about $10 per person, but the food is always good.

        I agree with Panini Guy, Harry's has really good pizza.

        Worthy's Ribs in Homestead. Really good beef ribs and he sells them by the bone to boot! $1.50 per bone, but three make a nice size lunch. I've only had the spicy sauce on them and it has a nice kick to it without being too hot.

        Oishii Bento in Oakland, very very bland and overpriced, would not recommend this place.

        Sunday Brunch at Nemacolin. Have been going here once sometimes twice a year for the past few years and it's always been something I've looked forward to.

        Sunday Brunch at Lidia's in the Strip- Some love it, some hate it, I personally love it. Have only been here for Sunday Brunch, so can't comment on dinner. The anit pasta table and dessert table make the brunch very worth going to for me.

        Sunday Brunch at Point Brugge Cafe- my father and I have been here several times and each time we walk away commenting how great it was.

        Rose Tea Cafe in Squirrel Hill- I like their bubble teas, the garlic eggplant we had was excellent, the beef stew was just OK. Two of us ate well here for $23. Definitely worth trying again.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Rick
          a
          anniebpgh Dec 5, 2008 12:48 PM

          I agree about Tamarind in Greentree! Even better is their other location in Oakland. Slightly different menu (and a bar =D), but tasty food. I highly recommend the chilly chicken as a app and shrimp chettinadu (sp?)...with naan, of course!

          1. re: anniebpgh
            r
            Rick Dec 5, 2008 04:33 PM

            I actually went back to Tamarind tonight and the place was oddly empty around 6 on a Friday! The food was as good as I remember, but they just weren't busy. We also had a few beers at Mad Mex before hand during happy hour and they weren't terribly busy either. Used to be there would be a wait at Mad Mex starting around 5:30, and that was just a few months ago.

            1. re: Rick
              y
              yammers Dec 21, 2008 05:21 PM

              Recent eats:

              Trams - I started going back for the Pho. hits the spot! I did make homemade pho last week which turned out great...but so time consuming!

              Point Brugge - Always great. I love the red curry mussels and the frites

              Richard Chen - Better than ok, less than great

              Istanbul Grille - Love this place. both the lamb and chicken gryo. very fresh ingredients, extremely affordable. baba ganoush is really smokey. one of my favorite places. very affordable

              Piccolo Forno in Lawrenceville - great atmosphere, very affordable and BYOB. Love the lasagna.

              Dinnette - very fresh, great pies, very nice atmosphere and good glass of wine

              Tamarind - oakland location for the buffet. Love the buffet and I love their butter chicken

              Typhoon - a little pricier for thai than other places but I love their pad thai with nice big shrimps

              Lulu's/yum wok - I've been eating here for 10 years and I still love the wonton braised noodle dish, basil noodles and the pad thai is pretty good too. So cheap

              Sushi three - it's okay. tiny tiny rolls. I don't think their fish quality is very high. For some reason, i do LOVE their shrimp tempura roll. maybe it's the scallions they put on it. Otherwise, it's just okay. kind of expensive for delivery food.

              1. re: yammers
                r
                Rick Dec 22, 2008 05:15 PM

                Never heard of Istanbul Grill, I look forward to trying it, thanks!

                1. re: Rick
                  r
                  Rick Jan 6, 2009 06:38 PM

                  Just tried Istanbul Grill. The hummus was good, though for $4.99 the serving surely could have been larger. I was very excited to try the gyro after reading how he makes the gyro meat, but it was just another normal gyro to me. The falafel were very good, and the baklava were too. Overall it was good, but not a place I need to return to any time soon. Thai Cuisine on the other hand I already have plans to go back to.

                2. re: yammers
                  j
                  johnnytang24 Jan 6, 2009 03:04 PM

                  Tram's is great and very cheap

                  Piccolo Forno definitely has some excellent lasagna. Everything I have had there is good, but the lasagna really stands out. Very cheap as well.

                  Ka Mei in Squirrel Hill is cheap and is one of the only places that serves authentic Chinese cuisine. Whole steamed fish, steamed pork platter, etc. Food is served family style.

                  Finally went to Umi. It was mediocre overall, excellent for the area. Had the Omakase, ended up with half the dishes being three slivers of fish with sauce. The fish didn't impress, and the sauce was a little boring. Moderate in price.

                  Lautrec. I never see Lautrec mentioned on these boards. It is the best fine dining in the area (better than my former favorite 9 on 9). Very expensive.

          2. y
            YoHoSCV Dec 5, 2008 08:22 AM

            I have been to:

            -Mad Mex for late night food (see my thoughts further up on this thread) here is my theory. Go for the 9pm Drink Specials (9 to 11) and get a "good" feeling, then follow it up with 1/2 price food at 11. :)

            -Village Inn (551 Wildwood Ave, Verona, PA‎ - (412) 828-9922) Outstanding value for your dollar. Huge Portions - it gets busy so make a reservations. More of a family oriented place rather than upscale.

            -Angelo's Pizza in Bloomfield (Great subs ask for their "Mayo" which is a homemade version of ranch/mayo. It's great with Pizza and Fries too. I hear they have a new Scilian style cut that I am wanting to try.

            -Palimino it was "ok", great service, good wines, moderate atmosphere, but expensive.

            -Tusca (in the SS Works) decent Martinis more upscale interior with a younger crowd. Calamari was breaded in a (southern breading, a little too heavey and spicy for me) the dip was very good. Whatever you do don't try the Rootbeer Martini (even as good as it sounds)

            -Jojos (in the strip) for Breakfast. No thrills place that is the MECCA for thoes that are hung over. It's more of an imperfect dinner feel with huge portions of food. Great before a Steeler's game of if you don't have a chance to eat until after 1pm.

            1. 4
              42duffy Dec 3, 2008 03:40 PM

              Smiling Banana Leaf, great Thai food in pleasant atmosphere on Bryant in Highland Park

              1. p
                Panini Guy Dec 3, 2008 09:08 AM

                StonePepper's Grill. Meh in every category from food to service to drink.

                17th Street Cafe. Very good for the midrange price.

                Tusca. An odd tapas place not sure of what it wants to be, but some dishes were hits.

                Harry's Pizza continues to rock our world.

                Franco's Trattoria seems to be getting better with age.

                Big Dog Coffee (Sarah & 27th) is pouring good coffee - the only place in SouSide worth getting an espresso or capp.

                We also learned that lunch at Mad Mex is a much better value than dinner.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Panini Guy
                  c
                  CrazyOne Dec 4, 2008 05:08 PM

                  We just had that same experience at Mad Mex, was Black Friday actually. We decided to be silly and go to the mall (Ross Park). Didn't buy a thing, just marveled at the crowds, heh. Stopped at Mad Mex for lunch. Yes, you can get the same portion as dinner, plus a salad or soup, for a price less than the dinner price. Although this is pretty common at such places, methinks. The salad was good with the lime-cilantro vinaigrette. I'm a sucker for the carnitas burrito.

                  Also, for the somewhat barren North Hills we have enjoyed Bella Frutteto, just off the I-79 Wexford exit at Rt 910. Not everyday cheap, but not horribly expensive, well-priced for what you get. I certainly wouldn't say worth a trip out from the more central areas which already have more choices. It's just that out here there are comparatively few good choices.

                  1. re: CrazyOne
                    y
                    YoHoSCV Dec 5, 2008 08:12 AM

                    Mad Mex has GREAT lunch, GREAT Happy Hour, and the Best late night options for food in Pittsburgh. ($7 22oz Margaritas from 9-11 and 1/2 price food from 11pm to 1am.) you simply can't beat it!

                    1. re: YoHoSCV
                      p
                      Panini Guy Dec 5, 2008 08:39 AM

                      Agree on the food, but would be just as happy to pay $7 for a traditional (not frozen) 6oz margarita that was properly made with something other than well tequila and prepackaged mix.

                      1. re: Panini Guy
                        y
                        YoHoSCV Dec 5, 2008 08:53 AM

                        I understand sir, sometimes I like quality over quantity too. It does serve a functional nature and gets the job done! :)

                        ps. watch out for the delayed reaction by the time you start into your 2nd the first one hits you!

                        1. re: Panini Guy
                          r
                          Rick Dec 5, 2008 09:28 AM

                          Mad Mex is one of a handful of places that has a nice draft selection, and M-F, 5-7, all drafts are half off, half off wings too.. They have each locations draft menus on line. Their wings are great.

                          1. re: Rick
                            y
                            YoHoSCV Dec 5, 2008 01:26 PM

                            I agree Rick, I forgot about the1/2 off wing special during normal happy hours.

                            I have found the draft selection to be better in the suburbs rather than Oakland and that was never the case. A Beer thoughtful manager left them for State College. Hasn't been the same.

                            Don't get me started on WINGS. :) I think I'll save that for a seperate thread Monday.

                  2. s
                    shadysider023 Dec 3, 2008 06:42 AM

                    Recently:

                    Boulevard Bistro in Oakmont - really pleased by this place. Walked in and it kind of looked like a Panera - not sure what to expect. The table had a pizza as an app. Fresh tasting. Crispy but with a chew. Mediterranean pasta was full of pine nuts and feta. I wish there were more bistro like places in the burgh. Casual but not burgers and fries.

                    Dish in Southside for dinner. Had oxtail ragu. Rich, hearty. This place is very tiny and the tables are close together. I think this place would impress a date.

                    La Tavola in Mt Washington for dinner. Dissappointed. Entrees were very scarce on the seafood/meat (and I am not one to complain about something like that!). Things tasted good but I expected better.

                    1. RichieT Dec 2, 2008 10:20 AM

                      Last visit to the 'Burgh found me at Lou Tambellini's . Great food, especially the Seafood. The place is a throwback to the '60's and walk in and you expect to see Dean Martin sitting at the bar with a Martini and a smoke! A well loved local hot spot for good food, sometimes you can wait a long time for a table so I recommend reservations. Located at 860 Saw Mill Run Blvd.
                      Pricing is moderate to expensive, depending on your definition. Eat & Enjoy!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: RichieT
                        b
                        burghgal Dec 3, 2008 04:32 AM

                        Tambellini's on 51 is Amici's now.

                        Expensive for me was my anniversary at Ruth Chris. It was fabulous. Service is outstanding.

                        Cheap - Tessaro's in Bloomfield.. best wood-grilled burgers.. unbelievable.

                        Namaste Indian on Banksville Road. Buffet is $7.99 for lunch i think.

                        Thai Cuisine in Bloomfield.. non-descript location - outstanding Thai!

                        1. re: burghgal
                          m
                          Mr Siegal Dec 4, 2008 02:27 AM

                          Thai Cuisine is great, but a heads up to those driving that block of Liberty Ave, Thai Gourmet is not as good.

                          1. re: Mr Siegal
                            c
                            CrazyOne Dec 4, 2008 04:58 PM

                            Thanks for bringing that up again. Every once in a while we end up driving through there, and I can never remember which one of those places is supposed to be good! So, maybe one day we'll stop. :-)

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