Any new chow places in Pburgh?
Yo Rita is a great choice for someone who is into trying something new. We were lucky to dine there on a night when tongue and marrow tacos and tripe tacos were the specials. They were both amazing and presented wonderfully. They also have a wide selection of tacos for those who like to play it a little safer. The Jimica salad was also a great starter and the quality of the margaritas can not be beat.
While neither place is "new", I went to them for the first time recently:
Talotta's in Carnegie: a family-run italian restaurant. The chicken parm was delicious!
Point Brugge in Point Breeze: don't know why it took me so long to try this place, its been on my radar for a while. Very good!
There was an article in last Thursday's food secion about a husband and wife who are chefs at the local casinos- one at the Meadows and one at whatever the downtown one is going to be called (Rivers, I think?). Anyway it was a nice article- they included recipes.
Calli's in Regent Square- on the corner of Forbes and Braddock, next to Ryan's Pub. Walked in to look at a menu and the aroma of garlic was too much to resist. We sat down and ordered per the recommendation of our server. I ordered Meatloaf and DH ordered the Reuben. The meatloaf was a mini loaf with a nice crust and a delicious sauce. Instead of the traditional brown (thick) gravy it was served with a very flavorful pot roast type gravy brothy- I could see the slices of fresh garlic.The sauteed vegetables on the side were well done- you could tell they were freshly cut and well cooked-- not a mixed bag of frozen vegetables a la Sysco truck. My husband's Reuben was also very good, and the sweet potato fries were perfect. The prices were reasonable and the service very good. Not "gourmet" type food that you'll find on the "Best Restaurants" list, but what we ordered was good quality comfort food. I hope they do well- I like seeing small independent places succeed. Apparently it opened just this past Monday. If you're in the neighborhood and looking for something that's not bar food (I love D's) or on the pricier side (Legume) try Calli's. We're not big fans of Dunnings. They also do breakfasts which looked good on the menu- but I can't comment as I haven't been.
Tried Hofbrauhaus. The atmosphere is certainly festive and everyone I went with said the beer was good (esp at that price). I am pregnant and can't drink so I can't comment. Ordered the Jaegerschnitzel- breaded cutlet "with a bacon, mushroom, and red wine sauce". The sauce was bland and there was no sign of the bacon, wine, or mushrooms. The cutlet was so overcooked the meat was gray. Ordered a side of mashed potatoes- bland and institutional tasting. Definitely not the best German food in PGH and there are better (albeit chain) options if you're restricted to the SouthSide Works.
Oh I also went to Toast the other week. while it wasn't bad, it didn't live up to expectations. Descriptions sounded delicious (veal chop with truffle cream and garlic scape) but everything fell fairly flat. Veal was very fatty and no truffle oil or cream of any sort was detected. bill for 2 with 3 drinks was $120. I'd rather go to Casbah.
Hofbrauhaus - I thought the food was mediocre and left a lot to be desired. however the atmosphere on a nice night outside could not be beat. crowded, but not too crowded. I did love the $2 pretzels with $1 beer cheese.
YoRita - thought it was great. Loved the fresh watermelon margaritas with real watermelon, none of the syrup crap. only $8 a margarita which I thought was good for fresh fruit. Black bean taco and ahi tuna were delish. will be back again soon.
Paris 66 - went for lunch. I did not have a crepe, so maybe i can't judge appropriately. Thought the salad was a good, fresh salad.
Waiting to go to Tamari!
Haven't been anywhere new new in awhile, unless one counts Hofbrauhaus or Dinette (see my reviews here...http://snickies.wordpress.com/)
I really want to get to Yo Rita (Southside), since Sousa is doing a stint there..he talks about it on his blog...http://www.nacl15206.com/
A recent random find: Whole Foods is really good for breakfast/brunch! Prices aren't bad and I love the omelet station. They have a hot bar with breakfast items too.
Also recently went to Karmic Yogurt (newish) in Shadyside and liked it.
I had a miserable experience at Paris 66 last weekend for dinner. Ate at around 7:30 on Friday and they were out of just about everything. I asked server what he would recommend and he told me "I'm not sure since we are out of everything." Then he said that he would have a hard time making recommendations because he really hadn't seen the food before. He had come in to apply for a job that afternoon, and they had him waiting tables by himself that night. It is BYOB which I like, but if I ever go back I will take my own wine glasses... I have never seen smaller glasses in my life. On the way out (on my way to get another meal because I was still hungry) I overheard the manager or owner talking excitedly to someone about a magazine coming in to do an article and take pictures of the place. I hadn't seen him working the room at all during my meal and I nearly mentioned he might want to focus on making sure people aren't having a similar experience to me or he will never make it to see the issue come out.
I would like to chalk this up to growing pains, but not sure if I can.
Ate at the Hofbrau Haus a few weeks ago--really cool place, if you're into German beer halls, with huge outdoor seating areas. The beer was quite good and plentiful, and the food was decent. Not as good as Max's for German fare, but worth giving another try. The server was really good and well informed. I had a bratwurst with fries (boring) and kraut (tasty) and my wife had a reuben with potato pancakes (very good). Just make sure you ask for real German mustard so you don't have to use the Guldens that is on the table...