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Aug 9, 2009 09:32 PM

Help a DC chowhound find some good food in Pittsburgh

I'm heading to Pittsburgh this weekend, for fun at the Warhol Museum, Kennywood and the new Rivers Casino - and I've got some questions...

1) Any word yet on the casino restaurants? especially the buffet and steakhouse...

2) Sunday brunch, before the Warhol museum. I'll be looking for a classic american breakfast just after noon.

3) I'm hearing that the national dish of Pittsburgh is the pierogi. Where should I do get them?

4) What other mid-priced dining experience should not be missed.

I'm looking for a working class joint, full of flavor and texture - with memorable food.

Hey, thanks...

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  1. 2) I don't really care much for the greasy slop that most of the breakfast/brunch places here get away with. The classic choices in that realm would be DeLuca's, Pamelas, or my breakfast dive preference, JoJo's (they may not be open that late, call first). My vote for best brunch in the city is SixPenn, by a long shot. Delicious.

    3. Pierogies Plus -

    4. Not sure exactly what you're looking for, but fairly mid-priced and good are Kaya in the strip and Tessaro's in Bloomfield for a great charcoal-grilled burger.Point Brugge is also an excellent choice for mid-priced Belgian goodness. Or you could consider Bloomfield Bridge Tavern if looking to combine the pierogie visit and gritty working class polish food. In general, there are lots of "working class" places I suppose, but I can't think of anything that really stands out, except the very obvious choice of Primanti's in the strip (cue Primanti-hating chowhounders...).

    Hope this helps a little. Enjoy your visit.

    4 Replies
    1. re: skoledin

      *runs in* Primanti's? I HATE Primanti's.. hahahahahaha

      Just kidding.. well I do hate them but I thought I'd be a wiseass..

      1. re: skoledin

        Some very good suggestions. While I'm not a big fan of the greasy breakfasts, the pancakes at Pamela's (Strip District) can't be beat. SixPenn is a great brunch, but I'd make my way out to Tessaro's in Bloomfield for a tremendous burger. When you're done, walk across the street to the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern for a beer. You might want to scout this place out before you decide to eat there. I happen to love it!

        Here's a link to a review of the casino:

        Good luck and have fun!

        1. re: Burghfeeder

          Thanks tonz for the link to the casino review!

          How can I resist a "tremendous burger," going to try to fit Tessaro's in.

        2. re: skoledin

          Thank you! Pierogis Plus looks incredible, I am there for sure.

        3. I don't know if this fits with your food ideas or other plans, but if you go to Yo Rita, you'll remember when you get home and talk about it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: yayadave

            I have been reading the Yo Rita's thread and REALLLLLYYY wish I had a reason to go to Pittsburgh!

            1. re: yayadave

              Whoa, Thank you very much! I surfed the Yo Rita's thread, and the menu - it jumped right to the top of my list, I'll be there for sure. Hey, the website said they were open from 4 p.m., but didnt list a closing time, anyone know the hours? Whats the best time to go on saturday, to avoid the crowds? And just before, or after, what else shouldnt I miss in the neighborhood?

              Thank you everyone, for all your help. I am boarding an Amtrak on Friday at 4 p.m., and if all goes well, I am in Pittsburgh at midnight.

              1. re: mic9ael

                Well, since you asked, there are a lot of places to eat in that area which is known as South Side. Yo Rita is on Carson Street. Just a few blocks away near 18th and Carson is Fat Head's. If I were going for a burger, that's where I'd go.

                Other folks might have other suggestions for the area.

            2. I agree with those who suggested Pamela's for brunch. Best crepe-like pancakes in the city. I think the Shadyside location is best.

              1. 1. can't comment on casino.
                2. would add Grand Concourse in Station Square to brunch suggestions. Have done brunch there several times, always enjoyed the food and atmosphere (big old train station). Plus you can hop the incline up top of Mt. Washington for the view and a drink.
                3. second (or third) on Pierogies Plus
                4. Dinette in East Liberty - exceptional artisan pizza and appetizers, small but good wine list. Yo Rita is currently best food value in the nation, let alone Pittsburgh. Amazing tacos from $5-$7 done up by a world-class chef. Kaya in the Strip for Caribbean. Not sure if I'd call Tessaro's burger the best in Pgh, but very good and a great local hangout.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Panini Guy

                  As far as the Casino goes, I stopped and had a drink at the bar at Andrews, they had just opened the doors when I was there on Sunday. The wine prices are appalling, $12.00 for a glass of Fish Eye wine which retails for $7.99 at the state store. The nice wine man upgraded me to something else for the same $12.00. Anyway my husband and I were sitting at the bar and three guy's came in and ordered the calamari. When it came it looked soggy, and it must have been because three orders went back to the kitchen. One guy got a steak and when it came it wasn't evenly cooked.
                  I ordered the green tomato, lobster stack, and that was wonderful. Thinly sliced green tomato's fried in a cornmeal crust, and lobster with tarragon cream drizzle. My husband had a plate of oysters that he said were "OK".
                  That is all I know about the food.

                2. Dinette is an excellent suggestion. Don't know if I would call it working class, but not stuffy either. A seat at the bar adds to the experience. Think I could sit there all day watching them make pizzas (particularly if I have a good glass of wine).

                  Fat Head's does make a good sammy, but they seem to want to put pepperoni on a lot of them, which I don't quite get. Beer selection is also fantastic.

                  Not working class at all, but I also really like Dish Osteria, also on the South Side. You could do Yo Rita right as it opens as an appetizer, go chill out, and then head to Dish for a late, relaxed, delicious dinner.