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What NOT to miss in Pittsburgh?

foodsnob14 Jan 13, 2010 09:24 AM

Besides for Primanti Bros. what else is highly recommended?
Any info is much appreciated!

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  1. s
    Sargent RE: foodsnob14 Jan 13, 2010 10:01 AM

    Of course Primanti Bros! Have fun!
    I would recommend Isaley's Chipped Chopped Ham Barbeque. One of my most favorite things. www.isaleys.com is a resource. I had to buy it in Giant Eagle supermarket my last trip. Lemon Blend (mix with water and enjoy!) is great too.. it can be found at some of the gourmet stores right around the warehouse district by Primanti Bros.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sargent
      foodsnob14 RE: Sargent Jan 13, 2010 10:03 AM

      Are there any restaurants that you recommend?

      1. re: foodsnob14
        Sargent RE: foodsnob14 Jan 13, 2010 10:12 AM

        I was only in Pgh for a very short time and only ventured to Primanti's (otherwise it was typical franchises..) Here is a link to a chow blog on Pgh restaurants that may be helpful. It is a great city. Don't forget to ride the "incline" :-)

        Sorry not be more help..

        1. re: Sargent
          foodsnob14 RE: Sargent Jan 13, 2010 10:21 AM

          Thank you for the link! I appreciate it!

      2. re: Sargent
        GeoNit RE: Sargent Feb 18, 2010 08:50 AM

        Correct link for Isaly's: http://www.isalys.com/

      3. b
        Bigley9 RE: foodsnob14 Jan 13, 2010 11:06 AM

        I recommend Legume - it is BYO and sustainable/local and delicious!!
        Also YoRita - http://www.yoritasouthside.com/ - where Kevin Sousa, a really innovative chef acted as a consultant while he was between gigs (not sure whatever happened to his new venture)

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bigley9
          Panini Guy RE: Bigley9 Jan 16, 2010 10:05 AM

          Agree with Bigley on both and would add Bona Terra as the other great regional farm-to-table restaurant along with Legume What Sousa is doing with YoRita is something that would impress in cities bigger than ours.

          Would add that if you're gonna make yourself visit Primanti's, the other lower-end classic institution worth visiting is the "O" - Original Hot Dog Shoppe. Not suggesting it's particularly good, but it's IS all Pittsburgh. You may appalled, you may love it. Drag some folks in from the street to help finish your order of grease fries ;-)

          1. re: Panini Guy
            Rick RE: Panini Guy Jan 16, 2010 11:02 AM

            Oh man Panini Guy, now that I'm out of college I always forget about the "O!" Definitely go there and get the fries. A small is way more than enough for two people. The natural history museum is very close by so you could turn that in to a little day or half day trip.

          2. re: Bigley9
            johnnytang24 RE: Bigley9 Mar 3, 2010 07:12 AM

            I agree with Yo Rita's - excellent both in terms of taste as well as innovation, but both times I've been to Legume has ended with a disappointing main course.

            In Pittsburgh, I would skip the high end restaurants unless you want to drive out to Nemacolin, where the excellent Lautrec resides. I dare say that place would have 3 Michelin stars, were it in a rated city.

            Instead, I recommend, as others have, Tessaro's burger and Josza's Corner for a, literally, home cooked Hungarian meal.

          3. b
            BlakeyBoy RE: foodsnob14 Jan 17, 2010 06:27 AM

            Pamela's for breakfast/brunch is a must if you aren't from the area. Their specialty pancakes are splendid.

            1. RetiredChef RE: foodsnob14 Jan 17, 2010 07:48 AM

              What experience and style of dining are you looking for?
              Are you just looking for things unique to Pittsburgh to say that you have eaten there?
              Are you a foodsnob? Then Primanti's will not be to your liking?

              Here are some suggestions:

              Bar type food ala Primaniti brothers:

              Tesaro’s known for their hamburgers
              Fathhead Saloon – Huge sandwiches
              Point Brugge Café – Belgium food (mussels/frittes and Belgium beer)
              Yo-Rita – already mentioned
              Bloomfield Bridge Tavern – Polish bar with food, lots of fun
              Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh – German bar with German food.
              Jerome Bettis Grille 36 – Large commercial operation, think TGIF style sports bar.

              Breakfast places

              Pamela’s – already mentioned
              Deluca’s – greasy spoon diner almost always a wait, pitt institution.
              Crepes Parisiennes

              Casual Restaurants

              Chruch Brew Works – Convereted a old church into a brew pub – quite unique
              Mad Mex – Pitt/mex food, go there for the margaritas.
              Abay – Ethiopian food.
              Kaya – Carribean fusion food
              Café de jour – French obviously
              Picolo Forno – Italian / pizza

              Higher end Dining

              Nine on Nine
              Bonna Terra

              Dining with a view of Pittsburgh from MT. Washington

              There are quite a few places but remember you are paying for the view, the only one that seems to do an above average job of food is:

              Isabella on Grandview.

              NOTE: I am not a resident of Pittsburgh but have been working here for 4 months and get to eat out a lot (expense account). I’m not endorsing the food at any of these places since individual tastes vary; however none of these places will kill yeah. These are just the popular places that people like, are not chains and they are unique to Pittsburgh.

              2 Replies
              1. re: RetiredChef
                goldy12 RE: RetiredChef Jan 17, 2010 08:00 AM

                Wow- for not living in the city for very long this is a really complete list- you certainly get out alot!

                My favorite places to bring visitors are in no particular order:
                Tessaro's (mentioned above)
                Girasole (mentioned above)
                Murray Ave Grill (Sq. Hill)
                Union Grill (Oakland)
                D's (Regent Sq.)
                Gulifty's (Sq. Hill)
                Pamela's (mentioned above)
                Walnut Grill/Shady Grove (Shadyside)
                Bangkok Balcony (Sq. Hill)

                My tastes tend to lean more towards casual. When we do go for higher end dining we usually just go to Ruth Chris, but that's just a regular chain.

                Oh don't forget Klavon's (Strip District) for an old fashioned ice cream parlor treat!

                1. re: goldy12
                  2willaddiction RE: goldy12 Feb 16, 2010 06:21 AM

                  This is rather late but I must add that before I would go to Hofbräuhaus, I would go to Max's Allegheny Tavern in the north side. Unless of course it is the loud but fun atmosphere you are looking for. Max's food while not straight from Germany I feel is a bit more authentic than the Hofbräuhaus which to me is German food in the US like Chinese food is here.. Not really native.

              2. a
                annettesan RE: BCF Feb 20, 2010 03:49 PM

                Just to throw in - the Strip on a Saturday morning is always a recommendation, it seems, but it's so insanely crowded, parking's really hard, etc. All the same stores and restaurants are open on weekdays (usually just in the daytime). DeLuca's is a lot more enjoyable when crowds aren't spilling out the door, propping it open, as they wait for a table. Go, by all means - but consider a Tuesday morning, maybe. (And don't forget Mon Aimee Chocolate and La Prima Espresso.)

                1. t
                  thehungryi RE: foodsnob14 Mar 7, 2010 07:45 AM

                  I would recommend a moveable feast in the Strip. The street food, while not on par with a lot of "foodie" cities, is starting to come in to its own. I like the lingua (veal tongue) tacos at Reyna's. 2 for 5 bucks, can't beat 'em. Rat on a stick down the street is a treat. Biscotti at Enrico's (not technically on the street) is not to be missed. When the weather is warmer, you can also find sausage sandwiches and pizza, mystery meat dogs, Italian ice and espresso. All for less than a sit-down.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: thehungryi
                    johnnytang24 RE: thehungryi Mar 8, 2010 07:23 AM

                    I could be wrong, but I think it's lengua in Spanish, and lingua is Italian.

                    I think the meat on a stick, when available, is better at the other end of the Strip by the Vietnamese grocers.

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