Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Apr 15, 2010 11:07 AM

Trip to P'burgh

DH and I are taking Amtrak with another couple from Philly to Pittsburgh next weekend. Just a casual trip, in part for the opportunuty for a couple of train buffs to ride through the famous Horseshoe Curve.

Anyway, we will be staying at the Marriott City Center, across from the Mellon Arena. No car. We don't want to go crazy food-wise, but would love to do a little exploring. Also on the docket is taking my nephew, who a Freshman at Duquesne, out to dinner (probably Sunday).

Any suggestions?

BTW, I'm rett up to go "dahn tahn" and and have an "Arn Ciddy".

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We were just there. 2 suggestions:

    1. Dish resto has fine bistro food, off-strip location on South Side, upbeat ambience, professional service & reasonable prices.

    2. Next to Marriott Courtyard. Can eat outside on workaday patio (sidewalk) which is surprisingly relaxing; inside room has wonderful high ceilings. Excellent food, and prices somewhat higher than Dish.

    4 Replies
    1. re: pferg

      Hi Pat! Funny meeting you here! Dish and Sonoma Grille are both good suggestions. You can walk to the Sonoma from your hotel. If you have a car or want to take a short cab ride I'd recommend Tessaro's in Bloomfield. It's a little more casual, but the food is great and the prices are good too.

      Tessaro's Restaurant
      4601 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

      1. re: Burghfeeder

        B'feeder! How did I know you'd show up here? Which would you recommend for the take-the college-kid-to-dinner meal? Will probably be Sunday.

        1. re: PattiCakes

          Since you are from out of town, I can't help but recommend that you go up to Mount Washington. The view from there is truly tremendous, and I'm sure the DN would be impressed! Don't expect to get the best meal you've ever had, but all of the restaurants are very good. I'd recommend Monterery Bay Fish Grotto. The picture on the first page of my blog was taken from up there. In additon, you have several pretty good choices that you can walk to from your hotel. Nine on Nine (corner of ninth and Penn) is great but expensive. Six Penn (Sixth st and Penn) may be more in line...It's very nice but a little more casual. If you have good weather, they have a nice rooftop deck. If you get the chance, on Saturday morning I would highly recommend that you take a walk down to the Strip District. This is the area of the city with produce hawkers mixed in an area of restaurants and pubs. If you like to cook, don't miss Wholey's or Pennsylvania Macaroni. Make sure to give us a report when you get home!

          Nine on Nine
          900 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

          1. re: Burghfeeder

            Thanks. Hubby has been to the Burgh before on business, so we have Mt. Washington on our radar. We also do not want to go crazy cost-wise, and are looking more for fun/adventure than a high-end meal. Someone else suggested a walking tour. Your suggestions have been wonderful -- I will make sure I post after we return. In the mean time, I'm gettin' my 'Burgh on & googling PA Macaroni & Wholey's.

    2. Dahling Sister just sent something about stuffed banana peppers. Is this a Pittsburgh thing? Also a link to 17th Street Cafe. Menu looked good. Any comments/input?

      3 Replies
      1. re: PattiCakes

        For a chowhound experience, I like Fat Heads for great sandwiches and a quality variety of beers.
        Penn Brewery has great beers and German food.

        I know people recommend Primantis but I can't say I love the place; although I enjoyed the Primantis sandwich better at the Pirates game.

        Penn Brewery
        800 Troy Hill Vinial St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

        1. re: imhungryletseat

          i've been to 17th street a few times and always found it rather mediocre.

        2. re: PattiCakes

          17th Street Cafe is one of my favorites! It's in the South Side which is an area with lots of bars and restaurants and a mostly younger crowd. They also have great stuffed banana peppers.

        3. Within walking distance, Nine on Nine will have the best food. Seviche could be a fun option for you. Your nephew would probably appreciate Six Penn - it's sort of upscale comfort food.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Panini Guy

            Well, we are back. A confluence of events/personalities prevented taking advantage of most of everyone's suggestions, but that doesn't mean I won't take them in the future.

            Friday night, we got into town very late & starving. TOC (the other couple) had a $50 gift card to McCormick & Scmicks & insisted on going there. Bleh. If I wanted McCormick & Scmicks, I could have gone in Philly. The husband half of TOC is a member of AA, so we stayed away from the night spots or brew pubs that DH and I might have enjoyed on our own. We knew that going into the trip, and part of friendship is compromise, so that was OK.

            Saturday morning, it was off to the Strip District & Pamela's for breakfast. Now Pamela's was off the hook. The Strip was a lot of fun as well -- reminded me of Philly's Italian Market, which is now much more ethnicaly diverse than just Italian. My biggest regret was that I could not bring a lot of stuff back home with me. Got Italian cookies outside the PA Macaroni Company & some Greek pastries, as well as some Mexican goodies inside the Mexi store. I wish I hadn't eaten so much at breakfast -- the taco vendor outside had some amazing food, including some very large, tempting chile rellenos. Never got to Smallman Street. The Strip is high on the list of "will-for sure go back there" when we return. I had to laugh at the "poke-fun-at-Rothlesberger" tee shirts that were all over the place.

            Then it was off to Station Square to ride the Ducks. Very touristy, but fun & something I'm glad we did. Afterwards, we were so starved (again), we opted for close by & went to Joe's Crab Shack. Someone please just shoot me for doing something that dumb. We topped the evening off with a trip up the Monangahela Incline. Very cool. We went back to the hotel in time to see the huge crowd outside the Mellon Arena watching the Penguins on the jumbo TV screen. Those 'Burghers love their hockey!!

            Sunday was supposed to be rainy and aweful, so we had designated it as "inside activity day". Of course it was a beautiful day. Anyway, we took the bus to Pitt's campus (gorgeous!), and went to the Cathedral of Learning to see the classrooms inspired by the various cultures represtented in Pittsburgh's population. Then it was off to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Art. Wonderful -- and we only saw a small piece!

            Then it was back to the hotel to meet up with our Duquesne freshman nephew & take him to dinner. DH had been to P'burgh on business, and fancied himself an expert on places to eat, so he insisted we go to Atria's, under PNC Park -- a place that was across the street from the hotel he stayed in. Mneh. It was OK, but I would not go back. Would have been better off at 17th Street Cafe. Hubby was happy however because he got to demonstrate his knowledge of Pittsburgh, and nephew practicaly licked his plate clean -- the boy has been living on cafeteria food for 2 semesters!

            All in all, it was a very nice trip, but one during which I'd hoped to make better use of your suggestions. I loved the town, and the people -- a very refreshing change from Philly. We promised DN (darling nephew) we'd come back at least once a year to take him to dinner. Next time, I'LL pick the place!!

            Joe's Crab Shack
            5 Station St, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

            Station Square
            2 E Station Square Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

            1. re: PattiCakes

              Sounds like you had a good time. All the 'burgh hounds are glad. First visits always seem to be spotty. The sad part is that sometimes you just settle for a place when just around the corner is someplace really decent. By the time you come back, you'll be more ready.

              I've lived here most of my life, and last year I took my first ride on the Duck and had a qwacking good time.

              Thanks for "calling back."

              PS Steeler fans world-wide are not pleased with Ben. You shoulda bot a tee shirt.

              1. re: yayadave

                I am glad you enjoyed your visit. I hope you come back and enjoy some of the better dining options. Pamela's is awesome.

                Yayadave is right about Ben.

                He's a douche lol

                1. re: yayadave

                  Hubby is a BIG baseball fan, so he went for the Pirates shirt that said "Rebuilding since 1992". As a Philly fan, he is not unfamiliar with suffering.

                  Forgot to mention that the name of our "duck" was -- are you ready? -- "Dahntahn Dottie".