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Jun 2, 2010 10:01 AM

Pittsburgh - Oakland area - need recs

We get to Pittsburgh on occasion, but usually stay downtown. This trip we'll be staying in the Oakland area (Holiday Inn off of 5th Ave), so we'd like to try some places in or around that area that we wouldn't normally get to. We need recommendations for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, and for dinner on Saturday. We are foodies, but not snobbishly so (especially when it comes to breakfast). We'll have a car, and don't mind driving a few miles. Thanks!!

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  1. Breakfast: Pamela's, of course. This is a local chain now up to half a dozen spots I think, but good diner-type place, known particularly for their crepe-like pancakes (called hotcakes on their menu). Pamela's is just a few blocks away on Forbes; you can walk there (and should, because there's nowhere much closer that's easy to park anyway). I'd go there both days really, but maybe someone will come up with another b'fast idea or a Sunday brunch around there. I can't think of one right now.

    Hm, so one dinner, with a car, not downtown since you usually stay there. I'll throw out a couple of ideas for things that should be good, different from each other (not necessarily in any order):

    Dinette (East Liberty, drive a few miles): local, seasonal small menu of pizzas and small plates. Small wine and beer list, carefully chosen (and all wines available by glass).

    Yo Rita (South Side, drive a few miles and over a bridge): If you haven't already been here from downtown, check it out. "Tacos", yeah, if you call anything that you put inside a tortilla a taco. Good stuff. Has a bar, try one of their cocktails from the menu.

    Avenue B (just barely into Shadyside, I guess, short drive or even perhaps a long walk if you're up to it): I personally haven't eaten here but it's on the list to try sometime. This is BYOB. If you're going to BYOB, you should bring it with you from Ohio (and don't speed, LOL). I'm guessing you're familiar enough with the annoying PA laws.

    Legume (Regent Square, several mile drive): If you don't mind a drive farther to the east, this would be a good choice. Smallest place of the bunch, though, so a reservation would be a good idea (probably for Avenue B as well; I don't think Dinette takes them, and I know Yo Rita does not). BYOB again, though.

    If you're not coming for a few weeks or so, keep an eye on I don't think they're going to manage to open in June, really, but there may still be some hope.

    I could go on, I suppose, but that may be enough to get you started with a few good choices.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CrazyOne

      Wow -- lots of great ideas, very eclectic mix. And Pamela's sounds like a winner for both days for b-fast. Thanks!

      1. re: ClevelandRandy

        I second Pamela's. Literally every time we try a new breakfast spot (diner type breakfast at least), we always says it's good, but it's not Pamela's! There are a few that don't like Pamela's, but overall people seem to love the place. I'd just say don't be swayed by those that recommend DeLuca's over Pamela's. It's one of those "not as good as Pamela's" places.

    2. You could also try Crepes Parisiennes on S. Craig St. for breakfast. Nice walk from your hotel.

      Crepes Parisiennes
      207 S Craig St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

      1. As a loyal Lawrenceville resident I have to recommend Coca Cafe for breakfast one day. It has such a reputation that if you don't line up before it opens you can expect a 40 minute wait. They specialize in fresh, healthier food which would be a great balance when you eat 5,000 calories at Pamela's the day prior (I'm not complaining!). They have some awesome hand made juices such as carrot ginger, ginger apple and pretty much any combo that sounds appetizing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JakeZigler

          I 3rd pamelas but would like to kick in point Brugge cafe, 10 min drive,as well. It's a Belgium restaurant and they have delicious waffles, mussels ( red curry!), frites and bloody marys. No reservations at eIther place so be there early or prepared to wait.

        2. Thanks to all for the recommendations. We had breakfast both days at Pamela's (because Crepes Parisienne doesn't open until 10). I LOVE pancakes, and I must say that Pamela's are the best pancakes I've ever eaten (not to mention having them stuffed with fresh fruit). Our Saturday dinner was at Legume, and we were very impressed. The place was very cute (albeit a tad noisy), service was great, and the food was quite good. Between the two of us, we had Lamb Riblets and Pork Pate, Ravioli stuffed with pork shoulder and Fettuccine with sugar snap peas and ham. Being a BYOB place allowed us to enjoy a nice bottle without jacking up the check.

          Crepes Parisiennes
          207 S Craig St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213