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Strip District PGH <3

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Augie6 Mar 25, 2011 10:41 AM

I really enjoy the Strip District , I like the crowds(at times), the vendors of all sorts just scattered about, the dirty to look to almost every building. I am starting to get excited for the weather to break and really enjoy walking up and down the streets!!!

However, I do realize that I probally do not know all the great little spots or full potential of what the "strip" offers. Here is my go to list

1. Renya Taco Stand
2. Enrico's Bakery (never been to the little cafe any good?
3. Penn Mac
4. Peace Love and Little Doughnuts
5. Parma Sausage

Any other must go spots for everyone out there.... I am really looking for little hidden gems (if they exist)

I know this might be like beating a dead horse, but I would like to hear about some of the " non tourist" places..

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  1. m
    MonMauler RE: Augie6 Mar 25, 2011 11:00 AM

    I'm a little confused about the "non tourist" aspect of the places you're looking for. I'm guessing you're referring to Primanti's, Pamela's, DeLuca's and, maybe, Wholey's (who have very good sushi for lunch and a decent lobster roll). But I actually feel that all of these places, even Primanti's, have retained a non-touristy feel. I love all of them and go to each fairly often. In fact, I went to Primanti's for dinner down there last night, and I can assure you there were no tourists in the joint.

    But, some other favorites would be (I definitely agree with those you mention) --

    Penn Ave Fish Co. - way down at the end - very good sushi and lunch sandwiches.

    Mancini's - good to pick up a fresh loaf, and good pepperoni rolls from the stand outside for a snack or quick lunch.

    Cafe Raymond - one of my new favorites. Fresh baked bread and very good sandwiches.

    Eleven - very good fine dining. One of the best burgers in the city, only at lunch, though.

    Lidia's - perfectly acceptable red sauce italian with a nice brunch on Sundays.

    Kaya - i've been very impressed with most of my meals here. Good island-inspired food.

    Bella Notte isn't too bad if you're craving some pizza.

    Enrico's cafe is a nice little place to grab a bite - especially in the warmer months. I like to sit at the little tables and order up a cappuccino. The menu was quite limited last time I was there, but the sandwiches I've had have been solid. It's BYOB, though, so don't go there expecting to order up some wine...

    Also, check out the Pittsburgh Public Market in the big loading dock/warehouse building on the river side of Smallman. They have a number of good vendors for various food products and some stands serving pretty good prepared food. I really like the charcuterie stand right inside the front door.

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    Cafe Raymond
    2103 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

    6 Replies
    1. re: MonMauler
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      Augie6 RE: MonMauler Mar 25, 2011 11:28 AM

      Tourist was a bad word choice-- I just meant everyone knows about the Primanti;s ( the one in the strip is my fav one ) , delucas ..etc... I was looking for some of the less known places/ stands in the strip.

      Never tried Cafe Raymond.. I use to work in the Strip and got use to the easy access to everything ..

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      Cafe Raymond
      2103 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

      1. re: Augie6
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        MonMauler RE: Augie6 Mar 25, 2011 12:10 PM

        Definitely try Cafe Raymond. I have been very impressed. I've at least had a bite of every sandwich on their menu, and they are all fantastic. I guess my favorite would be the smoked salmon, pan bagnat, prosciutto or tomato mozzarella sandwich, depending on the day. But even limiting it that much is a bit of a disservice because I really like all of their sandwiches.

        They have very good breakfast too. My one friend always gets an omelette, and they're very good, but I have a tough time not getting cream cheese and lox on a bagel...

        Anyway, definitely check it out. I guarantee you will like it.

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        Cafe Raymond
        2103 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

      2. re: MonMauler
        Jay F RE: MonMauler Mar 25, 2011 11:28 PM

        Penn Ave Fish Company is the best place in town to buy fish or eat fish. In addition to the sushi and sandwiches, the soups are simply the best fish soups, stews, and chowders are among the best I've ever had.

        Lidia's is definitely NOT "red sauce Italian." It's a hell of a lot better than that.

        I like Enrico's, too. Take the breadmaking class on Sundays (the last Sunday of the month, I think).

        1. re: MonMauler
          Jay F RE: MonMauler Apr 4, 2011 01:07 PM

          >>>>Enrico's cafe is a nice little place to grab a bite - especially in the warmer months. I like to sit at the little tables and order up a cappuccino. The menu was quite limited last time I was there, but the sandwiches I've had have been solid. It's BYOB, though, so don't go there expecting to order up some wine...

          Actually, Enrico's cafe has started making their own brand of wine, and it's very available. They're always offering tastes.

          1. re: Jay F
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            MonMauler RE: Jay F Apr 5, 2011 08:33 AM

            Yeah, Jay F, you're right. I was actually just there this past weekend, and they did have their own wine. I only got a couple glasses before they closed, but it was pretty good. I don't remember them offering wine last summer or so.

            1. re: MonMauler
              Jay F RE: MonMauler Apr 5, 2011 01:20 PM

              They can't have been doing it too long. I think I remember when it was new, and I've only been eating there regularly since 2009.

        2. b
          Burghfeeder RE: Augie6 Mar 25, 2011 11:39 AM

          Those suggestions are all great choices. I'm one of those that agree with MonMauler about Pirmanti's. I happen to really like their sandwichs and enjoy the atmosphere at the strip location. Late night on a weekend the crowd consists of hippies, preps, punks, theatre goers, cops, truck drivers etc. Where else in Pittsburgh can you see that!

          A couple of other honorable mention places that I like include Klavon's Ice Cream parlor. It's down a block or two from the main business area on Penn. A quaint old pharmacy with soda counter and great ice cream. Another place that I like (I know this isn't for everyone) is Leaf and Bean on 22nd street. While I'm not really a smoker, once in a while I enjoy a cigar, and after a few hours of walking the Strip, Leaf and Bean calls my name. It's kind of a Key West/tropical vibe. Good coffee, great cigars and acoustic entertainment on Saturday afternoons make it a relaxing stop. If you can't stand the smoke, they have a few tables outside.

          http://burghfeeding.blogspot.com/

          3 Replies
          1. re: Burghfeeder
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            MonMauler RE: Burghfeeder Mar 25, 2011 12:16 PM

            I thought about mentioning leaf and bean but decided against it. I love cigars and keep a pretty good supply of them at home, and I would definitely recommend Leaf & Bean a smoker. They have a decent selection, and it really is kind of fun to sit outside at the tables along the street and enjoy a leisurely cigar and a cup or two of coffee.

            I actually have never once been there when they've had live entertainment, but they are always promoting it and think they do so fairly often. I imagine it would be a cool place to enjoy a smoke and listen to some music. I have to get down there when they have someone playing...

            1. re: MonMauler
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              Burghfeeder RE: MonMauler Mar 26, 2011 05:24 AM

              Funny that you should mention that...I hesitate to mention it too. I think the entertainment is usually mid Saturday afternoon, around 2pm. Since I like to hit the Strip early, I'm usually gone by then. They also have a number of TV's. One afternoon, I caught the final period of the Pens game....Of course, once again, it's not for everyone, but I like it.

              1. re: Burghfeeder
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                Augie6 RE: Burghfeeder Mar 28, 2011 06:37 AM

                Leaf & Bean seems like somethign I would really enjoy!!!

          2. k
            k squared RE: Augie6 Mar 26, 2011 06:54 PM

            21st Street Coffee for some of the best in the City

            Chicken Latino

            The Mediterra stand during Farmers at Firehouse

            Lucy's Banh Mi sandwichs (she was last set up in front of the Firehouse)

            I hesitant to mention this one: the Amish vendor at PPM has the best eggs I've found in Pittsburgh.

            East End Brewing at the PPM

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            Chicken Latino
            2101 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

            1. r
              Rick RE: Augie6 Mar 27, 2011 08:59 AM

              I'll add Vietnam's Pho down by Wholey's and the newly opened Pho Van, in the block between Penn Ave Fish Co. and Enrico's. Pho Van is the only place I know of in Pittsburgh that sells real banh mi (Lucy's are good, but are more of a hybrid hoagie/banh mi than just a banh mi). Also don't forget about Mon Ami Chocolates and the fresh made tortillas and the tortilla chips at Renynas. I really like the chorizo, hot dogs, kielbasa etc at Strip District Meats too.

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                AllieP RE: Augie6 Apr 4, 2011 11:27 AM

                I work in the Strip mostly on Saturdays. Here are my favorites.

                -Lucy's Banh Mi sandwiches. Love these.

                -Anything from Cafe Raymond. My favorite is their prosciutto sandwich.

                -Macaroons from Enrico Biscotti

                -Penn Ave. Fish Company - love their sushi and their salads

                -Chicken Latina - I like to get their quesadillas to eat while I am working.

                -On weekends, I like to hit the Greek food stand near Penn Mac. They have great gyros and make a killer goat cheese/spinach/filo dough thing. Not sure what it is called, but let them heat it up for you. Delicious.

                -Finally, love the sushi guy at Wholey's.

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                Cafe Raymond
                2103 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

                5 Replies
                1. re: AllieP
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                  Augie6 RE: AllieP Apr 4, 2011 11:57 AM

                  I agree with everyone you have listed, I never tried Cafe Raymond but will.

                  Where is Lucy Posting up now a days?

                  Cannot wait to try the Greek stand (never had )

                  I miss working in the strip!!!

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                  Cafe Raymond
                  2103 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

                  1. re: Augie6
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                    AllieP RE: Augie6 Apr 4, 2011 12:19 PM

                    Try Cafe Raymond. You will not be disappointed. The owners are really nice and Ray bakes his own bread.

                    Not sure if Lucy is back just yet, but last year she set up near the Firehouse Lounge. Another place I'm eager to try is Salem's further up on Penn Ave. It's supposed to have kick ass food as well as a great market.

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                    Firehouse Lounge
                    1301 Merchant St, Ambridge, PA 15003

                    Cafe Raymond
                    2103 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

                    1. re: AllieP
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                      six dower RE: AllieP Apr 4, 2011 03:06 PM

                      Cafe Raymond is awesome.
                      Lucy will return at the end of the month. She will be in front of the Firehouse Lounge.
                      Try the Gelato at Mon Ami shop.
                      Vegetable or Meat Torta's at CoAngleo's Bakery
                      Anything from Penn Fish - the soup is killer
                      Grilled fish specials from Wholly's
                      Korean Pancake from vendor near Wholly's
                      Bread from Vinny's and Nino's

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                      Firehouse Lounge
                      1301 Merchant St, Ambridge, PA 15003

                      Cafe Raymond
                      2103 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

                      1. re: six dower
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                        Rick RE: six dower Apr 4, 2011 03:10 PM

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                        1. re: six dower
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                          meatmaster RE: six dower Apr 5, 2011 02:53 PM

                          While somewhat in the no man's land between the core of the Strip and Bloomfield (2923 Penn), Salem's Market & Grill has the best chicken and lamb shwarma in Pittsburgh. The chicken shwarma rivals any I have had anywhere. They have a butcher shop attached and have tons of spinach pies, samosas and other prepared foods to choose from.

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                          Salem's Market & Grill
                          2923 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

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