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May 15, 2012 04:12 AM

Need couple of recs for drinks and apps on E Carson St (Pittsburgh)

My GF and I will be visiting Pittsburgh this weekend just to check out the city. One of the things we usually do the first night is to hit 3-4 restaurants for drinks and food. We'll share either 1 or 2 appetizers or an entree. We try to sample things that are either representative of the city (e.g. crab cakes in Baltimore) or something we find unique or interesting. We are pretty much open to anything from upscale to dive bars (as long as they're safe.)

We'll be staying at Station Square and will cab it over to E Carson St for an evening/night of restaurant/bar hopping. We would like recommendations on about 3 restaurants we can hit within walking distance that has menu items that stand out. And it would help a lot if you could also suggest an appetizer or an entree that we really should try when visiting the recommended restaurant.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Dish is my fave. place in the South Side. Small Itailian place slightly off carson

    Fat Heads.. is a craft beer and sandwhich place..

    Possible my two fave places in the city.. on both sides of the spectrum

    1. Since you are staying in Station Square, make sure to stop in the Gandy Dancer which is the bar at the Grand Concourse Restaurant. The building is truly beautiful, and the Gandy Dancer has a great happy hour. For an app, try the Dynamite Scallops...Tremendous! Further down Carson street you have a ton of options. A little more up-scale would be Dish, which has a great comfortable bar and great food. Similar is the 17th Street Tavern. For a louder atmosphere and a ton of beers try Fat Heads. Huge, good sandwiches and lot's of craft brews. Carson City saloon is also a good stop. I won't even mention the "dive" bars...You'll find plenty of them! Hope you enjoy your visit!

      1. Augie, BF - Thanks for your replies. I guess Dish Osteria and Fat Heads are definitely on the uber short list. We had a rezzie at the Grand Concourse but cancelled it because we wouldn't have time for it. But a drink or two at the Gandy Dancer seems like a great way to experience it. To round out the evening, I was thinking about Piper's Pub, Little Tokyo Bistro, or Mallorca. Any thoughts?

        5 Replies
        1. re: richmofo

          Piper's is a awesome choice... ( my fault for neglecting it) Bar can get croweded, great bar tenders always up on what that have.. ..

          Gandy Dancer is awesome --very board walk empire -ish. (ok might regret this dorky statemnet, but great date place none the less)

          Mallorca is not one of my fav's. People love i just think its ok. I spent a TON of money there and left kind of disapointed.

          1. re: Augie6

            Agree with augie and burghfeeder..Gandy Dancer , Dish but make reservations, Pipers, 17th street is pretty good. Do not recommend Mallorca.

            1. re: Effort

              Thanks. Just called. Only could get a reservation at Dish for after 10pm. I guess we're hitting Piper's and Fat Heads first (which I'm guessing is fine w/o reservations.) Does Gandy Dancer have a bar where we can just go and spend an hour at w/o a reservation?

              1. re: richmofo

                If you go to Piper's, the fish sandwich is tremendous! Not fine dining, but huge, deep fried delicious!


                1. re: Burghfeeder

                  Fish sammie and curry fries it is :)

        2. BF - BTW, I started reading your blog. Really enjoying it. Let's see how much of it I can get through before we leave for Pittsburgh this Saturday.

          13 Replies
          1. re: richmofo

            Go to The Truth for drinks, then cross the street to Yo Rita's for a few apps and split one order of tacos. Then proceed to Dish for more drinks and food. The scallops at Dish are a must!

            1. re: six dower

              Love seafood. I'll keep the scallops in mind. Thanks.

              1. re: richmofo

                Love Cafe Du Jour very close to Yo Rita. Its byob as well last time we went spur of the moment and did not have any wine-the did manage to "find" one. Small place with a 4 table back courtyard if its nice out.



                1. re: don515

                  For this trip, I think we're doing Dish, Fat Heads, and Piper's Pub. I'll shelve Yo Rita's and Cafe Du Jour until our next trip. CDJ definitely looks like the kind of place I want to explore.

                  1. re: richmofo

                    Lots of big hair in Fat Heads.......packed on weekends

                    1. re: don515

                      Thanks for all the recs. We hit Primanti Bros (for the "been there, done that" factor) to start. We tried to get a spot at the bar or a table at Fat Heads, but it was too crowded. Don - you're right. Amazing how many chicks get all dolled up to drink beers at dive bars and microbreweries in PIT. We hung out at Casey's next door for some hefeweizen then headed over to Piper's Pub. Great ambiance. We just ordered curry chips with spicy curry. One of the best things we ate during the trip. Then we finished up with a walk to the Dish. A bottle of chianti, an order of mussels, filet mignon, and linguine al frutti di mare. All were prepared very well. The place was definitely a standout from the rest of the restaurants in the area. Looking forward to another trip up there in the near future.

                      1. re: richmofo

                        Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit. While Dish is my favorite, there are several other pretty good restaurants in the area, but they tend to be isolated, just like Dish is.


                        1. re: richmofo

                          Sounds like a great night! You never mentions where you are visiting from?


                          1. re: don515

                            Don - Yes, we are from the DC suburbs. And I forgot. We walked over from the hotel (before heading to E Carson) to the Gandy Dancer. The GF loved the spicy cucumber martini (maybe I did too.) Great bartender and overall ambiance.

                            Burghfeeder - That's the only thing we didn't like. There was an abundance of bars and restaurants, but most of them did not interest us. We'll try a different spot on E Carson next time.

                            1. re: richmofo

                              Next trip, you might consider a different area. I love the Southside, but it's mostly dive bars and kids...Not that there's anything wrong with that! But there are many other areas that might offer more of what interests you. We tend to frequent Shadyside or the North Shore. The Lawrenceville area is also fun, with some nice restaurants. While this is a fairly small city, there are a lot of other choices.


                              1. re: Burghfeeder

                                I may hit you up for recommendations in those areas another time. It's tough to get decent info outside of Downtown, Strip District, and South Side. We may need one more trip up there to get our touristy stuff over with.

                                1. re: Burghfeeder

                                  I agree with all of this, Burghfeeder. I rarely get to the Southside anymore. I just don't wanna deal with all the amateurs that dominate the scene. I only go over there anymore if I am dragged by friends, and only then if I am promised Fat Heads, Dish, Pipers, 17th St, or, maybe, Yo Rita.

                                  Shadyside, the Strip District, Lawrenceville, Downtown, East Liberty and the North Shore are all more my pace in terms of food and drinks, anymore. By that I mean I believe all of these areas to have establishments with superior food, better drinks and drink service, and a less rowdy atmosphere than Southside.

                                  1. re: MonMauler

                                    It's funny that you would mention those places...If I had to list my five "go to" places on the Southside, that would be the list!