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May 22, 2014 05:47 PM

German or Scandinavian Food in Pittsburgh

Have lived in Pittsburgh since the 1950's and still cannot find a good Scandinavian restaurant or a good German restaurant that is family owned. The franchised restaurants are not authentic. Any suggestions?

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  1. I guess Max's on the North Side might be a good choice for German. While I love the place, I'm not personally a huge fan of German food, so most of visits have been limited to drinks and not much food!

    1. Agree in Max's Allegheny Tavern.
      Or join the or become friends with a member.

      1. Penn Brewery (not far from Max's) offers a predominantly German menu to complement their predominantly German beer roster. Even if not strictly authentic, their schnitzel sandwich gets my vote for the best sandwich in Pittsburgh.

        It was family owned for many years, though I'm not sure what their status is since Tom Pastorius' death in 2012.

        Scandinavian? You'll find a lot of younger chefs preaching the gospel of Rene Redzepi, but that's about as close as you'll get.

          1. Have tried Max but wasn't too excited about it. I'll bet Mannerchor would be all home made and authentic.
            A number of years ago we stayed in an Inn in Germany
            where Germans stayed. Fortunately, the manager could translate for us since no one else spoke English. I guess I should not use that meal as the standard for others but it is hard not to compare. It just seems odd that the majority of restaurants in Pittsburgh are Italian when there were other ethnic groups here.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cookie hound

              The majority of Pittsburgh restaurants are pizza places, I believe. I don't consider Pittsburgh Pizza to be Italian.

              1. re: Chowrin

                I don't consider Pizza shops as restaurants. At least in Pgh you have a lot of choices to find a pizza style you like. Some places aren't so lucky. At my first job in Virginia I asked where to get good pizza, I was told Pizza Hut.

                One thing to remember is that a lot of cuisine is regional, even within the same country. Northern Italian is different than Southern Italian. Eastern German may be different from Western German. . etc.

                My guess is nothing will compare to the Authentic German meal you had because the memory of the experience may be coloring your recollection. Is it actually the taste of the food you remember or the experience?

                My experience is no food is ever quite as good as the first time you taste it. You can never recreate the original discovery.

                1. re: ML PAVACT

                  True - one's memory does color the experience. I guess I'll just have to enjoy authentic German food in my memory. Of course, I could get busy and try to make some of the recipes - there are plenty of sources for recipes and directions. Or maybe I could find a nice German lady who loves to cook and would fix a dinner for me!!!! Dream on!!!