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May 29, 2014 07:05 PM

Pittsburgh weekday family-friendly dinner?

In June, we are planning a family vacation that takes us through Pittsburgh. Our 20-month old and 5 yr old will be traveling with us, so we need a place for a Thursday dinner with a casual atmosphere and reasonably varied menu -- though not necessarily a kids' specific menu. Prefer local over chain and if possible would like someplace not far from our hotel which is located in the Deuschtown district (East Allegheny). Would also be ok with a take-out style place where we can pick something (or have it delivered?) to eat in our hotel room. Thanks!

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  1. Max's Allegheny Tavern if you like German food is in that area.

    1. Thanks! Will consider Max's. Any other places around that general area that could work, just in case we aren't in the mood for German that evening? Maybe something along the lines of sandwiches/burgers/pub type menu? Or ?? Our trip is coming up next week already.

      1. My Dad went to Monterey Pub when he was in Pgh recently and enjoyed it a lot. It's Irish-ish pub food. Seems like they have something for everyone, even a kid's menu, and every kid gets a free cookie:

        1 Reply
        1. re: ninrn

          I would second Monterey Pub. It's not fine dining, but one of my favorite places in all of Pittsburgh. It's family friendly, but you can still get a drink if so desired. It's also unique, in that it is located in a residential area.

        2. Checking in after our trip. We were considering Monterey until it ended up being way later than we thought as we pulled into Pittsburgh. By the time we got settled at the hotel, we just decided to ask at the front desk for suggestions on restaurants within walking distance. One of their suggestions was James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy. It turned out to be a good find! Fun, casual atmosphere really fit the bill for us, having 2 kids in tow.

          The 'theme' of the place was jazz. I thought it was a nice touch that all of the menu covers were old LP album covers from vintage jazz albums... even the cocktail menu was dressed in a 45 jacket. The restaurant had a bar vibe, but at the same time we (and 2 other families of small children we noticed in the dining room) felt comfortable. Staff was super nice to the kiddos, too. My 5yr old son ordered the fish sticks off the kids' menu. I was impressed first of all that they even HAD fish sticks on there. Secondly, that it was REAL breaded & fried fish, not fish bits or whatever. It came with french fries, and all the fried stuff was crispy, not greasy at all. My 20 month old LOVED the homemade chili and cornbread (not on the kids menu -- we just got a regular order for her). I sampled several bites of her chili and it sure tasted like it had slow cooked properly, and was chock full of meat and beans. The cornbread -- just the perfect amount of lightly sweet -- tasted homemade, though it was a little soft, rather than crispy, like it was made ahead and microwaved to warm up. My husband had the shrimp and grits and said it was really good. I didn't have a chance to try it. I was in the mood for lighter fare and ordered the grilled caesar salad. The 2 halves of romaine were seared lightly on the grill, just enough to add a distinctive flavor. I liked the dressing and the smear of anchovy paste was just enough. Shaved parm and crispy noodles (?) topped it off. I had the option of adding chicken or shrimp (I think?) but didn't go with either one.

          All in all, we were happy with our dinners and would return if ever in the area. Maybe next time, there will be live music when we are there (as they appear to do throughout the week). At least the piped in music was jazz, a welcome change of pace from most restaurants.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jroach

            Funny that you ended up at the James Street, as it's my favorite in the area. I just thought it might be too much bar for the kiddos! They have jazz downstairs and it's a fun atmosphere.