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Dining at Dinette

Potato pizza!
Potato pizza!

After nearly two years of eating the free pizza provided by my school, one would think that I would be burned out on pizza. Fortunately, that is not the case because Pittsburgh just happens to have some amazing pizza places. Take for example, Dinette in East Liberty, which is by no means a new spot, but compared against the more classic Italian neighborhoods like Bloomfield it certainly seems new. The inside is like a mini diner, in which the menu consists of little more than pizza.

An Okay Sandwich at Great Harvest

A pickly sandy.
A pickly sandy.

Great Harvest is like the┬ásmall mom and pop answer to Panera. It’s a franchise, but one that allows the owner to make the store truly unique. Take, for example, the Great Harvest that opened up in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty not too long ago. It features a bunch of local Pittsburgh food, plus sandwiches and breads chosen by the owner. And since the afternoon was ripe for a sandwich, Great Harvest seemed like a good place to be.

Roman Style at Pizza Taglio

So honey.
So honey.

Down in East Liberty, a fairly new pizza spot called Pizza Taglio has opened up to bring some unique new flavors to Pittsburgh. It claims to be Roman style, which I suppose is different from Napoli style, but not so different that it doesn’t involve dough, cheese and toppings. The place doesn’t do cups, so all drinks are bottled or canned, but it does do good music to somewhat make up for it.

Noodle Power at Smiling Banana Leaf

Just what I needed.
Just what I needed.

Pittsburgh isn’t exactly known for having a wide breadth of ethnic food. Nonetheless, the place continues to surprise in terms of variety. Take, for example, the Smiling Banana Leaf in Highland Park. In case you couldn’t tell by the name, the place is Thai and has a surprisingly interesting menu. I say surprising because while it’s relatively sizable like many Thai spots, some things I had never seen before.

Casa Rasta at Last (CLOSED)

It's like Jamaica and Mexico in one.
It’s like Jamaica and Mexico in one.

EDIT: This location is extinct,┬ábut there’s another in Beechview if you want to go alllll the way out there.

After two failed attempts to pay a visit to Casa Rasta due to inaccurate hours posted online, I finally made it there. I was expecting a quick in and out fast casual sort of place, but was surprised when I found it to be an eat-in sort of place instead. The menu was full of things I would have wanted to eat, but my stomach is only so big.

Two Big Slices of Pizza Sola (CLOSED)

Need some scale.
Need some scale.

In need of a quick bite, wandering the streets of East Liberty and craving pizza, Pizza Sola appeared ahead like a shiny beacon of hope. The place is pretty big, but seems to cater more to the pizza-by-the-slice crowd than to the dine-in types. I was somewhat torn, but then when I saw just how big the slices were I felt fine with just grabbing a couple.

Street Eats at Station Street (CLOSED)

Mine are the brown ones.
Mine are the brown ones.

In the year 1915, World War I was in full swing, women still couldn’t vote in our fine country and Thyphoid Mary was doing her thing. Oh and Station Street opened in Pittsburgh. But considering the place is run by local celeb chef Kevin Sousa, it’s safe to assume the place has changed. In fact, it even seems to have changed recently, adding street food like tacos and bibimbap (both of which probably didn’t exist in the Pittsburgh lexicon in 1915) to its list already extensive list of hot dogs.

Busting Buttons at BRGR

Busted.
Busted.

Just as with the band MGMT, I am never quite sure whether to pronounce BRGR as “B-R-G-R” or as “Burger.” Such is the conundrum of a word without vowels, but in truth pronunciation matters little in such a situation compared to how good the burgers are. To many people, there is a debate as to the merits of BRGR versus Burgatory. Having truly, madly and deeply enjoyed Burgatory, BRGR certainly had its work cut out for it.

Not Breaking Bread at E2

Just a little more polenta.
Just a little more polenta.

I know, I know. Brunch is getting boring. It’s a little ridiculous covering three of these in a row, but that’s just how my life works sometimes. So, for yet another brunch, I headed to E2 over in Highland Park, but this was a brunch unlike any other. You see, this brunch happened on Passover and thus my options were limited, but not so much that I would have chosen anything differently [EDIT: I have now returned to E2 and had some non-Passover goodness, see below].

In Park Bruges

The eggs are just staring at me.
The eggs are just staring at me.

It seems like oh so long ago that I paid a visit to Point Brugge, a nice little Belgian spot in my neighborhood. At the time, I was perfectly aware that the place had a sister restaurant called Park Bruges (so tricky with those mixed up spellings) in Highland Park, but saw no reason to drive to a place so similar to one in walking distance. But, when attempting to grab brunch at the former on Saturday, we were informed that the two restaurants split up their brunch days and only Park Bruges would be serving brunch that day. So, like any brunch seekers, we packed into the car and made our way to the park side of Belgium.