EDIT: As always, Conflict Kitchen continues update the menu for different countries. Rumor has it it’s currently Iranian, but likely won’t be for long.
With the advent of improved relations between the US and Cuba, Conflict Kitchen (which I wrote about back here) decided to switch from Palestinian food over to food representing that land mass 90 miles from Florida. They had done this once before, but they probably figured they wouldn’t have the opportunity again.
By now I have made it pretty clear on this blog and in life that I have no need for sushi. Thus, life in Pittsburgh was good because A) there are very few “good” sushi places and B) my wife got deeply pregnant and could not eat it or convince me to eat it. Thusly, her first meal post-child turned out to be sushi at Sushi Fuku.
Craig Street in Oakland is a great little refuge for Pitt and Carnegie Mellon students looking to get off of campus for a meal. Unfortunately, I have yet to find anything there yet that’s stuck out to me as being truly special. Hoping to change this, I found myself at Lucca, an Italian spot that I hoped would be great in a city filled with great Italian food.
EDIT: As Conflict Kitchen is always changing, it is no longer Palestinian, but it may be again some day.
Conflict Kitchen in Oakland has a pretty cool concept: shine some light on countries the US has conflict with by dishing out food from that country. The menu changes here and there and in the past has featured the likes of Venezuela and North Korea, but the current version has caused more controversy than any previous iterations. Of course, this might have been expected when you start serving Palestinian food.
Situated in what appears to be a former home in Oakland is an Indian restaurant that goes by the name of Tamarind. For a long time I had heard that this was a good as far as Indian food in Pittsburgh goes, so I finally got the chance to try it and found it didn’t exactly follow the classic pattern of Indian restaurants. For one, the menu had a wide variety of dosas.
Back in LA, you could hardly throw a stone without hitting a food truck. In Pittsburgh, though, things are a little different. Supposedly the laws are pretty prohibitive, but a couple have still made their way to the streets. One of which is the creatively named PGH Taco Truck and I got the opportunity to try it out when Carnegie Mellon offered its free tacos to grad students like me.
Like a sidekick to Legume in Oakland, Butterjoint hangs out next to the former restaurant serving up cocktails and a menu only available to those in the area while still serving the full Legume menu. Come to think of it, if it weren’t for the relatively small size of Butterjoint it would be the Batman to Legume’s Robin. Nonetheless, size or not, I was here for one thing: a burger.
Slowly, but surely I am beginning to recognize the ethnic offerings Pittsburgh has for me. It shouldn’t be a surprise considering the universities here and the international students they attract. One of those internationals led me to Hunan Bar, a hot pot restaurant that I couldn’t wait to get to.
Perhaps best-known for their pizza, The Porch at Schenley is a semi-gourmet little restaurant perched on the cusp of Schenley Park. Also, it happens to be owned by Eat’n Park, a Denny’s-esque restaurant that The Porch works hard to leave out of any marketing. From what I’ve heard from Eat’n Park, I can’t blame them. Yet, The Porch has a good reputation and I wanted to see whether that rep was founded in truth.
With a school like Carnegie Mellon around, you would expect Pittsburgh to have some good Indian food. It’s not racist, it’s just common sense. Yet, it took me until recently, when a white guy invited me to All India (I apologize in advance for the music that autoplays on this site) to see what kind of Indian the city could muster. And what a mustering it was “” with a menu as long as a case study, I had a hard time deciding what to order, but fortunately I was with a large group and I was going to get to try a lot of things.