Just when I thought I knew everything about old school Pittsburgh food pots, Monterey Pub in the North Side was thrust in my face by multiple sources. As an Irish Pub, the place is famed for its Guinness Shredded Beef, which it manages to drop into dishes at every level – nachos, burgers, shepherd’s pie and whatnot. I like Guinness and I like beef, so I was hoping Monterey Pub would satisfy my hunger.
The bar and restaurant once known as Stack’d II quickly became The Ave and has in turn finally become the Tipsy Cow – still in Shadyside of course. And while Stack’d II and The Ave slung cheesesteaks instead of burgers, the Tipsy Cow has taken the original Stack’d’s custom burger concept and upgraded it to make burgers that actually taste like something you want to eat.
Saugerties is one of the bigger small towns of Upstate New York and is also one of the weirdest-named. Nonetheless, it is home to a bar and grill called Mirabella’s that I found myself in for dinner while I was up there. Looking a whole lot like the Waterfront in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, I had high hopes that the place could deliver some good food.
It all began with a quick stop for some Medalla Light beers and some appetizers, but after taking a look at the menu and seeing the food our fellow customers were eating, it became apparent that Bananas in Esperanza would become our dinner that night in Vieques. Bananas, like Duffy’s from the night before, is kind of like a beach bar with mainland American influence.
A few miles off of the coast of mainland Puerto Rico is Vieques Island. It’s reasonably small, but still supports a couple of towns, one of which is Esperanza, which caters to tourists a bit more than elsewhere. It was there that we found Duffy’s, a bar and grill with food you could probably find anywhere in the rest of the US, but with a distinct island vibe to it.
I don’t exactly come from a family that is into fancy food. This may be apparent in my reviews, but if not it should be apparent in the fact that for my mom’s 60th birthday all she wanted to do was eat at Heroes in Waterford, Michigan. You see, Heroes isn’t in any way a bad place, but it is at its basest level a bar and grill. A bar and grill, however, with whitefish that is too good for its own good.
Legend had told me of Birmingham Bridge Tavern‘s 50 cent wing night on Mondays, but for some reason it took me far too long to get there. I arrived with some friends for dinner and found the place surprisingly empty, but on the other hand it was the South Side and school wasn’t in session, so the emptiness could at least be explained.
What’s a guy to do when he’s in Orlando for The Game? Why, reach out to the local alumni association chapter to find out where they watch football, of course! That, my friends, is how I ended up at Friendly Confines in South Orange. Tucked within a somewhat sketchy neighborhood far beyond the theme parks, Friendly Confines is actually a pretty cool bar that has a whole back room devoted to Michigan despite the Chicago-esque name.
On the way to the Palace of Auburn Hills there wis very little good food to be had. I can usually count on the Moose Preserve, which is at least relatively close. On my last visit, however, a snowstorm ruined any chance we had of taking the time to get to that lovely restaurant. Instead, we ended up at The Lodge in Keego Harbor. It had been at least a decade since my last appearance at The Lodge and pool tables seemed to have been exchanged for regular eating tables, making it easy to find one.
Independent Brewing Company opened up in Squirrel Hill earlier this year to little fanfare. Yet, it has been on my list of places to visit for no reason other than that I love independent beer. Then, when I heard they had food to go with that beer I was sold. Then when I saw how little food was actually on the menu I was unsold. But then when I saw the menu would get expanded on Tuesdays I was sold again. It was a real roller coaster ride.