The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Semi-South at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
Wrapped in Delicious at The El Felix
The $25 Burger at The Spotted Pig
Eating Jongro BBQ in a Compact K-Town

‘Pittsburgh’

The Best of 2015

This happened somewhere between Pittsburgh and Pasadena, so check out my travels and don't miss out!
This happened somewhere between Pittsburgh and Pasadena, so check out my travels and don’t miss out!

Once again, the year has brought many changes in my life, which means you loyal readers have seen food from exotic places like MoroccoPuerto Rico and Montreal, plus Middle American places like Hays, Kansas. Sadly, these won’t make it into my best of, as I’m only including places that are new to me and in the places I’ve lived in this year – Pittsburgh and the LA area. Oh and before you jump to the conclusion that Pittsburgh places won’t stand a chance, you’ll probably want to check out Zagat’s Top 17 Food Cities of 2015. I’ll give you a hint – LA isn’t #1. As with every year, there is so much good food so please don’t limit yourselves to just these fantastic places and be sure to check out the Travel page for everything in-between and beyond.

The Newly Cuban Conflict Kitchen (REBRANDED)

So much Cuban.
So much Cuban.

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.

A Boxty at Monterey Pub

Big Mac!
Big Mac!

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.

A Common Burger at The Commoner

Stupid, stupid pickles.
Stupid, stupid pickles.

After hearing such great things about the place, I finally had to check out The Commoner in Downtown Pittsburgh. It’s one of those newfangled trendy spots (located inside the similarly trendy Hotel Monaco), but unfortunately the lunch menu isn’t as vast as the dinner menu. But burgers were still on the menu so I was eager to try one out.

The Roethlisburger at Peppi’s Subs

#7
#7

Peppi’s Subs, which has a few locations around Pittsburgh, has a little (big) sandwich called The Roethlisburger (or #7 depending on who you ask). I’m not sure how the sub shop attracted clientele between 1983 and 2004 when Big Ben arrived in Pittsburgh, but I was in no mood to find out when I paid Peppi’s in the Strip District a visit.

A Big Boy Sandwich at Smallman Street Deli

Strange pastrami indeed.
Strange pastrami indeed.

Growing up near Detroit and then living in LA, I must admit I have been spoiled by good delis. Thus, when I moved to Pittsburgh I was shocked to learn that apparently the deli scene was pretty terrible. Because of this, it took me nearly two years to get to Smallman Street Deli – the biggest Jewish Deli in town.

Pigging Out at the Tipsy Cow

Hey Porky.
Hey Porky.

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.