In a land where they pronounce gyros like the beginning of gyroscope, a friend of mine never shuts up about the greatness of the gyros at a place called The Greek Gourmet in Squirrel Hill. The Greek Gourmet, by the way, is more of a quickie Greek market than a restaurant, seeing as it only seems to serve gyros alongside its packaged hummus, tzatziki, pita and whatever else you may expect from a Greek grocer.
It’s not often you find a Venezuelan restaurant. Considering the country’s brutal recent history, it’s no surprise that Venezuela is better-known for kidnapping than cuisine. Yet, in Bloomfield resides a restaurant called Adolfo’s purporting to offer Venezuelan food. Plus, since it’s Bloomfield it also cooks up Italian for some reason.
At some point The Cafe at the Frick came up as a place I needed to grab a meal at. This, of course, came as a surprise because most museum cafes offer up barely passable food to a captive audience. But I figured why the hell not and headed to the Frick for lunch. As could probably be expected, my wife and I were decades younger than the next youngest patron that hadn’t been dragged there by grandparents, but we hoped that our still active taste buds would be rewarded.
Perched above Pamela’s in Shadyside is a Peruvian store and restaurant going by the name of La Feria. It claims to be a sister restaurant to Pamela’s, which is strange considering the utter lack of Peruvian in Pamela’s menu, but there it is. And despite the lack of guinea pig and alpaca on the menu, I was eager to see how Pittsburgh would do Peru.
Dear New York: Your pizza is overrated. Sincerely, The Unvegan. Yes, that’s right. It’s probably not the most original thing to say, but if New York leads the world in pizza I can only agree in terms of quantity. Yes, there is good stuff there, but the water is a damn myth and I have found plenty of amazing pizza elsewhere, especially in Pittsburgh. Take for example, Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room in Downtown Pittsburgh, my most recent pizza experience to continue setting the tone for great pies.
When you think of an “old world deli,” what comes to mind? Perhaps some amazing cured meats? Italian or rye bread (depending on which part of the old world). Maybe cheeses that aren’t synonymous with Kraft or Velveeta? Root beer floats and pierogies probably don’t cross your mind, but when it comes to Szmidt’s Old World Deli, which has recently reopened in Downtown Pittsburgh, they are certainly worth trying.
Recently I was driving down Penn Ave around Lawrenceville and I just happened to spot a Mexican place called Los Cabos. Moreover, it wasn’t just Mexican, but SoCal-style Mexican and I just had to stop in. What I found was a small Mexican spot that looked like the average corner taco or burrito shop all around Southern California, including the famous California Burrito.
Many times I have stated on this meat blog that I am not a fish fan. Yet, when it comes to grabbing lunch with a group that includes a vegetarian I am willing to compromise. Thus, I found myself at Penn Avenue Fish Company in Pittsburgh’s Strip District staring at a menu chock-full of just about every variety of seafood. It was a difficult time for me, but damn if I am not a nice guy for making the sacrifice.
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.
As the various neighborhoods of Pittsburgh become more and more gentrified, it’s only inevitable that the hipster vibe that inhabits Lawrenceville will make its way to other parts of the city. One of these areas is Bloomfield, where Bread and Salt Bakery has taken up business in what seems to be a back alley. Replete with a man in cutoff shorts and pizza that is charged by the pound (because obviously everyone knows how much a pound of pizza looks like), the place has become popular for its bread. Which is good, because up until recently that was about all they had to offer on their menu.