The Unvegan

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The Best of 2015
The Best of 2013

The Best of 2014

Just one thing you'll miss if you don't check out my travels!
Just one thing you’ll miss if you don’t check out my travels!

In a year that was split between Pittsburgh and Buffalo, The Best of 2014 is kind of like a best of the rust belt. One thing is for sure, though: these two places have a whole lot of delicious food to offer. Rules for entry are reverting back to 2012, meaning if you want the best I have eaten outside of the two places I called my home this year, you’ll have to do so in the Travel section. There’s a lot there to enjoy. Once again, without further ado, here is The Best of 2014:

Best Burger

unvegan blue monk 2Blue Monk (Buffalo)

Ever a tough category, Blue Monk barely edges out another Buffalo favorite with perfect bacon, cheese and a fried egg. Oh, and of course an amazing patty.

Honorable Nod to Grover’s (Buffalo)

Best BBQ

unvegan smoke on the water 3Smoke on the Water (Buffalo)

Not only is the food beautiful, it tastes even better. Each option is better than the next and somehow each is infused with a perfect smokey flavor.

Honorable Nod to The Dream BBQ (Pittsburgh) and Wilson’s Bar B-Q (Pittsburgh)

Best Steak

unvegan best steak 2014Meat & Potatoes (Pittsburgh)

I didn’t get the 34 oz. Bone-In Ribeye Meal for Two when I first went to meat and potatoes, so unfortunately my review doesn’t reflect it, but just know that it is as amazing as you would expect from such a place.

Best Wings

unvegan bar bill 1Bar Bill (Buffalo)

In the world of wings, there is Bar Bill and there is no one else. Not even the vaunted Duff’s. If you go to Buffalo, you must go to Bar Bill. The crappy line and the poor service are completely worth it to bask in the simple glory of perhaps the greatest wings in the world.

Best Hot Dog

unvegan d's six pax and dogz 2D’s Six Pax & Dogz (Pittsburgh)

D’s is a delight to anyone looking to enjoy sports bar-esque food and seems to excel in all things, but their variety of hot dogs featuring unique toppings makes the place worth returning to over and over again.

Best Sandwich

unvegan john & mary's subs 2John & Mary’s Subs (Buffalo)

Apparently I don’t eat too many sandwiches in Buffalo or Pittsburgh, but John & Mary’s Stinger is truly awesome no matter where it is eaten, featuring sliced steak, buffalo chicken tenders, some unknown cheese and additional blue cheese that I added to the mix.

Best Pizza

unvegan vincent's pizza park 2Vincent’s Pizza Park (Pittsburgh)

The Vinnie Pie is all about tons of toppings, uneven crust and a pool of grease. In other words, it is a pizza perfectly fit for an unvegan. Sausages and pepperonis are the way to go.

Honorable Nod to Pizza Sola (Pittsburgh)

Best Breakfast/Brunch

savory'sSavory’s (Buffalo)

With only one entry into the Breakfast/Brunch category, Buffalo’s Savory’s pulls out the win against some stiff competition from Pittsburgh. It’s hard to go wrong when you combine eggs, meats and potatoes into a hashy dream.

Honorable Nods to Marty’s Market (Pittsburgh), E2 (Pittsburgh) and Square Cafe (Pittsburgh)

Best ‘Merican

unvegan kelly's 1Kelly’s (Pittsburgh)

There are few things more ‘Merican than Mac and Cheese and there are few places in the world that do it better than Kelly’s. It’s nothing fancy, but is executed to a perfection that I have never seen before Kelly’s and most likely never will again.

Honorable Nod to Butcher and the Rye (Pittsburgh)

Best Mexican

unvegan el burro comedor 1El Burro Comedor (Pittsburgh)

It took a while, but I finally found greatness in Mexican food at El Burro, which channels the San Diego part of Mexico. Return visits have only further proven that El Burro needs to open a location closer to me.

Honorable Nod to Smoke BBQ Taqueria (Pittsburgh), if it ever opens back up!

Best Random Ethnic Food (By Region)


unvegan everyday noodles 2Everyday Noodles (Pittsburgh)

Xiaolongbao and Dan Dan noodles FTW!

Honorable Nod to Grit & Grace (Pittsburgh)


unvegan park bruges 2Park Bruges (Pittsburgh)

Kinda Belgian, kinda French-Canadian, completely awesome.

Honorable Nod to Mike & Tony’s Gyros (Pittsburgh)

Middle East

unvegan nu 3

Nu (Pittsburgh)

Because Jewish food doesn’t really fall into any other category, Nu takes the cake in the Middle Eastern region.

Honorable Nod to Salem’s (Pittsburgh)

Latin America/Caribbean

unvegan casa rasta 1Casa Rasta (Pittsburgh)

Jerk Chicken Burrito (not pictured)? Hells yes.

Honorable Nod to Texas de Brazil (Pittsburgh)