The Unvegan

Recent Posts

10 Years of Unvegan
A Quick Bite at Burrito Express
Serendipity at Northern Waters Smokehaus
Twerks and Burritos at Casa Amigos


A Sausagefest at Legume

No legumes here.
No legumes here.

I first learned of Legume in Oakland shortly after arriving in Pittsburgh. At the time I was told that the name “Legume” didn’t exactly stand for any sort of vegetarian-ness and meats galore abounded there. In fact, Legume does its best to adhere to a whole-animal policy in which they will do their best to use every morsel of edible goodness in an animal in their dishes. Because of this, their menu often changes and they are prone to running out of dishes.

The Pitts-Burger at Primanti Brothers

Because bread really isn't enough of a carb.
Because bread really isn’t enough of a carb.

Where Philly has cheesesteaks, Pittsburgh has Primanti Brothers, which is both a restaurant and a term for the sandwich style that represents the city. Rather than just throwing cheese and steak into a hoagie bun and calling it a day like on the other side of the state (I mean seriously, cheesesteak is delicious but hardly revolutionary), Primanti Brothers sandwiches are rich with blue collar history and innovation.

Sauce is Boss at YinzBurgh BBQ

Not your Jewish mother's brisket.
Not your Jewish mother’s brisket.

Pittsburgh is quite a unique place. So unique, in fact, that when I arrived I was given a crash course in how to speak Pittsburghese. I’ll spare the details, aside from the fact that Pittsburgh has its own version of “y’all.” That word is “yinz” and people who speak in Pittsburghese are referred to as “Yinzers.” With that in mind, you can now rest easy knowing that the BBQ you are about to read about is a play on “yinz” and not some obscure Civil War battle. And now, onto the BBQ.

Ali Baba and the Chicken Pita Pocket

A big side of hummus.
A big side of hummus.

Straddling the campuses of Carnegie Mellon and Pitt, Craig Street is where ambitious students can often be found eating lunch or dinner between classes. On that street is a little Middle Eastern restaurant called Ali Baba, which I found myself eating at based on a high recommendation. The recommendation was mostly based on something that have called Kibbee Nayyee, which is a raw lamb dish that is apparently pretty hard to find.

Down and Dirty at the Original Hot Dog Shop

Chili, cheese and more.
Chili, cheese and more.

Shortly after moving to Pittsburgh, my friend and site designer alerted me to the existence of a hot dog place called The Original Hot Dog Shop in Oakland that had been around since 1960, which may not be old for Pittsburgh, but is damn old having come from LA. I like hot dogs and originals, but unbeknownst to me until showing up for lunch was that The Original Hot Dog Shop (also known as the Dirty O) is more of a late-night haunt than a lunch stop. Nonetheless, I wanted a good hot dog and was happy to eat it in a dingy spot with great late-night character in the middle of the day.