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What NOT to miss in Pittsburgh?

I would recommend a moveable feast in the Strip. The street food, while not on par with a lot of "foodie" cities, is starting to come in to its own. I like the lingua (veal tongue) tacos at Reyna's. 2 for 5 bucks, can't beat 'em. Rat on a stick down the street is a treat. Biscotti at Enrico's (not technically on the street) is not to be missed. When the weather is warmer, you can also find sausage sandwiches and pizza, mystery meat dogs, Italian ice and espresso. All for less than a sit-down.

Mar 07, 2010
thehungryi in Pennsylvania

Plum Pittsburgh/Shadyside

jondubus,

I'm happy that you had a nice experience. I gave the place another try and the only way we got any service at all is by spending an obscene amount on wine. the service is simply horrible. They skimp on personnel, and those that they do have know little about the food they offer. I wrote them directly and have been ignored, which illustrates quite perfectly their attitude toward customer service.

I have two observations: I don't mean to be rude, but I doubt you have had much sushi. Uni often comes with quail egg. It doesn't have to, but it's not unheard of.
Also, do you think that we really need another nasty Americanized version of a dish (pad thai) that you can get at way too many bad Thai restaurants already? Really, pad thai? Inventive!

I don't know if the menu is merely a product of an unimaginative chef or a commentary on the sorry state of dining in Pittsburgh. It's not necessarily the chef's fault. After all, he/she needs to make a profit and if diners want yet another pad thai, then so be it. But I won't be spending my money for it. Better, in my opinion only, to go to Tamari where the chef is really interested in his clientele and his cuisine. Or even go to the Dumpling House, which is short on decor and has a wine list like a Polish Hill bar, but whose sushi chefs are constantly bringing in fresh seafood and preparing it in innovative and tasty ways, at a reasonable price. And if you insist, you can get your boring chow mein next door.

Mar 07, 2010
thehungryi in Pennsylvania

Sushi in Pittsburgh

@Rodzilla:
Omakase means something like "It's up to you." For a good omakase experience, you must sit at the bar and engage the chef. He will begin by asking you what you are hungry for and telling you what he has that's special. He'll start you out with something rather tentative, relying on you to show him what you like. He'll then design the meal based on what you like, expanding and challenging, if that's what you want. Each course will build on the last until you arrive at the end having walked through the evening's fare.

Omakase should be a conversation based on food. If you're open to trying new things, you will be in for an experience of a lifetime, if you have a good chef that wants to take you on a journey. If you get an assembly-line approach, which, sadly, we experienced in Boston last time around, you will get nothing more than a bunch of menu items thrown at you all at once.

Hope this helps, and sorry for the delay. Chow seems not very user friendly to me.

Mar 07, 2010
thehungryi in Pennsylvania

Chicken Paprikash

So there you have it...Hungarians always... I don't think so. Americans always, Mexicans always, etc. Hungary is a varied and wonderful place, filled with stubborn iconoclasts. They never do something always.

Feb 01, 2010
thehungryi in Recipes

Sushi in Pittsburgh

Been to Boston many times (used to live there). Last time, did a tour of Japanese. No one in Boston understands what omakase is. Every restaurant threw out a bunch of menu items and walked away. At least Mr. Shu understands the concept.

Umi is good, but you know that Mr. Shu is going to copy whatever he finds when Tom Baron sends him to Nobu or Masa for some recon.

Jan 23, 2010
thehungryi in Pennsylvania

Plum Pittsburgh/Shadyside

I hate to throw a wet toque on the thread, but I can't recommend Plum, for many reasons. Yes, the decor is nice but the service is perhaps the worst i have experienced in an upscale restaurant. We are big supporters of the restaurant scene and know many in the business. We had a bad experience the first time around, but went back several more times because we know that sometimes, restaurants simply have a bad day.

However, on each visit, we waited between 20-30 minutes after being seated for anyone to offer to take a drink order. When that was done, it took another 10-15 minutes to get the drinks. Then, our wait person would disappear for another interval. Without fail, we would be at the table for almost an hour before we could order. We even thought that we could fare better at the sushi bar, but, uh, no. The sushi-tzu wanted to take our order before we had been asked what we wanted to drink.

So what about the food? Middle-of-the-road Pittsburgh Asian. Nothing particularly adventurous, and most non-Japanese dishes are bathed in sticky sauces. Really, do we need yet another rendition of Kung Pao? And miso-glazed cod is about a decade past boring.

This past Saturday, we visited for lunch, thinking that we might have better luck. We sat at the sushi bar. 20 minutes, and no one spoke to us. So we left, and we won't be back.

We will stick with Tamari from no on.

Jan 23, 2010
thehungryi in Pennsylvania

Chicken Paprikash

Oh and if you want authentic, nokedli, hungarian drop noodles would be it.

Jan 23, 2010
thehungryi in Recipes

Chicken Paprikash

Oregano and tomatoes? Mushrooms? Green bell peppers?

I grew up 100% Hungarian. Never had it this way. Not that this might ne tasty, it's just not very authentic. And, DeisCane, cubanelles would turn it rather Austrian.

Jan 23, 2010
thehungryi in Recipes