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espresso in DC suburbs

There are a bunch of decent coffee shops in DC (Baked & Wired, Filter, Chinatown Coffee, etc.) But where are the good shops in the DC suburbs, esp. Montgomery County, MD? I'm especially looking for espresso, or a coffee from a pour over or another good modern brew method. Knowledgeable baristas and great beans are a must.

Apr 16, 2014
jacktanner in Washington DC & Baltimore

Winghart's - Market Square, Pittsburgh

The beer at the Sharp Edge (East Liberty / Friendship) is pretty good. The food, tho, is nothing short of pathetic. Overpriced, and straight off the Sysco truck. There's not a whiff of anything local or seasonal.

I'm definitely going to check out Wingharts. Also, Burgatory in Aspinwall is pretty good.

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Sharp Edge Restaurants
288 W Steuben St, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Aug 30, 2011
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pgh Restaurant Closings/Changes

Addendum: Spoon also does a very nice lunch in the lounge space next door. Similar price range to Casbah, and a newer, more exciting menu.

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Casbah
229 South Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Aug 23, 2010
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

pittsburgh beer distributors

If you're going to buy by the case, you need to know your options. How do Pittsburgh-region beer distributors compare in terms of selection, prices, service? Me, I'm partial to Pistella on Penn Ave and to Mellinger's on Semple, but I'd be hard-pressed to tell you why. Where do yinz get your cases?

Aug 02, 2010
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pgh Restaurant Closings/Changes

I absolutely despise the food at Sharp Edge (the East Lib one). It's all SysCo and friends. Nothing local. And the kitchen seems incapable of dealing even with prepackaged SysCo products - I've even seen them screw up *french fries*, of all things. Pathetic is not the right word. There's enough good beer in this town to not put up with Sharp Edge.

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Sharp Edge Beer Emporium
302 S Saint Clair St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Jul 28, 2010
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pgh Restaurant Closings/Changes

Spoon is open and pretty good. Pricey, but nice. It leans traditional rather than adventurous. Service was fine. The execution not mind-blowing, but is above the former occupant's (Red Room). The lounge next door is also open. The wine list had quite a few bottles around $30, so I've no reason to complain about mark-up.

Jul 28, 2010
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Grad student happy hour, Pittsburgh, early Nov -- help!

Tonic Bar and Grill, at Liberty and Wm Penn Place. But check in advance if it's not over budget for grad students.

Also, the Church Brew Works, while a bit farther than walking distance, is very entertaining for tourists.

Aug 06, 2008
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Tana in Pittsburgh (Ethiopian)

I've now been to Abay at least a dozen times, and Tana 3 or 4 times. I have to say that as excited as I was by the arrival of a second Ethiopean place, Tana is underwhelming. It's just... OK. To me, Abay is simply tastier. That said, I've met people who think that Tana is just right, and Abay is too salty.

Tana has a liquor license, but they don't use it for anything other than a tiny, boring list of bottled beers and standard liquor. Abay is BYOB, which means that anything that's available at the large state store across the street can land on your table.

Apr 20, 2008
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Best Reuben Sandwich in Pittsburgh

Did you have a good brunch there recently? I just read a pretty negative review elsewhere on the web, and I'm curious what you think.

Feb 10, 2008
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Eats 2008

Welcome, and glad you're enjoying the 'Burgh. Just a note on Thai TYK. That space used to be occupied by Green Mango, before GM moved a few blocks to Regent Square and renamed itself the GM Noodle Hut. So Thai TYK is trying to capitalize on location. I've eaten at Thai TYK just once. I wish them well, but to me, GM seems like the yummier option.

Feb 10, 2008
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Dining Reviews

I can understand why a chef would be put off by Ms. Millman. She really knows how to write a negative tidbit in the review. But I'm not afraid of that, and one little tidbit won't steer me away from a deserving restaurant. She seems very thorough, honest, and hard-working, and I think the Pittsburgh dining scene is going to be better off with her at the PG reviewing helm. And really, I've known quite a few 24 year-olds whose opinion I'd trust more than 50 year-olds... Definite props to the new rating system.

P.S. Grady412 -- what are the "local industry boards" that this food geek could follow?
P.P.S. China, if you happen to see this -- I'm really curious what you think of these: Eleven, Legume, Casbah, Pho Minh, and The Library.

Feb 10, 2008
jacktanner in Food Media & News

Vegan Options in Pittsburgh

In this week's City Paper, Le Pommier on E Carson got a write-up for having interesting vegan things, esp. off the menu.

Feb 10, 2008
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Chinese New Year - Pittsburgh

Jimmy Tsang's at Centre and Negley is having a Chinese New Year's prix fixe -- min 5 ppl, I think, but the menu looked very interesting.

Feb 10, 2008
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Cuban?

I've been sorely disappointed with other food at Muriel's; no idea about the Cubano there. The former Ray's Marlin is now called Remedy, and I'm told the food has gone downhill. I'm a big fan of Kaya in general, but their Cubano sandwich doesn't do it for me.

I can think of some nice South American, Central American, and Caribbean places in Pittsburgh, but not Cuban! I think you've pointed out a void in the dining scene.

Jan 04, 2008
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Dinner near Phipps Conserservatory in Pittsburgh

Phipps is a great place to visit. The Chihuahua, er, Chihuly exhibit is better at night. For an 8pm or so dinner that's close to Phipps, reasonable options are Ali Baba's on Craig, Tamarind on Craig, Primanti's on Forbes, Fuel & Fuddle on Oakland, Spice Island Tea House on Atwood, and Mad Mex on Atwood. These are all informal places (you're in the college area), but the food's very decent.

Closer to the Westin, your choices include Palate, Tonic, Nine on Nine, Six Penn, Sonoma, Kaya, Eleven, Bossa Nova, Trilogy... All pricier and fancier. One could write a long essay on each of these spots, but a little googling will go a long way.

Dec 09, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

How to impress a NYC hound in Pittsburgh?

Nothing personal, but I feel obligated to fill in between the lines here.

The Red Room, in my opinion, is all style, no substance.

Church Brewery is a tried-and-true tourist treat (say that 3 times fast), but, again, for the ambiance rather than the food or drink. The other night I sampled a few brews, and was rather disappointed. Their pizza's pretty decent, but the main courses leave much to be desired.

And the sandwiches from Fathead's I can't stand at all! They're enormous, but that's not an indicator of quality. The ingredients are far from fresh or original. But the menu is entertaining.

I'm loathe to end on such a negative note, so here's a rec for the OP's question: one "real Pittsburgh native food item" that you seek is a Primanti's sandwich. It's a local institution. There are several locations. Another is "Italian wedding" soup, but I don't know of a standout place to have it.

Dec 02, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

butcher recommendation in pittsburgh?

Salem's on Bouqet in Oakland is an excellent butcher. They're Halal, so no pork, but their beef, lamb, and goat are wonderful (cheap and local, too).

I just had a leg of lamb from them for Thanksgiving. Everybody raved about it.

Nov 26, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Best Almond Tort - Pittsburgh?

Don't know if they have an almond torte, but there's a new-ish French dessert place in Shadyside, across the street from the crepes place. Also, check with Food Glorious Food in Highland Park.

Nov 26, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Buying Wild Mushrooms in Pittsburgh

"Mushrooms for Life" (Jonathan Cingota) is excellent, if a bit pricey. Call him directly - 724-599-2405.

Nov 26, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Cheese tasting in Pittsburgh?

Whole Foods has a cheese tasting (at least) once a week.

Nov 18, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, fine dining, jeans?

Kaya, definitely. Bar Nine (adjacent to Nine on Nine), definitely. Others can speak for the rest.

Nov 04, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Thanksgiving, large group, downtown Pittsburgh

Too late for you, but I'm a fan of UUBU 6. I've been twice for lunch, and no complaints. Nice bistro food, cozy ambiance. The dinner menu is pricey, IMO.

Oct 26, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh- Tasting Menu's

Does it matter if the tasting is a special occasion, like the Heilman’s Hogwash dinner coming up at Legume, or do you only want things that are available any time for the asking, like the what the Library does?

Oct 24, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Thanksgiving, large group, downtown Pittsburgh

Downtown, Tonic on Liberty has great modern food and an upstairs that can be cordoned off. No idea if they're doing anything on Thanksgiving. (Don't mind the "Bar and Grill" part of the name. They don't mean that.)

http://www.tonicpittsburgh.com/

Oct 24, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Remedy on Butler (Pittsburgh)

Remedy on Butler St, the former Ray's, now run by a former bartender from Gooski's. Has anyone been? How's the food and drink there these days?

Oct 16, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pub Grub in Pittsburgh?

These definitely are Pgh neighborhood semantics. Probably beyond relevance to most CF folk. But still. SE is on Friendship Ave at S St Clair St. This is two blocks east of Friendship proper, which technically ends at Negley.

Just to make this a bit more topical, this brings to mind a used-to-be spot with good bar food: Harris Grill in Shadyside, just across the tracks from Sharp Edge. It's (hopefully) recovering from a fire that shut it down this summer.

Oct 16, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pub Grub in Pittsburgh?

That would be Sharp Edge in East Liberty, not in Friendship. They also have a new Sewickley location.

Other bars with good pub fare: Penn Brewing in the North Side; Church Brew Works on Liberty Ave. I hear the Squirrel Hill Cafe (the "Cage") at Forbes and Murray has a good burger. Of course, so does Tessaro's in Bloomfield.

Oct 16, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

South Side Pittsburgh for group of 20

If you're stuck on the South Side, try Cafe du Jour. Call them ahead of time, and they'll create a family-style menu to your tastes and budget. It's also BYOB. Since the restaurant is tiny, your entire party will probably own the entire space, and all the staff's attention will be on you.

Oct 15, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh-Typhoon

Typhoon is excellent. It's Thai fusion; if you don't want that, don't go there. That said, interesting flavors (morning glory with black bean sauce!), great quality ingredients, esp. seafood, nice wine list. This is a tried-and-true special-occasion place.

Oct 15, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania

Can I survive a move form Manhattan to Pittsburgh?

I've been living in Pgh for about 10 years; I'm from DC, and I've lived in NYC.

What the above folks are saying is all generally true. Pgh is not NYC, but there are quite a few decent places to eat and to shop for food, just not the sheer quantity of them that you'll find in NYC.

Let me give some shout-outs to places that haven't been named above: the mostly-organic Farmers @ the Firehouse market in the Strip; the year-round farmer's market by Home Depot in East Liberty; Salem's halal butcher in Oakland; Cafe Roma in Bloomfield (Sicilian BYOB, run by a Sicilian); Tazza d'Oro, in Highland Park, is doing really good coffee and pastries (sfolliatelli!); Cafe Richard in the Strip and Coca Cafe in Lawrenceville do good brunches; Royal Carribean in East Liberty has solid escovitch fish...

Special mention for the Regent Square: others have named Green Mango and D's Six Packs, but also deserving are Square Cafe (and their burgers!), and now there's also Legume, an excellent BYOB bistro.

I could go on for a while. But the deal with Pgh is that there aren't dozens of great X places, there are probably one or two solid ones, and a handful of so-sos. So you'll learn to think "I want pizza, that means I go there." Once you get used to that, you'll be OK.

Welcome. Pgh is a nice town.

Oct 15, 2007
jacktanner in Pennsylvania