August 23, 2005

Things I like in Pittsburgh I

by psu

I have a reputation for not liking anything. I don't think I deserve this, because I rant at least as vociferously about things I like as things I do not. But, for some reason people still have a distorted view of my inner pysche, leading them to comment on my articles and ask questions like: "Is there anything in Pittsburgh that you like?"

Of course there is. In fact, there are probably too many to list in one article. So here the first of a few.

Since the comment that I mentioned above was on one of my food rants, I'll start with food places. Sitting down to list food places that I like, I find that most of them have been mentioned in these pages again, but I will mention them again.

La Prima Espresso: Simply the best coffee anywhere. I don't think I've had better coffee at retail anywhere else on the continent of North America.

Il Piccolo Forno: A sublime bakery next to La Prima.

Rose Tea Cafe: Finally real Chinese food in the city.

DISH: I think this is my favorite or second favorite place in the city for a fancy dinner.

Penn Mac: A great food store with a concentration on the Italian. Best cheese counter in the city.

: A good Asian grocery. More importantly, a good source for a lot of fresh vegetables that other places don't have. Don't buy ginger anywhere else. Good fish too.

Whole Foods: If you can't find it at the first two places, come here. A bit expensive, but the fact that they have a fish counter that is open past 5pm makes up for it.

Tessaro's: Yummy burgers.

Dee's and the O: Yummy hot dogs. I still like O dogs more, but the fries at Dee's are better (shhh).

Vivo: The other place on my short list for fancy dinners.

Taco Loco and Taqueria Mi Mexico: Good tacos. 'Nuff said.

Chaya: Decent sushi by any standard. The other Japanese food is also good.

Cafe Grand Canal: A great pasta place. Get the veal cannelloni.

Shenot Farm Market (Wexford): Really excellent corn. The best fresh corn in the area, that I know of. If I catch you buying "fresh" corn at Giant Eagle or even Whole Foods, I'll cut you.

I think that's a respectable list off the top of my head. For more food I like, look at the places listed on my restaurants page with two blue gumdrops. Any other questions?

Posted by psu at August 23, 2005 07:35 PM | Bookmark This

OK. I will comment not just on things that I manage to like, which usually means they would be just barely adequate in a real city, but things that are clearly superior.

Breadworks. Corn Rye on weekends. 1/2 price bread in the last 1/2 hour. What store has lines forming for their leftovers? This place does.

Dave and Andy. Amazing Mango, better than Woo City (which got yanked from Giant Eagle, nice move jokers).

If you really want hardcore ice, take a road trip to Columbus, and Jeni's. ( Every have Salty Caramel? Cocoa Zin? Thai Chili? ice cream that is. Goat’s Cheese with Tart Cherry Conserve. Yup , goat cheese in ice cream.

I strongly disagree about the Mexican placea. If there were a dozen decent taquerias here like in Denver, Mi Mexico would be barely on the radar, and Taco Loco would be a bad memory.

Posted by Amos the Poker Cat at August 24, 2005 05:41 AM

Ops, forgot about the Smallman Street Deli. Corned beef, and pastrami to die for. They even have the paprika pastrami. Good tongue. I am not talking about langues de chat here. Deserts, cookies or otherwise, are available, but not noteworthy.

Posted by Amos the Poker Cat at August 24, 2005 06:25 AM

The restaurant page claims Chopstick Inn has closed, but it has not (they've sold half of the space, though). There are decent scallops and fried smelts there waiting for you.

Also, the Pitt lunch trucks have moved to Thackeray, and one of the little daughters of the Kashmiri cart people is selling strawberry lemonade during the summer, which is pretty good.

Oh yeah and Swagath is (sadly) closed.

Perhaps I've read the restaurant page a bit too religiously...

Posted by april at August 24, 2005 11:21 AM

You might want to try The Red Room on S Highland. It's kind of a lounge-gone-fancy-pants, but they know how to make a good old fashioned and serve a melting slice of lamb. Expensive, though.

Good on you for double-starring La Cucina. I had a friend who once said in utter seriousness in his best Comic Book Guy voice, "If I could afford it, I would eat their vodka rigatoni every day." In utter seriousness, I completely agree.

I think it's kinda funny that all of the items listed here are food places. Anything else in Pittsburgh that you like that's not food? (Leaning out the window of the honors college at Pitt, sitting in St. Paul's Cathedral when it's empty, movies on Flagstaff, the trails in Frick Parklet, stuff like that?)

Posted by Jean at August 25, 2005 03:27 AM

1. I have been to the Red Room and found it OK if expensive. But we got coffee made with sewer water there. So we haven't been back in a while.

2. Mmmm, vodka sauce.

3. This is list all food because the original question I got was whether I liked any food places in Pittsburgh. I'll get to non-food things later.

Posted by psu at August 25, 2005 07:28 AM

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