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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fat Heads

Fat Head's Saloon on Urbanspoon

I had never been to Fat Heads before. This is really suprising since I live about 3 minutes away on Mt. Washington and I eat out constantly. Every time I've tried it's been jammed with people. Since there are so many places to eat on the South Side, I never wanted to wait. Today, we got there around noon and it was packed again. Luck was on our side and there were just two seats at the bar, which is fine with me.

First of all, the menu if HUGE! Full of standard sandwiches and then larger ones that they call Headwiches, because they are the size of your head. I like this place already! They also have dinner entrees and 40 beers on tap.

I ordered a Cuban Headwich that they call "The Bay of Pigs". Stacy ordered a tuna sandwich.
The Cuban was tremendous!!! Full of pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and a spicy mayo dressing. It wasn't served on typical Cuban bread, but instead on a large crusty bun. It had to be about 6 inches around. Not quite as big as my head, but huge anyway. It came with homemade chips that were also very good. Stacy's tuna was not what I expected to see. It was a fillet about 1 inch thick, about the size you would expect to get as an entree. While I didn't try it she said it was very good.

The menu also had a sandwich called the South Side Slopes (pictured above). It has kielbasi, cheese, onions and piergoies! I'm going to go back to Fat Heads!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Monterey Pub

I love this place! I read about this in a book about Pittsburgh restaurants and was really intrigued by the writers enthusiasm. Monterey Pub is located in the heart of the North Side, on Monterey St. in the Mexican War Streets area, just off of North Avenue where the YMCA is. This is not an area that I would usually frequent but I'm glad that I made the effort. First of all, it's located right in the middle of a residential neighborhood, one of the beautiful streets where the homes have been beautifully restored.

Once inside, I noticed an old-fashioned tin ceiling, a bar on the left and booths on the right with a small dining room, complete with a fireplace, to the rear. I sat at the bar. We tried some Honey Sriracha wings, and an order of Guinness Nachos. Both were great! The wings were cooked until crispy...I hate mushy wings, and the sauce was spicy hot but with a good flavor. Nachos are not something I would usually order but we spotted them at someones table and couldn't resist. I was not disappointed. I was there early, around 5:00 and it soon started to fill with dinner patrons. The menu includes typical Irish fare such as Shepard's Pie, and Bangers and Mash, but also includes many burgers, salads and dinner entrees such as Meat Loaf, Crab Cakes, Chicken Pot Pie, and Roasted Salmon.

I would recommend Monterey Pub to anyone. While it's not a four star type of place, that's not what they are trying to do. It's the kind of place that you feel comfortable and cozy the first time you enter. I will go back for sure.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lidia's Pittsburgh

Following is a post from the food board Chowhound, Pittsburgh. It speaks for itself. I've been to Lidia's a couple of times and was very pleased with the food and service. Any place is entitled to an occasional bad day....I've always felt that the important thing is how a restaurant handles it with their customers. A lot of restaurants could take a lesson from the Chef at Lidia's!!!

Service without being served your food is NO Service. Made reservations for Valentine's Day 2009 at Lidia's Pgh. Was seated promptly and had drinks and salads in short order. But, after waiting over two hours, the dinner never came and no explanation was offered by the wait staff - we left and had to find eating elsewhere. A very memoriable Valentine's Day. But, hey live and let live..move on to today 3/31/2009. Stopped at Lidia's Pgh for a late lunch/early dinner at about 2:05pm. Was turned away and told they are closed between 2pm and 5pm. Now, regular customers might know this - I am not a regular. And, I had checked their web site and it had no mention of this closure. We were very very disappointed. We have had their food only once before at a special event held there - it is good. But they will not let us try it again - at least so far on these two occasions. Their attitude seems to be..tough!!!...No apology! And I have a gift card to use there, but looks like it will never be redeemed. Other ideas of this situation are appreciated. Am I wrong ?
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HonestInPitt] cssbody=[user_tooltip]" alt="" src=""> HonestInPitt Mar 31, 2009 09:16PM

Shortly after posting about my two experiences, I did receive a call from the Head Chef at Lidia's Pittsburgh. He was very apologetic and sent a letter and flowers. He also offered to come to our home and prepare a meal for my family. We took him up on the offer and a Wonderful meal was prepared and served to my family this date. Congratrualations Lidia's Pittsburgh and their Head Chef Eric for stepping up to the plate and beyond. Most Excellent apology and service beyond. Just want every one to know.
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HonestInPitt] cssbody=[user_tooltip]" alt="" src=""> HonestInPitt Apr 18, 2009 09:13PM

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Turkey Devonshire

Turkey, bacon, bread and cheese. I've been craving this for some reason. It's probably been 10 years or longer since I've had Turkey Devonshire. I don't even know where to get it anymore. This is pretty much a Pittsburgh food, at least I have never seen it anywhere else. There was a place in Oakland, (I think it was a hotel restaruant) that served great devonshire. Does anyone know any places that serve it now???

This is a recipe from the Post Gazette that is suppose to be the original.

Frank Blandi's Original Devonshire Sandwich
Cream Sauce:3/4 stick butter, melted1 cup flour1/4 pound Cheddar cheese, grated1 pint chicken broth1 pint hot milk1 teaspoon salt
Melt butter in deep pan and add flour, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and then hot milk, stirring all the while. Add cheese and salt. Bring to boil, then cook slowly for 20 minutes, still stirring. Cool to lukewarm. Beat with wire whip until smooth before using. This makes enough sauce for 6 Devonshire sandwiches.
For each sandwich:1 slice toast, crusts trimmed off3 slices crisp bacon5 thin slices cooked turkey breastCream Sauce, recipe aboveMelted butter Parmesan cheese and paprika
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In each flat, individual oven-proof casserole dish, place 1 slice of toast and top with 3 slices bacon. Add 5 thin slices of cooked turkey breast. Cover completely with cream sauce. Sprinkle with a little melted butter, then with the combined Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Downey's House - Eat Drink and Laugh...

Downey's House is a somewhat new restaurant on Steubenville Pike, near Robinson. I've driven by it several times and noticed that the parking lot was always packed! A couple of days ago, while looking for a place for lunch (I'm always hungry!) we decided to give it a try. This was really a nice place. As you walk in, a large square bar is to your left and the dining area and stage is to the right. This was in the afternoon and there were a few people at the bar eating lunch and a group of about 10 that appeared to be having a lunch meeting. This is the kind of a place that I would enjoy going to for happy hour for a few drinks, but would still feel safe taking kids for a meal. Speaking of a meal, I ordered the lunch special which was a hot turkey sandwich, complete with mashed potatoes and of course, gravy on everything...Not quite health food, but really good and it was huge!

My sister lives in Oakdale, not too far from there so I'm thinking of meeting her for happy hour soon. I'll report back on the evening crowd!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Review: Green Front Inn

Speaking of the famous Pittsburgh fish sandwich, someone recommended that I try the Green Front Inn, in the South Side. This place was a nice surprise, they have a dining room in the back and a small bar to the right as you walk in. The menu is somewhat limited but provides what you need for good bar food. I of course ordered the fish and my partner (Stacy) went for the Ruben sandwich. Unfortunately, they were out of corned beef so Stacy settled for a cheeseburger. This turned out to be a great choice! The burger was huge, with everything on it and although I did not try a sample, it looked great which she confirmed. The fish was typical Pittsburgh cod (which I love) and was huge...Enough for two buns. While it was very good, I would not rate in my top favorites. The breading was very light which I like, but could have used a little more flavor in my opinion.

The only downside to this place is that it just seems a little dirty. Now I understand that this is not upscale dining, but it is just a little too run down for my tastes. The place could use a lot, but at minimum a coat of paint and some new chairs that are not split open. That being said, I'd still recommend someone go there. Just be aware of what to expect. Very good food in a bit of a run down atmosphere. Overall I'd rate Green Front a 6 out of 10.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tessaros...Not just for burgers anymore

One of my favorite spots in Pittsburgh is Tessaro's in Bloomfield. I'm not quite sure what it is about the place. It's one of those places that I go to and just feel confortable. A huge bonus is that the food is excellent!!! Most people around town know Tessaros for their big, char grilled burgers. You always see their name when reading about the best burgers in the area and they deserve it. The beef is fresh ground on site and they and grill it on a wood grill that you can see from the restaurant. The smell is fantastic! The pleasant suprise is that the rest of the menu is just as good. Believe it or not, the tuna melt is great. Another favorite of mine is the steak salad. It has fresh greens and big chunks of steak, not top round or steak um's. I know that they have a mexican day also and while I'm usually there for lunch, I've noticed several fresh seafood selections for dinner. I really want to get back and try some of the other selections on the menu.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pittsburgh fish sandwich...

I always thought that the people in Pittsburgh are just crazy about fish sandwiches. Now I know that you can get fish on a bun anywhere, but the 'Burgh seems to have it's own unique fish sandwiches. Here, almost all of the fish that you get in local watering holes is cod. I don't think that this is typical in other cities. They are also BIG! I'm talking a foot long! While most places will serve them either fried or baked, I don't think anyone has ever actually ordered one baked.

There's a local tavern that I can walk to on Mount Washington where I was enjoying dinner consisting of a fish sandwich and a malt beverage...The fish was just average (that's why I'm not naming the restaurant) and one of the locals must have overheard me saying that I wasn't really impressed with it. He said I had to go to a place called Bobby's on rt 51. Well, of course I was there in a couple of days. They have a regular and a small. I wasn't really hungry so I got the small...Holy Cow!!! This thing could have fit on three buns. I ask the bartender (I like to sit at the bar) if they had made a mistake and given me the regular and she assured me that I indeed had the small portion. It that's the case, I'll bet you could feed a family of four with the regular size. Anyway, it was good! I'm not prepared to say that it's the best I've had, but it was good enough that I'll go back. I really want to continue my search for great fish sandwiches in the area...Any recommendations would be appreciated!!!

Welcome to 'BurghFeeding!

I'm a BurghFeeder...All I mean by that is that I love to eat and drink my way through life, enjoying and savoring every unique eating establishment that I can find! It also means that I live in the 'Burgh, Pittsburgh that is.

The Burgh (as the locals call it) is loaded with unique and unusual foods. The home of chipped ham, (yes, chipped) steaks cooked "Pittsburgh Rare," Pirmanti's Brothers sandwiches, church's that cook and serve periogies and monster size fish sandwiches and many other local specialities. I'll talk about all of these as time allows, but now I'm getting hungry!

Now I know that this city can't compete with the culinary offerings of some of our larger city's on the coasts, but I just don't care! I like to go to some of the more popular food forums like Chowhound, Roadfood and a few others, but they just don't capture the spirit of this great area. I'm talking about unique, enjoyable, fun, and social eating.

I'd like to start some discussions on favorite local food and drink finds, and get all of your ideas on these and other subjects...Maybe even meet a couple of local foodies! Feel free to leave your comments!!!!!

Dave Clifton