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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bettis Grille

Jerome Bettis' Grille 36 on Urbanspoon

I really like the Bettis Grille on the North Shore. They have a pretty good menu, with up-scale bar food and everything from fresh salads to a deep fried cheeseburger. Yep. Deep fried cheeseburger. The whole thing is battered and fried....It might be the only thing on the menu that I won't order, but I bet I'd like it!

Check out these specials from their website:

Curry Chicken Pita Pocket
curry chicken on grilled pita, house made tzatziki, shredded lettuce & diced tomatoes Soup - Cheese Burger

South American Seared Barramundi
one quarter pound filet seared with fresh tomato, sweet peppers & plantains in a parsley, lime juice & olive oil
Soup - Buffalo Chicken

Poached Pear & Gorgonzola Salad
sliced poached pears, arugula & a raspberry vinaigrette sprinkled with gorgonzola cheese topped with fried onion crisps
Soup - Chicken Noodle

Vietnamese Meatball Banh Mi
oriental style pork meatballs on a toasted hoagie roll with siracha mayo and marinated asian slaw
Soup - Wonton

Asian Noodle Bowl
soba noodles tossed with shitake mushrooms, green onions, carrots, celery & napa cabbage, sauteed with sesame oil, garlic, shallots, ginger & red pepper flakes in a hot & sour sauce topped with grilled teriyaki chichen thigh
Soup - Stracciatella

The bar area is very nice and seperate from the dining room. Several hi-def TV's make it a nice place to watch sports and the prices are very reasonable. If you can stand the heat, they have a nice outdoor seating area although they recently removed the umbrellas from the tables. One of the waitresses told me that the wind kept blowing them away, and they got tired of chasing them.

One more aspect that's a little quirky:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Brgr Bar

There are a lot of new burger places popping up around Pittsburgh. All of them are serving up good quality, inventive burgers. I've wanted to try Brgr since they opened late last year. The offerings include spiked milkshakes and floats and full bar service with a nice selection of drafts on tap.

The burgers are tasty, and exceptionally moist due to the mix of sirloin, NY strip and ribeye that they use. Their creations are more inventive than the standards found at Tessaro's, and while I love the flavor of the beef and the creativity, I miss the tasty char that Tessaros wood grill provides. Selections range from The Average Joe, which is a basic cheeseburger to a Kobe Beef Burger, and the Locavore, which is Jameson Farm lamb patty, onion, pepper relish, feta cheese, curry aioli, and mint. The Fire In The Hole burger has jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayo and a smear of guacamole. Also on the menu is a salmon burger and a couple of salad choices.

This is known as a pretty busy place, and lines are common, although we were promptly seated on a recent afternoon. You can also take advantage of the covered rooftop deck on a nice day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh

Hofbrauhaus, located in Pittsburgh's South Side is a large bier hall, modeled after the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany. Following is a good description taken from their website:

"Fun and friendly is the atmosphere in the Bier Hall, with live music and about 350 soon to be close friends. There is also a quiet dining room for those who want to simply come and enjoy the delicious Bavarian fare. Many dishes are prepared with ingredients specially made for the Hofbräuhaus or imported from abroad. The Bier Garden view is of the waterfront with the Pittsburgh skyline as its backdrop.

The heritage of Hofbräuhaus is the beer. Over 500 years ago the first Hofbräuhaus beer was crafted. Hofbräuhaus has a Brew Master from Germany supervising the production of four varieties plus Seasonal Specialties of the authentic Hofbräuhaus beer. For those of us accustomed to American brews, Munich has developed a recipe for Hofbrau Light."

I've been here a couple of times, and while I'm a beer drinker, I don't claim to know much about brew pubs, or anything about "finer beers". That said, I know what I like! I've tried three of the beers here and have really enjoyed all of them. The Hofbrau Premium Lager is the beer that they claim made Hofbrau famous, and I can attest that it's very good. Their dark lager, the Hofbrau Dunkel is my favorite. Most dark brews are just too filling and strong for my tastes, but the Hofbrau Dunkel is tremendous! It has a light body (for a dark beer) and is easy to drink. They also brew a light beer and a different seasonal beer each month throughout the year. Beers are priced at $8.00 each. Sounds high, until you see the size of the mug! These things are massive.

Although I have a bit of German heritage, I've never been a fan of German food, (beige sausages...yuk!), but I did try the Schnitzel sandwich and found it to be quite good. Lightly fried with a great beir cheese sauce, this sandwich and a big Dunkel makes for a great lunch.

They also have entertainment at night and a one man German band during the day, singing traditional songs and hoisting his mug for German toasts. While I've never been there when it was crowded, I've been told that it's a fun time!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rivertowne Pour House, North Shore

Every year I like to take in the great Three Rivers Regatta, and this year was no exception. We went twice this year, first on Sunday afternoon and then again Monday evening, taking in the various boat races, the spectacular sand sculpture, the food booths, the local bars and restaurants and of course the fireworks.

The Rivertowne Pour House has several locations around Pittsburgh. I've been to the Monroeville location, but the newest is located on the North Shore in the Del Monte Building right on the river next to PNC Park. The heat was unbearable on Monday, and we stopped in as much for the air conditioning as for the food and beer. The food and beer both turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.

The Rivertowne supplements its own beers with those from other microbreweries. While I don't have a vast knowledge of microbrews, I noticed Sierra Nevada Glissade Spring Bock, and Victory Hop Devil, which is considered by many to be one of the best. True micro fans should be content here. We ordered a cold one and some food. The menu is simple, but varied. Scotch Eggs caught my eye...(Check out Pipers Pub on the South Side or read about my visit somewhere here on BurghFeeder!) Appetizers include steamed mussels, calamari, and an order of nachos consisting of tri-colored chips, aptly named Zambelli Nachos. Wraps, subs, sandwiches and salads round out the menu. We just wanted a snack so we ended up splitting a bucket of fish and chips. The fish was beer battered and very tasty. At about six inches long, this wasn't a typical portion for Pittsburgh fish, but it was very thick and quite filling for a "normal" sized portion. They also offer a Cajan Catfish and a Salmon and Chips bucket.

While admittedly this one stop wasn't much of a test, I was really surprised at the quality of the food that we had and other orders that we spied coming out of the kitchen. I've been to most of the establishments in the area and while I like the Bettis Grille, none of the others have been very impressive. This is a place that I'll go back to, even if it's not specifically for an event on the North Shore.