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Thursday, October 27, 2011

All Clad Sale



The All Clad factory is in Cannonsburg PA. Two times each year, they hold a sale of seconds where you can get pretty good deals on great quality cookware at deeply discounted prices. I've gone for many years and have been able to put together a pretty complete set of cookware without spending the kind of cash they want in the department stores. The pieces are seconds, but I've always been able to find pans where the imperfection is so minor you can barely see it. This years All Clad winter sale will be held on December 2nd and 3rd at the Washington county fairgrounds. The doors open at 9am and it does get crowded, especially on Saturday, so I'd recommend going early!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Primanti Brothers


I don't usually write about, or even go to chain restaurants but I really think that Primanti's deserves special attention. I've been going to the Strip District restaurant for decades. I recall that they were open for breakfast and all night long, and they would be closed each afternoon for a few hours. In those days, the waiters and waitress's would yell orders and insults at each other from across the dining room, as they impatiently waited for your order. You could request a sandwich without fries, the waiter would politely nod, and then show up at your table with the sandwich stuffed with fries. They would usually be holding a very large knife, and offer to cut your massive sandwich in half if you desire.

Since then, Primanti's has opened many other restaurants around Pittsburgh and also a few in Florida. I've been to several of the "newer" stores, but still gravitate to the Strip District location. Maybe it's memories from the past, or just the fact that I really enjoy a trip to the Strip, but it's still my favorite Primanti's.

For those of you that don't know, Primanti's offers a wide variety of sandwiches from my favorite, steak and cheese, to many others. Pastrami, kolbassi, capicola and jumbo, all with cheese of course, and also good choices. These are served on two slices of thick Italian bread, along with a big handful of french fries and topped with tasty coleslaw. The slaw is not mayo based, but gives the sandwich a good crunch with a taste of sweet vinegar. Tremendous!

This is the kind of place that many people love, and many just don't understand the attraction. I happen to think they make great sandwiches...with one exception. The cheese steak. The menu refers to the cheese steak as the #2 best seller, but it's the only sandwich that I despise! It should be labeled as a cheeseburger, not a cheese steak.

If you go, try to make it to the Strip District location, and don't be judgemental about fries and coleslaw on your sandwich, at least until ya try it!

Click on the title above to read about the history of Primanti's.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Perrytowne Draft House


Perrytown is a small community that sits on route 19, just north of Westview. Years ago, the Perrytown Tavern was quite popular and always seemed to be packed for happy hour. On more recent visits, the place, now named the Perrytowne Draft House, has been practically empty. Last week, due to an appliance malfunction at home, Stacy and I were forced to find a laundromat and located one right next door to the Perrytowne.

I haven't been there for quite a while, and although it was lunch time, the place was practically empty. We both had sandwiches that were very good. In my quest for Pittsburgh's best fish sandwich, I found the Perrytowne's to be one of the better ones, and the proper size...Huge. Served with your choice of fries, coleslaw, or homemade chips, I found the chips to be very good, seasoned with a taste of Cajun flavors. Although I didn't try it, Stacy's Italian Hoagie really looked good, with generous portions of salami, pepperoni and provolone cheese.

Please note that the bar area is smoking, although it was so empty that didn't matter to us. I'm not sure why the Perrytowne no longer seems to attract the crowds it use to. Smoking could be a factor, but who knows.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bigham Tavern


Mount Washington is known as a great place to view the city of Pittsburgh. Hard to believe, but USA Today actually chose it as the second best view in the entire country. The view makes the perfect setting for a number of glass walled, up-scale restaurants that sit on the edge of Grandview Avenue.

Those restaurants are great for tourists and special occasions, but it's always been a struggle to get an informal, moderate priced meal up here. Within the past couple of years, Redbeards Tavern and the Shiloh Inn have changed hands and both are greatly improved in both food and atmosphere. Now the Bigham Tavern (formally Kaibs) has done the same. I always liked Kaibs, but the food was just OK, the draft beer was slightly warm, and the TV's while large, were all placed in the corners of the room, making them hard to see. In addition, the place always had a big, irritating echo when the crowd was a bit noisy.

The new owners have really cleaned the place up and really improved the menu. While still pub-fare, the grub is a pleasant surprise. The burgers are great, and they offer some inventive toppings such as bologna, pepperoni, and capicola. And the curly fries are tremendous! Kaibs had great wings, and The Bigham smartly kept Wednesday as wing night, and I'm told they are using the same proven recipe. A bunch of new HD TV's makes it enjoyable to watch a Pens/Steeler game.

The Bigham Tavern is a great addition for Mount Washington. The crowd is friendly, the food is good and the TV's can be seen by the patrons, not just the bartenders. I only wish they would add some cloth wall hangings, and get rid of that damm echo!

If you would like to visit, take McArdle Roadway to the top, turn right on Grandview and make a left at the first stop sign.