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Old 01-29-2020, 07:10 PM
 
646 posts, read 243,761 times
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Thought it would be fun (and rewarding!) To share some hidden gem restaurants we've discovered. The only criteria is straight up good food, unpretentious (Hal B. Klein from Pgh Mag would never write about it) excellent sourcing and owner/chefs who show their love of food and customers through their high standards and service.

Here are mine, in no particular order. Mostly east and south of the city since this is where I live. These may be a haul for anyone west or north, but should be less than a 30 - 40 min drive for anyone in the city. All of them worth it.. I added nearby "bonus" destinations to sweeten the deal:

V&V Scratch Kitchen (Finleyville) https://vandvkitchen.com/ - casual dining (order at the counter) with emphasis on freshness and local sourcing (Bonus: Trax Farms and Mingo Creek Park)

Storms (Baldwin) https://www.stormsrestaurantbyob.com/ - BYOB, bustling little spot with delish food and wonderful Burghy waitresses, "know what I mean, hun?"? (Bonus: Spoonwood brewing, music most Thursdays, plus a great outdoor stage in summer)

By George (Monessen) By George - Steaks and Wine | Monessen, PA - husband and wife duo (plus most of the rest of the family) that takes incredible care to deliver on excellent food. Highly recommend for anyone with celiac disease. The wife and son both have it and so did one of our dinner companions. The owners came out after dinner to check on us and when this came up the husband said he was floored by how many restaurants will claim a prep is GF without ever checking their sources. (Bonus: Monongahela - great little antique shops and historical society; Great Allegheny Passage trail; Triple B Farm http://www.triplebfarms.com/, across the river - in season, great apple picking and fall festival)

Cenacolo (Irwin) Cenacolo | Fede Artisan Pasta | North Huntingdon, PA - one of the best Italian restaurants ANYWHERE. (Bonus: Full Pint and New Crescent Breweries; DeLallo's Italian market - ohhh, the olive bar! https://jeannette.delallo.com/, not far from Greensburg, Latrobe, Ligonier and the Laurel Highlands)

Last edited by Charley Barker; 01-29-2020 at 08:02 PM..
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:16 PM
 
646 posts, read 243,761 times
Reputation: 668
Apologies to Knepper3 for starting this. Maybe you can have a cheat day now and then!
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:44 PM
 
2,863 posts, read 2,421,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley Barker View Post
Thought it would be fun (and rewarding!) To share some hidden gem restaurants we've discovered. The only criteria is straight up good food, unpretentious (Hal B. Klein from Pgh Mag would never write about it) excellent sourcing and owner/chefs who show their love of food and customers through their high standards and service.

Here are mine, in no particular order. Mostly east and south of the city since this is where I live. These may be a haul for anyone west or north, but should be less than a 30 - 40 min drive for anyone in the city. All of them worth it.. I added nearby "bonus" destinations to sweeten the deal:

V&V Scratch Kitchen (Finleyville) https://vandvkitchen.com/ - casual dining (order at the counter) with emphasis on freshness and local sourcing (Bonus: Trax Farms and Mingo Creek Park)

Storms (Baldwin) https://www.stormsrestaurantbyob.com/ - BYOB, bustling little spot with delish food and wonderful Burghy waitresses, "know what I mean, hun?"? (Bonus: Spoonwood brewing, music most Thursdays, plus a great outdoor stage in summer)

By George (Monessen) By George - Steaks and Wine | Monessen, PA - husband and wife duo (plus most of the rest of the family) that takes incredible care to deliver on excellent food. Highly recommend for anyone with celiac disease. The wife and son both have it and so did one of our dinner companions. The owners came out after dinner to check on us and when this came up the husband said he was floored by how many restaurants will claim a prep is GF without ever checking their sources. (Bonus: Monongahela - great little antique shops and historical society; Great Allegheny Passage trail; Triple B Farm, across the river - in season, great apple picking and fall festival)

Cenacolo (Irwin) Cenacolo | Fede Artisan Pasta | North Huntingdon, PA - one of the best Italian restaurants ANYWHERE. (Bonus: Full Pint and New Crescent Breweries; DeLallo's Italian market - ohhh, the olive bar! https://jeannette.delallo.com/, not far from Greensburg, Latrobe, Ligonier and the Laurel Highlands)


Have you tried this place yet?

https://m.facebook.com/augrottencafe/
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:52 PM
 
646 posts, read 243,761 times
Reputation: 668
Yes. In fact we were having breakfast there the morning of the Tree of Life tragedy. We'll never forget watching
that on the screen as we ate our meal. Have only had breakfast there and haven't been back since. It was good but the circumstances soured our mood to say the least.
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:38 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
21,666 posts, read 20,616,185 times
Reputation: 13762
Love Out of the Fire in Donegal and Headkeeper in Greensburg. For very inexpensive, but really good bar food, I like The Junction Tavern in Perryopolis, but it can be a little rough as far as some of the people in there. Never got in a fight, but it could happen, but very good pizza and really any other food there.

I really want to try your suggestion By George! Thanks, that looks good. Good Gyro? The souvlaki sounds great! Hard to find that anywhere around our region.

Any other ideas around By George or down that way? I hope to do more fishing around Ohio Pyle this coming Spring and look for something to eat on the way home.
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Ben Avon/Kilbuck
1,585 posts, read 598,250 times
Reputation: 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley Barker View Post
Apologies to Knepper3 for starting this. Maybe you can have a cheat day now and then!

Ah it's all good, I'm gonna enjoy myself still just not as often. I'm just trying to be extra strict for these 4 months to see what that does and give myself a baseline. Once I have an idea I'll better understand how much I can go off without effecting to much.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:22 AM
 
646 posts, read 243,761 times
Reputation: 668
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg View Post
Love Out of the Fire in Donegal and Headkeeper in Greensburg. For very inexpensive, but really good bar food, I like The Junction Tavern in Perryopolis, but it can be a little rough as far as some of the people in there. Never got in a fight, but it could happen, but very good pizza and really any other food there.

I really want to try your suggestion By George! Thanks, that looks good. Good Gyro? The souvlaki sounds great! Hard to find that anywhere around our region.

Any other ideas around By George or down that way? I hope to do more fishing around Ohio Pyle this coming Spring and look for something to eat on the way home.
Not sure about the Gyro, but can't imagine it would be sub-par. I had a really good steak. Bittersweet Cafe between Ohiopyle and Farmington is GREAT. Also, the Century Inn (more formal dining, but has an excellent, cozy, friendly pub adjoining the restaurant). The oldest part of the inn dates to 1794 and has hosted the Marquis de Lafayette and Andrew Jackson among others.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, Hilly South, Land of Doors
2,003 posts, read 1,086,353 times
Reputation: 2627
I have complained for years about no really good breakfast places in this city until someone told me about Papa Gallo's in Heidelberg. It's been there 10 years in a newer strip mall development - probably why I never knew about it. But man it's amazing. Expensive and you'll wait awhile for your food. The owner chef cooks everything without assistance. If you have an hour and a half one morning go here. PapaGallo
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:47 AM
 
4,554 posts, read 4,050,545 times
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Originally Posted by zalewskimm View Post
But man it's amazing. Expensive and you'll wait awhile for your food. The owner chef cooks everything without assistance. If you have an hour and a half one morning go here. PapaGallo
Who has 1.5 hours for breakfast? And what's on the breakfast menu at Pappa Gallo that's so extraordinary?


Give me a sausage egg and cheese biscuit at MacDonald's or the 2X2X2 combo with unlimited pancakes at IHOP and I'm good to go.


Sometimes this gourmet stuff can get out of hand.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Ben Avon/Kilbuck
1,585 posts, read 598,250 times
Reputation: 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
Who has 1.5 hours for breakfast? And what's on the breakfast menu at Pappa Gallo that's so extraordinary?


Give me a sausage egg and cheese biscuit at MacDonald's or the 2X2X2 combo with unlimited pancakes at IHOP and I'm good to go.


Sometimes this gourmet stuff can get out of hand.

Oh man Breakfast is my favorite meal, I'll make the time for a nice breakfast somewhere but don't get me wrong I also love a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. Honestly I LOVE Chic-Fil-A Chicken Biscuits. I am so glad I have to drive 20 min to get to one or my cholesterol wouldn't stand a chance.
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