Published by Angie. Last Updated on April 2, 2023.
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1905 Eatery is a casual, old school Italian restaurant located in McKees Rocks. What the spot lacks in ambiance it makes up for with huge portions of classic, home-cooked Italian food.
McKees Rocks wasn't on our radar as a dining destination, but we recently checked out a show at the Roxian Theater and were looking for a nearby spot to have dinner, and so we ended up at 1905 Eatery.
1905 Eatery Offers a Traditional Italian Menu
1905 Eatery is BYOB and has a very traditional menu of classics like stuffed peppers, greens and beans, and calamari for appetizers; pastas like gnocchi, ravioli, and penne carbonara; and entrees like chicken parmigiana, veal milanese, and shrimp scampi. All entrees come with soup or salad, bread, and (if not a pasta entree) a side of pasta.
We started with the fried provolone which was four thick slabs of provolone with a thin, crispy pan-fried coating served with a marinara dipping sauce. This was obviously a very rich dish and we were glad we had a few friends with us to share in this indulgent but delicious appetizer.
The salad and bread course came out next. The bread was slices of a simple Italian loaf, but it was served with a pretty plate of olive oil dotted with balsamic for dipping. The salad was a pretty standard mix of lettuces with onions, tomatoes, and cucumber served with our choice of dressing.
We had to wait a bit for our entrees but it was understandable as the place started to pick up at that point and nearly every table was full. But our food was worth the wait: our jaws dropped as the massive portions came to our table.
Jeremy ordered the Veal Suzanne which was sauteed veal with hot peppers, mushrooms, onions, and olives with a tomato sauce. Although our server told us it was spicy, we didn't find it to be spicy at all. It did, however, have a good pepper flavor that was punctuated with a few olives in a fresh-tasting tomato sauce. The show stopper here was the “side” of pasta – a whole 9 ounces of linguine in red sauce.
I ordered a special of the day which was a spinach lasagna. Served as a rolled lasagna, this dish had noodles rolled up with delightful spinach and ricotta filling. The dish was covered in a judicious amount of tomato sauce. The flavors were not anything out of the ordinary, but rather familiar and comforting- and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Needless to say, we ended up with a massive amount of leftovers to take with us, which leads us to one thing that puzzles us about 1905 Eatery: the price point of the menu seems incongruous with the style of the restaurant.
The casual cafe-style seating and service would suggest a more wallet-friendly menu, but instead, the entree prices range between $20-30. Granted, the portion sizes are monstrous, but we would almost rather have a smaller portion and lower price if we were being honest.
Overall, though, we would come back for sure, especially for a meal before a show at the Roxian Theater. The atmosphere and service is just fine, but we know we can be guaranteed a huge meal of flavorful home-cooked Italian classics when visiting this one, and sometimes that is all we need. The large portions of leftovers (especially before a show), not as much.
1905 Eatery is located at 733 Broadway Avenue in McKees Rocks.