Chinatown Inn Review – Classic Chinese Takeaway Downtown

Whenever conversations pop up about where to get Chinese takeaway in Pittsburgh, there is one spot that is sure to come up within just a few moments- Chinatown Inn.

This spot is a staple Chinese restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh just steps away from Point Park University, Duquesne University, the courthouse, and more. But going further, this one is one of the last remaining businesses from Pittsburgh's historic Chinatown, and features a beautifully themed facade that is simply hard to miss.

For our first visit, we opted for our standard order of Chinese takeaway- General Tso's chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and crab rangoon. While solid, the star of the show was what came with it- the egg roll!

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15 Cool Apartments, VRBOs, and Airbnbs in the Laurel Highlands

When you think of the Laurel Highlands, you may not realize just how big the area is. This one encompasses Westmoreland, Fayette, and Somerset Counties and runs all the way from New Kensington in the north to Ohiopyle in the South and well past Mount Davis to the East (a solid two-hour drive from Pittsburgh).

As far as rentals are concerned, the vast majority of apartments in the Laurel Highlands are found in the area in and around Ohiopyle thanks to the numerous (and popular) parks that are nearby. Despite this, there are some pretty awesome Airbnbs/VRBOs found elsewhere in the Laurel Highlands too, and we did not want to overlook a few of them (specifically some in the furthest reaches of Somerset County).

As such, while most of the Laurel Highland apartment rentals featured below are within close proximity to Ohiopyle State Park and others nearby, some can be a considerable distance away. As such, we strongly encourage you to check the maps prior to making any bookings as the driving times for stops on your itinerary could be significant if you do not notice this in advance.

Notes: All images are credited to Airbnb/VRBO and their respective hosts. We have not personally stayed in the below rentals, but frequently book apartments when traveling and think the properties have many of the highlights we look for when renting- namely great locations, amenities, and reviews to name a few. These will be highlighted in more detail within the article although booking conditions may have changed since the initial publication. If you are looking for Airbnbs near the ski resorts in the Laurel Highlands, we recommend clicking the previous link to check out that guide specifically for more options tailored to winter visits!

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8 Waterfalls Near Pittsburgh You Must Check Out

With so many rivers, streams, and creeks in and around Pittsburgh, you'd imagine there have to be a few waterfalls- and you'd be right.

The region is home to a significant number of waterfalls worth exploring, but we do have to note a caveat that many are lacking in size compared to falls you'll find in nearby states (the tallest near Pittsburgh is just about 30 feet whereas waterfalls in upstate New York a few hours away can break 200 feet!).

In fact, most of what we'd consider waterfalls here may only be five or six feet in height in total which are notable highlights when exploring a local park, but perhaps not the sole reason you'd visit a specific park on its own. To make matters worse, many of these are also heavily dependent on the rains such that they may just be a trickle during dry spells.

While the latter still affects even our biggest waterfalls, in this guide we wanted to only feature some of the biggest and most inspiring waterfalls near Pittsburgh. But to hit these, you'll have to go on a bit of a drive!

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WSET Level 2 Wine Class Review with Palate Partners

If you've spent any amount of time on this site, you're likely well aware that we like wine. Not only do we have a quest to check out the best Pittsburgh wineries, but we're also visiting all the best wine bars in Pittsburgh too.

But perhaps one of our favorite experiences in Pittsburgh comes from the wine education company Palate Partners with their informal First and Third Friday feature which includes several wine samples, education about the grape and region, all at a fairly attractive price point. 

We knew that Palate Partners offered many wine classes beyond these, and their offering of the multi-week Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses caught our eye. This is an international, standardized wine program (with four levels) and the folks at Palate Partners are certified to teach the first two levels (plus bringing in a guest instructor for Level 3).

Our favorite wine instructors teaching an international wine course that is highly regarded the world over? Sign us up. 

But in being ones who always like to go big, we skipped Level 1 and jumped straight into the eight-week Level 2 course. While challenging, we also had a rather great time in this one.

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Hiking Nine Mile Run from Frick Park to Duck Hollow

When thinking of hiking in the East End, odds are good your thoughts will quickly turn to Frick Park– the largest publicly accessible park in Pittsburgh. But there are a few other green spaces off of these main trails that you may not know about, and one of which is Nine Mile Run!

Although Nine Mile Run was technically annexed by Frick Park just a few years ago, this one is often viewed as its own space thanks to its unique position jutting out from the park south towards the Monongahela River (where it later connects up to the slightly longer Duck Hollow Trail that follows the river). Couple an even more recent effort to clean the waters at the run and you have a natural area that is a bit under-the-radar despite being a part of a more-well known city park.

So rather than include this one in our Frick Park article, we thought it'd be best to feature this one on its own!

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Fig & Ash Review – Wood-Fired Dining Exceeding All Expectations

If you pay attention to restaurant opening news like we do, odds are good you've been anticipating Fig & Ash in the North Side for quite some time. This restaurant was on the books for over 3 1/2 years before finally opening for business in late 2020. 

In that time they won Pittsburgh's Sandwich Sampler event not once, but twice (one of which we were fortunate enough to try), received a fair bit of press coverage, and even gutted the entirety of the restaurant space to make way for their indoor fire pit.

Naturally, we went to this one the day it opened for lunch, we liked that so much we went back for lunch again the next week, and when they finally opened for dinner reservations a short time later we returned for a third time to check out that portion of the menu as well.

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Fet-Fisk Royal Market Review – A Smorgasbord Feast in Pittsburgh

Fet-Fisk started out as a pop-up dinner series in Pittsburgh. But thanks to the craziness that was 2020, the folks behind the series adapted it into a storefront known as the Fet-Fisk Royal Market just north of the city. But rather than offering in-house dining, they focused on producing Scandinavian smorgasbords to go!

We put an order in for one of their weekly smorgasbords shortly after this one opened, and it was one of those moments where we wondered why it took this long for this to be a thing.

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General Shu’s Review – Shubrew Opens a Chinese Restaurant

We're quite familiar with breweries expanding and adding a restaurant menu onto their repertoire. Shubrew in Zelienople is one such brewery and is known for having one of the best food menus of any in the region.

But one thing we're not used to seeing is a brewery opening its own standalone restaurant across the street from their main space. But in 2020 Shubrew did just that with their leap into the Chinese food market- the aptly named General Shu's.

We have to say, this one has some solid dishes.

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Boyce Mayview Park – Numerous Trails Here (So Have a Map Handy)

It took us three tries to properly hike Boyce Mayview Park. 

The first time we went, the access point we selected was overgrown and we had many ticks jump on us (and our dog) in just a few feet. We decided to explore the more accessible northern end of the park during this visit. 

The second time, the road going to the parking area I had intended to visit was closed and the detour to get there was sufficiently long that I gave up (this was on me).

But the third try, I made it, and after exploring this one properly I do have to admit there is a fair amount to see- just be sure to have a map on your phone handy.

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