Lola’s Eatery Review – Affordable Brunch at Engine House 25

We'll never say no to more options for brunch in Pittsburgh, and in late 2019 Lola's Eatery opened in the stunning Engine House 25 in Lawrenceville (home to the winery of the same name as well as the Clemente Museum) to help satisfy that need.

Naturally, I had to check this one out as soon as possible and was joined with a friend for a rather affordable, and delicious, dining experience.     

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Salem’s Halal Market and Grill Review – A Middle Eastern Feast in the Strip

Salem's Halal Market and Grill in the Strip District is one of those restaurants that was always on my list to try but was one I never quite made it to. After finally making it in after many years of saying “I should go”, I have to say, I regret waiting so long.

From the huge menu, the delicious Middle Eastern food, to the reasonable prices, this one really has everything we look for in a restaurant.

But in reality, simply visiting once barely does this one justice. So before my first meal was over I was already thinking about my return trip!

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Drinking Your Way Around the State at Pennsylvania Libations in the Strip

Pennsylvania liquor laws are weird. In fact, we'd go as far as saying they're awful. Between the state-run liquor stores, limited accessibility of beer and wine outside of producers and select sellers, and other oddities, finding a good bottle to enjoy in Pennsylvania does not come without its challenges.

Thankfully, some of the most archaic of regulations have been changing in recent years, and one such change has allowed for the creation of a unique store in the Strip District called Pennsylvania Libations.

Their products? 100% Pennsylvania-made spirits.

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Chrismukkah Review – Federal Galley Offers Holiday Libations for a Cause

We have to be a bit honest in saying that the concept of a pop-up bar is becoming a bit overdone these days. In 2018, we had no fewer than six holiday pop-up bars in Pittsburgh and 2019 looks to be no different.

Thankfully, the new bars coming into the pop-up scene this year are being led by some of the city's finest bartenders. Chrismukkah in East Liberty is one such bar as it is managed by the team behind the bar program at Federal Galley (one of our favorite restaurants in the city).

Naturally, we went to this one as soon as they opened!

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The Library Review – A South Side Gem for Cheap Eats and Drinks

Sometimes when we try and find a new bar to hit in South Side, we go numb at the sheer number of choices. In many cases when visiting this neighborhood we often pick a reason for going out (deals, cocktails, draft list, etc.) and then limit our options down from there in order to make a choice.

On a recent night out we wanted to keep our tab low while having good beer and settled on The Library. Known for a cheap craft beer list and happy hour food specials, an affordable outing was exactly what we got!

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15 Distinctly Pittsburgh Foods the City is Known For

When we get visitors to Pittsburgh, one of the most popular questions that we hear is “what are famous Pittsburgh foods?” 

The first one is easy- everyone knows Primanti Brothers. From there, what we would call iconic food in Pittsburgh can vary substantially based on who you ask. Is a pierogi a Pittsburgh food? What about Beto's pizza? Or how about something more unusual like chipped chopped ham? Or how about famous desserts, breakfast spots, and more?

When we sat down to think of it, we came up with a list of 15 definitive Pittsburgh foods. Some are famous because they were created here. Some are adopted foods from other cultures. Some are in specific categories (like breakfast) that have die-hard followings. Others still were created in nearby states but popularized in Pittsburgh as its first major market.

While this list is not comprehensive to hit everything that could be considered “Pittsburgh”, we did opt to select what we believe are the most well known (because if we really wanted to include everything, this article would end up being quite long).

For more of our opinion from restaurants mentioned below, click the respective links to learn more!

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Commerce Bar Review – A Proper Speakeasy in East Liberty

From the moment you arrive at Commerce Bar in East Liberty, you know you'll be getting the full speakeasy experience. 

That is because to even access this one you need to make your way to a back alley behind a popular stretch of restaurants and seek out the door to the bar. We could tell you which door, but where is the fun in that? (The end of this article will have a hint.)

Once you enter, the fun of this bar begins.

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Mad Mex Review – Cal Mex in Pittsburgh with Seasonal Features

Mad Mex is a popular Cal Mex restaurant chain run in Pittsburgh by the Big Burrito restaurant group. They are known for, well, big burritos, and offer a number of different west coast-inspired creations amongst many other menu items.

While they are known for their Mexican inspired burritos, we have to say that we are not the biggest of fans. That being said, we find ourselves going to this one for their seasonal burrito creations as well as their margarita menu!

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Mary’s Vine Review – A High-End Wine Bar in a Converted Church

Mary's Vine is a high-end wine bar that opened in the Pittsburgh borough of Rankin in late 2019.

This one can be found in a converted church and provides an ambiance and wine selection that is truly unlike no other wine bar in the region.

So if strong attention to detail and an impressive (albeit expensive) wine selection is what you seek, a trip to Mary's Vine is a must.

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Helen’s Review – A Fine Dining Gem at Seven Springs

Helen's is a fine dining restaurant on the Seven Springs Ski Resort property with an award-winning wine list and classic dishes served up in a cozy and rustic chic atmosphere.

We've stayed at Seven Springs a number of times over the years and have eaten at nearly all of the restaurants, and we have to say, Helen's is by far the best option on the property. While most of the other restaurants feature things like bar food and buffets, Helen's is truly a standout and a restaurant that, if you picked it up and put it in Pittsburgh, we would gladly choose to patron.

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