The Allegheny Overlook is the Beer Garden Downtown Pittsburgh Needs

The Allegheny Overlook is closed and does not look like it will be returning for 2022 or beyond.

We've often lamented the underutilization the rivers in Pittsburgh, and we always jump on the chance to get on or near the water whenever we can.

One thing we always hoped for was a recurring food truck rally on one of the sister bridges, which unfortunately is still a bit of a dream. But in 2021, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership launched the next best thing by converting a section of Fort Duquesne Blvd (just next to the Roberto Clemente Bridge on the Allegheny River) into an outdoor beer garden and event space aptly named The Allegheny Overlook.

When it comes to eating and drinking near the rivers, we have to admit, this one checks all the right boxes for us all the same.

The best part? This one is sticking around through the end of summer!

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Istanbul Corner Review – A Turkish Feast in the North Side

Istanbul Corner closed in 2022.

As North Siders, we find ourselves passing through East Ohio Street a lot. In recent years, a lot of changes have been going on in this street with several restaurants opening up as time goes by.

One day in mid-2020 we saw a sign for Istanbul Corner pop up, and shortly thereafter the Turkish restaurant opened its doors for customers. Naturally, being fans of Turkish food, we visited this one shortly after it opened.

We ended up walking out with a feast at a rather attractive price point.

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Mezza Luna Cafe Review – Short Order Sandwiches and Salads

At this time we are unsure if Mezza Luna Cafe is in operation any longer. Once confirmed, we will update this article accordingly.

We think that every Pittsburgh neighborhood should have a cafe that specializes in short-order fair like sandwiches, salads, and drinks, and in Allegheny West in the North Side, that shop is none other than Mezza Luna Cafe.

Although we only had a limited sampling of this one's menu when visiting shortly after they opened, we're really excited to see what comes next!

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Cafe Agnes Review – Salvadorian Pupusas and Tamales at Home

Cafe Agnes does not appear to be operating. The chef now runs Duo's Taqueria in East Liberty and periodically sells pupusas there for pop-ups.

If you frequent farmer's markets in Pittsburgh, chances are you've seen Cafe Agnes' booth – it's usually the one with a really long line. Having opened in the spring of 2019, Cafe Agnes quickly gained a reputation over the summer for serving up delicious Salvadorian pupusas and tamales with both traditional and creative fillings.

Although they don't currently have a storefront, you can continue to order frozen pupusas and tamales in the off-season and cook them yourself at home!

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Franktuary Review – Unique Hot Dog Combinations

Franktuary closed the Lawrenceville location at the end of 2021. They still operate their food truck and can be found at area breweries and events.

My cravings for hot dogs are often few and far between, but when they come I often want a crazy combination of toppings that goes well beyond the simple hot dog, ketchup, and mustard I grew up on.

Enter Franktuary in Lawrenceville, the kind of restaurant to visit if you are in the mood for some rather unusual hot dog options!

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Touring the Abandoned Yellow Dog Village Near Kittanning

Yellow Dog Village was sold in early 2022 and is currently closed. We hope it will open for visitors in the future.

One type of attraction we haven't covered much of on this site has been abandoned locations.

This is mostly by design as we are not comfortable recommending readers to trespass, break-in, or perform illegal activities in order to check a spot out. (Likewise, we do not do these ourselves either).

But at Yellow Dog Village in Worthington, PA (near Kittanning), with advanced permission and payment, you can visit an abandoned site that is quite the interesting spot to see!

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The Santa Spectacular is an Event Worth Skipping

The Santa Spectacular was canceled in 2020 and at this point we are unsure if it is returning for 2021 and beyond. If we find out more, we will update this article accordingly.

We are not in the habit of outright telling you to skip an attraction or event. Generally speaking, when something isn't for us we can find positive points for why others may like it.

At the Santa Spectacular, we're having a hard time. A really hard time.

Santa phoned this one in hard.

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Jingle Bar Review – A Festive Christmas Ambiance in Pittsburgh

A Christmas pop-up named Jingle Bar will be found in the former NOLA on the Square location at 24 Market Square in 2021. The following review is from a former pop-up in previous years. We will be visiting this one during the season and will update accordingly!

Pop-up bars are becoming a trend now for seemingly every major holiday, and the 2019 holiday season is bringing six unique Christmas bars to Pittsburgh.

One of these bars is Jingle Bar, a pop-up located just east of Market Square. We visited this one during its 2018 run and share our thoughts on if it is worth your time for a festive libation!

*Note: As we visited during a previous season, some of the below may have changed.

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Area 51 Barbecue Review – Tender Meats off Route 51

Area 51 Barbecue is now closed.

Area 51 Barbecue in Belle Vernon, PA, is one of those places that if you blink, you'll miss it.

It is not being unfair to say this is in a tiny two room house on the side of the busy route 51 with minimal signage, because that is exactly what it is.

Naturally, when we saw it we had to stop (or to be more honest, do a u-turn and pull back around) to give it a shot.

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Bar Frenchman Review – French Food and Unique Cocktails

Note: In July 2018 Bar Frenchman changed its name to La Riviera and closed in early 2019. Its sister restaurant, The Twisted Frenchman, closed in June 2020.

Bar Frenchman (now La Riviera) in East Liberty is a fine dining restaurant serving up French dishes in a modern, non-stuffy atmosphere. On our recent visit the cocktails were whimsical and impressive, the food was delicious and nearly perfect, and the service was on point.

The restaurant's supremely tall ceilings, tiled floors, and suspended lights all give off a more casual vibe than the Twisted Frenchman, Bar Frenchman's sister that offers a multi-course tasting menu experience on the second floor of the building. The relaxed atmosphere may seem at first a little incongruous with the menu style and pricing, but we think it keeps the restaurant from being too staid.

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