Last Updated on August 10, 2022 by Angie
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Sally Ann's is yet-another Richard DeShantz restaurant concept, and it fills a much-needed niche of providing casual, veggie-forward breakfast and lunch fare in downtown Pittsburgh.
Taking over the old Pork and Beans spot, this large space in the heart of the Cultural District has a vibrant, casual feel with lounge-style couch seating in the center of the restaurant, plenty of high-top tables, and a large outdoor seating space on 6th Street.
Keeping in line with the cafe vibe, the food and drinks are all counter service- there is a dedicated register for ordering food, while drinks are ordered separately at the bar. There's also a separate line for coffee drinks during the day. While this took a second to get used to, it really highlighted just how different this one is compared to other restaurants nearby!
Casual Drinking and Dining at Sally Ann's
During our visit, we naturally had to start by checking out the bar menu which had a decent spread of beer, wine, and cocktails.
The beer menu had a few local options but mostly seemed aimed at pleasing crowds with broader styles (think Blue Moon and Stella next to Arsenal Fighting Elleck and an East End Hefeweizen). The wine menu was surprisingly interesting with options like a sparkling Zweigelt rose, a grenache blanc blend from Languedoc, and one of our favorite Italian grapes, Nero d'Avola, just to name a few.
The cocktail menu caught our interest for this particular visit as it had several spritz options, a draft negroni, sangria, an espresso martini, and a few other, more creative options including the Almost Famous and the Sunflower Smile which we tried. The Almost Famous was made with mezcal, Genepy, aperitivo, and lime which was smokey, herbally, and slightly tangy, while the Sunflower Smile was a mix of gin, orange liqueur, elderflower, and bergamot syrup that had a hint of citrus and was delightfully floral, but not overly so.
On the food side, the menu primarily features soups, sandwiches, salads, and bowls, leaning into their intended cafe-style dining. There are a ton of options for vegetarians and veggie lovers with many seasonal ingredients with other meat-forward dishes that will please all palates.
First, we tried the Japanese sweet potatoes from the snack portion of the menu. Lightly fried with a delicate, crispy exterior and a creamy inside, these potatoes hit the perfect sweet/savory balance. The potatoes had a subtle sweetness and were topped with a creamy mayo and some roe for a contrasting salty punch.
On our visit, the daily sandwich special was a hot chicken sandwich. While a modest portion size, the chicken was super tender with a lightly crispy fry, but we thought it had near-zero spice and would have loved much more heat and sauce all around.
We also tried the grain bowl with salad greens, a quinoa/farro blend, smoked beets, marinated carrots, and chickpeas. You can add a protein of your choice (steak, falafel, chicken, or house-smoked turkey breast) and choose your own dressing. We opted for a lemon tahini dressing (rich with plenty of acidity from the lemon) and falafel (three small falafel with a nice crunchy fry and tons of fresh herb flavor).
The individual components of the bowl were all well-seasoned and well-executed, but the beets were a standout with their subtle smokiness that was unexpected and delicious. For a quick, healthy lunch downtown it would be really hard to top this bowl.
We couldn't leave without trying a dessert, and we opted for the raspberry hibiscus cheesecake. The graham cracker crust was nice and thick, and the raspberry hibiscus layer on top was sweet but tart, to offset the rich cheesecake filling. This was one of those sweets that we could see walking in, ordering for take-out, and enjoying next to the river as much as for dine-in!
All in all, there are lots of things to love about Sally Ann's. The restaurant offers fantastic healthy, veggie-forward breakfast/brunch/lunch options with a modern cafe-style vibe- something downtown Pittsburgh can always use more of. While the counter service setup can be a little confusing at first, it definitely fits with the informal nature of the spot and helps keep the price point of everything in check.
We look forward to returning for brunch and for more of the creative vegetarian offerings here!
Sally Ann's is located at 136 6th Street in downtown Pittsburgh.