Three Brothers Bagels Review – Fast Casual in Glenshaw

Pittsburgh's bagel scene has been rapidly improving in recent years with the opening of many great shops with house-made bagels, bagel sandwiches, and more.

Those in the North Hills looking for a delicious bagel received one more option in the form of Three Brothers Bagels, which opened in Glenshaw in mid-2023.

The popularity of this one skyrocketed overnight, with frequent early sellouts, so of course, we had to visit shortly thereafter to check it out. For those who need a bagel, this one is a treat!

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Hemlock House Review – A Modern Take on Pub Fare

Hemlock House opened in a prime location on S. Braddock Street in Swissvale (near Regent Square) in 2023 and serves up an array of modern pub fare with some flavor twists that you're unlikely to find anywhere else.

We visited this one with eager anticipation shortly after they opened and discovered this one is quite the gem.

Although we did not get to try the full bar menu just yet as the liquor license was still a work in progress, this pub is worth a visit for the food alone!

Note: At the time of our visit, Hemlock House had popups from local producers Kingfly Spirits and Arboretum Trail Brewing. So, while perhaps not their own bar program outright, you could still get a great drink with a meal all the same!

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Fat Cat Review – A Modern Pub With Throwback Vibes

Fat Cat Lounge in the North Side is a new concept from the owners of fine dining spot Fig & Ash next door. With a retro vibe, casual food and drinks, and a second floor music venue, Fat Cat adds to the growing list of destination eating and drinking spots on East Ohio Street.

Fig & Ash is one of our favorite restaurants in the city, so when we heard the owners were opening up the Fat Cat concept we were thrilled. On our recent visit shortly after their opening, we were instantly amazed at the transformation of the space.

The front door opens into the bar space with a retro vibe including 70s-style couches and old cartoons playing on the TVs. To the left of the bar is a separate dining area that continues the retro theme, and upstairs is an open space that serves as a music venue, complete with another bar.

Yes, this space will do just nicely, and thankfully the experience got even better from there!

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Brown Bear Bread Cafe Review – Bakery in Mt. Oliver

Brown Bear Bread Cafe is a bakery located in Mt. Oliver offering up sourdough bread, English muffins, pastries, and more to go, plus a small cafe menu for dining in. If there's one thing we think Pittsburgh can always use more of, it's excellent bakeries (especially bread-focused bakeries)- so we are ecstatic that this lovely new spot has found a home in Mt. Oliver.

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Sweet Rust Review – Libations and Farm to Table Cuisine

Sweet Rust is a Vatting House concept that bottles and sells single-barrel, cask-strength spirits from Pennsylvania and around the world. While the company doesn't distill their own spirits, they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from their Pennsylvania Libations business to offer high-quality spirits in and around Pittsburgh.

Sweet Rust also operates a restaurant of the same name in Ligonier, located inside the historic Thistledown Hotel. We recently visited as guests of the restaurant to try their farm-to-table cuisine, plus a few cocktails made with Sweet Rust products, of course!

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Gussy’s Bagels & Pizzeria Review – One Stop Shop in Oakland

Gussy's Bagels & Pizzeria in Oakland is one of those business stories we loved to see unfold. 

During the pandemic, chefs around the city were pivoting to provide food to hungry Pittsburghers and keep the lights on at their restaurants. Chef Scott Walton of Acorn in Shadyside (now closed) started making bagels, an exciting departure from the restaurant's normally fine-dining-oriented menu, and met near-instant acclaim with a die-hard following.

Cut to 2022, and Chef Scott left Acorn to open Gussy's Bagels & Deli in Oakland and expanded in early 2023 to become Gussy's Bagels & Pizzeria. 

Incredible bagels, stellar (and massive) slices of pizza, and a central location in bustling Oakland? Gussy's truly is starting to put some of our favorite spots on the east coast to shame.

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Duo’s Taqueria Review – Learn Spanish, Eat Tacos

Duo's Taqueria in East Liberty is a fun and delicious concept restaurant by Duolingo, where you can eat delicious Mexican food and also learn and practice Spanish. This spot has a colorful, upbeat, casual vibe that serves up delicious tacos on homemade tortillas as well as other Mexican specialties.

Duo's Taqueria was just a walk-up taco stand at the Duolingo building. We visited many times and judging by the long lines, we knew this concept was going places. And rightfully so, with Chef Marcella Ogrodnik at the helm. Chef Marcella was the owner of Cafe Agnes, an El Salvadorian pop up that served amazing pupusas and tamales at farmers' markets around the city. We are so excited that she is now at Duo's, bringing her skills for making fresh masa for tortillas and her knack for creating amazing flavor combinations.

Duo's recently built out an interior space in the building to change the restaurant to a sit-down concept (the walk-up window is now, sadly, closed). We visited shortly after re-opening to check it out and practice our Spanish.

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ECHT Coffee House Review – Go For Coffee, Stay for the Food

ECHT Coffee House in Mount Oliver is more than just a coffee shop. In addition to roasting their own coffee and serving up cafe-style food, this sleek and design-focused spot will also soon be home to a distillery and cocktail bar giving the neighborhood a must-visit spot that will soon be enjoyed morning, noon, and night.

While we visited this one to get our coffee fix on, we ended up staying to enjoy the food menu and exploring the soon-to-come additions on the building's lower level.

You will be wise to do the same when you visit as well!

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5 Places to Make a McKnight Road Shopping Trip Enjoyable

We will be the first to admit that when we have to go shopping to the big box stores on McKnight Road, we immediately get filled with a sense of dread.

Not so much because we have to shop at the big chains, but rather that driving on McKnight Road to our destination is, shall we say, a form of torture– and that is putting it kindly. From the abundance of red lights, never-ending traffic, and overall frustration of reaching our stops, we find that we need to give ourselves a little reward to get through it all.

So in this one, we thought we'd share five of our favorite spots on (or just off of) McKnight Road that you should consider stopping at to help save your sanity when shopping!

Note: Businesses featured below are organized from north to south along McKnight Road between McCandless and Ross Township, specifically.

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Alchemy Bar + Kitchen Review – Fine Dining With a Twist

Alchemy Bar + Kitchen brings fine dining and craft cocktails to an intimate space in downtown Pittsburgh's Market Square. We're always excited when new businesses open downtown, so we knew we had to make it in shortly after Alchemy opened to check out their offerings.

While this one brands itself as a molecular gastronomy-themed fine dining restaurant, we left a bit unsure of the molecular gastronomy element but big fans of the food at large all the same

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