Pittsburgh Road Trip
Columbus will forever have my heart, but it is always fun to get out and explore another foodie city. Pittsburgh is a great option because it is only 3 hours away from Cbus – great for a long weekend trip. Pittsburgh also has a thriving food and drink scene, with options for every palette and budget. So for a quick getaway, I scoured the internet for tips, checked out Drink Up Columbus to get some ideas for local watering holes, and hit the road. This post will recount the culinary side of my travels through Pittsburgh, the next post to come will discuss can’t-miss drink spots in the Steel City.
Every source I consulted told me to go to Meat and Potatoes for dinner while I was in town. How can you ignore this kind of praise? Be sure to make reservations before you arrive, seats can be hard to come by. For starters, we noshed on fried Brussels Sprouts with tangy and smooth lemon aioli, and devils on horseback, yummy bacon-wrapped dates. I was tempted by the lamb burger, but settled on the Pappardelle, topped with a chunky and warming bolognese. I was not disappointed!
At the famous Pittsburgh Public Market, I found plenty of treats to try, and some of them even made it home. Ohio City Pasta served me up a plate of maybe my favorite pierogies ever, sprinkled with blue cheese and spinach, plus a drizzle of herbed butter. Second Breakfast had some sinful-looking chocolate waffle bites, and the Wheel and the Wedge was passing out tasty cubes of cheese. Perhaps my favorite stop was The Olive Tap. Here I scored some unusual and drool-worthy oils and vinegars. Some of the flavors? How about hot pepper, lime, or garlic-infused olive oil? Or try vinegars such as cranberry, apple balsamic, or chocolate marshmallow. The best part – you can taste little samples of all of the different types, and they will bottle the amount you want on the spot.
Grit & Grace was another memorable stop, one of the most interesting meals I’ve ever had. The concept of this joint is a Southern-Asian fusion, and the pairing was fabulous. There are roving dim sum carts, that have ready-made bites for you to snatch up and devour. I loved this concept (because I’m in a general state of starving) and grabbed kimchi. They have other tempting dishes like steam buns and short ribs with biscuits and bearnaise as well, but dessert was my favorite – salty graham crumble with yellow beet gelée.
Another local hot spot is Butcher and the Rye. The combo of the rustic interior and upscale menu makes this restaurant a must-try. Pig Candy, a miso-caramel and pork belly confection is a great starter, and the charcuterie plate looked divine too. The Shepard’s Pie was an elevated version of the old classic, topped with potato foam, and the sea bass entree with espresso and hazelnuts was equally beguiling. I somehow managed to save room for the Meyer lemon cream cake, and was not disappointed I did.
By the time I left Pittsburgh, I was absolutely stuffed! There are many more eateries I’d like to check out the next time I visit, however. What are your favorites places to dine while visiting the Steel City?
This is the first part of a two part series chronicling my journey through Pittsburgh. To learn more about fun things to do in Pittsburgh, click here to read part two of the series.
Find the locations I visited here: