In the suburban communities of the South Hills, poverty has been on the rise. As many as 12% of the population—approximately 5,000 families—lives at or below the federal poverty level. South Hills Interfaith Ministries works to help these families regain their self-sufficiency. Along with two food pantries that provide emergency groceries, and a community clothing room, the organization runs utility assistance programs, coat drives, and family-support services such as teen mentoring and financial literacy programs. And the community impact is significant. In 2012 alone, the organization donated school supplies to 425 students, distributed more than 1,500 pounds of fresh produce, and provided $30,336 in utility assistance.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Red umbrellas cover the patio area of Frenchy's Bistro & Wine Cellar, where you can settle into dine on traditional Italian dishes and bistro fare as you take in the sunset. In the kitchen, a crew of skilled chefs whip up entrees from wholesome ingredients, including homemade marinara, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella. If you want to share your meal with local birds, servers can whisk your dishes outside to the patio. Or instead sit in the indoor dining room, which evokes the feel of a quaint country house; it has wooden booths and glass-lamp lighting.
As Steelers fans cheer and jeer the Hofbrau's flickering TVs, frothy mugs of Miller Lite gush from foam-flecked taps and glide across a burnished wood bar. These sudsy drafts chase chews on a trim menu of traditional bar fare, from half-pound burgers to slices of square pizza, and cool palates scorched from signature hot wings drenched in lemon pepper, Cajun, or teriyaki sauces. Clacking pool balls and clinking glasses add makeshift percussion to the occasional live band, who can underscore meals with original tunes and recollections of that one time they smashed their guitars.
Shouf’s Cafe recently earned a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Reader’s Choice award for the Best Ethnic Restaurant of 2012. That’s thanks to the mouthwatering, accessible Lebanese cuisine that Tony Moses and his team of chefs have created here since 2006. They cook up lamb kebabs, moussaka, and slow-cooked pork shank, as well as entrees with influences from across the Mediterranean, such as filet mignon and spinach pie. The cross-cultural menu is augmented by hearty breakfast selections such as buttermilk pancakes and omelets. You can pair up your Mediterranean feast with a glass of wine or a coffee drink and cap off the meal with housemade baklava, the Death by Chocolate cake, or a eulogy for a misplaced napkin.
Most chefs get stage fright when customers are watching, but the fearless artisans at Ichiban Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar concoct intricate Japanese dishes in plain view—either at tableside grills or just behind the sushi bar proper. Their collection of specialty maki exudes creativity and playfulness, from the deep-fried Godzilla roll with tuna, salmon, white fish, and crab meat to the Rainbow roll with fresh fish, avocado, and two wishes. Complete hibachi dinners satisfy hearty appetites and short attention spans with a choice of protein alongside soup, salad, vegetable, rice, and noodles—all prepared amusingly right at the table. Each location sports sleek and modern décor with accents such as bamboo walls or a back-lit bar glowing in chic blue or red tones.
At Bistro @ Bella Sera, located in Bella Sera Event Venue, diners converse across white-linen-covered tables tucked below painted Tuscan archways after adorning plates with an infinite supply of gourmet fare. The trattoria—first in Pittsburgh to nab a certification from the Green Restaurant Association—surprises palates with a daily rotating menu of Italian antipasti, salads, soups, entrees, and desserts. Past delights include Tuscan minestrone soup, breaded chicken milanese with lemon pepper confit, and chicken romano with roasted redskin potatoes. For a quick preview of what’s in store, diners can check out today’s all-you-can-eat menu on the Bella Sera Facebook page or sneak into chef Josh’s dreams.