Inside Mike’s Place, a relaxed setting dotted with sports paraphernalia and a pool table, classic Italian-American recipes meet standard bar eats. As guests alternate bites of homemade lasagna and jumbo wings doused in 1 of 10 sauces, bartenders keep glasses brimming and campaign-finance-reform discussions to a minimum. On Friday nights, live musicians and DJs take center stage.
Named after retired Chicago police officer Jim Mullen, who was seriously injured in the line of duty, Mullen's Bar & Grill first opened its doors in the Windy City before branching out to Pittsburgh. Classic bar fare such as boneless wings, nachos, and burgers shares menu space with deep-fried philly cheesesteak sandwiches and SpaghettiO's straight from the can. An entire squad of flat-screen televisions hangs from exposed rafters so eaters can easily view broadcasted sports without craning their necks or duct taping rear view mirrors to their wrists. Mullen's Bar & Grill has two locations, one stationed near the cheering crowds at PNC Park and the other in the midst of the nightlife scene on Carson Street.
The diverse crowds at Level 20 Sports Bar Restaurant seem to always keep it busy. Boasting big-screen TVs, an upscale menu, and a spacious atmosphere, patrons have plenty for which to come back. The lofted banquet provides an ideal viewing space for their plethora of widescreen TVs, and ensures baseball fans won’t miss any animated arguments between umpires and managers. Specials and events, such as the weekly saturday night karaoke, help regular patrons avoid routine fatigue, and Level 20’s banquet hall is ideal for hosting class reunions, birthday parties and family get-togethers.
Dominic’s Famous Deli and Bottle Shop stuffs its menu with paninis, hot dogs, soups, and hoagies ranked by WPXI among Pittsburgh’s Best Hoagies. The Cannonball hoagie ($8) slings midday meatballs against the tyranny of cubicles, cubed cheese, and ice cubes, and the Mount Washington cushions portobello mushrooms, olives, and pesto mayo with an italian baguette ($7). Boar’s Head hot dogs extend to a full 12 inches ($4.50), showered with premium toppings of nacho cheese, chili, and sauerkraut ($0.50 each). Eight high-definition televisions and a 220” HD projector broadcast sports games to cheering fans and dumplings bobbing excitedly in pittsburgh pierogi soup ($4).
Modern Cafe is an ironic name for an establishment that's been around for more than 80 years, especially since it serves up a menu of such timeless fare. The sandwich-centric selection features classics such as reubens and tuna melts alongside Mediterranean staples including gyro salads and pita chips with hummus and tzatziki. The noteworthy Spartan sandwich packs in so much steak, gyro meat, veggies, cheeses, and tzatziki sauce that it's wrapped like a gyro rather than folded like a conventional sandwich or jammed inside an after-dinner mint.
Modern Cafe also offers dozens of whiskeys and vodkas and more than 90 types of beer, with selections from Penn Brewery, Great Lakes, and Bell's frequently on tap. Besides the cafe's allure as a hangout with TVs, a dart machine, and an internet jukebox, it's also a beacon for movie buffs looking to visit one of the filming locations for Wonder Boys.