Opening on weekdays at 4:01 p.m. and Saturdays at 11:31 a.m., Shiloh Grill reminds visitors that patience will be rewarded. The restaurant?s most popular offering, the Thanksgiving in Blawnox, consists of half a pound of ground turkey topped with dried cranberries and sage stuffing mixed in and rosemary aioli on top?a year-round reminder of autumn that balances out the ever-rotating seasonal menus and selection of craft brews. Several events also run throughout the week.
Kaleidoscopic Egyptian tapestries hang on the stone walls of both Sphinx Cafe locations, while tendrils of jasmine- and mango-scented smoke drift up to high, vaulted ceilings. Though it was once a church, the space now exudes an aura of opulence and leisure that matches the warmth of the coffee houses in Egyptian owner Remy and Syrian Amera's native homes. “Hookah bars are different from the norm [in the U.S.], which is either a restaurant or a bar. It slows you down. You just relax here.”
Plush cushions help patrons relax at both of Sphinx Pittsburgh locations, as do more than 30 imported tobacco flavors that servers can enhance with creative add-ons such as wine, fruit syrups, and talking caterpillars. On some nights, belly dancers, fire eaters, and live musicians wind their way between hookahs. On quieter nights, Ms. Andrawes says you can find people playing card games, chatting, and sampling platters of homemade hummus and kibbeh.
Most of the action in Pi Coal Fired’s kitchen centers on the oven. At 900 degrees, it imparts a smoky, charred flavor to everything from the Neapolitan-style pizzas to the chicken wings and calzones. This flavor pairs well with the chefs' sauces and ingredients, from the San Marzano tomato sauce to the fresh mozzarella, romano, and olive oil sprinkled on every pie. The chefs tend to stick to traditional Italian combinations, using spiced sausage, roasted red pepper, and a variety of cheeses to create simple yet satisfying plates. These pies are served along with other classics such as hand-pressed paninis, offering guests a chance to experience the true essence of Europe without roasting baguettes over a burning gondola.
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.
Blue Line Grille accomplishes a rare feat by combining the electric atmosphere of a lively sports bar with a sleek layout and upscale cuisine. Diners can catch a Penguins game while they nosh on specialty pizzas, mahi-mahi, and filet mignon, or simply stick their head out the window to hear the roar of the crowd from the adjacent CONSOL Center. High-backed wooden booths and a lengthy bar framed by TVs offer plenty of comfortable seating, as does Blue Line Grill's Sin Bin?a VIP penalty box that seats up to 20.
After each game, the players of the Pittsburgh Rugby Club used to gather for postgame grub and drinks. As they mulled over how much money they spent at these feasts, they proposed, half-jokingly, that they might as well own their own bar. The idea lingered for several years until, in the spring of 1999, one of the club's beloved members, Eddie Short, passed away. Eddie's enthusiasm for opening the bar rivaled that of his comrades, and, with the memory of their teammate firmly etched in their minds, the Pittsburgh Rugby Club raised enough funds to purchase a storefront.
Since opening in the fall of 2000, the gang's pub has appeased palates with an abundance of wraps, burgers, cheesesteaks, and sandwiches. Indoor dining quarters and an outdoor patio accommodate clientele, who can surf on WiFi throughout their meals or watch any Steelers, Penguins, or Pirates games. Music fans can tap their toes to occasional live bands or the sound waves emanating from the jukebox, and music haters can cup their hands over their ears in protest.