Cannon Coffee Shop serves hot mugs of freshly brewed coffee and a variety of tasty treats. Energize with one of the myriad bean-infused drinks available, such as an iced coffee ($2), a brain-jolting double espresso ($1.50), a creamy mocha ($3.75/16 oz.), or a latte ($2.50/12 oz.) decorated with florally patterned milk-froth. Grilled sandwiches, such as the zucchini panini ($4.25) or turkey florentine panini, made with basil aioli, fresh spinach, and melted cheese ($5.25), muffle the grumbles of newly caffeinated hunger pangs. Cannon Coffee Shop also offers coffee beans and loose tea for purchase in bulk, perfect for brewing at home or aboard the international space station.
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.
The Getaway Cafe has its own way of defining the notion of a family-friendly restaurant: Owned by husband and wife Lou and Nancy Manolios, the restaurant has seen all five of their daughters work between its walls, and Lou's nephew, Christopher, is the general manager. Running a restaurant was a lifelong dream of Lou's. He grew up in a close family and was washing dishes at his grandfather's restaurant at the age of 12, an age when many boys are only washing their footballs. Now, at Getaway Café, he and his wife have created a large, eclectic menu with everything from baby-back ribs to fresh seafood and weekend breakfasts. They also host a variety of events such as martini nights with live entertainment and wine dinners.
Of all the individuals who made the Italian beef sandwich a Chicago staple in the early 20th century, Karl Horn has a soft spot for one in particular: his mom, Carol. Affectionately nicknamed "Tootie" by her family, Carol created the recipe that Karl uses at Tootie's Famous Italian Beef. Deemed the city's best roast beef by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, each portion of slow-roasted meat arrives in 4-, 6-, or 12-inch rolls topped with giardiniera and provolone cheese. The Tootie team also fills sandwiches with sausage links, shredded chicken, and, in the case of its Barnyard and The Farm options, all three at once.
Local Bar + Kitchen serves up a menu of American grill fare crafted from locally sourced breads, vegetables, and meats that earned the restaurant the title of Best New Bar in Pittsburgh Magazine's 2011 Best of the 'Burgh poll. Before embarking on feasts, diners can warm up appetites with pierogies ($9) that are hand-stuffed in McKees Rocks by disembodied mittens. The signature Geno's meatball linguini flaunts house-made tomato-basil sauce ($12), and the barbecue pulled-pork sandwich adds a zesty edge to its tender filling with fried shallots ($9). Chefs craft the buffalo-chicken pizza by loading a hand-tossed crust with french fries sourced in Somerset and cheese from Monroeville's Turner Dairy Farms before slipping the pie into a wood-fired oven ($13.50 for an entree size). On weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the restaurant slings eclectic brunch fare, such as coffee-dusted flatiron steak accompanied by eggs ($9) or french toast ($8.50), which is stuffed with caramelized banana to weed out baboons disguised as wait staff.
In the most basic of terms, kitchens are places where ingredients come together to create a satisfying whole; the marriage of Pat and Brigitte Joyce, co-owners of 17th Street Cafe, proves that this pairing of complements is not always limited to the food. In 1988, Pat was starring as the café's executive chef when Brigitte joined his kitchen staff. Over their years working together, their love simmered on slow, low heat until they were finally married in 1995. Seven years after tying the knot, the couple jumped at the chance to own a piece of their shared history and took over 17th Street Cafe, which they now operate as a labor of love on many levels.
Today, two staple entrees—the pork chop au poivre and the veal with crab—are the lone holdovers from the original owners' menu. These favorites of long-time regulars join a revamped menu crafted from sustainable and organic ingredients whenever possible. Pat's current favorite—chicken- and asiago-stuffed pasta "pillows" served in an aioli sauce—exemplifies this new approach, which tends to add an innovative twist to traditional fare such as pasta, seafood, veal, and chops. Lunch also hosts a wide array of fan favorites, including the stuffed Portabella–a large mushroom cap filled with zucchini, sweet peppers, onions, carrots, artichoke hearts, domestic mushrooms, and spinach topped with asiago cheese. Chefs Ed and Lance craft creative burgers to sate midday appetites as well. Longtime patrons opt for the Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner burger, cooked to order and topped with peanut butter, a fried egg, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
Inside the dining space, chocolate-brown and gold walls flank dark oak tables, lending the space a Mediterranean look that has been featured in several film and jeans commercials. Location scouts aren’t the only guests to have taken notice of the delicious entrees and cool ambiance—players from the Pittsburgh Penguins can often be spotted dining on puck-sized veal cutlets at nearby tables.