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.
Carson City Saloon dishes up plates full of Americana and glasses full of sharable libations within a three-story, four-bar entree emporium. Housed in the building of a late 19th-century bank, the saloon now trades in edible equities, such as the real estate of the reuben, where the dressings of a thousand-islands spread over mountains of corned beef, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese ($8.99). Sink incisors into a house specialty, including the Titan Toothpicks, an entourage of tortillas stuffed with spicy chicken and cheese, deep fried to a golden brown, and served with a dollop of sour cream and barbecue sauce ($8.59). Satisfying every level of the male homo sapiens's food pyramid—made up of protein, protein, and spicy stuff—the Bada-Bing burger amasses a conglomeration of provolone, salami, capicola, fried egg, banana peppers, and italian dressing ($8.99).
Winner of City Paper's reader poll for 2009 Best New Bar/Club, Over the Bar Bicycle Café attracts bicycle buffs with its décor concocted from recycled bikes and a menu that revives fatigued bikers after a pedal-tastic day. Quell rebellious stomachs with an appetizer such as the Spoke Junkie, made from baked zucchini spooled up inside three cheeses ($6.99), or the Heritage Trail hummus ($6.99), which is supplied by Salim's in Oakland. For those who recently burned enough calories to silence Richard Simmons, fill empty stomach space with the Dirt Rag Delight burger, featuring a burger smothered in peanut butter ($7.99). Taste buds looking for a spicy challenge will find a worthy duel in the Rail Trail wrap ($7.99), as tangy buffalo chicken is enveloped in pita bread and sprinkled with blue-cheese or ranch dressing. On the other hand, cyclists who had a tough day dealing with the low acceleration of their off-road penny-farthing can loosen up over an icy-cold brew.
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.
Buckhead Saloon's mounted buckhead keeps a watchful eye over bar-goers as they ingest American cuisine favorites and share pitchers of Yuengling. The ample, lively establishment houses a variety of seating areas, from its ski-lodge-style lounge area to its spacious, stool-lined bar. Let the congenial staff shake you up a martini as you shake tailfeathers with friends and fellow avian strangers on the dance floor, or grab a table on one of Buckhead’s local entertainment nights and scan the menu for the hand-breaded and deep-fried potato and cheddar perogies ($7.95). Indecisive eaters can sample the Jekyll and Hyde sandwich, an edible novella bound with one half buffalo chicken, one half barbecue roast beef, and one half misanthrope ($8.95). Buckhead Saloon rests just across the river from Heinz Field and PNC Park, allowing quick bites before or after the game.
For $16, you get a dozen wings (up to a $10 value), two sandwiches or burgers (up to a $16 value), and one hour of pool (a $6 value; up to a $32 total value). For $27, you get two dozen wings (up to a $17 value), four sandwiches or burgers (up to a $32 value), and one hour of pool (a $6 value; up to a $55 total value).