The culinary craftsmen at Dukes Station II tame appetites with a menu of classic American fare. Populate mouth-caves with a crispy basket of shrimp ($4.95) or a helping of jalapeño poppers ($4.95) for a hotter beginning than a phoenix’s 21st rebirthday. A lineup of more than 30 phalange-fillers includes the cheeseburger ($5.95); a half-rack of ribs ($12.95) meets the Constitution-mandated requirement to pronounce something as “finger-licking good” in order to be able to vote. Landlubbing entrees such as spaghetti and meatballs ($7.25) alternate with seafaring treats such as luscious crab cakes ($9.95), and individually sized pizzas come festooned in traditional cheese toppings ($3.95) or with a zesty taco flair ($4.50). Miniature masticators can indulge in kids’ menu items or steal peppermints from a neighbor’s pocket.
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.
The puff pros at Jernigan's, voted one of 2010's top 20 bars in Pittsburgh Magazine, open their walk-in humidor to smokers of all stripes, serving fine spirits and classy cuisine in an intimate atmosphere reminiscent of the collegial camaraderie of an Irish pub. Stogie devotees can chew on a classic Padron Anniversario, aged four years, or parse words with a Hemingway Series cigar filled with earthy flavors, a spicy finish, and terse stories of its youth spent hunting squirrels in rural Illinois.
Named "Best Deli" by Pittsburgh City Paper and "Best in City" by Pittsburgh Magazine, Carson Street Deli owns up to its accolades with a menu full of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. New York-style sandwiches ($6–$8) throw plenty of elbows alongside more mild-mannered sides ($1–$3.50), salads ($4–$7), and conversational lunch-goers (free after administering a low-five handslap). Ramp up meat locker training efforts with help from the Balboa—piles of sopressata, imported Di Lusso Genoa salami, prosciutto, spicy capicola and hard salami on a French baguette ($8)—or the slightly spicier diversion, Montezuma's revenge, which melds grilled buffalo chicken breast, green and red peppers, onions, melted cheeses and hot sauce into a warm pita ($7). Vegetarians appease appetites with buffalo mozzarella layered within the handheld veggie Roma ($6).
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.