Local Bar + Kitchen – March 24, 2011

Local just opened a few weeks ago on March 12, and last week was my boy Vic’s bday and since he works on the South Side we figured we would check out the new place for lunch. We sat at the bar, the downside was it being a work day and couldn’t have a liquid lunch, but the bar was fully stocked and it is def on my list to drink at soon to get the full effect. The whole atmosphere in the restaurant was cool, it had a loft apartment feel to it and I can really see this place being popular with the college crowd.


Onto the real reason we are here…THE FOOD!


I have to start with my favorite first, “Beat-the-Buffalo Bills Chicken Pizza” awesome name! Mild buffalo tossed chicken, banana pepper, mozzarella, provolone & fries with ranch on the side. Yea your taste buds are going into overdrive right now just reading that! First bite was flavor town, especially with the parmesan seasoning that was on the crust and pan just helped the flavors explode. The first few bites not bad, everything was flavorful and not a ton of heat, fries gave something unique to a pizza. Then BAM! I have had a lot of buffalo chicken items over the years; by far this was one of the best/spiciest I have ever had. I like to think I can take heat, and let me say the pizza wasn’t overkill, just every so often kick to the throat. I guess I have to give the warning that if you just like buffalo chicken where it has weak flavor, this pizza probably isn’t for you, but if you like some bite in your buffalo chicken, THIS IS A MUST TRY! If I do a Pizza Challenge again for this blog, Local is going to be on the list for sure.


A couple appetizers we tried were the Vegetable Spring Rolls & honey hot BBQ wings. The wings had a good hard fry on them which is the way I like them and the sauce was really good too. The Spring Rolls were nice, only downside is that they are supposed to come with a hot mustard or duck sauce and they were out of the hot mustard that day, no worries I understand early growing pains. I’m not a big fan of duck sauce, don’t really think it adds anything so I feel like I didn’t get the full affect of the spring rolls but I’ll make sure I try them again on the next visit. Vic got a “Big Fat Chubby Burgher” and it looked really good, gotta add that to the list too.


Local Bar + Kitchen opens daily at 11am and I recommend that you try them out in person and on the web:


16th and East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA

Phone – 412-431-8800

Web- http://localpgh.com/

Twitter – http://twitter.com/localpgh

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/localpgh

Local Bar and Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Sieb’s Pub – January 27, 2010 (Man vs. Food Edition)

irish challenge

Welcome to a very special edition of YINZ HUNGRY, today I am going to talk about my battle against “The Irish Challenge” at Sieb’s Pub in the North Hills. Let me start by saying that I am nothing like Adam Richman (host of Man v. Food on the Travel Channel) and I DO NOT WANT TO BE! Since I found out about the Irish Challenge I have been toying with the idea but the other day I was not prepared my friends. I did not go into Sieb’s Pub thinking I was going to do the Irish Challenge, I went in planning on having a salad (yes I know, two completely opposite choices). The past few weeks my friends and I have started to compete in a “Biggest Loser” competition and I have been doing very well with my food choices and have changed the majority of my eating habits. My goal has been to get a good amount of blogs in this month and then probably only get a few in over the next few months until the competition is over. Well, what a way to go out.

You have to take down a burger that they call “2 pounds of hand-packed beef”, it is one giant sandwich with two burger patties on it and I am guessing each one weighs a pound. It is smothered with peppers, mushrooms and onions along with 3 types of cheese and to help you out you get lettuce and tomato with a pickle spear. Then you get a pound of fries and a scoop and a half of homemade coleslaw. You have to eat all of this along with a 16 oz beer or pop in 45 minutes or less. If you can conquer the beast, you get the meal for free. If you can’t then it is only $19.99, not too bad for what is basically 2 or more meals. The picture I have posted can’t do the food justice!

Like I said above, I did not plan on going against the Irish Challenge but I was talked into doing it by my friend Vic who did have a pregame plan of attacking the Irish Challenge. Looking back I regret doing it, the food was delicious don’t get me wrong, but it was not a healthy thing to do…I don’t know how Adam Richman does it so much. I do not like coleslaw at all, so the plan was to get that down first. If I attempt this again I will go for the coleslaw last because I think that was what slowed me down so quick. After the coleslaw I took the top half of the burger and halfway through this burger I could tell I wasn’t going to finish. The burger itself was delicious and was perfectly seasoned, but that was too much beef! The fries are pretty damn close to what I like too, they had a nice crisp bite to them. Even though I didn’t finish the Irish Challenge, a benefit was that I had meals for 2 days! That is a great thing during this economy!

Our waiter who timed us, told us a story of a guy who came in and finished the Irish Challenge and said he could do another one…SMH…

I don’t know if I will ever do another food competition for this blog, but if there is a place that you know of that has a food competition let me know because it doesn’t hurt to look!

3382 Babcock Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15237-2422
Phone- 412-364-8511
Web- http://siebspub.com/

Sieb's Pub on Urbanspoon

Dunning’s Grill – April 18, 2009

Last week I posted a review of "The Green Mango" in Regent Square and provided a few other places in the square that are popular. Well this past weekend I visited another location, Dunning’s Grill. I have been to this place many times over the years when I was younger, but the older I get the less and less I have been. Each time I have ever gone, it is just a very relaxed atmosphere, nothing too exciting going on. When you first walk into Dunning’s you are at the bar, a very chill bar and even gives me a memory of "Cheers". On the left of the entrance is the main dinning area and there is nothing fancy about the place, as I said before everything is very relaxed. I can honestly say, while other places in the square have a very long wait, I have never waited at Dunning’s, I can always get a seat.

Potato Skins – The only appetizer that really caught my eye was the Potato Skins, and the thing I liked best about them was the thickness of the potato. Alot of places take out alot of the potato and leave primarily just the skin. Not Dunning’s, alot of the potato was left in and was topped with a strip of bacon and melted cheddar cheese. Not alot of frills in this food, sometimes the skins are topped with chives, sour cream, different cheese, but these skins were just simple. Sometimes simple works best. My buddy JJ ordered an appetizer of the BBQ Boneless Wings. Once again, these were very simple, boneless chicken topped with BBQ sauce.

Bacon Bleu Burger – I am really not a big fan of Bleu Cheese, but I order it a decent amount when I am out because if you can take something like bleu cheese and make it delicious then you have done your job. The burger itself wasn’t very juicy, I ordered it medium well because I didn’t want it too dry. While the burger topped with bacon and bleu cheese wasn’t overpowered by those flavors, the burger didn’t come with any type of signature dressing just ketchup and mustard on the table. When I get a burger I like a sauce to come with it. I think I would’ve been happy if the bleu cheese would’ve been a dressing. So in essence, the burger just came to the table too dry. The homemade chips that came on the side had a nice seasoning on them and were a nice addition to the meal. I remember getting the chips as a kid and not liking them. I am not sure if the chips have changed or just my tastebuds, but I was glad I ordered the chips this time. JJ also got a burger and I believe his quote was that his mouth didn’t produce enough saliva to eat the burger.

Homemade Cheesecake – Anytime I see "homemade" next to cheesecake I usually try it, because I feel alot of places just get frozen and serve that. For those of you who know me or who have read previous posts know that I am not that big of a dessert fan, but cheesecake can be a weakness at times. This to me was what saved the meal, and was topped with a blackberry sauce. I could’ve done without the blackberries, but it did add a nice flavor. I would recommend Dunning’s for the cheesecake alone.


1100 S Braddock Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Phone – 412-243-3900
Sorry No Website

Final Thought
This trip reminded me of a joke performed by Chris Rock when he talked about when he was a kid and his mother bought no-frills food. Dunning’s to me was No-Frills food. I received food, but nothing that would really ever get me excited about eating it. Except the cheesecake, as I said before the cheesecake was recommendation alone for Dunning’s. If you are looking for a local chill spot to grab some food and a beer, Dunning’s will fulfill that for you. If you are looking for something with alot of flavor and a great atmosphere, you might want to find another spot. From growing up in the area, Dunning’s is the spot for people just to go and hang out at in the evening when they don’t feel like cooking or a place to grab a beer with their food on the weekend. Dunning’s provides a service to the neighborhood of Regent Square and has been doing so for many years. If you live close by, check it out, try something that I haven’t and let me know what you think. If you are not from Regent Square or Dunning’s is far from where you live, I am not sure if it would be worth the drive.

Dunning's Grill on Urbanspoon

My Top 5 Favorite Places To Eat In Pittsburgh!

I know with a headline like that I have alot to live up to. This "Top 5 List" is made up of 5 places I have eaten at for many years, and tend to visit somewhat frequently. This list is also not in any particular order, each of these places has something different to offer and while some menu items may overlap they can not compare to any of the others. So here we go…

Woody’s Little Italy Restaurant
5300 Walnut Street
McKeesport, PA 15132
Phone- 412-751-3225
Web- http://www.woodyscatering.com/Restaurant.htm

My father grew up not far from Woody’s, so we usually try and go when we are over that way or even when we are just hungry for their food. Woody’s prides themself on their homemade gnocchi, raviloi, and manicotti. Some of my favorites at Woody’s are the fried zucchini (with the horseradish sauce), stuffed banana peppers, chicken diablo, lasagna, and their pizza’s are always a good choice. If you are in the mood for great italian food with a nice but relaxed atmosphere, Woody’s is the place for you. They also offer catering and the information is on the website above.

Wing, Suds, & Spuds
8806 University Blvd
Moon Township, PA 15108
Phone- 412-264-1866
Sorry No Website

Not long ago I posted a review of "Bubba’s Ugly" who was voted "Best Wings in Pittsburgh" a year or so ago. Well boys and girls, meet IMO "The Best Wings. Period.". I went to college at Robert Morris University which is just down the road from WSS and that is when I found out about WSS. The sad thing is that I was hyped for weeks and weeks about going and the day I went was a Friday…DURING LENT! So my first ever trip to WSS did not include any WINGS! That day I ordered a fish sandwich, while that was a great fish sandwich, it was the first and last time I got something other than wings during my visit. I personally like my wings fried hard, nothing soggy, and that is what WSS provides. You don’t get tiny wingdings like Quaker Steak here, full wing with plenty of great sauces to choose from. The majority of the sauces are wet, but they do offer a dry rub as well. My favorite is the Garlic Parmesean, mmmmmm, sorry to go all Homer Simpson for a second. They also have the typical buffallo, BBQ, Honey BBQ, and countless others. All can be ordered Mild, Medium or Hot depending on tollerance. For a side I usually add a basket of their fresh cut curly fries, I might have to quit typing in a minute cause I am getting really hungry. Then to complete the whole meal add an ice cold Yuengling and that is my idea of a last supper.
*Another great place for wings is the Starlite Lounge in Blawnox, a buddy of mine recently turned me onto them and they have also been featured on "Dinners, Drive-ins, & Dives" on the Food Network with Guy Fieri. You can check them out on the web at http://www.moondogs.us/StarliteHome.html

Rudy Martino’s Original House of Submarines (or just simply… Rudy’s)
1918 Monongahela Ave
Swissvale, PA 15218
Phone- 412-271-1233
Sorry No Website

I don’t know if I even need to write much in this section, JUST GO HERE! Rudy’s is about 2 blocks away from my house, for those of you who know me now understand why I am a big guy. I have lived off of their subs for YEARS! The fresh hoagie rolls from Mancini’s are a great addition to the main event put in them. One of my favorites and almost the normal is a Mushroom Cheese Steak and when I really wanna add something I add egg on top of that. From the steaks, to italians, to burgers, to whatever type of sub you like Rudy’s has it! The sides can range from fries, onion rings, fried mushrooms all the way to my favorite hot pepper cheese balls. Wash it all down with a nice Turner’s iced tea, and boom goes the dynamite.

Jim’s Drive In
2600 Skyline Dr
West Mifflin, PA 15122
Phone- 412-466-1644
Sorry No Website

So Jim’s is not a typical place to eat, normally you parked your car, ordered your food at the window, then either at in your car or got the food to go. Now for the nice weather, Jim’s has a few outdoor picnic tables. Jim’s is famous for their "Special Sauce", I don’t know whats in it but I am pretty sure drugs are a part of it. If you have been or do go, do not purchase the sauce in a bottle to go, I am pretty sure they leave something out. Jim’s grills burgers, dogs, chicken and more. My usual is the cheese dog in which the dog is grilled then topped with sauce and onion, the cheese slice is placed ontop of that and the whole thing is put in the grill oven to toast everything to perfection! Same goes with the cheeseburger and chicken sandwich. This is the way a cheeseburger and dog were meant to be eaten! This is another location that my dad has taken me and my sister to on numerous occasions and now that we are older we bring our friends to as well. Another side with this meal is usually a vanilla malt for myself. Jim’s has numerous combinations for shakes/malts, and always delicious.

Mineo’s Pizza
2128 Murray Ave
Squirrel Hill, PA 15217
Phone- 412-521-9864 / 412-521-2053 (yes they are that busy they need 2 lines)
Web- http://www.mineospizza.com/

I always visit the Squirrel Hill location, but Mineo’s does have another location in Mt. Lebanon. If you know Mineo’s you probably know that if you like their pie you probably won’t ever step through the doors of Aiello’s not to far away and vice-versa. The only pie I get at Mineo’s is the Sausage and Mushroom, its the best IMO. I love Mineo’s because of that pizza, and the cheese that goes onto it…oh lord. It is just a hefty/tasty pie and I don’t think it comes any better.
*Another great pizza place in Squirrel Hill is Napoli’s right up the road from Mineo’s. Napoli’s has a full menu of pizza, pasta dinners, hoagies, salads, etc. My dad and his friends visit Napoli’s for lunch at least once a week if not more. A great place for a quick slice and even a 6 pack. A favorite here for me is the chicken parm hoagie, to die for! http://www.napolipizzasqhill.com/

So there you have it, my top 5 with a few additions too. I hope this helps you out, and stay tuned this week for at least 3 more reviews and at least a couple recipes. If you have been to any of these places, please leave comments below and even what your top 5 places are!

Until Next Time…