The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘Restaurants’

Primanti Brothers – A Pittsburgh Tradition

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on October 4, 2009

In looking around Pittsburgh for a tasty place to eat, while staying up in the University area (Oakland), my co-worker and I came across Primanti Brothers.  It looked interesting from the outside, and he and I both like holes in the wall, so we popped in.

First, the music was straight out of the late 90s.  Stone Temple Pilots (Lady Picture Show).  No Doubt (Spiderwebs). Alice in Chains.  Better than Ezra.  The music wasn’t so odd, by itself, but it was the fact that it was the ONLY music that was played.  Either they were on satellite radio, getting a 90s feed, or someone in their early 30s had their iPod hooked up to the sound system.

It wasn’t “my kind” of music, but it was all from my high school years, so I didn’t bother me at all.  In fact, the nostalgia was kind of nice.

Otherwise, the restaurant had almost a diner feel.  We seated ourselves in a quiet corner.  There were several flat screens playing sports.  Our server, Jess, came over.  She was friendly.  We asked for menus, but she said that the menu was on the wall.  I thought that was interesting.  We looked up, and sure enough, the walls had the menu on them.
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Clearly we weren’t locals.  She stated that all sandwiches come with tomatoes, cole slaw, and fries on them, and asked us to just call for her when we were ready to order.

Wait wait wait… tomatoes, cole slaw, and fries ON the sandwiches?

Tomatoes, cole slaw, french fries ON the sandwiches.

Like… between the bread?

Not LIKE… Between the bread.

Huh.  How ’bout that?

Well, I ordered an Iron City Pilsner, which I had never had before, and a capricolla and cheese sandwich, hold the cole slaw.  The beer was cool, crisp, and thirst-quenching; just like any authentic pilsner should be.  The sandwich came out shortly there after the beer, without cole slaw, but with tomatoes and fries ON the sandwich, as promised.

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It was excellent.  It was regular white bread, high-quality meat, and tasty cheese.  The tomatoes were good, and the fries were excellent.  We settled up our bill, and resolved to come back when we go back to Pittsburgh in early October (this week).

The food wasn’t spectacular, but the ambiance, price, and food combined to get a solid recommendation.  If you’re in the Iron City, make it a point to swing by a Primanti Brothers.

Primanti Brothers (Oakland) on Urbanspoon

Posted in Restaurants, Travel | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Sir Edmond Halley’s

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on September 26, 2009

My office had some visitors in town, and I asked if they would like to get together for dinner.  I was looking for something quiet and different, and I knew I had just the place.  Unfortunately, it was just me, as the Wife was at school.

The Wife and I found Sir Edmond Halley’s early in our tenure here in Charlotte, after reading about it in a local periodical.  If you’ve never been there, it’s an English pub, with an awesome chef.  It’s remarkably difficult to find in the Park Road Shopping Center, ‘Clandestinely located behind the “center.”‘  The only indicator from the main shopping center parking lot is a small sign on a column beside Rack Room Shoes.  The restaurant is actually down a small corridor and UNDERNEATH the sporting goods store on the left in the picture.   It’s a quaint location, if you can find it!

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There is a sizeable outdoor seating area, secluded by the shopping center and the narrow rear parking lot.  It was just the slightest bit muggy while we were there, so we didn’t eat outside, but as the evening cooled off, there were plenty of takers for the outdoor seating.

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While Sir Edmond Halley’s IS an English pub, it’s not really pub grub.  While fish and chips may be on the menu, there are any number of interesting, sometimes intimidating, but always impressive selections on the menu.  I have had a duck burrito, artichoke saltimbocca, and the Wife had a kangaroo steak once.  The chef is simply awesome.  The menu changes frequently, so it’s always a new experience.

My one solid criticism of the restaurant, is that the beer selection is somewhat limited.  If you’re looking for a selection of British-style beers, it’s all there; Guiness, Bass, Bodingtons, Harp, etc.  Past that, the selection of taps (which is about all I drink) is pretty limited, with only enough room for a couple “guest” beers.

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While I was tempted to get the ostrich meatloaf for dinner, I’m not really much of a meatloaf fan.  Once one of the guests ordered the asparagus and a portobello grilled cheese with tomato basil soup, I knew what I was getting, too.

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Unfortunately, they did not have the tomato basil soup.  Our waiter, Matt, was appropriately contrite, and did his best to make it right.  In general, he was an excellent waiter; friendly, funny, and attentive (I never wanted for water).  We both opted for the black bean soup, which was good, with a touch of spice.  The grilled cheese, however, tasted as good as it looks (at least as good as it looks to me).  The asparagus and portobello with the melty cheese was excellent.  I did not regret my decision to pass on the ostrich.

To make up for the tomato soup, he offered us a complimentary dessert.  I actually passed on the dessert, as I’m looking out for my girlish figure, and I realized I likely wouldn’t be making it to the gym, but my dinnermate asked for the creme brulee.

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I had never had creme brulee, but I decided to try “just a bite.”  Evidently, “just a bite” turned in to 75% of the dish, which I THINK was fine with everyone at the table.  It was excellent.  Having never had it, I asked, “Is this REALLY good creme brulee?”  “No, this is good creme brulee, but nothing special.”   Evidently, I have a new dessert to keep my eyes out for.

Sir Edmond Halley’s is one of the consistently best restaurants I think I have ever been to.  The cost is something around $10-$15 per plate, and the menu is always new, fresh, and inspired.  The beer selection is classic to the style of the restaurant, but is incongruous with the variety and depth of the spectacular menu.

Sir Edmond Halley's on Urbanspoon

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