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Thursday, July 26, 2012


Chicken Tenders
Does this picture look like a blurry bunch of junk? Does it look like it might not even be food? Because that is exactly how it tasted. Blush is a gentleman's club in downtown Pittsburgh and photographs are not allowed, so I had to be secretive. Surprisingly, they offer food. I had my choice of french fries, pizza or chicken tenders. Basically, a selection akin to what you might find at a little league baseball game minus snow cones, pixie sticks and nachos. However, this food was considerably worse than what you would get at a children's baseball game.

The chicken tasted just awful. The breading was falling off and I can only imagine that it was prepared in a microwave or a small toaster oven. The texture of the meat was like that of rubber and the flavor was about the same. The biggest offense is that the chicken only came with ketchup, and that ketchup wasn't even Heinz. A real slap in the face to Pittsburgh.

Some positive notes: the employees here are naked, they extended the happy hour for our group, the drinks were fine, the kitchen is being expanded following renovations, and honestly, if you are eating dinner in a strip club you probably have bigger issues than lousy chicken tenders.

Blush on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Triangle Bar and Grill

Cheese steak and jooooose.

Jerry likes his hoagies sloppy, at least that's what he tells his woman. The Triangle is one of those Pittsburgh institutions that might just slip under your radar if you aren't a keen food fanatic. They've been running out of a dark and dirty bar in Swissvale for over thirty years. This is not a foodie joint - the lack of blogger reviews and general knowledge amongst my generation indicate that it is a well kept Pittsburgh secret that appeals to the older blue collar crowd.

The subs are gigantic. No one was able to down an entire battleship (23 inches.) I tried the fried boloney, the Italian and the cheese steak (pictured above with banana peppers and Joose!) The bread was soft and fresh, the meat was pretty good and the vegetable to meat/cheese/bread ratio was great. I think a lot of sub places give you too much bread, resulting in a crappy bread sandwich. I loved the cheese steak and the Italian, but the fried baloney was the most original and interesting sub I tried. Just dripping with cheese and hot baloney, I am currently salivating as I recall the sweet greasy deliciousness.

This bar is not in the greatest neighborhood in the world. The Triangle is located right in the middle of Rankin, Braddock and Swissvale. However, as a result, the drinks are cheap as sin. For $2.75 you can get any 24 oz beer you want. For $2 you can get a Joose, which is basically a generic 12% alcohol Four-loco energy drink. Joose will ruin your evening. One of our guests had three and he was basically shouting nonsense at the top of his lungs and smashing glasses. Luckily, because of the venue, he still wasn't asked to leave.

Triangle Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 13, 2012

Redfin Blues

People have been begging me to go to Redfin Blues for as long as I can remember. This strange neighborhood bar is located on Washington Landing, a small island on the Allegheny River. The location is magnificent. Right on the water, located on a bike trail and much less smelly than you'd imagine for a Pittsburgh river bar. The clientele was interesting - middle aged house wives drowning their empty-nester woes in pinot grigio. We actually weren't the worst behaved patrons at the bar for once. These women really put on a fantastic show, just whooping and drinking the night away. When I see older people acting up I am reminded of how my antics must appear to children and teenagers. (Who is that clown in the hat eating shrimp and drinking white wine? Is this guy a trucker or a roadie for Greenday?)

Shrimp! White wine!
The food at Redfin has received a great deal of trash talk on Urbanspoon. For example this review by Joe R. in reference to his crab cake, "I should have just wet a piece of bread in the river, rubbed some carp on it, rolled it into a ball and let it dry for a little while." The food is a far cry from gourmet cuisine, but I don't think all of the criticism is warranted. The peel and eat shrimp and pizza were just fine. Nothing special, and definitely overpriced, but they weren't terrible. As far as the available selections  I'd recommend going with the pizza as I found it entirely palatable and somewhat more affordable than the other dishes. The drinks were also overpriced, but hey, you pay for a view. This is just the way things work.

Pro-tip: the sign says that it is Redfin Blues Raw Bar and Grill. There is no raw bar, bring your own raw seafood.

Redfin Blues on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Roast chicken and cigarettes.

I've been to Hofbrauhaus on many occasions. I've even been to their tent at Oktoberfest in Germany. The place is consistently wunderbar. I like their seasonal beers, particularly their Oktoberfest. The Germans have a no nonsense attitude regarding their beer. The very first time I walked into the Hofbrau in Pittsburgh I took note of the large beers everyone was drinking and casually ordered a flagon of ale.  The bartender was visibly upset as he righteously explained that they did not sell ale and he did not know what a flagon was. (A flagon is a large metal or glass drinking vessel, very similar to the ones at Hofbrau. I still maintain that I was not off base.)

The food offerings are rather mediocre. I've never cared for their schnitzel, the mashed potatoes aren't great either and the brats pass as acceptable. I have to say though, I loved the roast chicken they served me at happy hour (pictured above with cigarettes.) It was well seasoned, succulent and comparable to the chicken I had while I was in Germany. Something about the German style of roast chicken is a little bit different. I think it is just a slightly less salty and more flavorful version of American chicken with some type of alternate seasoning blend. If you happen to know, please leave a comment.

Finally, some tips: Hofbrau doesn't offer a happy hour. They have tons of promotional bands and competitions, usually on weekends. If you go on a weekend, prepare to wait in line. The outdoor seating is some of the best in the city, don't jump the fence though - you will be asked to leave.

HofbrÀuhaus Pittsburgh on Urbanspoon