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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Papa J's Centro

Legend has it that Papa J's downtown location, situated in one of Pittsburgh's oldest standing buildings, is haunted. I guess it used to be a brothel, they've been in business at their downtown location for over fifteen years! 

I'm not sure if I believe in ghosts. My rational mind says no. If ghosts are real, where's the proof? Certainly someone would be able to accurately document and capture some type of paranormal experience in a clear and convincing manner, right? I think I believe in ghosts in so much as other people believe in ghosts. Their belief that ghosts exist creates a reality in which ghosts exist. Objectivity is passe.

I've visited Papa J's twice in the last week. I was hoping to scare myself, and I was successful. The chicken marsala was so bad -  it literally scared me. A thin watery sauce and chicken that tasted at least a day old with a rubbery texture and awful flavor. The chicken on my pizza, pictured above, wasn't any better. However, I shouldn't run my mouth about the pizza (lest the ghosts get me).

The pizza at Papa J's was good. In particular I thought the cheese and toppings, other than the chicken, were very flavorful and well presented. I had the chicken pesto pizza with fresh tomato, red onion and toasted pine nuts. The crust was well prepared and I believe they said it was made in house. I was actually amazed by the amount of pine nuts on the pizza. Pine nuts are expensive! I would wager that the pine nuts on this pizza cost more than all of the other ingredients combined. It is always nice to see a place that doesn't skimp on toppings to try and save a buck.

Overall, I really liked this bar. The bar itself is a very unique place with a lot of personality. (Dark wood interior with intricate fixtures and many smaller intimate rooms separated by a central bar.) Other than the chicken, I felt no feelings of discomfort or paranormal activity while visiting Papa J's. The bartenders are a lot of fun and the patrons can get a little rowdy, they were basically falling out of their chairs on my first visit. I have to say that I would go back to this bar over other bars with better specials and better food. I would prefer to sit at Papa J's over Easy Street any day of the week. Personality goes a long way. 

If you visit Papa J's, skip the entrees, try the pizza and stay for the potential ghost sightings. If you don't manage to scare yourself with the cuisine, just be patient and the patrons will take care of the rest.

 Papa J's - Downtown on Urbanspoon

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