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Thursday, February 14, 2013

New Amsterdam

Pierogies and Kraut

I've unilaterally decided to shorten the name of New Amsterdam to, "Newammy's."  I think it has a better flow and style. The first thing you should know about Newammy's is that they have a very attractive Asian bartender. She's got this alternative look going on and she's a very polite and spry little minx. I believe that three separate happy hour goers, including a woman, mentioned their affections for this bartender.

The second thing you should know is that the food is overrated. The locals seem to cherish the culinary happenings here for some unknown reason. (Further proof that Lawrenceville residents are dummies.) The pierogies were fine, but they were obviously Mrs. T's pierogies. The Mediterranean plate was the real disappointment.  Some lousy artichoke spinach dip and hummus served with olives and a surprising lack of bread. I asked for more bread two times. It never showed up. The night slowly crept away and then the waitress stole my Mediterranean plate while I wasn't looking. Don't they know they shouldn't waste food! There are starving children in Dormont!

Additionally, the mediocre chicken wings are mediocre and the bar is very loud. At least that one bartender is really hot.

That one piece of bread is so sad. Where are his friends?

New Amsterdam on Urbanspoon

Doubleday's Famous Burgers

Turtle down
Doubleday's is a no nonsense establishment. When you step up to the bar you are expected to order. Out of fear for my life, I ordered the first chicken sammy I saw. The fiery sweet crispy chicken sandwich. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't famous. I think there were just too many flavors at play between the jalapenos, the cheese and the sweet chili sauce. I also tried a burger, it was not famous either. I can't really say that I had very strong feelings about the food at Doubleday's, other than I loved the tots. There's something about a perfectly crisp tot that just makes me want to chub out.

This is one of the few great neighborhood style bars that exist in downtown Pittsburgh. If I wanted a really good burger I'd head to Winghart's or Meat and Potatoes. But if I wanted some really good company, remarkably cheap beer, snarky bartenders and some perfectly crisp and reasonably priced tots - I'd be at Doubleday's in a heartbeat.

What is your favorite neighborhood style bar downtown? I love Bar 110, but Doubleday's provides a similarly wonderful atmosphere.

Doubleday's Famous Burgers on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Park Bruges Cafe

Introduction by Pittsburgh Happy Hour 

Krista Bland wrote this weeks review due to my untimely absence from happy hour. The Flemish and the Walloons are a hardy people. Knowing very little of their culture, I attribute their hardiness to their taste for chocolate, beer and strange liquors unbeknownst to a simple Pittsburgh man raised on river water. My favorite story involving the Belgians is when my friend Meredith insisted that my friend Wade was Belgian because of his blonde appearance and heavy accent after consuming a bottle of vodka. This is to say, I know very little of the culture. Let's hear what Krista Bland has to say about Park Bruges Cafe:

By Krista Bland

There are a huge selection of Belgian beers (about 20-30) Try the Rodenbach! One of my personal favorites. The style is called Flanders red, but the beer is slightly sour due to the yeasts used in the fermentation process.  A coppery-red color and dry finish. The tart flavor is thirst-quenching and it goes well with food.  Park Bruges doesn’t have a big enough bar for large groups - there are about 15 seats. Don't invite too many friends. 

The burger looked pretty good (I stole a glance at Matt’s, and it had a nice amount of char and melty cheese) However, for the $10 price tag, I decided on the tartes flambées. Basically large flatbreads (about the size of a dinner plate.) Crème fraiche, caramelized onions, and ham dotted the thin, crispy crust. Tarte flambée refers to a thin crust dough baked, usually in a wood oven, and topped with traditional Alsatian toppings, exactly like what I ordered. The flavors worked well, although being a salt lover, I wished there was a little more ham.  Personal preference.

I've had the frites before (editors note, this is fancy for french fries and I always order them as french fries to anger the waiter), and those are always excellent. Presented extra crispy due to the double fry. They are served with mayonnaise (garlic here, although sister restaurant Point Brugge offers basil mayo) in the European style. 

Park Bruges on Urbanspoon