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Friday, October 25, 2013

Le Mardi Gras

It is god damn Mardi Gras all year long.

If someone has not heard of Le Mardi Gras, I just assume they aren't well versed in Pittsburgh drinking culture. This is one of the best bars in the city. Their drinks are remarkably strong, easily on par with Lefty's in the Strip. As a matter of fact, I really don't recommend having more than four or five Mardi Gras cocktails. They will kick your ass.

This is one of the only bars in the city where I will walk in and just tell the bartender to make whatever whiskey drink he feels like making. I realize this might not sound like a big deal, but I have serious trust issues when it comes to bars. There are only about twenty six bars worldwide where I will even consider ordering  a Manhattan or a Martini.


One of the best kept Le Mardi Gras secrets is that on Sunday they offer free food to their patrons. Even though we visited on a Thursday, the owner, Rich, was kind enough to put some food out for us. These little touches are what make Mardi Gras more than just a bar. Honestly, if it wasn't for Mardi Gras I'd petition the city to burn down Shadyside. All those nice looking couples and fancy retail stores remind of a life I will never have as a lowly Southside dumpster rat.

Here are some of my favorite Le Mardi Gras features: smoking, table top pacman, excellent juke box, fantastic bartenders, intimate seating, dark ominous ambiance and lively patrons. According to Le Mardi Gras' website they've also hosted a variety of celebrities including Rocky Marciano, Harvey Kietel, Sammy Koufax, Sam McDowell, Billy Conn, Alice Cooper, George Clooney, Russell Crowe and Ted Danson. One day I hope that I'm important enough to be added to that list right between Clooney and Cooper. One day........

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chicken Latino

Quarter Chicken, Beans and Slaw


These Peruvians know their meat. The food at Chicken Latino doesn't look fancy, but it is delicious. The prices are insanely reasonable and the rotisserie chicken is very well seasoned. A quarter bird will only set you back $3.99. Throw in some yucca fries, some watery beans and some very mediocre cole-slaw and you've got a whole meal for less than ten bucks!

One of the best restaurant features is that they encourage BYOB. Nobody even batted an eyelash as we unleashed roughly four bottles of wine, two bottles of whiskey, about twenty beers and what was left of Rashan's bar. (Triple sec and bunch of crap, that's what.) However, they do close shop rather early. Get there by six or you might not even be guaranteed any delicious chicken let alone the opportunity to consume 35 drinks on premise.

There's a lot happening on the table.

The chicken itself is succulent and flavorful. A poor man's paradise. I've never ordered off of the American portion of the menu, but I can vouch for the quesadilla and the slow cooked pork. (Only available on weekends.) In general, I'd avoid the sides, the nachos and salsa and the desserts. All are reasonably priced, but entirely forgettable.

Here's a picture of some cake I wouldn't order again.

I want to add that the staff is very friendly and welcoming and the business seems to be sustained by repeat customers who pick-up chicken to take home. You won't have trouble finding a seat at the restaurant any day of the week.

Chicken Latino on Urbanspoon