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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Genoa Pizza - Downtown

That's a lot of free appies!

Genoa Pizza is an entirely unsuspecting little bar tucked away on the outskirts of the golden triangle. Located on Market Street on the other side of the Boulevard of the Allies, I never even knew this place was a bar until I stumbled out of the River City Inn one drunken night and found myself in heaven. I've basically been going back to Genoa ever since as a secret late night go-to watering hole. The run-down wood paneling  interior provides the comfort and ambiance of a dive bar without the need to traipse all the way back to whatever neighborhood you live in that is undoubtedly filled with dive bars.

My favorites include the taco pizza and the sicilian style square cut pizza. The sicilian does not have a super dense crust like Ambridge Police Station Pizza or Beto's, but it is a nice change of pace from the thin crust pizza that is so prevalent in Pittsburgh. Genoa absolutely kills it with the taco pizza: spicy seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, cold lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, black olives and sour cream on the side. Boom! That's what I call a good way to end the evening.

Where appetizers go to die, my face.

Now, if you happen to make it to Genoa before 7:00 p.m on a weeknight. you are in for a real treat. For every five dollars you spend you are entitled to a free appetizer. I managed to spend thirty dollars by the close of happy hour. (No easy feat considering drinks are very reasonably priced.) This allowed me to order six free appetizers of my choosing! I went with double mozzarella sticks, the shrimp, the breaded zucchini, jalapeno poppers and the breaded mushrooms. It is a miracle of science that I lived to write this post.

Considering my thirty dollars also purchased about eight drinks, this was a fantastic bargain. In terms of the most bang for your buck, go with the shrimp and the breaded zucchini. Be sure to say hello to the very pleasant bartender, her name is Amanda and she's a real doll! Avoid conversation with the locals, they tend to be surly and uninterested in speaking with outsiders.

Genoa Pizza & Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Pub Chip Shop - Southside

Scotch Pie

The Pub Chip Shop menu is really extraordinary when compared to the typical late night fare you generally expect in the Southside. Prepare to choose from deep fried fish, baked savory pies, pastys, boxtys, baps and other varieties of foods you may not be familiar with. (I'm not even really sure I even said most of those things correctly.)

Doc's Scotch pie was filled with lamb and served with a side of delicious lamb stock gravy. I only had a bite, but it was really quite good. Crusty with thick chunks of lamb and a salty finish. A nice alternative to the many deep fried items on the Pub Chip Shop menu.

When I go back I'll probably try the chicken mushroom pie or the steak and oyster pie. Although the pies may look intimidating, they are on the small side but still appropriate as an entire meal for most reasonable people. They also work as an appetizer for someone like me who only wants to live to see 45.

I'm in love with the chipper.

This chicken mess consisted of fried chicken with onion rings and french fries thrown in a box and covered in bbq sauce. The cole slaw was extra, but I felt it was necessary considering the amount of grease I was about to consume. The presentation was better on the Pub Chip Shop twitter feed (@thepubchipshop) because they garnished the box with some green onions and cheddar cheese. Although it may look like a mess, it was a box of heaven. Despite the slathering of bbq sauce, all of the ingredients were perfectly crisp and well seasoned.

Some of my friends have complained that the fried options from the Pub Chip Shop were a little heavy for their tastes. Have you people ever had fried food before? It is supposed to be greasy as hell! That's why you eat it after an evening of getting loose at the bar, you dingus.

The Pub Chip Shop on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Franktuary – Lawrenceville - Guest Post


Guest post by Ryan Minoski of

Hotdogs and beer: the dinner of champions. Franktuary has elevated this ballpark cuisine to new levels, and they mix one hell of a cocktail to boot.

Happy hour runs on the early side here. Arrive at 4:00 to take full advantage of the specials, like half-price poutine (fancy talk for fries). Unless you’re French Canadian/seriously love brown gravy, steer toward the Buffalo fries—a heaping plate of spuds topped with spicy wing sauce, bleu cheese, and chopped celery. Use a fork and keep your drinking hand free.


On that note, the drink special includes $4 drafts and $7 cocktails, which is not a spectacular deal until you taste one. The old fashioned was one of the smoothest I have ever had. And the Pittsburgh sour, made with Wigle rye and Pittsburgh Winery zinfandel, does the Burgh proud. As far as drafts go, the bar offers a respectable selection of Pennsylvania craft brews… and Iron City.

Corndogs are also half-price during happy hour, but stick with the shop’s claim to fame: frankfurters. The toppings are what make these dogs, and Franktuary lays them on thick. The Pittsburgh dog is covered with sweet, relishy slaw and baby pierogies, making for a truly unique flavor/texture combo. Franktuary’s take on Icelandic hotdogs, the Rekjavik, is a ketchup, mustard, and remoulade drenched dog with a powerful but not offensive onion bite. On the down side, the sauce to dog ratio can be too heavy at times, like on the New Yorker—a classic kraut, onion, and mustard dog where the spicy brown mustard dominates the palate and cleanses the sinuses (order this if you have a head cold).


All in all, Franktuary’s happy hour runs a top-notch fry special and an average drink special, but this is a solid excuse to try some unusual hotdogs and high-quality cocktails in a great atmosphere.

Franktuary on Urbanspoon