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Friday, January 27, 2017

The Library - Southside

Food Models Jon and Tina
The Library in Southside hosts a very special happy hour that holds a dear place in my heart. Twice a day they offer half off craft beers and half off appetizers. The happy hour beer special runs from 5-7 pm and then again from 10-12. Doesn't it sound too good to be true?

When you run an entrenched happy hour for several years, you start to slip. We call this, "happy hour creep." Gradually the bar starts to realize that people are only coming around for the happy hour special and the various price points begin to reflect the behavior of the patrons.

For example, the chicken tenders on the happy hour menu are priced at $10.50 and the nachos are priced at $12.50. While these items are a steal when they are half-off, they are a little overpriced otherwise. By way of comparison, an order of chicken tenders will cost you $8 and an order of chicken nachos will cost you $10 at Carson City Saloon.

The ribs (pictured above) were surprisingly good. Fall off the bone tender and well portioned.  I'd have to say that the ribs are one of the best deals for happy hour. ($8.25)

Billy Goat
The Billy Goat's Gruff has always been one of my favorite dishes at the Library. Stuffed poblano peppers with goat cheese and a choice of meat for $12.50 or $6.25 during happy hour. However, they were remarkably disappointing on this visit. The peppers themselves were basically raw and hastily stuffed with what seemed like mostly cream cheese and some overcooked chicken. I will not be ordering them again.

A few additional warnings. The draft list is extremely confusing, the website is often incorrect about specials and pricing and the menu pictured on Zomato is very outdated. It's unfortunate to watch a fantastic happy hour fall from grace. But perhaps god needed another happy hour in heaven.

Library Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Fire Side Public House - East Liberty

The Fire Side Public House is located at the old site of Station Street Hot Dogs in a part of town I like to call, "the end of the world." Honestly, it is just the edge of East Liberty, but the spot is somewhat isolated. On the bright side the location has a parking lot which is sort of like finding a magical unicorn in Shadyside/East Liberty.

Fire Side is owned by the folks who own Sidelines Bar and Grill. Sidelines has locations in Sewickley and Millvalle and is absolutely worth a visit. One thing I found interesting about Fire Side is that none of my friends from the Shadyside area were familiar with the restaurant although it has been open for quite some time.

The space itself is very open and welcoming. The large bar encircles a fantastic wood fired grill and Fire Side offers a number of daily specials. (Thursday night is $10 beer and flight night.)

The wings at Fire Side are fantastic! They are very similar to the high quality wings I've come to expect from Sidelines. Unlike Sidelines, you can order your wings grilled or fried. I always get fried wings, I find them vastly superior to their grilled brethren.

On my two visits to Fire Side I've only tried the wings. They are always great - a nice size, a decent crisp and well sauced. Be sure to check out their extensive craft beer list if that's your thing. I usually have one and switch to Bud Light.

The Fire Side Public House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato