Author Archive

And Knowing (the right Mexican restaurant) is Half the Battle…

March 4, 2008

Another great find in the North Hills, El Campesino…and frequent stop for G.I. Jose.

Gi Jose Gi Jose2

Food was great…very reminiscent of Mexico City, downtown, although still pretty good. The best part about this place…the food is served super fast. Dan & Rob had the #24 (one burrito, one enchilada and a chili relano), Ned had the burrito plate, Kristin had the #6 (burrito, taco, beans and rice, and Brian had #14 (an enchilada, a burrito, and one tamale):

Salsa & Chips 24 burrito plate 6 14

All in all, this place is perfect for a quick lunch…very authentic.

Bonus Tip of the day: Rob & Kenny say “just add tequila” for that added touch to your next fiesta.


…but things could get ugly.


El Campesino
4771 McKnight Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
(412) 366-8730


Happy Lunar New Year!

February 22, 2008

In an effort to visit our favorite Vietnamese establishment, Tram’s Kitchen, was closed for the first day of the Lunar New Year. Fate inevitably stepped in and led us to Garfield and to a place I once visited a few years ago, Pho Minh. The Moon was favorably looking down on us this day. Very quaint like Tram’s but all the servers had both of their limbs, which was a plus. To start our lunch, we ordered vegetarian spring rolls…a staple for the group. In comparison, the rolls were a big larger, however not rolled nearly as tight as Tram’s. Advantage: Tram’s.

Pho Mihn Spring Rolls

Lunch orders included Rob’s Spicy Meatball soup, Brian’s Saigon soup, & Kristin’s Chicken & Lemon Grass soup:

Spicy Meatball #1    Spicy Meatball #2    Saigon Soup    chicken and lemongrass

All of the soups trumped Tram’s…a feat never thought would happen. Although my spicy meatball had a little too much cilantro (of which i’m not a total fan), it was highly flavorful and loaded with Vietnamese happiness. Advantage: Pho Minh. My ONLY complaint was the fact that the server didn’t refill my water…so i took things into my own hands:


Needless to say, i had all the water i needed for the rest of my meal, but they became one server short that day. Looks like we have a new favorite in the Vietnamese department…sorry Tram’s, but nothing lasts forever.

Tram’s Protest    sign   inside

Pho Minh
4917 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
412) 661-7443
Map It! 

Ich scheiße eine Salzbrezel an der Allegheny Taverne von Max heute voll…

February 18, 2008

Loosely translated…”We went to eat at Max’s Allegheny Tavern today”. Well, that’s not exactly what is says, but it’s close. Kristin’s suggested journey to the Fatherland was a true flashback to happy German times. CooCoo clocks, beer steins, creepy old pictures, and new carpeting welcomed us as we sat down in North Side’s top-notch German restaurant. Gretel took our orders: We started with the best thing they have on the menu….3 orders of the stuffed pretzels. Served with a special honey mustard horseradish sauce, which i’m told they make from scratch on premise. This pretzel is the closest i’ll ever get to smoking crack cocaine.

Stuffed Pretzel Stuffed Pretzel 2

Rob’s Turkey Reuben (forgot to get pic:(), Dan’s Ham & Swiss Sandwich, Brian’s Goulash, Kristin’s & Ned’s Open-face Turkey Sandwiches:

Ham & Cheese Goulash Turkey

I think this place is haunted…as you’ll see from this picture:


As you can plainly witness, the light emitting from the picture of the old man. It wasn’t there when i took the picture. Only two things could have caused this….first, it’s the ghost of Heinrich Von Stein who haunts the beer stein table or it’s a hallucination from the pretzel mustard gas emitting from our table. Either way…totaly creepy. Also on the menu, although not ordered was another delicacy, the hot dog:

Hot Dog

Great food, a North Side staple establishment…another SpaceBoy favorite.

Max’s Allegheny Tavern
537 Suismon Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212-4924
(412) 231-1899
Map It!

Ned Gets My Sloppy Sopes…

February 11, 2008

It was really strange….i had a dream where the rivers ran green with guacamole and Mexican servers attended to my every need. A virtual burrito paradise engulfed my inner being…and then i woke up on Smithfield Street. Mexico City…the restaurant, not the city is the quintessential escape to all things Mexican. Authentic meals prepared by only the best Pittsburgh Mexican folk. The service is tremendous, the food is excellent, the heartburn is real. This isn’t a new destination for our blogging crew, but rather a new post on an old favorite. On today’s menu: Ned’s Chicken Burrito, Rob’s Black-n-Gold Burrito (Carne Asada), and Brian’s Veggie Fajitas.

Salsa & Chips Chicken Burrito Black-n-Gold Burrito Veggie Fajitas

Honorable mention…the fresh Guacamole wasn’t ordered today:( It is…BY FAR…the best appetizer at this restaurant. Brian’s been watching his girlish figure lately, so we decided against it today. Today’s experience was so enlightening that Ned is learning to speak Spanish, fortunately for him, one of the young, supple servers is helping him with language lessons. Unfortunately for her, he’s paying her in Pesos. Pablo rating: 3 claws up!

Mexico City Tacos & Burritos
111 Smithfield St

, PA 15222

(412) 391-2591
Map It!

Fun fact: Avocados are poisonous to Parrots (sorry Pablo)


Geno’s Fine Food…Indeed.

January 31, 2008

The SpaceTeam traveled, once again, into the very depths of Lawrenceville to uncover another gem, Geno’s. A very quaint bar/restaurant run by a very large, burley fellow with a thick Boston accent. His hands were like bear claws as he served us our drinks…they looked like ‘Killin’ Hands’. The gentle giant then brought us our food…of the bar variety:

Chili Garlic Bread Sticks Meatball Sandwich Deluxe Steak Sandwich

Dan & Kristin both started with the chili which got rave reviews. Kristin followed up her chili with an order of Garlic Bread, which was to die for. Rob and Dan both split a Homemade Meatball Sandwich and a Deluxe Steak Sandwich…both incredible (although a little overtoasted on the bun). And Brian also had the Deluxe Steak sandwich. The alcoholics in the group (i.e. Rob & B) ordered a Guinness and a Dogfish Head respectively. Eclectic atmosphere for a bar/restaurant…local art adorned the walls along with some old Pittsburgh city photography from the early 1900’s. Great place to eat and enjoy each other’s company and you won’t leave hungry.

Bonus: Foster’s Meats (Butcher) is located right next store.

Extra Bonus: They don’t wash their hands when they cut up your meat.

Geno’s Restaurant and Big Belly Deli
5147 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 781-3432
Map It!

The Ghost of Thanksgiving’s Past

January 10, 2008

The immortal Carved Turkey Special at the Smallman Street Deli in the Strip District is indeed a treat. Reminiscent of the day-after-Thanksgiving leftover lunches I hold so dear, this sandwich includes hand carved turkey (no processed meat), lettuce, Swiss Cheese, tomato, and a heavenly herb mayo spread. Available every week on Thursdays, the Outlook calendar reminds me with a nice jingle and a memory of family thanksgiving dinner’s past. Clearly, this gets my pghslop stamp of approval. Now, it’s time to accept my turkey coma.

Carved Turkey Sandwich


January 8, 2008

Tram’s Kitchen was splendid…as seen in photo is remnants of Vermicelli w/chicken & the Saigon Soup in the background.  Meal starter…..2 Spring Rolls.   Atmosphere is much like my days in ‘Nam.

Tram’s Kitchen

Other bonus:  served by one-armed Vietnamese man who yells and pokes you with bamboo stick.

Happy New Meat!

January 4, 2008

While this isn’t a Pittsburgh restaurant experience, ’tis the season for sharing holiday stories….filled with friends, family, cocktails, cookies, and MEAT! A fleshtival of enormous proportions. Christmas Eve yielded the carving of an 8lb. Filet Mignon:

Christmas Filet 2 Christmas Filet

New Year’s was a butcher’s treat…ringing in 2008 with meaty goodness in the form of 1.25″, 2.25lb. T-Bones:

New Year’s T-Bone New Year’s T-Bone 2

I expect a cardiac arrest this year.