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PHILLY OR Pittsburgh


Daniel
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My girlfriend and I are deciding on a weekend trip to either Philly or Pittsburg in two weekends.. Which one do you think would be a more culinarily exciting weekend.. We are comming from Manhattan so the drive difference is pretty considerable.. Also if anyone could tell us cant miss places in either city it would be a great help.

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philly.no contest.

can't misses:italian market,reading terminal market,tony lukes,monk's (if your into belgian beer), also, it's rest week so you may be able to squeeze in 3 courses for $30 at many establishments.see the thread on this in this forum, there is a link with all the participating places.

Many, many, byob restaurants here so bring some juice with you, and try matyson,radicchio,melograno,Rx,pif,pumpkin,next cafe,d'jango (if you can get a reservation.There's just too many to list.Tell us what you like and we can get more specific.

Edited by wkl (log)
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Pittsburgh is a great place, but in February? No way. It's freezing cold, and snows almost daily.

Definitely go to Philly, especially if you're looking for a culinary experience. Philly out distances Pittsburgh in the food department too.

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Ahh thats right the super bowl. That might be a good idea.. So I am assuming that the Super Bowl isnt being played in Philly then..

no, it's in jacksonville. but the eagles are in it, which means that every green-blooded philadelphian is going to be home or at bars/parties watching it. so the restaurants should be wide open.

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Ahh thats right the super bowl. That might be a good idea.. So I am assuming that the Super Bowl isnt being played in Philly then..

no, it's in jacksonville. but the eagles are in it, which means that every green-blooded philadelphian is going to be home or at bars/parties watching it. so the restaurants should be wide open.

You might want to exercise caution, though, with more casual restaurants with televisions in their bar areas. Those are likely to draw crowds of tipplers seeking to cheer on the Iggles.

However, that won't be a problem at the many fine BYOBs in town, so plan on buying a bottle of wine--in New Jersey*--and eating at one of those.

* Or you can check out PLCB wine bargains on the "Wine Bargains at the PLCB" topic in this forum. However, if your visit is on a Sunday, be aware that only a handful of the State Stores are open on Sundays, and those that are open at noon and close at 5 p.m.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Also if anyone could tell us cant miss places in either city it would be a great help.

If money is no object: Le Bec-Fin, Striped Bass, Susanna Foo

If you want traditional local color: Ralph's, Society Hill Hotel Bar & Grill (but beware the bar caveat)

For adventuresome cuisine: Any of the BYOBs previously listed (Django, Matyson...), Pasion!

If you want some theatrics with your dinner: Any Stephen Starr establishment, all 14 of which have at least good food

It wouldn't be a visit to Philly without: A roast pork sandwich from Tony Luke's or a cheesesteak from Jim's

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Philadelphia no contest !

Pittsburgh is fine if you wish to drive another 3 to 4 hours for chipped ham in BBQ sauce. :wacko:

Wow. That's a pretty freakin' nasty insult to lay on the Yinzers here on eGullet.

I'll agree that Philly has the better food for a weekend exploration but... I've lived in the 'Burgh for six years and have yet to have chipped ham in BBQ sauce.

(BTW, if you knew anything about 'Burgh food culture, you would have called it "chip-chop ham.")

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(BTW, if you knew anything about 'Burgh food culture, you would have called it "chip-chop ham.")

So, is this really a Pittsburgh specialty, or just something that everybody serves at family reunions and graduation parties, and sort-of affectionately tolerates?

I grew up in western NY, and one side of my family (who never had any link to Pittsburgh as far as I know...) served something like this at almost every casual get-together, but it's not something you would ever see in a restaurant, or would consider an indigenous food.

Regardless, what does one want to be sure to eat while in Pittsburgh? Something you really can only get there?

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Philadelphia no contest !

Pittsburgh is fine if you wish to drive another 3 to 4 hours for chipped ham in BBQ sauce. :wacko:

Wow. That's a pretty freakin' nasty insult to lay on the Yinzers here on eGullet.

I'll agree that Philly has the better food for a weekend exploration but... I've lived in the 'Burgh for six years and have yet to have chipped ham in BBQ sauce.

(BTW, if you knew anything about 'Burgh food culture, you would have called it "chip-chop ham.")

It was not my intention to insult anyone. Please take my humorous side with a grain of salt.

Yes. I have lived in the Pittsburgh area before as my wife grew up there.

And from what I have seen from twenty years of living and visiting the area is the chipped ham or ' chip-chop ham' in BBQ sauce is fairly commom and often found to be the item mentioned the most when one is joking 'Only Joking' about Pittsburghs food culture.

I have been in the restaurant business all my life and to be honest, I just could not make a living in the area. I have found the fine dining restaurant choice's slim and the pay scale for chefs in the area is extremely poor.

Again. Please accept my apology if I offended anyone.

On a side note. Trust me, after twenty years I learned never to joke about them Steelers. :biggrin:

Robert R

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(BTW, if you knew anything about 'Burgh food culture, you would have called it "chip-chop ham.")

So, is this really a Pittsburgh specialty, or just something that everybody serves at family reunions and graduation parties, and sort-of affectionately tolerates?

I grew up in western NY, and one side of my family (who never had any link to Pittsburgh as far as I know...) served something like this at almost every casual get-together, but it's not something you would ever see in a restaurant, or would consider an indigenous food.

Regardless, what does one want to be sure to eat while in Pittsburgh? Something you really can only get there?

Oh Dear... If I dare say fries on top of a burger will I get beat up. :sad::blink:

Robert R

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You surely mean fries (and cole slaw) inside a hot pastrami sandwich!

I have the impression from my family back in Pittsburgh and the visits I've made in recent years that the dining scene has gotten a lot better. There is not an enormous supply of truly "fine dining" offerings, but there are some that are quite good, I hear, and there are a lot of little independent casual places that are good. There's good Vietnamese food in Bloomfield, Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French bakery in Millvale, some really good shopping and eating in the Strip District (though not on Sundays)... I don't know the area well enough any more to make a lot of recommendations, but it's come a long way since chip-chopped ham, which was a specialty of Isley's way back in the day.

Though I grew up in Pgh, I have never encountered chip-chopped ham in BBQ sauce -- I actually had no idea that was a way it was served. I thought it was more of a cold cut.

Edited by redfox (log)

"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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I am sorry I should have known that asking about to towns in PA would surely bring some sort of rivarly. Well it turns out I am going to both places..

I will be in Philly next weekend.. Since my girlfriend and I started watching Iron Chef America, she wants to go to Morimotos.. So we will be there Saturday night. Saturday day, we are going to go to the Barnes Museum, and eat around Redding Terminal. Sunday, from these suggestions we are going to go to Tony Lukes and Jims.

March 3rd or 5th we are driving across country. We are going to be heading through Pittsburg.. So I would really love a suggestion as what or where to eat in Pittsburg. We are planning on arriving around 10 pm and leaving the following morning..

Thank you.

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I'll try to ask my mother what she'd recommend and report back. Do you know what part of town you'll be spending the night in?

By the way, Pittsburg (no h) is in California! I never got used to seeing that on signs and BART trains when I lived in the Bay Area. It just looked so. very. wrong. Still does! :biggrin:

"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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Saturday day, we are going to go to the Barnes Museum, and eat around Redding Terminal. 

you do realize that these are about 15 miles away from each other, right?

i mean, not that that should stop you from doing both things. but the barnes is out in the suburbs (for now) and the terminal is right downtown. so you'll want to plan that into your schedule.

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Saturday day, we are going to go to the Barnes Museum, and eat around Redding Terminal. 

you do realize that these are about 15 miles away from each other, right?

i mean, not that that should stop you from doing both things. but the barnes is out in the suburbs (for now) and the terminal is right downtown. so you'll want to plan that into your schedule.

No i didnt... I appreciate it.. So i guess we will go breakfast, Barnes, Redding, drink, nap, dinner. :biggrin: Any place for a good breakfast by the Barnes.

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Oh i have another quesiton now.. In terms of me wanting to do grocery shopping in pHilly . . Is there like a Specialty or Italian Market, or is Redding Terminal the best place to bring stuff home for the week.

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Robert, I was joking about your joking. No offense taken! No one can mock the Burgh as well as we mock ourselves.

The things you can't get anywhere but here are:

1. Primanti's sandwich-- yes, the one with cole slaw and fries ON the sandwich. It sounds gross, but it is truly divine, especially after a couple of Iron Citys. :raz:

2. The best pierogies I have ever had come from Pierogies Plus in McKees Rocks. The woman who owns it hires mostly Eastern European immigrant women to make them-- oh, and they are so good. Google "Pierogies Plus Pittsburgh" for their website and directions.

As for "fine dining" in Pittsburgh-- I have never had a bad meal at Kaya in the Strip or at Casbah in Shadyside/East Liberty. I would also recommend Typhoon, Bikki, Baum Vivant, Cafe Zao, the Red Room, and Eleven.

I had the best NYC style omakase sushi of my life at Umi.

For drinks I would tell you to get some fine microbrew at the Church Brewworks in Lawrenceville-- their food is OK but the beer is tasty and you can't beat the atmosphere (an old Catholic Church-- the beer vats are where the altar used to be). Also for drinks you might want to go to Monterey Bay on Mt. Washington for a gorgeous view of the city-- again, their food is mediocre but the view is worth a visit & a martini.

For cheap eats, go to Tram's Vietnamese restaurant on Penn ave in Lawrenceville. The menu is incomprehensible, being some strange bastard hybrid of Vietnamese and English, but no matter what you order it will be good. And it will cost you less than $10 a person. Thai Cuisine in Bloomfield is great for cheap good Thai. And Tessaro's is a Pittsburgh tradition for wood-fire grilled burgers.

BTW, stay away from anything called a "Pittsburgh Salad." It will have a minimum of one pound of cheese and pieces of STEAK on it. No joke.

Good luck!

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Any place for a good breakfast by the Barnes.

You can get breakfest at Murray's Deli, on Montgomery Avenue in Merion or at Cobbs Creek Cafe near the Wynnewood Lanes on Haverford Road.

I prefer the latter, where you can get grilled Italian sausage or pork roll with your eggs and home fries.

Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

We must eat; we should eat well.

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Oh i have another quesiton now.. In terms of me wanting to do grocery shopping in pHilly . . Is there like a Specialty or  Italian Market, or is Redding Terminal the best place to bring stuff home for the week.

The Italian Market in south Philadelphia is about as "Philly" as it gets.It is certainly more rustic than Reading Terminal.Both are very good but different.

Reading Terminal is completely enclosed and has quite a variety of produce,meats,fish,cheese,etc.

The Italian market is more of an area encompassing several city blocks.There are butchers,produce stands,deli's,pasta places,etc.

You can't go wrong at either place but if you've never been to philly, I think the Italian market shouldn't be missed.

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