Where to throw a party outdoors in the South Hills of Pittsburgh

Now that it’s getting warmer, it’s time we look around the South Hills of Pittsburgh for a nice picnic spot.

Residents of Alvern Gardens Apartments  can set up their grills at minimum of 15 ft from the building and set out patio furniture for the day. This community has just enough space for a small family cook-out, and any residents looking for a place to have an outdoor birthday party or Memorial Day gathering just need to rent out a pavilion at near-by South Park.

picnic space at Alvern Gardens
Residents of Alvern Gardens have access to green space around the property for cook-outs as long as they set the grill up at least 15 feet away from the building.

In addition to the wave pool, BMX track, golf course, play grounds, etc., South Park has several shelters available for rent. Visitors can even bring their dogs to the party and swing by the dog park.

Riehl Park in Castle Shannon has a pavilion with a full kitchen for rent. The park also has soccer and t-ball fields, bathrooms, a playground, and a walking trail.

Hamilton Park also has a full kitchen, bathrooms, a playground, as well as tennis and basketball courts, and baseball, softball, and soccer fields.

Castle Shannon’s Municipal Park facilities are also available for rent.

No matter whether you’re grilling at home or throwing a party at a local park, always remember to respect the space, clean up, and leave the place exactly how you found it.

If you’re looking for a rental in the South Hills, contact Prudential Realty Company for the current availability at several properties.

Easter events in Pittsburgh area

Due to the Easter holiday this weekend, we’re posting a couple days early to announce some Easter events happening in the area.

Alvern Gardens Newsletter Easter Egg Hunt

Prizes are still available for anyone who can find all the eggs hidden throughout the April 2014 Alvern Gardens Newsletter. Just call us at 412-561-4663 or stop by the leasing office at 1000 Vermont Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15234 and tell us how many you found. If you’re right, you’ll get an Easter treat. If you want a newsletter to try your hunting skills on, you can pick one up at the office.

Easter events in Pittsburgh
There are plenty of family-friendly Easter events taking place throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Teen Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt

The Pine Park Community Center in Wexford is hosting a special outdoor Easter egg hunt for teens at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 18. Rather than candy, the eggs will be filled with coupons and gift cards for local businesses. Refreshments will be provided. Community Center members pay $3, nonmembers pay $6. Participants must bring their own flashlights and dress weather appropriately.

Frozen Bunny Breakfast

Latitude 40 is hosting a viewing of Disney’s Frozen alongside Easter brunch, an egg hunt, and other activities. The event starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 19. Contact Latitude 40 to make reservations.

Meet the Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny is available for pictures all this week at the Mall at Robinson. If you donate non-perishable food to the Westside Food Bank, you’ll get a free 5×7 picture.

If you’re looking for a new home to celebrate Easter in, contact Prudential Realty Company for the current availability at communities all over Pittsburgh and the South Hills.


Where to buy furniture in the South Hills of Pittsburgh

Last month, we remodeled the model apartment in Alvern Gardens on the cheap thanks to IKEA and Wal-Mart, so this week, it’s time to reveal some less familiar places to get furniture.

According to Alvern Gardens property manager Frank Barret, Vitte’s makes beautiful furniture. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s lovingly crafted. The best part: it’s basically right down the street from Alvern Gardens, Sleepy Hollow Townhouses, and Place Seville.

furniture stores in Pittsburgh
Where you choose to shop for furniture depends on your budget as well as your style. Luckily there’s plenty of stores in the South Hills and the rest of Pittsburgh, so you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.

Levin Furniture also has a few locations in the south hills. The store closest to Prudential’s communities carries only mattresses, but the drive to the nearest furniture store isn’t too much longer. If you’re looking for eclectic, rustic statement pieces, this is the place to go.

Room Concepts has its South Hills location in Whitehall. They promise highly customizable pieces.

Macy’s has a furniture store in South Hills Village Mall. This store offers a wedding gift registry. Target also has a store in South Hills Village Mall.

If you’re looking for something really unique (and expensive), check out Restoration Hardware in the Galleria Mall. This place has arm chairs straight out of fairy land with huge padded hoods for privacy. Putting one of those in your living area would make for a private reading-room-within-a-room. OK, so maybe us non-millionaires are just walking through for a nice drool.

For those of you looking for eclectic and fancy on a slightly smaller budget, Pier 1 Imports has a store in Upper St. Clair. The stuff here is way more cheery and colorful anyway.

Right close by that Pier 1, you’ll find Bed Bath & Beyond in Village Square Mall.

If you’re looking for a place of your own to fill with furniture, contact Prudential Realty Company for the current availability at a variety of locations throughout Pittsburgh.

Who serves the best grilled cheese in Pittsburgh?

Chi’s (assistant property manager of Alvern Gardens Apartments) talk of restaurants in the South Hills has inspired us to compile a countdown of the 3 best grilled cheese sandwiches in Pittsburgh. Why grilled cheese sandwiches? Why not? They’re deliciously simple and yet easy to amp up with extras. From extra cheese to extra toppings, here’s our ranking:

the best grilled cheese in Pittsburgh
These sandwiches ain’t yo mama’s grilled cheese, but they definitely call up that warm, fuzzy, comfort food feeling.

3. Touted by Chi as great place to hang with friends, Cain’s Saloon serves a “deluxe” grilled cheese featuring tomato, a fried egg, and bacon. The sandwich normally comes with traditional American cheese, but the menu recommends trying it with pepper jack (we stuck with the traditional). Who doesn’t love a fried egg and bacon on their sandwich? Unfortunately for Cain’s take on the classic, the Italian bread it’s served on makes for a bulky sandwich that’s a little hard to eat for anyone who doesn’t have the unthinkable jaws of a snake.

2. Cafe io’s grilled cheese is a little more grown up: cheddar and Gorgonzola come standard, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can add tomato and/or pickles. For a few dollars more, your sandwich gets a fried egg and/or bacon. This build-your-own concept is fun, but for the purpose of the countdown we taste-tested just the standard sandwich (on wheat rather than white). The amount of cheese was perfect, and the ration of cheddar to Gorgonzola was just right. On top of it, the sandwich was grilled to perfection. With all the fixin’s, it might have claimed the top spot, but the standard is just the PG-13 version of a childhood favorite.

1. For a rated R grilled cheese experience, go to the Blue Line Grille and order their “adulterated” grilled cheese. This one comes with cheddar, Gorgonzola, and Swiss and is topped off with bacon onion jam. What is bacon onion jam? Delicious. It’s caramelized onions mixed with pieces of bacon (real pieces of bacon, not bacon bits). That, combined with the mix of cheeses makes for a grilled cheese of complex, elegantly balanced flavors. This sandwich wins because it’s a true culinary experiences.

Bonus Round: At PNC Park, you can order a 9 cheese grilled cheese sandwich, aptly named “The Closer.” It’s served on 4 slices of sour dough and comes with bacon and all kinds of other goodies. We didn’t get a chance to to try it for this countdown, but our research suggests it might be the real #1 grilled cheese in Pittsburgh.

Looking for an apartment close to public transportation as well as some of the best eateries in the south hills? Contact Prudential Realty Company for the current availability tantalizingly close to the the best grilled cheese sandwiches in Pittsburgh.