Top 5: restaurants in Pittsburgh (right now)

We’re not entirely comfortable with providing this list as our end all, be all Top 5, but right now, these are our favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh.

  1. Shiloh Grill is our newest favorite. The menu is a punny smorgasbord of pop culture references, the servers are friendly, and the food is delicious. Plus, Tuesday night is bacon night!
  2. Someone Else’s Bar has the friendly, laid back atmosphere you’d expect from a dive frequented exclusively by locals, their burgers and homemade chips are the best in Pittsburgh (at least as far as we’re concerned), and every table comes with a few jars of candy for the kids (and sweet-toothed adults).
  3. Blue Line Grille makes the list on the merit of its grilled cheese alone, but the rest of the food is really good too. But be warned: this hockey themed restaurant/bar is right across from Console Energy Center, so it gets pretty crazy during Penguins games.
  4. The Dor-Stop is our favorite place for breakfast and brunch. Everything on the menu is delicious, and it’s the homey kind of place where you’re treated like family even if it’s your first time through the door. Plus, it’s a Guy Fieri Triple D Hotspot.
  5. The Grandview Saloon offers an unusual mix: a million dollar view and a reasonably priced menu. That’s why we love it, you can feel like a rock star feasting your eyes on the iconic view from the top of Mt. Washington while also feasting on tasty grub. Plus, check out their homemade chips: they taste like the ones at Someone Else’s Bar, but they’re waffle sliced!

Stay tuned for an update on this list in the near future.

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Bacon Festival coming to Pittsburgh next month

Do you love bacon? Lots of people do. So many people love bacon that there’s a traveling bacon festival, and it’s coming to Pittsburgh on May 16th.

The America Loves Bacon Festival Tour is making its stop from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Station Square, with a VIP sampling starting at 11:30 a.m.

Bacon Festival
Do you love bacon? Consider attending the Bacon Festival at Station Square next month. By cyclonebill (Bacon) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
So what can you expect at a bacon festival? Well, bacon, of course. Lots of it. Both from the ALB touring menu and from local vendors. There will also be live music, comedians, cooking demonstrations, and vendors selling all things bacon, including apparel. Plus, the Children’s Zone will have bacon-themed fun for the little ones.

The event website for the Pittsburgh stop isn’t fully updated yet, but it looks like there will be a full service bar inside the festival for the 21 and over crowd. No specific information about vendors or live acts is available yet.

Tickets are on sale now for $15 general admission, and children 12 and under receive free admission. If you’re a true bacon lover, you could splurge on a $60 VIP ticket and get swag along with access to the VIP sampling before the festival opens for general admission.

The nice thing about the festival’s location is that it’s right on the T and both Red and Blue Line trolleys stop at Station Square. So if the T is convenient for you, you can skip driving and trying to find parking in Station Square.

What’s in a name? For Carbonara’s, it’s deliciousness

Fans of Italian food should do themselves a favor and visit Carbonara on Mt. Lebanon Blvd. in Castle Shannon. This restaurant and lounge is cozy and family friendly with a menu that features all the classics, but it’s the little touches that make it a truly nice restaurant.

The staff is genial and friendly from the moment you walk in the door. The booths are huge and

Carbonara Restaurant
If you love pasta, you owe it to yourself to visit Carbonara. Photo by gaku. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gaku/2730668353/in/photostream/

immaculately clean. The entire place is warmly lit. We ordered the pasta—the titular carbonara and a plate of spaghetti with meat sauce—which comes with either a tossed salad or a cup of soup as an appetizer and garlic bread as a side. We got two tossed salads, and boy were they tasty. The greens were lush (no ice berg lettuce here!), all the ingredients were crispy and fresh, and it was portioned just right. Our pasta was served in dishes that made the servings look deceptively small. It wasn’t until we twirled in with fork and spoon that we realized what we were in for. Everything was rib-stickingly rich and we barely made it through half of our plates. The rest, along with half of the baguette we received under the name “garlic bread,” (seriously, it was a lot of tasty, tasty garlic bread) went home in a doggie bag.

In cities, it can be hard to find a reasonably priced restaurant that serves food everyone in the party will like. But at Carbonara’s, not only is there free parking in a decently sized lot, there’s a varied Italian menu so tasty you’ll double check the receipt to make sure you weren’t under charged.

What to live close to tasty local eats like Carbonara’s? Contact Prudential Realty Company for our current availability at a variety of our Castle Shannon communities: Alvern Gardens, Place Seville, and Sleepy Hollow Townhouses and Apartments.

Go to Someone Else’s Bar

The name might be confusing, but there’s no mistaking the deliciousness of the menu at Someone Else’s Bar.

Located on Willow Ave. just down the road from Alvern Gardens, Place Seville, and Sleepy Hollow, the dive is named for its owner, Else Franzmann. There’s no smoking, and the whole locale is family friendly. The most unusual part (other than the name, of course)? There’s a candy dish (or two, or three) at every table. Think peanut M&Ms instead of the regular bar peanuts. Also Twizzlers. But make sure you leave room for your actual meal.

Someone Else's Bar
From burgers to quesadillas to grilled cheese, family friendly Someone Else’s Bar has something for everyone.

Besides serving fish-n-mac on the last Friday of every month, Tuesday night is Burger Night. Every Tuesday, Someone Else’s Bar serves up the “5th best burger in Pittsburgh” (according to their website) for just $8.

The Blazing Saddle burger, for example, has just the right amount of heat, and it’s beautifully balanced with the homemade chips. The chips are crispy, crunchy perfection.

But it’s not all about the burgers, this menu is full of classics. The steak quesadilla was elegantly assembled and perfectly portioned. We had it with a side of sweet potato fries. On trend and tasty.

Chi Quach, assistant property manager of Alvern Gardens, loves going to Burger Night, but he also recommends the chicken wings and chicken quesadillas. He says, “it’s a very family oriented place,” and he sends all new residents down to check it out. After all, nothing makes you feel more at home in a new neighborhood than joining the fold of locals at the pub. Even though it’s called Someone Else’s Bar, it’s definitely everyone’s bar. No wonder it’s always packed.

Happy anniversary to us!

Happy first anniversary to us! Prudential Realty’s blog has officially been around for a whole year. In honor of this milestone, we’ve rounded up our top 5 posts. These are the posts that have gotten the most views/visitors.

  1. How to decorate a 2 bedroom apartment on a budget kicked off our series on decorating the 2 bedroom model at Alvern Gardens. This first post focuses on the living room. Check out the rest of the series for posts about the dining room, master bedroom, and home office.

    Happy anniversary!
    We’re celebrating 1 year online with (virtual) fireworks. Here’s to another year of fun and informative posts!
  2. More grilled cheese contenders is a follow-up to our countdown of the best grilled cheese in Pittsburgh.Read both posts, try the contenders for yourself, and let us know what you think: who does serve the best grilled cheese?
  3. Happy Thanksgiving! Look at last week’s post for things to do this week while your family’s in town.
  4. Dog park safety and etiquette have become important to us ever since Alvern Gardens opened its very own dog park for its resident pooches.
  5. Bado’s is a favorite local eatery of ours. Situated in the middle of the picturesque Shops on Beverly in Mt. Lebanon, the self-described pizza grill and alehouse has something on the menu for everyone.

Have your own favorite Prudential Realty post? Let us know, and you might see follow-up posts in the coming year!

More contenders for the best grilled cheese in Pittsburgh: The Yard

A while back, we shared our countdown of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in Pittsburgh, but that list was missing a crucial contender: The Yard in Shadyside. This place has an entire page of their menu dedicated to gourmet grilled cheese with punny names.

We managed to sample only two of the options, but at the other end of the bar, we saw a trio of young men passing around various sandwiches. One of them had mac & cheese oozing out of it. That’s right, mac & cheese on a grilled cheese sandwich. That particular concoction is called the “Mac Attack.”

The “Young Cheezy ” features caramelized onions, chorizo, and potato hash glued together with cheddar between two sliced of Texas toast. It’s a messy sandwich, and not as cheesy as you might expect, but it’s a tasty combination of flavors and it’s grilled to perfection.

The grilled cheese menu from The Yard in Shadyside
These sandwiches ain’t yo mama’s grilled cheese, but they definitely call that warm, fuzzy, comfort food feeling.

The “Breakfast Club” wasn’t so much a sandwich as a stack of breakfast foods slathered in cheese and syrup. Our version was served between two pancakes rather than the Belgium waffles advertised on the menu. This one demanded a knife and fork, and while it did feature two cheeses, its relationship to the original sandwich is tenuous at best. It was delicious all the same.

While the two we sampled would make it at around number two of our old list, this menu is so vast that there’s a sandwich for everyone. One of them might, quite possibly, become our new number one someday.

For movie buffs, there’s “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “The Big Che-bowski,” and “The Jerk.”

For seafood lovers: “Shrimp on the Barbie” and “Crabby Patty 13.”

For people who normally prefer burgers: “The Wac Arnold.”

For those overwhelmed by all the options: “Simple Jack.”

Then there are a couple classic Pittsburgh grilled cheeses to delight all Yinzers. “Pierogies N’ At” features, you guessed it, piergoies, as well as sauteed onions, Sauerkraut, and keilbasa. “Yinz Guys Hungry?” is a true Pittsburgh style grilled cheese: fries and slaw stuffed inside.

Finally, if you don’t want grilled cheese at all, “It’s Peanut Butter Jellytime”  is a fried PB & J sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Looking for an apartment in Shadyside? Contact Prudential Realty Company at 412-261-6500 for their current availability at the Brett Apartments and Thames Manor.

More fall fun: things to do in the South Hills this weekend

We’ve told you about places to go to celebrate fall as well as a few places to get decent scares, but we’re not done yet. As long as the season continues, a gorgeous one thanks to the area’s changing foliage, we’ll dig up new things to do this Autumn in Pittsburgh.

Pumpkin Patch Parade in Mt. Lebanon

Pittsburgh in Autumn
In addition to enjoying the gorgeous fall foliage, there are plenty of autumn activities to keep Pittsburgh residents busy throughout the season.
By John [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
If your kids love Halloween, consider taking them to the Pumpkin Patch Parade this Saturday in Mt. Lebanon. The parade will take place no matter the weather and will start at 11 a.m. from the Mt. Lebanon Cemetery and head down Washington Road all the way to Lebanon Avenue. Kids (accompanied by parents) may join the parade after The Great Pumpkin passes. After the parade, local businesses with special orange signs will open their doors to trick-or-treaters.

Oktoberfest Menu at Atria’s

Can’t get enough German cuisine? Atria’s in Mt. Lebanon—the original Atria’s, by the way—is still serving Oktoberfest fare. You can be sure that the official caterer of The National Aviary serves good food. Chi Quach, assistant property manager of Alvern Gardens Apartments, recommends the pork shank, a true classic and perfectly hearty for a chilly fall day. He adds that the Mt. Lebanon location is the only one that serves free chips. While you’re in the swing of fall, consider booking a Thanksgiving reservation, they’re accepting them now.