Each month we ask one of our favorite Pittsburghers the question:
If you only had 24 hours to show a friend the best that urban Pittsburgh has to offer, where would you take them?
How Long: 5 Years
Breakfast: I’ve long been a huge fan of E2 for dinner–I go there specifically for their porcini cappelletti–but after experiencing their weekend brunch, I’m devoted for life. Popular for their breakfast doughnuts, beignets, and zeppoli, I’m still dreaming about their breakfast salad: eggs and bacon and toast, plus gorgonzola, balsamic dressing, and pecans. In a hearty salad. For breakfast. It’s perfect.
Lunch: Though Pittsburgh’s Mexican cuisine scene is still nascent, there are some definite standouts here: and Las Palmas, to me, is the jewel in the ‘Burgh’s taco crown. A grocery store and carnicería, the magic of Las Palmas is stationed out front–a sizzling grill and a toppings bar featuring salsas, pico de gallo, cilantro, and avocado crema, Las Palmas serves up simple street food, but the savory, made-to-order chicken, chorizo, pork, or ribeye, served in generous portions in warm corn tortillas, are out of this world.
Dinner: The Commoner, Hotel Monaco’s in-house restaurant, is everything you’d expect from a place that calls itself a “reinvented American tavern.” Try the Commoner Old Fashioned, which is infused with pork belly and has nice smoky notes. Or for something sweet, get the Fresh Picked Apple–a bourbon with apple cider, schnapps, and more. Alongside a plate of field greens with shaved brussels sprouts and avocado–and a simple yet shockingly tasty charred cauliflower head with sage walnut pesto–I had the best lamb shank of my life here: braised with red wine, atop truffled polenta and roasted baby vegetables, it was tender and, if I recall correctly, literally mouthwatering.
Bar: I’m happy with most beers, from a PBR tallboy to a local craft IPA, so for me bars are usually about character and charm, the crowd, or the architectural details of the space… And sometimes you just get the urge to hit up that divey, raunchy, smoky neighborhood gay bar. From live drag performances to trivia night to karaoke to RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing parties, Blue Moon is a staple of the queer scene–and there’s always something on the agenda.