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December 19, 2014 @ 04:00 PM EDT
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Beer Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

User Tagline: Buy a Friend a Beer
Favorite Beer: any Belgian beer
Located In: Pennsylvania

Beer Reviews from

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Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Great

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Great Awesome!

Establishment: Point Brugge Cafe, Pittsburgh , PA

Let me start by saying my previous three or so attempts to get into Point Brugge for a meal and drinks were well worth it.

I finally got to Point Brugge and there was seating to be had. I visited around 4:30PM on Saturday October 15, 2005. A 65 degree fall day that was worthy of getting out on the bicycle and pedaling my 14 miles to Point Brugge- actually anytime and reason would be a good one. (I had trekked over to the East End to stop by Scott Smith's East End Brewing - mere 10 or so blocks from Point Brugge).

I sat outside Point Brugge to enjoy the my meal, beer and the wonderful weather. They have a nice patio area on the front of the building that seats safely under 20. The wind kicked up and the air felt like more chilled - fall-like so (the owner - I think) thoughtfully turned on the outside heating.

The menu here is large enough and varied. There is the Belgian theme mostly throughout. I opted for an appetizer and a main course. The appetized was tofu and mango - cooked - artfully displayed in a thin glaze of the liquid slurry of the ingredients. Delicious and rare - tofu? Being served as food in a restaurant? In Pittsburgh? Yes.

For a main course I had a mushroom pasta that was a heavier creame sauce (white) with fresh veggies and a slice of a french like bread. The pasta was a very tasty compliment. Very good.

The beer selection at Point Brugge is wide and all the beers served are fine choices. Everything seems to be served in proper glassware here too. A rather large beer list for such a small restaurant. I had a bottle of Goose Island's Pere Jacques. What an excellent Belgian that I hadn't seen elsewhere. A number of the beers where ones I just haven't seen available in a any place in Pittsburgh or beyond.

Service was prompt and polite, even though I was dressed down (shorts and tank with sandals). The waitress held my pasta back in the kitchen while I dragged on enjoying the appetizer. When it arrived it was fresh and warm - very good food delivery flow, something that seems to be a dying art.

I highly recommend giving Point Brugge a visit. I will be back soon to try more of the delicious beers and maybe I'll leave room for dessert.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Great Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

Establishment: Mad Mex South, Pittsburgh , PA

Mad Mex continues to shine. I was here a week or so ago for the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser - what can you say about a place that donated all the proceeds from food sold on a whole evening to hurricane rebuild efforts? Wonderful is what I call them.

This mini-chain keeps improving. There are some star microbrews now on tap- such as Stone Brewings Arrogant Bastard Ale. The tap selection has picked up and there is a whole page of bottled selections! Hurrah!

The food still is large portion size and fresh. No complaints here. This place does well and people are eating the food too.

The service is pretty good and it's common to have a manager check on you while dining. They are receptive and responsive to any complaints.

I highly recommend Max Mex and especially this location.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Awesome! Good Lousy Good

Establishment: Sharp Edge Creekhouse, Pittsburgh , PA

We stopped here on 10/9/2005, a Sunday - around 7PM. Half-empty downstairs with 3-4 waitstaff handling the downstairs dining area. Overstaffed I'd say.

The beer is rather expensive here - $15 for 2-Belgian drafts - nothing rare or anything. On the upside, both drinks were served in the proper glassware from from each brewery. That's very rare to see anywhere- let alone Pittsburgh.

The beer is still the best reason to visit the Creekhouse.

We ordered salads as starters and main dishes with sides. All of the food came out at the same time - which provided for a 30 minute wait. Additionally, the salads got ignored until last and somewhat untouched since we had to get the hot food down before it reached the salad temperature. This was a mess and definitely made dinner less than enjoyable. I had to ask for my side as it didn't arrive with my meal.

Our waitress must have been pulling triple duty in the kitchen or something. We waited about 15 minutes between seeing her the 2-3 times during and until the end of our meal.

It's customary here to bring the salads first. Our waitress, even though perhaps having forgot to deliver them earlier - should have held the cooked food back and either had them under heating or had the kitchen make new dishes. At $15 for my quesadilla (which I thought was lacking) + iceberg lettuce salad (which was somewhat lacking) and side of mashed potatoes (actually rather alright) I think they could have afforded to have remake the meals or kept them under warming.

The food was good, but nothing amazing. Rather bland in part - the quesadilla had too many fresh veggies in it and ended up being mostly soggy all the way through to the plate.

We skipped dessert, which probably would have been the best thing to eat here - other than the beer.

At $45 for two based on the delivery of meal timing issues and having to wait so long between seeing our waitress I'd have to recommend sitting at the bar if you are going to eat here. Stick to the pizza, I use to. I feel bad for service industry workers with the sub $3 an hour pay - so I reluctantly left 20% tip - while I should have left instead a coin and a letter of suggestion.

I'll come back next year once again and see if things have improved. I visited the Creekhouse a few times last year and didn't review because I thought things were in transition here and generally I didn't want it to seem that I was intentionally slamming this place.

Dear Management,

Get your employees together and remind them this is the service industry.

Revise your beer list so prices are accurate to the amount the register says. Printout some white sheet unlaminated versions once in a while.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, Dayton, OH

Allegedly closing due to local smoking ban. Business tapers off after ban.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Nimbus Brewing Company, Tucson, AZ

It looks like Nimbus will be leaving this location to another new downtown location if all goes well.

As reported by the Tucson Citizen: "...A scaled-down version of the proposed Nimbus Brewery, restaurant and condominium project is in the works for a downtown site following meetings between the brewer and city officials this week..."


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Point Brugge Cafe, Pittsburgh , PA

Well I tried visiting Point Brugge Cafe again a few Saturdays ago. At dinner time (7PM), there was a 1 hour wait and the place was packed with far more than 25 people. Obviously this place is doing well.

Instead of waiting, we went to Pino's Italian eatery a half block away. Pino's had a 20 minute wait only.

Perhaps someday I can actually get into Point Brugge and enjoy. This makes the third time. Maybe next time.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Bitter End Bistro and Brewery, Austin, TX

On August 22, 2005, Bitter End caught fire. A three-alarm fire that took 75 firefighters and 20 trucks and several hours to contain the intense, smoky fire.

They said initially to expect an October 1st return to normal completion. Any ideas where they are now with this?


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Franconia Notch Brewery, Littleton, NH

The Franconia Notch Brewery has been ordered to close its doors by Sept. 30, presumably to make way for commercial development on the site of The Clam Shell Restaurant.

Brewery owner John Wolfenberger said he was notified by certified mail Wednesday to vacate by representatives of The Edwin E. Harris 2005 Revocable Trust, the owner of both the brewery and restaurant properties, which are rumored to be the future site of a Walgreen's drug store.

Full article here:


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Southern California Brewing Company, Torrance, CA

Closed - Now Angel City Brewing


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Chiodo's Tavern, Pittsburgh , PA has a photo of Chiodo's boarded up with a wrong obituary for Samuel Chiodo sprayed on the boards covering Chiodo's bar.



Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: D's Six Packs and Dogz, Pittsburgh , PA

It's my understanding that D's is working now on expanding into a neighboring space. Just opening up the walls between the two buildings


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Harris Grill, Pittsburgh , PA



Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Chiodo's Tavern, Pittsburgh , PA

I hate to be the bearer of the bad news.

Chiodo's went on the auction block this past weekend. That is the stuff that made it it Chiodo's...

This is a sad day in the history of Pittsburgh beer community...

Full article appearing today in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Point Brugge Cafe, Pittsburgh , PA

I just want to clarify for my friend The Enemy.

I called the block Point Brugge anchors as undesireable. I stick by that. It's not *really* a business district - several disconnected places there and Point Brugge faces onto a seeming residential street. The area in general ranges from very desireable to plain bad. The area - Point Breeze ranges from the high priced places you mentioned to crackhouses and slums within the blocks between where this is and East End Brewing is. Same general subsection of Pittsburgh.

Having said all this, Point Brugge is the nice place on it's block.

I'll take some photos in the next week or so when I finally get to dine at Point Brugge :)

The block level area isn't a slum by any means, but the neighboring houses aren't part of the desireable large compound homes that are on the blocks one back in each direction.

Hope that clarifies things. What it might fail to do, some photos will do.

All that is off topic though. I only provided this info because it's possible people could end up across Penn Avenue over on the other side of Point Breeze which is clearly less desireable and dangerous at times.

For all the danger Point Breeze provides some interesting haunts and resource including Point Brugge, East End Co-Op, Gatto's Cycles, Bike Pittsburgh and other real businesses. Certainly a revived part of the East End worth checking out.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So So So N/A Lousy Lousy

Establishment: Gene's Last Chance, Pittsburgh , PA

Gene's Last Chance inside looks like a place where you'd find Biggie Smalls and Tupac reuiniting - think rappers.

10:15PM and no one want to seat you or recognize you are standing there.

Walking to that attempt to be seated there are two coolers for beer. Most of it is macro trash. There are notably at least 6 different varieties of beer in 40's. The 40's are the first thing you see entering this place.

I am going to pull this place from PubCrawler. No sense having it here. This place draws an intimidating very urban crowd along with junk beer and lousy don't care service. This certainly must be Gene's (very) Last Chance.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Tasca Navarre, Pittsburgh , PA

Grrr! Showed up here at 10:10 on a weeknight. Doors were locked and the patrons were busy looking out the window at us.

I'm going to add this place to a weekend summer night spot check. So much for the Strip District and going places past 10PM on a school night. Every place almost is closed and their is no place eat except say Primanti's.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Point Brugge Cafe, Pittsburgh , PA

Silly me didn't look to see if Point Brugge was open on Mondays.

I drove across town to discover the place closed on Monday. Yikes. The place looked interesting and we could see some large bottle such as Hennepin lining the bar back. Clean little new place with sharp edges. On a less desireable residential block with rather normal housing/undesireable.

We'll be back to give Point Brugge a fair shake. I never understood the closed Monday thing for restaurants. If people eat on Sunday and on Tuesday, surely they'd eat/drink on Monday.

It's worth noting the next place we went to was also closed on Mondays. 20 miles later we ended up at the very reliable Penn Brewery.

Here's to next time and finally getting to enjoy Point Brugge!


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Point Brugge Cafe, Pittsburgh , PA

An interesting and intimate Belgian-like cafe. Pittsburgh needed this and I've been meaning to get over there.

A nice write up in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today:


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Groundbreaking starting in June 2005. Slated to open in January 2006.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Heorot, Muncie, IN

Might still have Grottenbier Brown from Pierre Celis tap.

Talked about this place on an airing of

Randy was drinking a Dogfish Head 60 Minute as was Jessica. Spencer with a Grottenbier Brown. Kev with a Bells Porter. Brian played the mandolin midshow to near end.

Good people and a good show.

Check out the moderator of this BeerCast's website:


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Great Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

Establishment: Pietro's Coal Oven Pizzeria, Philadelphia, PA

Near Rittenhouse square and along the busy posh shopping area of Walnut Street in Philadelphia.

This place is clean, spacious and delicious. This is one of three Pietro's locations. Pressed tin ceilings, Italian art and relaxed light pastelled walls.

Family style Italian dining along with a handsome Cherry wood bar. The food (salad and pizza) was superb. The pizza is a thin-real style Italian pizza. No visibile signs of it being coal cooked like at other Philly coal fired pizzerias.

Salad had an Italian dressing with a strong reminder of citrus. Quite good.

Beer wise they had Sam Adams on tap as well as local favorite Yards, Sierra Nevada and Carlsberg Lager. Bottle selection is solid and includes: Sam Adams, Chimay Red, Stella Artois and Orval.

We'll be back. This place shines. At the end of our meal we were left with a mere sub $30 bill for two. Quite affordable for sit down Philly inner city good dining.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Great Awesome! Great Awesome!

Establishment: World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA

Lew Bryson beat me to the punch on writing about this venue. I'll write some more to better describe the venue and some about the beer event too.

World Cafe (Live) is a well known and nationally distributed alternative music show hosted by David Dye ( and originating from KXPN ( the non-commercial public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.

World Cafe is a venue featuring live music at least twice a day along with a restaurant and bar. It also houses KXPN's studios.

World Cafe Live is on Walnut Street a short block before the Penn campus and a mere 2 blocks from the bus station. Centrally located and easy to find.

Excellent location coupled with a well-designed multi-use space and live enterntainment and dining make this place a beehive of music focused activities.

We attended the beer festival also. Arriving late from out turnpike journey and gridlock coming into the city (Philly Sixers fans on the way to watch Allen Iverson deliver a career- and NBA season-high 60 points).

When we finally made it to the World Cafe Live venue the beer festival was in full swing. Everyone was polite and helpful. The World Cafe Live venue is ran efficiently and everyone was happy to help us along.

This place is a three story journey with a semi-open floor plan. Acoustic panels abound in the performance area turns this former industrial company basement into a two-level split area with as good sound, lighting and mixing as you will find anywhere. This place polishes like a fine gem.

The event was catered by the venue chef and included salad, various heated dishes and chocolate delicacies. Everything we tried ranked as awesome.

The venue bar is above the performance area and overlooks such allowing you to sip your drink and watch the entertainment. A thoughtful and functional design. Even the industrial carpet is design related providing a simple minimal but effect pattern that is repeated throughout.

The bar is long and sufficient both in mixed drinks as it is in beer selection. The tap selection indludes Yards and Sierra Nevada. The bottle selection contains Belgian favorites, Rogue, etc. The more you look at the beer lineup the more you find. The best venue beer selection to date.

I'll post some of the photos from the event to give everyone a better idea about the space.

If I were in or near Philly World Cafe Live would be a place you could find me regularly. This is a concept that stands out. The XPN radio station is cutting edge on the music side while the World Cafe Live venue is equally cutting edge as it relates to entertainment venues.

Might we see World Cafe Live branch out to other cities and replicate the success created in Philly? We can only wait and hope.

Best of luck and continued succes to World Cafe Live. We'll be back next chance we get.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Great N/A Good Great

Establishment: Paddys' Pour House, Carnegie, PA

Paddy's delivers a good evening for this long time Carnegie local.

Tony Egan, a real authentic Irish musician played the guitar and the harmonica through the night, providing a good ole' Irish song or two to share with the beer and friends.

Paddy's has an ample Irish/British selection of beer. This is an Irish pub and a good one for the Pittsburgh metro. They feature Irish Whiskeys, Irish creams and liquors as well as Irish food.

With St. Paddy's day on the way, this is a place you should become familiar with. You are sure to run into locals and old friends at Paddy's.

This is a place I am sure to visit again and am sorry I haven't visited in a while.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: East End Brewing Company, Pittsburgh, PA

Article about East End Brewing Company in today's Tribune Review:


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Awesome! Great Great Good

Establishment: Sidelines Bar and Grill, Millvale, PA

Poor Millvale, still cleaning up from the hurricane Ivan flooding in September. We drove around Millvale, looking for Sidekicks even though we had turn by turn directions in hand.

Evergreen Avenue, which sidekicks main entry is on, use to be a main route to get to McKnight road and most of North Hills. With the opening of 79 North about 15 or so years ago, Evergreen is a lesser traveled road reservered for the locals.

We were headed to the nearby venue Mr. Smalls Funhouse in Millvale to see of Rusted Root and Sean McLeod and The Family perform. A great venue and a great performance.

Unless you find Evergreen Road first, the trip through Millvale is a difficult one. Millvale was laid out around the winding mountains and waterways. There are tons of triangle shaped islands and confusing roadways. If you aren't on Evergreeen you will end up driving right by it as there are two nicely lit restaurants/bars right past it. Sidelines sits to the right, before these places and back a block. Parking can be a challenge with overflow from the other places and just a small lot integrated into Sidelines and after that it's all limited on stret parking.

Walking around the front of sidelines you find the door, but it appears to be a residential looking door. Solid metal, white and no windows. Fearing that we were walking into someone's home, we carefully entered. The door opens into the bar which is a large recentangular bar with seating on three of the sides - which takes up the whole room.

I looked around and the people sitting there were a strong blue collar work ethic crowd at the end of their day. We looked stuffy and over dressed. We took two seats in the next room. A big screen TV ran ESPN and an Ohio college finals game.

There was a strong smell of fryers/grease along with ample cigarette smoke filling the place.

The bartender, a hip, seeming out of place dude became our server. We ordered a quesadilla, our sandwiches and brews. The beer selection was impressive and I saw some I hadn't elsewhere. All the beer seemed slightly less costly than at other place in the 'Burgh- and that's a good thing. They have two coolers filled with decent beer. I didn't bother counting the bottles, but they have a very large and respectable collection of good beer.

The food was pretty good and we weren't expecting it to be based on the worn in old school looking mill town bar environment.

Overall I am giving it a GOOD since this is a place that a fair number of people who use PubCrawler and prefer new shiney places or old restored places might find uncomfortable. This place certainly has that worn in, smoked in and drank in feeling. Atmosphere here isn't a positive here. If you don't like blue collar old-school neighborhood bars with a fryer and cigarette smokers, this place won't fit you at all.

This is a place that certainly could clean up and come around in an even stronger way. They have the pieces to make it really good place in a beerless area.


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