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

153
Beer Reviews from
   

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

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

Establishment: The Funky Buddha Lounge, Boca Raton, FL

Hookah bar - flavored tobacco.

60+ microbrew beers from around the world, sake, champagne, organic wines, over 30 types of teas, sushi, thai food, free wifi internet access.

(01/24/2006)

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

Establishment: Point Brugge Cafe, Pittsburgh , PA

Nice article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about Point Brugge: http://pittsburghlive.com/x/style/fooddrink/cookingclass/s_415657.html

(01/24/2006)

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

Establishment: Burgh's Pizza and Wing Pub, Bridgeville, PA

Burgh's sure has grown better and more popular since I last reviewed back in 2001. I will give you more info in this review.

Burgh's is in a psuedo main street block but itself occupies a big portion of the first floor of a newer looking mixed use office building. Public parking for about 200 cars is directly across the side street. Burgh's is very close to Bridgeville exit on 79 South and sits on Route 50.

The interior of Burgh's is made up of four seperate areas - the main large area - 1980's feeling high ceiling child friendly area. The second area is on your way to the bar and is a service area with beer coolers and some straggling seats. The bar is the most interesting area and is visually more pleasant. Lower ceilings, worn in wood floors - tons of TV's everywhere with 2-3 different sports shows on. Comfy booths along the perimeter in places. Bar seating on stools around the bar which takes 75% of the bar area up. Fresh popcorn free for taking out of the popper, dart board game.

The fourth room is the new tapas bar- which I haven't been into - so I can't comment.

Since Burgh's isn't far from my home - I have tried stopping 4-5 times in the past 6 months. Everytime the public parking lot was over capacity and you could see easily that Burgh's was filled to capacity. Good for them, bad for me.

So we finally found parking and an empty table / booth at Burgh's on a Tuesday night January 16, 2006 at 9 PM. So glad we did because it was one of the best meals we have had in a while.

I ordered a 20 oz Bell's White which was good and as expected. $4.50 - not bad on price as a good half of the beer - micros and imports are cheaper than elsewhere around Pittsburgh.

So we split this house salad with cheese and artichokes which was a huge bowl suitable for 5 people. Delicious mix of salad and veggies. One of the best salads you can find locally. Again, fair if not cheap price on this.

Main course was a Primavera pizza with tomato sauce. Wow, 18 inch pizza if not larger. Hearty dough with some thickness but a good even crispiness. The veggies were all seperately prepared with individual tastes and spices. We left with nearly half of this pizza which is 2-3 lunches for someone portion wise.

$32 + tip for two very satisfied diners.

The food at Burgh's is even better than it was in 2001. The crowd here on a Tuesday was 20 somethings to 60 somethings. Everyone seemed to get along and enjoyed Burgh's.

Highly recommended.

(01/17/2006)

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

Establishment: Jack's Mountain Restaurant and Brewery, Lewistown, PA

Jack's currently is for sale on Ebay.

Says:

Restaurant & Brewery for sale, centrally located in PA.

120 seats. Building remodeled in 1998. Turn key operation.

Point of sale computerized system. Located 2 mile from Lewistown Walmart, along Hwy 522. Sale price includes real estate & equipment $325,000.

For sale by owner. 717-248-3318

cell phone 717-348-3599

(01/09/2006)

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

Establishment: BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse, San Mateo, CA

BJ's makes the news with the theft of several large plasma TV's from this location on Christmas (12/25/2005). Investigator's looking for your help in locating several large and heavy plasma TV's stolen from this location.

(01/04/2006)

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

Establishment: The Dragon was St. George and The Dragon Pub, Frankfort, KY

Under new ownership along with the new name.

(01/02/2006)

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

Establishment: Gardner Ale House Brewery and Restaurant, Gardner, MA

Gardner commissioners voted unanimously in favor of a license for the Gardner Ale House, Brewery and Pub.

It is expected to open in April 2006.

(12/31/2005)

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

Establishment: BarrelHouse Brewing Company, Cincinnati, OH

open but relocated...

(12/30/2005)

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

Establishment: Six Penn Kitchen, Pittsburgh , PA

Six Penn is a new addition to Pittsburgh's downtown Cultural District. This place is a wonderful reuse of a formerly blighted building. Six Penn brings the building up to it's potential with interesting metal work adorning the outside and lots of wood inside. A totally open air environemt that's split into two stories and appears to have rooftop space for when the weather eventually breaks.

In-house they have two full time pastry chefs making even the ice cream. The food is wonderful and classy. I had a black bean soup that was tasty, be it a somewhat small portion size. Along with the soup came a piece of flatbread and another more normal piece. Everything was quite good. Main course I had an interesting Orzo dish with mushrooms and fall vegetables - both colorful and delicious. An order of asparagus rounded my meal out and it was tender, tasty and worth the price. To close the meal out I had their cheesecake which was great tasting and quality ingredients. I washed the meal down with a very tall glass of Bell's Winter White Ale http://www.bellsbeer.com/branddetail.asp?BrandID=18 serverd in interesting glassware.

This place has a remarkable beer selection. Only good beer on tap including some from Troegs and East End Brewing.

The service is wonderful with a full staff of folks some 4 or 5 you will see at different parts of your meal. The kitchen is out in the open and accessible. The aromas here are rich and mouth watering.

Downtown has been dying while waiting for a place like Six Penn to finally take a chance. Six Penn is really Eat N' Park's foray into more upscale dining. I think they have a winning formula with Six Penn - it was like being teleported to New York or Seattle seated in a finer restaurant. Six Penn isn't cheap, but I think worth the $35 tab for my evening - they pull it all off without being stuffy and exclusive.

A bar area awaits those venturing in for drinks only- so give this place a try.

(12/21/2005)

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

Establishment: Brillobox, Pittsburgh, PA

There aren't many instances where I would overlook waiting 40 minutes for food or accept sub par food. However, Brillobox is a place where I see the promise, I saw others meals and I spent the night chatting with the crowd of people.

Brillobox is a now 10 week-old bar/restaurant/performance venue. It's along the Penn Avenue stretch between Bloomfield and Lawrenceville - near or in the Penn Avenue Art Initiative area. Named as an homage to Andy Warhol, Billbox is owned by a 20-30 something couple, boomerangs who came back to Pittsburgh from living and working in New York City- Brillobox has the right mix of food, drink and atmosphere to lure the hipsters, beatniks, alternatives and other interesting folks in droves. This place is a gem and probably the seed of much more.

On tap they have only good beer - no macros. Selection includes offerings from East End Brewing and Troegs. 8-12 tap handles total. In bottles they hide and contain the other beer, those nasty macro beers.

Atmosphere at Brillobox is cozy, be it a tad too dark in the bar area. The walls have some art from the owners creative streaks. Upstairs is live performance space that had a singer songwriter and a $5 cover charge. Downstairs was packed so I decided to mingle freely there.

Nice to see both the owners working the whole night. The place was packed in two waves - dinner and the later drinks crowd. So no standing around for either of them. Nice people who were good at serving the drinks and very attentive to note a nearing empty glass.

The food looked marvelous at other tables - so for once I can say the veggie opinion is narrow and I should steer people properly. Try the food, but beware of the veggie food.

I really enjoyed my time here and the crowd it attracts. I will be back as soon as possible to take more in. This is now my favorite place in Pittsburgh to have a drink and talk with others looking to socialize.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a good piece on Brillobox: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05349/622363.stm

(12/19/2005)

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

Establishment: Black Canyon Restaurant and Brewery, Montrose, CO

Well Black Canyon looks to be getting out of the business.

The business is for sale up on Ebay for $659,000.

From the ad: "Your chance to walk into this turn key operation...all of the setup work is done for you! Get Fresh With Us! is the motto for this newly renovated restaurant & brewery in Montrose, Colorado. Everything is prepared fresh daily, including the beer! Menu includes all of the favorites. Some of the menu items are: steaks, hamburgers, pizza, fish, chicken, salads and appetizers.

Wildlife and antique theme completes this 120 seat restaurant with full bar and 4 brewing tanks. Brewing tanks are the latest, high-tech equipment available. Brewing your own beer is an ease with this system. This turn-key operation includes real estate, all trade fixtures, licenses and equipment in the store. Building includes 3125 square feet with ample public parking located in the rear. Opened March 2005, this popular restaurant already has a strong, established customer base. Restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and 5 days a week for breakfast."

(12/09/2005)

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

Establishment: Pittsburgh Brewing Company, Pittsburgh , PA

Pittsburgh Brewing Company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday. The company is still in operation and producing beer.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is covering the story: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05342/618920.stm

(12/08/2005)

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

Establishment: Yakima Brewing and Malting was Grant's Ales, Yakima, WA

It could be last call for Grant's brewery pub.

The restaurant and bar has closed after the state barred Yakima Brewing & Malting Co. from serving beer and employing workers by revoking its liquor license and industrial insurance coverage certificate.

If the pub reopens at its Glenwood Square site at 5110 Tieton Drive, it might have a new owner.

Full article here: http://www.yakima-herald.com/page/dis/317367215806663

(12/05/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Good So So

Establishment: Roland's Seafood Grill, Pittsburgh , PA

Well I finally went back to Roland's. Visited on 11/19 during the later evening expecting the Roland's I use to know.

It appears however that Roland's is taking that nosedive motion taken by place already shuttered.

Arrived at Roland's and found 2-3 door folks along with a Pittsburgh police officer manning the door. Wondering where I now was I braved onward. What I found was a loud rap-music filled place with 20-somethings drinking and standing in place. Lacking oxygen and a colder temperature I trekked upstairs and found pretty much the same. 20-somethings drinking macro beers and five cigarette people trying to get me smoking their crack.

Ordered a Chimay small red bottle and left soon after.

I guess Roland's now wants to be what Metropol was. What a shame.

(11/21/2005)

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

Establishment: Gooski's, Polish Hill, PA

Saturday nights are hoping at Gooski's. Local live bands play back in the pool table area. Shoulder to shoulder alternative crowd coupled with very good micro and import selection on tap and in the coolers.

This place gets better with age. A must see for those who love a good alternative music jukebox including The Clash and Dead Kennedys.

(11/08/2005)

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

Establishment: Ukiah, Pittsburgh, PA

You could easily drive by this place. Right past all the noise of Giant Eagle and Taco Bell, where people hit the pedal and press 50. The neon for Pabst Blue Ribbon and the Coors Light banners easily disguise this place as a dive.

Open the door and still confused. Maco brew propaganda everywhere. Country western interior meets Italian decor. Poker machines and a jukebox, where am I?

Ask the very lovely hostess/waitress/etc. about eating and drinking and discovered 100 beers, 90 worth drinking and pretty tasty food.

Surprise.

A weird worn in nook that decided to slide good beer in without letting anyone outside the building know.

Potential abound, but the bar crowd drowning themselves in Bud and Coors. Can Ukiah survive? We will see.

(11/08/2005)

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

Establishment: Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, Pittsburgh , PA

Well with Stan's death I had to finally trek over to the BBT to see what this place was all about. Better late than never someone once said.

This place is an interesting worn in nook to say the least. Bathroom in the basement and fitting for just one. Caliope banner up in the middle of the stage - which relates to the Tuesday songwriter night that continues must it be 10-years running?

Big grill top and fryer pushing out the Polish perogies and other polish foods. Varied beer selection, including East End Brewing's Big Hop and Hoegaarden to name two we bought. Alright beer selection with a few in the cooler I swear must be Polish imports.

Live music pushed out a few covers of noteables like the Rolling Stones among others. Original songs too.

Friendly place with just a $3 cover for the donation to the singer songwriters. We will be back. Sorry it took so long to visit.

(11/08/2005)

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

Establishment: Bitter End Bistro and Brewery, Austin, TX

The Austin American-Statesman is reporting:

The end of the End as Austin knows it Downtown brewpub will give way to hotel, may move elsewhere.

Full article: http://www.statesman.com/metrostate/content/metro/stories/10/31bitter.html

(10/31/2005)

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

Establishment: Pittsburgh Bottleshop Cafe, Bridgeville , PA

The Bottleshop is expanding. A new lease signed 9/28 for the adjoining space will give us all more space and attract a larger crowd.

New website for the Bottleshop too. Features on the wait staff and more info on the cigar menu.

(10/27/2005)

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

Establishment: Smokin' Joe's, Pittsburgh , PA

I stopped at Smokin Joe's on one of the recent cold/rainy days during lunchtime.

There were 2-3 people catching lunch while I was. I had the veggie sub and fries which was fresh, but somewhat bland - not giving Fathead's sandwichs a run for their money anytime soon. I had a salad too which was mostly just white lettuce crammed into a small bowl with cherry tomatoes that seemed to have grown a few extra layers of skin.

Food aside, Smokin Joes has a huge selection of beer... Most of the bar area is just coolers functioning as bar back.

Definitely a place to catch drinks with friends after work or on weekend nights out.

Maybe the other food is better- maybe other cooks there make more inspired food. That aside, a good place for beer and that is what we are about here on PubCrawler.

(10/27/2005)

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

Establishment: Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Miami, FL

Hurricane Wilma hit this area paticularly hard today. Lots of flooding and wind damage. I would expect this location to be closed for a while.

"...In downtown Miami, broken glass from skyscrapers littered some streets and sidewalks in the Brickell Avenue financial district. About four or five blocks of the avenue had up to six inches of water from a broken water main that was spraying about 15 feet in the air."

Complete story: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=1245493

(10/24/2005)

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

Establishment: Molly Brannigans Traditional Irish Pub, Pittsburgh , PA

I stopped by a few Fridays and this place was insanely overcrowded- I mean packed seating and three deep at the bar. It's a pretty big place and there had to be 200 people or more.

Good to see people supporting this place. Looks like the have a hit here.

I will be visiting Molly Brannigan's sometime soon and will provide a full review.

(10/24/2005)

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

Establishment: Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, Pittsburgh , PA

I'm sad to report another death in the beer community.

Stanley A. Frankowski / Owned Bloomfield Bridge Tavern Feb. 22, 1936-Oct. 19, 2005

Plant worker, union activist and Bloomfield Bridge Tavern owner Stanley A. Frankowski died Wednesday at 69 at his O'Hara home, following a long struggle with cancer.

Mr. Frankowski, "Stas" or "Sluggo" to his friends, was a union leader and bologna packer at Armour Meat Co. When the plant closed in the early 1980s, he launched a campaign to rally union members to collectively buy and manage it. After enlisting the help of a local political activist, now state Sen. Jim Ferlo, Mr. Frankowski cooked up a spicy way to get the attention of Pittsburgh City Council.

Rest of the article at http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05295/593086.stm

(10/22/2005)

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

Establishment: Ciao!, Carnegie, PA

I spoke with Nick at Ciao! this week. Bad news for Carnegie, beyond the half-block fire from last week - Ciao! is going to be closing it's Carnegie location and moving the business to Robinson Township along Stubenville Pike/Route 60.

Hey when I stopped in there were two other patrons the whole part of the evening I was there. Carnegie people just aren't supporting their local restaurants. The local leadership/government isn't helping foster new and continuing businesses in the boro either - Ciao's! had planned to open the second floor for parties and outdoor patio dining in the front- those ideas were shot down by Carnegie boro- where they wanted Ciao to add an elevator. An elevator - a very expensive idea and one that would have put a large dent in the space available.

The planned closing will happen end of December 2005 and the Robinson location will open in February 2006 according to Nick.

The new Robinson Township location will be much larger and have seating for 125 people. They are going to continue to push the micros and good imports and expect to have 14-beers on tap at the new location and probably a larger selection of micros in the coolers.

You can expect the same low-priced Italian meals at the new location as well as small-plate tapas-like offerings - but at a low price and healthy size.

I am looking forward to the new location where I expect Ciao! will be received with open arms and a large crowd of loyal diners.

The few of us still alive in Carnegie will miss the convienent location and walking distance bonus.

(10/18/2005)

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

Establishment: East End Brewing Company, Pittsburgh, PA

I bicycled over to Scott Smith's East End Brewing on 10/15/2005 and afterwards visited Point Brugge (see that review too). I got to the brewery around 3:40 - just 20 minutes before closing.

I have been meaning to visit East End Brewing for several months. Scott had brewed a special one batch of Pedal Pale Ale for "Bicycle Month" here in Pittsburgh and a group of bikers made it to the brewery on of the event outings. I ran into Scott handing out his beer propaganda over at Bado's (pronounced Bad-o-s) in Mount Lebanon a few weeks back. With my interest brewing (pun) and a nice warm fall Pittsburgh Saturday (yep it can happen) I charted out my course to East End Brewing.

It's at this point I'll take issue with maps and The Enemy. While Scott might have his brewery in a lower rent district it's very close to much better living quarters - like the Point Brugge area/Point Breeze (I know we had differing opinons on that). Scott is in what appears to maybe have been a steel mill. The neighbors on the same street live in some interesting low cost houses (2-3 houses on street). The street is buried and has been isolated by the insertion of the East Busway there in the 1980's - dividing it from the better area. The neighbors were out on one of the porches and were friendly- harmless. It was actually absolutely quiet back there - no car stereos, no noisy traffic, no anything.

When you look at a map for getting to East End Brewing you will see essentially a doubling of the streets since maps also list the alleys and other tightly placed parallel streets. So in reality it's 2-3 real blocks from Penn Avenue.

Scott Smith is a bicycle guy. He let me drag my monster-bike into the office space of the brewery for safe keeping. There is a tricycle and a piece of something else bicylce in his office. He'll tell you about his like of bicycles and sustainability.

Scott gave me the full-tour - two story open floors, loading dock, grain elevator and supply pilings. Lots of time and work has been put into this place to make it what it is - be it minimalistic. The brewing equipment was in operation and there was various beer production waste about the floor. The fermentation tank and other equipment weren't polished up, this is a real brewery, actually making the beer. Refreshing.

I got to sample a bit of the Harvest Ale - good beer and nice portion size offering. With East End Brewery now having Vecenie distribute the beers, more beer seems to be out there and less hanging around the brewery. That means for the time being you might not have a growler fillup or keg available for takeout the two days a week Scott offers beer at the brewery now. While I was there (4PM and thereafter) two different couples came to pay homage to East End Brewing's beer. It seems like people are taking a liking to East End Brewing.

Scott Smith is a neat guy - out on a limb taking a risk, living his dream and providing us with some really good beer. I can overlook the short-supply at the brewery and the neighborhood. You should really get out to see East End Brewing, Scott is a one man act doing everything. He is down to earth and friendly. Best yet, the beer is excellent.

Give East End Brewing a try Pittsburgh.

(10/16/2005)

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.

(10/15/2005)

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.

(10/10/2005)

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.

(10/09/2005)

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

Establishment: Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, Dayton, OH

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

http://www.daytondailynews.com/localnews/content/localnews/daily/0924thirstydog.html

(10/03/2005)

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

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..."

http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/index.php?page=business&story_id=100105a5_nimbus

(10/02/2005)

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

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.

(09/30/2005)

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

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?

(09/30/2005)

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

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: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/pages/local_news/story/4fe632a9d

(09/30/2005)

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

Establishment: Southern California Brewing Company, Torrance, CA

Closed - Now Angel City Brewing

(09/18/2005)

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

Establishment: Chiodo's Tavern, Pittsburgh , PA

Shawnwall.com has a photo of Chiodo's boarded up with a wrong obituary for Samuel Chiodo sprayed on the boards covering Chiodo's bar.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawnwall/21671414/

-Paris

(06/29/2005)

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

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

(06/07/2005)

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

Establishment: Harris Grill, Pittsburgh , PA

reopened.

(05/02/2005)

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

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: http://www.postgazette.com/pg/05115/493908.stm

(04/25/2005)

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

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.

(04/21/2005)

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.

(03/31/2005)

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

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.

(03/31/2005)

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

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!

(03/22/2005)

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

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: http://www.postgazette.com/pg/05070/469483.stm

(03/11/2005)

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

Establishment: Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

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

(03/10/2005)

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

Establishment: Heorot, Muncie, IN

Might still have Grottenbier Brown from Pierre Celis tap.

Talked about this place on an airing of Beercasting.com. http://www.beercasting.com

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: http://www.goodbeershow.com

(03/09/2005)

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.

(02/14/2005)

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 (http://worldcafe.org/) and originating from KXPN (http://www.xpn.org) 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.

(02/13/2005)

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.

(01/29/2005)

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

Establishment: East End Brewing Company, Pittsburgh, PA

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

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/pmupdate/s_282864.html

(12/13/2004)

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.

(12/03/2004)

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

Establishment: Red Room Cafe and Lounge, Pittsburgh , PA

Wow, what an interesting place!

Red Room Cafe and Lounge is right around the corner from Kelly's Lounge and just a block or three from Casbah and right around the corner from the ever so-interesting Shadow Lounge. Red Room is across a bridge and not in Shadyside, but instead in East Liberty, right off the circle/square. East Liberty has been a distressed minority area since the 1960's. The three blocks from Shadow Lounge past Kelly's is quite an inroad into the rich historic neighborhood. Well preserved architecture and an ever so pleasant environment.

The Red Room is a dimly lit large room with nice effective minimalist partitioning provides intimacy and a swank lounge feeling. The plush window lining benches include equally plush and functional lower back support. Quite an interesting interior, while still sparse with rich aged looking flooring worth a review. Small glass designed candle holders fill the room at night with intimate table lighting.

A hearty menu contains a loaded bar- piling the good wine choices up and an ever so-local selection of finer Pennsylvania only microbrews is well represented over one and a quarter pages. Think of multiple selections from Victory, Stoudt and Weyerbacher to name a few. Big points here for Red Room having no national MACRO brews. What a rare find.

The menu and end deliverables are delicate and ever-so rich food done exceptionally well. The salads are adorned with a finely aged vinegarette and pine nuts. A nice selection of real greens, albeit smaller but fulfilling salad.

There are ample selections of both meat and non-meat options. Vegetarians are limited to just one main entre, an enchilda dish but other appetizers, soups and specials are readily available however.

This is a very worthwhile place to give a chance. The prices are a bit higher than other places, but I still refrain from calling it fine dining. The food is well worth the costs.

It's worth noting that this restaurant was started by former Max Mex/Big Burrito Group employee. It surpasses the very respectable Big Bean offerings in pure quality of food served on this visit.

(11/30/2004)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Great Great

Establishment: Rock Bottom Brewery, Homestead, PA

I visited this Rock Bottom over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I showed up after midnight, so there was no food to order. Kitchen closes at midnight - which is a disappointment since you have people drinking all the way up until 2AM... They should keep the limited menu running as close to 2AM as possible.. No food, no beer rule.

At any rate, that gripe aside, we spent most of time with Matt, a manager at Rock Bottom. Matt is a good guy we know otherwise and was employed before by Big Bean Burrito Group. Matt's an excellent chef. I got the informal tour which was nice as well as lots of time for questions about the beer.

It's worth noting, during my last trip I wasn't so happy with the beer selection or quality. There's a change and some information worth noting. First, there is at least one cask conditioned beer usually available. The beer is primo and isn't listed on the big board in the middle of the place. You might never notice it existed unless you were at the bar and noticed the cask or a seperate tap. I recommended they put it out on the main board so everyone knows the brew exists.

The cask conditioned ale they had on tap was nitro delivered and delicious. There also is a Scotch Ale available right now which is tasty enough to end up in a growler to come home with me. That says something since I don't find many beers worthy of the trek from brewery to my fridge.

The bar top I said was sand, was in better condition and is actually ice.. A really neat concept and place to keep your pint nicely chilled. Duh!

This Rock Bottom is actually pretty good for a chain establishment. The beers, via my sampler tasting seem to be right on with style and the speciality cask and seasonals are as good as it gets.

The Waterfront where this Rock Bottom is located is a major destination for shopping and entertainment. With a place like Rock Bottom anchoring the dining, I think we will see more growth and more dining options being introduced into the Waterfront during 2005 and 2006.

(11/29/2004)

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

Establishment: Tap House Grill, Bellvue, WA

160 beers on taps.

(09/17/2004)

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

Establishment: Jolly Roger Taproom, Seattle, WA

Fourteen taps of fresh beer. Two or three are cask-conditioned ales. They also brew seasonals.

(09/17/2004)

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

Establishment: Hot Metal Grille, Pittsburgh , PA

Hot Metal Grille is owned by the folks that originally ran the Seventh Street Grille in downtown Pittsburgh for many years.

While I find issue with the location described as being in the historic Southside Works as this is a new place in new space- it's easy to see through the marketing hype. The mills that previously littered this river field are far removed. But in their respect, we nod.

Southside Works is an unusual cluster of main street-esque square new buildings ranging about 3-4 stories on average along Carson Street -> past the Birmingham bridge heading towards Homestead. The plan is interesting for Pittsburgh and features lots of living rental space in townhouse and condo configurations along with many retail establishments like REI and Cheesecake Factory. The compound is also known for the various Pitt Panther and Steeler training facilities and the FBI headquarters office. A great reuse of otherwise disgarded brownfields.

As for the interior of Hot Metal Grille it's best described as modern minimalist with lots of dark tones. The barback art wall is interesting in finish decoration and choice of red backlighting. It's like very old-Berlin meets posh new design New York ambience.

Roomy chairs and comfy booths neatly dot the room - devided by just under 6 foot high wall partitions. So you can stand up and look across the room and see the tops of every head or a collegue scurrying along to the bar. A neat open space approach.

The food here is good as the chef and some of the staff remain from Seventh Street Grille. I have only tried their vegetarian sandwich and it hit the spot... Nothing too creative- but fresh and simple.

Beverages are limited if you are the type that basis things on the tap handles... Three or four handles with only one good beer. Look for or ask for the full beer menu. They have about 10 or so good beers worth seeking in bottles.

So what can we say about this place to close? Questionable location a year ago, but now the mecca with the recent opening of the Cheesecake Factory with it's one-hour plus waits on the weekends. Just two blocks away from that noise is Hot Metal and two blocks from their the Birmingham Bridge Tavern. With the many screen movie theatre on the way - opening the Steel Metal Grille later and on Sundays - they will do well. Overflow traffic will guarantee that for sure.

I'd recommend this place especially to those who like to be in the 'in crowd' and those who like design oriented environments. This place isn't much like the old haunts at Seventh Street and we aren't complaining about that.

(08/23/2004)

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

Establishment: Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery and Restaurant, Seattle, WA

Pyramid turns 20 years old on August 21, 2004... Long running brewery business worth checking out...

(08/11/2004)

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

Establishment: The Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh , PA

Well the Church Brew Works continues to bring the crowds in and keep me a happy diner.

Every other month on the first Thursday, this place hosts Pittsburgh Geek Night. A good reason for the tech industry folks to get out and mingle.

Every visit I get the undeniable Southwest pizza... It's one of the best pizzas anywhere in Pittsburgh.

This time I tried the high alchol beer they had on tap... It seemed flat. The seasonal Weiss beer was a good followup and quite popular amongst the geeks.

The Church is working on bringing in an increasingly larger wine selection. That should please the non-beer folks visiting the Church.

Parking is around back and along the side street as well as limited space along Liberty Avenue... I only note this, because on weekends and event times, parking can be hard to find.

I can only say positive things about this Pittsburgh institution that keeps brewing and around even long after the other nearby brewpub concepts have long faded.

(08/09/2004)

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

Establishment: Red Star Brewery and Grille, Greensburg, PA

7/30/2004

Presidential hopefuls John Kerry, John Edwards, their families and entourage had lunch at the Red Star Brewery which is within the train station.

(08/03/2004)

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

Establishment: Chiodo's Tavern, Pittsburgh , PA

Could the END of Chiodo's be near?

From Thursday, July 22, 2004 By Teresa F. Lindeman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Chiodo's Tavern, a Homestead landmark that made its reputation serving beers to tired steel workers but survived long after the giant plant across the tracks closed down, could be making way for a Walgreens drugstore.

Steve Mellon, Post-Gazette Chiodo's Tavern in Homestead is an icon in the steel town. Click photo for larger image.

A Cincinnati developer yesterday filed an application that details plans to put the national drugstore chain's second store in this area on West Eighth Avenue, near the base of the Homestead Grays Bridge.

Anchor Properties is seeking permission to demolish the existing Chiodo's Bar, a Subway restaurant and 76 gas station. A new Subway would be built, along with the drugstore and a parking area, according to paperwork submitted at the borough office.

"The redevelopment will be a major improvement to the business district," said a letter signed by Anchor's Michael S. Ricke. "A Walgreens drugstore is a solid neighborhood business providing goods and services to the Homestead community."

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/04204/349938.stm

(07/22/2004)

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

Establishment: Pittsburgh Bottleshop Cafe, Bridgeville , PA

After back to back negative toned reviews posted on the same day (did you folks visit together?) I had to return to the Bottleshop to check things out.

I had been there intitially in a pre-opening phase.

Let's describe this place. The BottleShop is a new strip mall location in Collier Township right as you come through Heidelberg along route 50. It is behind the Damon's steakhouse. This being a strip mall and new--- character of the overall area is blah-ha. See the photo of the exterior.

Inside, things are more attractive. How attractive this place is depends on your taste. The walls are rose colored. There are some funky silver lights and shiny metal ventilation pipes overhead. All that along with some large PA type speakers.

There are about 15 seats along the bar, 2 booths and 5 sit up high tables in the middle of the place.

The walls are barely decorated with just a few beer promo mirrors. Not cluttered like a lot of places. All clean and new. I can understand how the three door coolers, totaling 9 doors overall could detract from the interior. However, they have decorative panels to integrate them into the place, are new and more attractive than most coolers.

My waitress for lunch was a 40something. A beautiful blonde former beauty pagent type. Good looking waitstaff is seemingly a part of the formula at the BottleShop.

Beyond being a knockout, my waitress was attentative and prompt. Zero issues, helpful. No empty glass at any point.

Food was an issue. No vegetarian sandwiches or entres. Food is fairly limited to about eight appetizers, six or so sandwiches and a few chicken/seafood offerings.

I ordered a salad and eggplant appetizer. The salad was very good. Really high quality spring greens. A large meal sized salad. The appetizer was served with a large side of marinara. Pretty good as well.

I spoke with Marc (owner) about everything and the complaints that were posted along with the veggie/limited diet issues. Marc is interested in hearing about any problems. He's there a lot. He was in the kitchen this lunch time working on the food.

The bottle selection is pretty decent. There were a few beers I hadn't seen in Pittsburgh before. The tap selection most notably has Victory Hop Devil and Stone Arrogant Bastard.

This is a new place with business on the upswing. By all means give this place a try and let us hear about any problems and the good parts too.

(07/08/2004)

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

Establishment: Elephant and Castle Restaurant, Grove City, PA

Elephant & Castle at Grove City Outlet Shops has long been on my list of places to inspect. I even thought of driving to Grove City just to go here when the place was first added.

Grove Outlet Shops are a large collection of known retailers - with 'discounted' stores all in one big outside fancy strip mall along 79 heading north from Pittsburgh - about 8 miles north of Slippery Rock.

Elephant & Castle is a franchise. It's worth noting this because there is also an Elephant & Castle Inn (hotel) next door that is owned by the same folks. The main corporation owning the Elephant & Castle name is not in the business of lodging... So some confusion.

Some confusion like entering this place in your vehicle. From the Outlet's main access road there is no turn into the Elephant & Castle, even though the property is next to the shops. Throw in a sign for Elephant & Castle along that main Outlet road and presto! Confusion. We drove around the entire property - about say a mile detour. We then missed Elephant & Castle entrance as Wendy's is next door. The entrance sign they share is 80% red matching the color of the Wendy's logo. If you look clearly, there is also a little Elephant & Castle logo on the sign. So we finally get there.

The exterior is different, but right in line with most mall chain places. An old British phone booth sits empty outside the front door of the place. The front door is on the front side of the building and a sidewalk's (75 foot) walk from either side. Not a really evident entry way at first.

The beer list, be it large on the imports- say 100 of them, had only about six micros. Most notably Penn Brewing products... A largely disproportionate offering with so few micros.

I ordered the Penn wheat beer, which I've had many times. It was more powerful in flavor than usual. No explanation, maybe old, maybe a strong batch of bottles.

I tried cruising their food menu, being hot and hungry from my drive from Pittsburgh on an empty July 4th stomach. Not a single outright vegetarian/limited diet entre.

Our waitress recommended a salad. This sent me back over ten years and how being on a limited diet was in Pittsburgh. Same mentality. Our waitress other than this was helpful. Note though, being in service, don't recommend people eat your place mat, salt or salad as a meal. A salad isn't a fulfilling and adequate nutritional replacement for anyone on any diet. It's a part of a meal.

We ordered a quesadilla appetizer- minus the meat that came in it by default. Same price though even though it wasn't menu offered. So pay the same amount here for the product that has been upticked for meat cost... Yawn...

I settled for a stir fried rice and vegetable entre - minus the chicken it came with by default. Same story on cost... Just rice and mainly squash... $11

The stir fry was very good actually. Good from mostly a salty vinegar solution the rice had been fried with. The veggies was seemingly steamed, harder outside and odd insides... Fresh nonetheless.

My better half had a buffalo chicken wrap which was allegedly good.

We consumed a Penn bottle and two Blue Moons plus the forementioned food. $41. A bit pricey compared to what we even spend here in the city for such an average chain-mill place with mediocre beer selection and normal quality fresh food.

I left out, I ordered a side salad that was described as greens, it had some greens but also low grade iceberg type selections in it. It was much smaller than anticipated and the quality and description didn't match the delivered. It would be fine as a $1.95 add-on, not a cent more.

This is a place that stands to do alright just based on tourist traffic. The Outlet Stores draw people from about four states and Ontario, Canada. Add those capitive lodgers staying at their Inn and presto: business.

I'd really like to give this place a rave review but it would greatly undermine my integrity. Dining options along 79 heading north are severly limited in selection and quality. There are tons of greasy spoons and fast food chain places. So a place like this for all consideration as it relates to location is pretty good. If it were in the city/metro area it would be So So.

They severely need to add options for all the people who are dietarily restricted. The menu is 100% meat focused. It was allegedly revised recently. Time to revise it again.

To be listed here, really this place needs to embrace some number of micros more than six. But since it's in podunk nowhere land, we'll let it slide. Having six was better than seeing a blasted Budweiser sign or being offered something called Coors when you ask for a beer.

So whenever someone who has the power in this chain or at this location reads this, note:

Good food, poor selection of food options. It's easy to omit items like chicken and still have food. It's inviting to seniors, some religions and hordes of bohemian weirdos like me.

Your menu should also have a list of sides. Sure you offer 30 things with meals, but 0 by themselves. Not everyone likes stock, offer you chose it selections aka sides.

Prices are in line with any expensive chain place anywhere. Most folks aren't dropping $20 a head for lunch like we did.

I'd like to check another Elephant & Castle location to determine if what I experienced was a chain wide item or the choice of the franchisee. In all fairness, I couldn't initially understand how a place with good beer could ever make it in Grove City abutting a mall. So I am sure the menu and variety matches the demand. I hope it does and it isn't customers never becoming repeat customers like me.

(07/05/2004)

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

Establishment: West Virginia Brewing Company, Independence, WV

I'm disappointed in myself for not having stopped at West Virginia Brewing before this. I stopped in over the 4th of July long weekend.

This is a really good place in what is mostly a college town. It was a hot and humid July day and my thirst level was up. After trying Bent Willey's out and just leaving I was on my way towards the interstate and West Virginia Brewing was on the way.

Now before you go, West Virginia Brewing is a block or so off the main club/restaurant business main street area. It sits at the bottom of Plesant Street. If you drive by it you will end up on an interstate or bridge so be careful - it's a fast paced intersection where this place is.

Parking is a bit of a hassle if you aren't a local and aren't in the know. Meter parking up on Pleasant street is always enforced- that's just a block up the hill. This place has a few spots around back - if you can navigate across the two lanes of opposing traffic. Overflow parking can risk the city lot across the street on weekends or take the block hike up Plesant street.

From the outside the place might look uninviting. Inside, if the place isn't hoping and the chairs are all up on tables like when I visited, you might think the place is closed - stagger over to the bar as described later...

Those tidbits aside, if I were driving along 79 and saw a sign for Morgantown, I'd enjoy the trek to this place to break my travels up.

Environment wise, WVA Brewing is set in what essentially are three buildings - three large rooms with large intersecting doorways. Through the front door and you are pushed into the main room which is spacious with many tables setup. The decor and tables are very folk/wood/rustic... Wood floors all over this place...

The bar and brewing area is to your left. Past the several pool tables. Lots of brick throughout. The brewing gear is behind a whole wall of glass. Nice display.

Beer wise, this place puts out a really high quality product that is right on with the style. There were two regular beers that were out due to demand.

To explain the demand part more, in the hour or so I spent here, I saw about four half gallon growlers come in empty and leave filled. That was during an off peak holiday weekend time.

The Cheat Lake Gold and their Raspberry Wheat beer were my favorites. Both hit the mark for the warm summer weather. I even unlike myself-- brought a Cheat Lake growler back home. The Fondelblonde with it's funny name was delicious also. Good stuff all the way through my five brew sampler.

Emily, who wrote one of the earlier reviews here from 2003 was the helpful talkative soul who made my visit better than usually they go when visiting these new places. To elaborate, she was polite, helpful, familiar with the beers and a great promoter of the West Virginia Brewing Company. Service is a big deal to me. Being nice and helpful and informed about the products is a necessity. While a lot of folks just have a job, Emily was truly a nice person making the best of her work and learning.

Now for the food. The menu is a tad different than the usual fare. Not very, but for instance entres aren't served til 4pm and that leaves appetizers and sandwiches.

I ordered a vegetarian hoagie. Wow, was it ever so good. Actually, it was the best vegetarian sandwich I have had anywhere. A fresh selection of veggies and a nice mix of peppers gave it a really nice spicey bang.

Alright, some other things worth noting about this place--- they have outdoor patio seating-- which seems rare these days - so take advantage of it during these pleasant summer nights. Also, a few times a month they have live entertainment which typically is said to be folk or blues musicians. Wednesday's (I think) is $1 pints during the evenings. Cheap price for a quality product.

I also have to give a big Awesome to this place for also serving bottled beer from other folks - like Cleveland Brewing. The macros are available for the die-hard limited palate folks who can't stand to try something new - like a good pint of West Virginia Brewing Company product.

I'll be back to this place next chance I get.

Support this place by visiting- you won't be disappointed.

(07/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Bent Willey's, Morgantown, WV

Yawn!

Can you say multi-roomed pop rock mega club sitting in an alley... The place has a huge space with lots of potential.. But...

Their brewing gear seems setup in a window for show.. It didn't appear to be functional brewing in any way...

Rude knuckleheaded college age employees kept me from checking out their brews and learning more... So I went over to West Virginia Brewing to check out a real place for beer in Morgantown.

(07/05/2004)

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

Establishment: North Country Brewing Company, Slippery Rock, PA

This place is looking like it is going to shape up to be very nice. It's going to be the only brewery between Pittsburgh and Erie when opened. A great location near Slippery Rock University and a 7 mile brief trip from the Outlet Stores in Grove City.

Great looking equipment (large mash tank) and the metal brewing landing and steps already at the site.

Signage is up out front the place and there is an interesting chalkboard near the entry way worth reading during the the construction period.

So, the place isn't opened yet and looks like a few months at least I'd estimate before the doors open.

(07/04/2004)

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

Establishment: Bent Willey's, Morgantown, WV

Willey's has new microbrews: -Pale Ale, Cherry Wheat, Stout, Bent Brew

One Cover - Seven Great Bars Thurs. - Sat. Dance Club 11pm - close Gourmet Pizza $1.25 slice Deck Open

(06/25/2004)

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

Establishment: Rock Bottom Brewery, Homestead, PA

I arrived at our local mega beer chain Rock Bottom after supporting the within walking distance independent Chiodo's Tavern.

I arrived by my lonesome and sat at the bar/lounge.

It's worth noting that Rock Bottom here in Pittsburgh is located at the Waterfront. The Waterfront is a many-acre reappropriated land that steel mills once sat on. It's one of Pittsburgh's new strip mall areas featuring big box stores like Barnes & Noble, Gap, Lowes (both theater and hardware store) and Target to name a few.

Certainly this place looks, tastes and smells better than a mill.

My bartender (Tee?) was a friendly gent, full of character, attentative and in tune with the patrons. One of the better batenders I have seen recently. A very funny and genuine guy trying to give away a pair of Chicago/Eath Wind and Fire tickets to legions of customers who replied things such as:

1. who is that? 2. if it were the Rolling Stones in Las Vegas... 3. etc.

The interior of this Rock Bottom is best described as sort of 1980's modern art deco. It's fairly pleasant on the eyes overall.

The bar/lounge counter top is an interesting combination of about six-inches of hologram beer bubbles followed by six more inches of sand. A truly unique bar top setting.

The brewing equipment is located right behind the bar and is visible through enormous say 20 foot wall sized panes of glass. Very pleasant on the eyes and an overall good presentation that rivals most breweries/brewpubs.

I tried a sampler of the Strawberry (wheat) beer and wasn't impressed... I ordered a pint of their pale ale which was sufficient, but not exceptional. Actually, it was the highest ABV on the board. It's worth noting they only serve their own beers at this location and are limited to roughly 5-7 beer choices.

I ordered from their apperizer food menu (post 10pm). I ordered a mushroom themed pizza which was hot, fresh and tasty. I'd love to see their full menu for consideration but can understand the limited menu at post 10pm.

So my later night visit could have easily been a bad experience. The bartender(Tee) made the difference I think. During the hour or so I was there, I saw about eight growlers come in for refills. I was joined during this hour by two gents just removed from their baseball league, two female sixty somethings enjoying some away time and countless hoards of 20-somethings. It's abundantly apparent how on a weekend this place could be a zoo at 6PM like all the other Waterfront eating establishments.

If I were a younger 20-something, this would definitely be on a short list of places to meet up, find a date or just enjoy some drinking time.

Rock Bottom stands to do well with this location. The brewer will determine the quality of the beer along with the legions of customers. I hope the brewer takes the steps to make more risky flavored beers. At current they are fairly standard brews, while not bad, not exceptional on this night.

(06/23/2004)

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

Establishment: Chiodo's Tavern, Pittsburgh , PA

I avoided Chiodo's for way too long.

Growing up in Pittsburgh, you were either blue or white collar and Chiodos's and Homestead were clearly the blue collar steel capital of the world - arguably. I lived in a similar town with a similar blue collar base, but disliked the pollution, low brow humor and lack of progress it brought.

Having steered clear and long defined my taste for yuppie havens and non-jock bar Chiodo's remained one of the few manly and questionable places this PubCrawler had yet to visit.

On the evening of June 22, 2004, I visited Chiodo's (pronounced something like key-o-do-s)- unannounced and at the request of a fellow PubCrawler user who said business had slumped at Chiodo's significantly with the opening of the block-a-way waterfront which most notably houses just one beer-friendly establishment - Rock Bottom brewpub.

Well on this special night I also visited Rock Bottom for my initial impression of their handy-craft. We'll talk about that in a seperate review for them :)

Back to Chiodo's, the exterior and interior are rich with history and interesting people that are easy to misclassify. Along side of me sat a gentleman, drinking a local say Pittsburgh Brewing product well at the end of his very own large session of beer. Easily identified as a local and yinzer, but yet a really smart guy wise to the micros and himself, a youth soccer referee. Not exactly typical for Pittsburgh. In came two young lads from Squirrel Hill, much into the micros and not originally from Pittsburgh. You get the point. The locals down the bad beer and in come the people from a neighborhood away, enjoying the selection and sanity of a place minus the long lines and attitude of the mall type areas.

I ordered a garden salad and fries with cheese.. Being the non-carnivore I am, the menu left nothing other than appetizers for me to select from. This sent me back say ten years, but I can forgive this because the place is genuine. My meals arrives on styrofoam plates and with plastic forks, cheaper and seemingly tastier than the fare at the more fancy places.

While Chiodo's is an old mill-town bar, it is arguably the grand-daddy for all fine beer- read micros and imports - establishments in Pittsburgh. Having first served Pilsner Urqell and other imports in the mid 1950's it becomes clearer that this bar is historic and bigger than most folks realize.

Joe Chiodo, the 80+ year old force behind this beer mecca sat down at the end of his day with me and chatted, rather accidentally. In some ways the things time has taken away from him (hearing) has enriched the candidness and conversation I was so privileged to be granted.

Joe has been a fan of beer longer than I have been alive. At this point, that's a pretty amazing reflection point as I exceed 30 years on this planet and over a decade of indirect beer awareness :) . While discussing the new artsy craft beers such as Victory, Stone and Southern Tier, I was lead back to a classic favorite of Joe's and mine much later, Duvel.

For me, it was a free one on the house. Something I seldom see unless there are great problems with my order/service. It was a very appreciated beverage I selected in Joe's honor and in the shadows of the man that started it all here in the 'Burgh.

While Chiodo's can be known locally for their extensive bra collection found overhead the bar, Chiodo's is better known for Joe, the mystery sandwich and the large number of different micros still found in this landmark.

As I sat, talking with Joe, I was lead to the wall behind the bar which is a giant collage of many famous Pittsburgh and Homestead historic points. As Joe lifted a framed piece suspended on the amazing backsplash of photographic evidence of Pittsburgh past, I was shown a photo of over a dozen glasses lined up waiting for a fine brew to be poured. In the photo most was a gentleman wrapped in his flannel to fight the coldness of a Pittsburgh winter. The glasses lined up were a sub-pint Pittsburgh old-school bar glass like they still use at Chiodo's - say 10-12 ounces maybe. The gentleman in the photo is pouring the beers for a beer tasting session that Chiodo's use to have.

While I miss the history I didn't enjoy partially due to my own fear, Chiodo's today is a wonderful bar loaded with artifacts of days gone by. Walking into this place is like being transported to my youth. Familiar slogans, signs, teams and spirits.

If you are in Pittsburgh, like history and respect your elders I highly recommend Chiodo's at least once. They make a hell of a mean fish sandwich that is course for two normal folks in these times. They make that sandwich not just in lent, but all year round.

While my bartender for this evening was enjoying his youth, the other staff were long-time dedicated folks the regulars knew by their first name.

Long live this fine establishment with the fine owners and the spirit which in today's terms - keeps it real.

I'll be back, and next time with more people. A phenomenal beer lineup in bottle with lots of bottles you don't see in Pittsburgh - except at the distributor in cases. No Penn Brewing products - ask Joe - if you don't know.

I highly recommend this place as the alternative to the busy, mall atmospheres that contain robotic entities who just have a job, where the money gets shipped to corporate - states away. This is a real genuine bar that I would be sorry to see go - if it ever does.

(06/23/2004)

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

Establishment: Birmingham Bridge Tavern, Pittsburgh , PA

where to start???

well, although Birmingham Bridge is within the name, the Tavern is a very large block or two from the actual bridge. It's also worth noting its a block off the main drag on Sarah Street, as opposed to Carson.

All the geographic clarifications aside, this is a really neat place worth checking out.

Birmingham Bridge Tavern enters the ranks for beer lovers with a very different lineup of around 14 taps and 70 bottles. They have the obligatory bud and coors for everyone else.

They had a few of the Bell's/Kalamazoo beers that were tasty and some other interesting tap handles worth giving a second look and consideration towards.

This is a three-story bar, with two floors with bars and the third for private functions. Neat about this place is the third floor is available for events without an additional event rental charge. In this day and age that's a big deal, I think.

So, usually we find it easy to poke holes and drop the rating on the service side of things. The dear bartender gently moved the evening, drinks and food along. The chef/cook is a Culinary Institute grad formerly employed with the Colony House. A really friendly guy who even poured me a sample of a summer brew on tap I hadn't tried before.

So who are you going to find here? Local South Siders, blue collar folks at the end of their day and white collar folks out for dinner and drinks. A mixed crowd at ease with each other.

This is a friendly low key place off the main fast paced Carson Street. The people who own/work at this place are really classy and down to earth. Conversation friendly bunch.

I'll be back.

(06/21/2004)

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

Establishment: Monterey Pub, Pittsburgh , PA

Monterey Pub is located in the very real and very friendly Mexican War Streets secton of Pittsburgh's Central North Side.

While Monterey Pub sports a somewhat small list of micros (Penn Brewing products and Sierra Nevada) this is still a fabulous place to check out while in Pittsburgh.

In the spirit of real pubs across the big pond, Monterey features a rather robust menu, hearty seating, friendly chatty folks and a good spirit.

The food is rather good. They even have accomodated the non-flesh eaters with a delicious vegetarian offering and a large green salad. The plank style fries are delicious.

I sat one evening recently with a local PubCrawler user talking over everything, site related, politics, life, family and history. Those around us chimed in here and there with very interesting perspectives and warmth.

For what is now in most places described as a cramped smokey place with desperate folks propping up the bar- that being the definition of a Pub, Monterey excels and breaks the Pub mold with fresh, innovative offerings in a setting that teleports you to somewhere else. All while being gently moved along by friendly folks and words.

Monterey with a few more micros available is the definition of what a US pub should be.

From time to time Monterey embraces local artists with a late evening music accompanyment to your meal or beverage consumption.

While in the War Streets be sure to wander a block or two to experience the unique craftmanship of a real quality neighborhood that is well in the process of redeveloping itself, one home at a time.

(06/15/2004)

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

Establishment: Eleven, Pittsburgh, PA

Eleven is another breakout concept from the good folks at Big Burrito, the people that brought us most notably the mini chain Mad Mex.

Eleven aims to provide what they call comfort food. The comfort food term seems to be a buzz word of the current time in restaurants. Big B had previously opened a location in North Hills featuring home cooked goodies like you wish mom had made them, meatloaf, mashed potatos, etc.

Eleven is slightly different than that sort of comofort food and thereby a whole new thing. Eleven is housed in the location that most people will remember the much talked about but underdelivering Valhalla.

Again, eclectic, Eleven at the bar/lounge area you can feast on appetizer portions of marinated hard-boiled eggs. For the regular appetizer line up you will see the infusion of fancy and french, lots of meat and the seafood is adequately represented.

For the main course fish, pork, tuna, various steaks, chicken, veal and spaghetti appears. Comfortable, but definitely after deciphiring the fancy names and out of the ordinary ingredients.

Beer wise, their website lists selections from Rogue, Dogfish, Stoudt's, Anderson Valley, Great Lakes, etc. etc. etc.

Oh time to call mom and tell her to revise the recipes.

With a chef lineup that includes Greg Alauzen, Derek Stevens (formerly of Dusquesne Club), Sean Kelly (Steelhead Grill), Dan Mosedale (Original Fish Market), and Eben Copple (the much regarded, humorous and talented recently departed from the nearby Lidia's) -- this is going to be a severely good place with far more creative dishes on the near horizon.

Time for me to go eat and take in the environment, service and flavor at what is bound to become Pittsburgh's new restaurant of the year for 2004.

(06/13/2004)

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

Establishment: Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen and Wine Bar, Pittsburgh , PA

Casbah is part of the Big Burrito group. The same small company that brings us Mad Mex.

Casbah is a really unique place with no comparison in Pittsburgh. There is a large outdoor area on the front of the building which is wonderful for warmer summer nights. The interior is hard to describe, very modern, intimate and happening. This place definitely transports you to some place other than Pittsburgh.

Casbah boasts a large wine selection as well as focusing on martinis. Beer wise you will find their contracted Big B house brew as well as international heavyweight Chimay, two of the Lindeman's varieties and several decent micros. Not a huge selection, but a solid dozen or so.

Food like the sister Big B establishments is fresh, made to order and very good. While somewhat expensive ($7+) for a green salad, the quality, presentation, flavor and ingredients are primo, worth the money.

You post dinner dessert at Casbah is much more than chocolate cakes and black coffee. Casbah boasts a large dessert menu that includes four coffee drinks, over a dozen ports, over a dozen dessert wines, cordials & liquers, vodkas, gins, brandies and whiskies. The line is simply overwhelming and delightful.

Casbah is one of those rare gems, where everything comes together perfectly. It's worth giving a look at for a special night out. Their website is informative and includes menus, relative ingredients and pricing info.

(06/13/2004)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A Good N/A N/A Good

Establishment: Maple Leaf Grill, Seattle, WA

KEXP sponsor establishment featuring a steady lineup of micro brews including Mac & Jacks' and Sierra Nevada.

Full menu of fresh comfort foods as well as decent wine and mixed drink menu.

(06/08/2004)

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

Establishment: Pittsburgh Bottleshop Cafe, Bridgeville , PA

Well Pittsburgh Bottleshop Cafe is bound to become the home bar for PubCrawler... It's a very local place in the fairly beer lacking area we reside in.

We visited the Bottleshop during April - pre-opening. The light fixtures were still waiting to be placed overhead and the smell of freshness filled the space. The Bottleshop is an intimate space that the in-a-hurry crowd will drive by at 60MPH. That is a good thing in this case though. Marc is aiming towards more educated taste buds. With 200+ bottled varieties of beer in coolers that line probably over 30 linear feet this isn't your average hole in the wall bar.

What makes this such a cool space ala NYC or San Fran or etc. is that the patrons on our initial visit ranged from regular truck driving blue collar working folks to more discerning yuppified folks like us to a couple on the Harley... This is a real fusion place like you find in every other city except Pittsburgh.

The space is small by most bar standards - but intimate. A large bar lines one whole wall with two very lovely televisions mounted behind the bar. The fixtures and interior are very moden and again not typical for the 'burgh.

We had the luck of having Marc Davis on hand and serving up a few free beers. Marc is most recently departed from Pittsburgh Brewing - the folks that make Iron City beer. Marc is responsible for another flagship beer via Sam Adams and Pittsburgh brewings continued contract brewing arrangement. Marc is a heavyweight with 20 years of brewing experience. Don't hold his affectionate liking of the Iron City as an indicator of anything but Marc's attachment and personal preference.

Well talk about a nice place. When was the last time someone significant in modern beer history poured you a free glass of good beer? Beyond this kind act, Marc spent some time to chat with us and give some additional info on the place and where he was going with things.

We'll be back with an additional feature review and photos of this place very soon.

(05/10/2004)

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

Establishment: Boyne River Brewing Company, Boyne City, MI

Boyne River is up and running under new management as of December 2003.

New owner(s) are Michael and Terry Lynch.

(03/08/2004)

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

Establishment: Sharp Edge Creekhouse, Pittsburgh , PA

Sharp Edge Creekhouse has reinvented themselves - again.

I hadn't been here in over a year. Last time I went, they had cut the vegetarian burger, created some pretty weird dishes and jacked up the food prices way high...

Here's the new deal though. Prices for entres remain high for the area and for the food. However, the quality and presentation of the food has stepped up. There now is a regular full page of specials as well as the page of pizzas and panini's. The menu is roughly about 10 pages - a large menu for any establishment.

Now what I did notice this time and not before is Sharp Edge although covering the very best micros is a major outlet for imports. The beer list is the better part of 10 pages. 9 pages are devouted to listing imports while 1 is left over for the micros. Disparaties aside, I chose a 25oz Ommegang bottle at a cost that competes with wine. Delicious and fresh.

As for the food. Portion size now is large. So you won't walk away hungry. We sampled their salad, a steak with vegetables and plank style potato fries along with a Mediterranean pasta (pasta, artichokes, oil based sauce)...

The meal was good as any we eat elsewhere. The presentation was good - my pasta arrived on a clear Pyrex type plate.

Overall, Sharp Edge Creekhouse seems to have worked out the issues with getting the food up to par. They seem to be doing this so well that the first time we tried the place last week there wasn't even a parking space available. This time we had a 20 minute wait for a non-smoking table. It was worth it.

I'd recommend checking this place out as the weather finally breaks and gives us some warmer temperatures. There is a large deck seating area out back that might be the ticket to enjoy a warm night.

(03/08/2004)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Great Great

Establishment: Squirrel Hill Cafe aka The Cage, Pittsburgh , PA

The Squirrel Hill Cafe is known as many things to many people. I most notably call it the Squirrel Cage.

This place has been here since as long as I could want a beverage. A prime piece of expensive Squirrel Hill real estate - the Cage keeps the suds flowing in a business district that has seen the exodus of historical anchor stores as the property prices sky rocket and businesses migrated to the new WaterFront.

This place is best described frat meets eclectic. It's not bad - just non-descript. From the towering 2 story high ceilings to the rooms length bar, nothing jumps out at you - thats a good thing here since its low level on the lighting.

Where this place shines is the long time bartender Bill and the handpicked staff and beers.

My drinking partner for the night and myself ordered two of the varieties of Hebrew Beer in bottles - a brown and an ale.. Yuck... Schmaltz brewing aside. I have no idea if our palates weren't Kosher or if the beer had seen better days. I tried it because I hadn't previously and we were in Squirrel Hill which is a major Jewish neighborhood.

All the whining about bad beer aside, the beverages were worthy of conversation and attracted a few Polish and Italian heritage folks who asked about the beer. Maybe it was better than the Coors and Buds they were drinking I produly reported. They grind at me like a misfit in a strange land, minus a few choppers.

That's the point here. You take a Jewish neighborhood, throw in some ecelectic micros (2 or 3 coolers worth) and then attract the locals, the yocals and a tribe of misfit 20-30 somethings and turn the lights down low in a traditional old school bar - then you have the magic that makes the Cage a Pittsburgh landmark.

It's worth noting that the place attracts a large student base, as Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University ( CMU ) are nearby.

(03/07/2004)

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

Establishment: Remedy was Ray's Marlin Beach Bar and Grill, Pittsburgh , PA

I felt I should append my long review since Ray's has recently undergone some additional growth worth noting.

All the good stuff I said last time- well that stuff continues.

Ray's now has a coin to play pool table in the room next to the main bar on the first floor. Dining is done on the second floor which is also rich feasting for the eyes. It's a second floor large flight walkup so if stairs challenge you stay at the main bar and enjoy things from there. The second floor has interesting wall decorations, cool with in-touch paint colors and some tables made from old signs. There is a decent sized bar on the second floor so drinks are just a few steps away.

On Saturdays they have a lounge on the third floor which was just opened about a week ago. It has a true alternative 80s theme - I'd expect to hear Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and Banshees and The Cure to name a few. The third floor lounge has interesting design touches as well...

Ray's continues to impress. I am becoming a regular. This is certainly now my favorite eatery with good beer in the Pittsburgh metro area. My taste can't be wrong. Last Friday a 9:00pm visit landed me at the bar for about 20 minutes while a table became available. I wish I could photocopy Ray's and put one in other needing neighborhoods. Pittsburgh could use the improvement.

(03/04/2004)

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

Establishment: Colorado Brewery and Trading Company, Danbury, CT

I hate to let everyone know, but this place has closed.

The day that it closed the owner also died...

(03/01/2004)

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

Establishment: Max's Allegheny Tavern, Pittsburgh , PA

Max's Allegheny Tavern is still alive and kicking... We thought it was about time to cover the rest of the places we haven't sampled in Pittsburgh.

Now before you go, Max's is far more attractive than the photos on their website. Don't be discouraged and delayed by them like I was.

To find Max's you need to walk about 10 blocks from PNC Park. Its a pleasant stroll on a warm evening or afternoon. I recommend giving the walk a try, as the North Side is greatly changed and is a neighborhood redveloping itself. All the *crime* and other bad elements are greatly removed compared to say ten years ago. There are many rehabbed gems of buildings along the walk. If you are visiting the Warhol Museum, The Matress Factory or Allegheny General Hospital you too can take the stroll down to Max's.

Max's is a richly dipped delight of history. Surviving through Prohibition as a well-known speakeasy Max's now sits in a 101 year old former hotel. Much of the charm of the original building is still there - from the old bar, to the tile floors and the trio of wooden fans slowly pushing the smokey bar air. There are some framed documents, photos of the original owner and old pencil drawings of Heinz products being loaded on to a riverboat in the heyday of paddle boat river transport. All of these artifacts of an earlier time are tasteful reminders of a much simpler time when Allegheny City was a bustling city of its own and the rich like Andrew Carnegie were propping up Ridge Avenue on the heaps of wealth they were collecting.

Max's is a big place - three large rooms with ample seating and clearly seperated smoking and non smoking area - for a change.

As for beer, they are lacking on the micros, but I wouldn't punish them for it. What is lacking is more than compensated with a good German beers (Spaten, Wurstburger, Rauchenfeld, etc.) and equally as good German food.

I tend not to dabble in German food - as its heavy on the meat. But I will tell you what they do have, because if you like German food, this is a gem of a find for anyone in Pittsburgh... German foods offered here include: various Schnitzels, Goulash, Suarbraten, Kielbasa, Haspenpfeffer. There are probably ten other Old World dishes worth examining.

The paper menus are great presentation of an old local newpaper (late 1800s) with a front right column insertion about the history of Max's. It's a nice authentic feeling and a darn neat way to present what can otherwise be just a menu.

I consumed a Spaten, delivered in a chilled bottle. I also tried several appetizers including the Pierogies. Everything was seasoned nicely with a reoccurring sweetness in each. For a main course we ordered the fish sandwich which was enormous and served on a crusted bread much like a hoagie/sub. I tried their vegetable sandwich which was just ok - nothing creative or to write home about... For the dessert I tried the homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream. It was served warm and fresh - it proved to be a very good dessert.

So here's the wrap up. Max's is a friendly neighborhood instituition. Generations of families have walked through the doors. The staff is attentative and friendly, as well as notably prompt - no extended stays waiting for our check or beverages. The food is really fresh and served hot. The beer selection could be increased to cover micros, but this is a German restaurant - why bother. The price are pretty friendly, desserts cost $2-4, not the $5-10 the ripoff joints are charging. Soup is $2.25 for a bowl not $4 elsewhere. You get the point, this places prices are friendly to your pocketbook.

With a restaurant that has been running since 1977, Max's has been doing most things pretty well - the tradition continues. I highly recommend Max's as a break to the chain-struck meals most folks are eating today at the strip malls or three doors down from their hotels. Be my guest, give Max's a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

(02/24/2004)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A So So Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

Establishment: Vinnie Van GoGo's, Savannah, GA

I visited Vinnie's in a previous life.

Vinnie's is a world-recognized Savannah treasure.

The liberal atmosphere is well worn and full of character. Quirky signs, reminders that this is a cash only place and the diverse open minded youthful staff stand somewhat in contrast to the slow moving slow talking Savannah upper crust.

Vinnie's serves pizza popularly by the slick. The slices are quite large - one or two will do, because sitting at the bar only two would fit on my plate (paper from what I remember). The slices are popular thin crusted New York style.

Beyond pizza the menu is very abbreviated, two salads and calzone. Alright they have a cooler of various beer and some on tap. The beer selection includes: Pilsner Urquell, GroIsch, Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada and Draft Guiness.

They keep it simple and straightforward. That's what keep locals and tourist piling into Vinnie's day after day.

If Vinnie's ever goes up for sale, I'll be standing in line to bid.

(02/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Bukowski's Tavern, Boston , MA

This is the new oddly differnt Bukowski's location. More light, less grime.

(02/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Gandalf's Restaurant and Pub, Frostburg, MD

The poor folks at Gandalf's... Just opened and it is no more...

Our PubCrawler beer tears go out to you guys...

Harold Taylor owns Gandalf's and he spent two years renovating the building which is historically significant.

The fire is being blamed on the coal powered furnace...

You can read a better description in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04034/268675.stm

(02/03/2004)

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

Establishment: Remedy was Ray's Marlin Beach Bar and Grill, Pittsburgh , PA

I spent a lazy frigid Friday evening stuffed in Ray's, as the real dining seating was all full and the bar crowd was mingling well. Ray's is a rather new addition to Pittsburgh's rather dull, meat focused, very formal(read expensive and dull) or very crappy (read chains, junkfood and imitation Italian).

Lawrenceville, (the neighborhood where Ray's is located) unfortunately, only recently seems to garnered any positive press and attention. Also unfortunate is the type of business and business owner invading a pristine working community of Lawrenceville - this place is full of charm in it's left alone state. The great increase of 'I work there but live far away' and the inflation of property values through questionable valued rehab is driving Lawrenceville into a new different sorry state.

--Well don't tell the folks at Ray's this. Ray's is a prime example for all the Grant Street politicians grasping for straws about what Pittsburgh needs and about what real development is. All the local politicians ought to spend an evening at Ray's examining the real soul of Pittsburgh. Real development is respecting the neighborhood and reviving a lifeless building and providing a useful and cherished space that the neighbors can frequent and are proud of.

The kind table, cleared from personal belongings of the very petite and well liked co-owner Keri Fisher allowed me the space to sample a bit of what Ray's is all about. Instantly when seated I had a keen view of the bar back area, trinket notables for sale area and the long aisle of tables and bar stools. I then realized this place is something special. Ray's suceeds in mixing vintage old-Ray's-bar discoloration and original fixtures with more modern elements. Yet this is all done without lots of polish and sparkly stuff. It's certainly best described as ecelectic.

The patrons were a widely varied bunch, some hyper intellectual university personalities with some walking locals plus all the odd and ends and nearly extinct population types Pittsburgh seems to have otherwise caused to flee to 'better' cities.

Now onto the food and beverages...

Ray's stocks a pretty hefty beer selection when it comes to micros - much to my surprise. They had all my usuals - Victory, Troegs, Stone. They probably carry 30 if not more micros and some nifty imports. Applause please for their ambitious and varied tastes.

Ray's Marlin Beach & Grille name leads you to say what about the fish? This isn't a fishery, but they do have several fish items on the menu. They seem to take pride in their fish and when we tried ordering a specific fish item we found it was not available and there had been a shortage in getting the fish fresh.

See that's the part where I say wow! Fresh fish and a shortage? You don't rush to get the frozen stuff in? Filler? That's the really down to earth honesty that is Ray's. Best part is they tell you why, they don't leaving you grasping for explanations or leave you with a lousy dish of otherwise normal Pittsburgh fare.

I downed an appetizer, plus some very good seasoned fries (nice and thick) and a fine vegetarian burger...

Indeed this place is sensible, the waitstaff is concerned and attentative and overall the prices are rather affordable.

The only problem I can see and I experienced is Ray's might be too much of a good thing. Too much demand can equal need to expand or some obvious problems in orders (I never received my salad - but paid for it).

I hope to see Ray's, this new revitalized replacement of a neighborhood bar that probably existed at least 50 years before this new version, go on to exist and thrive for another 50 years.

(02/02/2004)

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

Establishment: Grille On Seventh was Seventh Street Grille, Pittsburgh , PA

7th Street Grille was a popular mid-priced lunch... Definitely had the feel of a pub and not the American imitation kind.

I spent enough post-workdays dwelling over a pint and sharing conversation with good people here.

The place closed, as mentioned by other Pittsburgh media sources due to a family dispute - father owns the building and son the restaurant - or something very similar.

The owner of 7th Street has packed up and opened up shop across the river on the Southside and is doing another bar/restaurant called the Hot Metal Grille.

Hot Metal Grille is worth giving a try - it's located in a major development area with condos and a large many-screen movie theatre going in very soon along with a Cheesecake Factory and other retail establishments.

I will point out that Hot Metal is by no means at this point beer friendly like 7th Street was. Hot Metal Grille has about 10 taps, Hoegaarden and Penn Brewing products pretty much are the only acceptable beers.

(02/02/2004)

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

Establishment: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY

I love their beer...

Hennepin is sold actually here in Pittsburgh...

(01/12/2004)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Great Great

Establishment: Boomerang BBQ was Vermont Flatbread, Pittsburgh , PA

So we visited Aussom Aussie's finally last Friday night... The beer selection was good for the area of town - but seemingly somewhat less than when it was as Vermont Flatbread... Still a good selection of bottles.

We ordered two micros that were in bottles... Sufficient... One was a Pyramid Apricot Ale...

Try the QEII salad - delicious. We also downed a shrimp appetized which was good and a vegetarian focused sandwich with Macaroni salad as well as a 3 cheese pizza... I don't care for macaroni salad in it's cold form - the sandwich was alright and the pizza made good leftovers...

The waitress was friendly and good at service - unfortunately we were the last diners there... So we caught everyone on the cleanup route...

Hopefully this place makes it... It's a very cool interior with the kitchen prep and oven all in the same room. Very nice seating and overall modern feel.

Check it out and certainly try the barbequed offerings as that is the house specialty.

On Saturday I believe, they have a nice offering of various meats for a flat price. So bring the family.

(01/12/2004)

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

Establishment: Fuel and Fuddle, Pittsburgh , PA

Alright time to review this place again...Last time (2 years ago) we wrote this place rocked but had issues with long lines at the door and bad wait times.

We go to Fuel and Fuddle probably a half dozen times a year since its local and features a beer selection numbering probably around 70 bottles plus the taps... and that's true since they opened years ago.

Give the two house brews a try... The house brews are made by none other than Troegs brewing out of Harrisburg, PA. We tried the Pale Ale and it was a creative craft brew - lots of flavor - very good.

We only visit in non-weekend evening times... Oakland is terrible for parking in the daytime due to mass influx of commuters working there and the over-zoning and over-parking 20 students in a house conduct... Try stopping to try this place on Saturday or Sunday afternoon - they'll be happy to have more business then and your stress level will be lessened.

The waitresses in tshirts 2 sizes too small conduct seems to be the norm now. So everyone seeking eye candy should find the scenary suitable.

Now time to moan about this place -

There is that annoying blues singer on Saturday nights and HE plays super amplified - so forget hearing those seated around or across from you - it won't happen. Not that they guy isn't a good musician - he is - but the place is too small to amplify any music... Try acoustic or turning down the amp - please. We no longer think of visiting on Saturday evenings.

Getting carded - alright we're seemingly close to retirement age than being 21 at this point :) Being harassed for my ID - which sometimes I might have gone without seeing in a week is a royal pain... Lucikly our waitress last time realized my better half was old enough and wasn't into hanging with children... Considering our beer tabs almost always equals or exceeds our food tab its a good idea not to deny us the suds.

What else? Kitchen help on Saturday must be hung over from Friday night. They have to be. Three seperate Saturdays and my Veg Head Sandwich - which is supposed to be heated had the average temperature of probably 65 degrees. Three seperate- non-consecutive Saturdays.... Next time I stop in I'll be trying a new main course meal or sending the food back to have it heated.

Smoking - this place *ALLEGEDLY* has smoking and non-smoking... the seating whole place is probably 25-30 feet wide and 1/3 of that is bar seating and bar working area... meaning - if I am sitting 10 feet away smoking still is all over me... The space is too small and open to have both seating in the same space... I'd be glad to sit downstairs in the basement area being a non smoker...

This place still is one of the better places in Pittsburgh to pickup a nice bready sandwich and some creative food. They have a lot of bar food done right. No greasy junk food- just hearty creative stuff that seems more Denver than Pittsburgh.

I like this place and absent the crowd, that singer, being smoked on and the kitchen cooks undercooking my sandwich this place would be Awesome.. For now its looking at being Great...

(01/11/2004)

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

Establishment: Market Street Ale House, Pittsburgh , PA

Alright, Market Street opened recently (Summer 2003). I live right outside of downtown and we keep a good eye on the beer scene :)

I hadn't heard of Market Street Ale House until on of the Pubcrawler's sent it in... I had to double check though. I couldn't believe someone opened a beer focused place in Market Square.

Market Square along with the rest of downtown Pittsburgh is a wasteland - empty buildings, no life after 6pm, empty main 5th and Forbes corridor. There has been no reason to go downtown or stay downtown until now.

Market Street Ale House is in what has to be the most prime restaurant space downtown still. It formerly housed one of Robin Fernandez/Sport Rock's restaurants called Siena. Before Siena and after Siena there were a few other dining attempts at this location.

Can we break the tradition of short stays with Market Street Ale House? I hope so.

Here's what I liked about Market Street Ale House:

1. The location and atmoshpere - its a nice second story location overlooking Market Square. Good for people watching at lunch time and a quaint view of the full square.

2. Beer selection - I didn't bother to count or ask how many bottles and taps they had combined - but the have a serious beer list - the best downtown is ever going to see.

3. The bartender - we had a young lady who obviously was hustling to make ends meet. She answered our questions and took time to chatter. She's a hard worker and we saw her working elsewhere unfortunately to make ends meet - keep and respect good help.

Now what didn't we (me and my better half) like about Market Street Ale House?

Well, when we got there at 8PM on a weekday (Monday I believe it was) there was no food available - the cook had left. There was no note of it downstairs (dinner hours). Guess like all of downtown they can't pull a post 6pm crowd - and that really sucks. Listen Pittsburgh and Market Street Ale House - advertise - tell people there is something to do and go after them. Get the place packed and make it a big success like Fathead's in the South Side is (we went there afterwards to get nutrition).

What else? Well a manager type came up and sat down and rather than making conversation he was preoccupied vegetating or breaking at the bar (there is a connected side street building that houses a cigar bar and I believe is part of the same business). I doubt it was so busy that he had to get away :) Maybe it was a bad night. Connecting with patrons is important - it's what can make the difference in them coming back or not.

Would I go back? Sure at 8pm, when my day ends and I am looking for some post crowd dinner. Never during the day when trekking downtown is similar to just about any other city - poor parking options and stressful gridlock.

Will Market Street Ale House make it? Well I saw a full page ad in a newsweekly last week. Let's hope they do. Pittsburgh needs a central downtown beer friendly place.

(01/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Kelts, Altus, AR

Kelts was shown recently on Fox Televisions The Simple Life featuring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. It is in Episode 4, where they are honorary co-chairpeople for Alta's Spring Gala and out at the (Kelts) pub drinking at 8am instead of doing their chairperson responsibilities.

(12/18/2003)

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

Establishment: La Fiamma, Bellingham, WA

features 9 regional microbrews and non-alcholic beer options... No mention of macro 'beer' here

(12/18/2003)

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

Establishment: Brewery Atlantis, San Francisco, CA

The previous address we listed was an old address. The 17th address is a new revision.

(12/17/2003)

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

Establishment: Mellow Mushroom, Atlanta, GA

Formerly Rocky's Brick Oven Pizza. The location sat empty for the last year after the owners death.

Rocky's was a well liked pizza haunt known for its random mishapen pies that oozed.

(12/15/2003)

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

Establishment: Vine Park Brewing Company, Saint Paul, MN

Vine Park is closed now.

They are however moving their Brew-Your-Own facilities along with the rest about 2 miles away.

Re-opening there during 2004.

(12/12/2003)

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

Establishment: Dish Osteria and Bar, Pittsburgh , PA

Dish is a cute dark little restaurant/bar space filling what formerly was a a-typical mill run-down-town bar. The place is ran by a nice couple who worked service in NYC and built Dish off of their exposure and native flavours.

Where should I start? The bar. As you walk in you are at the bar which is both large (most of length of the room) as well as ornate. There is a good selection of the Belgians on tap. Bottles, well to find those you need to look up and to the right of the door. They are proudly displayed on a ledge. This place is also known for the Martini's and mixed drinks so feel to ask them about the inherited drink from the place that use to be there. That will give you something to learn while there.

Now onto food. Seating is in the other half of the space and divided by a doorway into two rooms. It's hard to miss, but the back side of the menu is covered with wine. Inside the menu you will find a mere 2 pages that are loosely populated. Don't worry, this is a fun place, they typically seem to have more items as daily specials than they do menu items.

This place is a bistro in all sense of the term. The food is fairly decorative in its arrangement and fresh.. Vegetarians and especially vegans beware but not discouraged, the menu has a mushroom pasta only- but it seems the daily specials usually have one or two things you can eat. If not, ask your wait staff they are more than nice and able to accomodate.

Wait staff is and has been in all my visits exceptional. They have been well informed and passionate about their jobs- now if we could only get the owners to train everyone else's staff. No I don't know whats on tap or you eat what here.

The foods is rich so you should consider not eating your full portion should you care for dessert. Although I haven't had a dessert yet there, they look like bistro fare and quite creative. The main dish meals are of a good portion size although you might not think so at first sight.

Now for what there isn't to rave about.

Parking - good luck finding a spot. The South Side is a nightmare for parking. Be ready to walk several large blocks at minimum as it is all street parking in an area that is residential.

Noise - This is one of those cute two people at a table type of places. The kind of place you go because of the low light and intimate atmosphere. The ceilings don't seem too high in the two room eating area - which resembles a living room and dining room in an old house. I say this because don't get me wrong, the interior is quite nice, its just small and with a few loud people the noise gets to the point that you can't talk to or hear the person across the small table from you without yelling.

Cash only- I really can't blame them for not wanting to pay the banks the outrageous fees to accept everyone's Visa/Mastercard/Amex/Discover debit and credit cards. Problem here though is that food doesn't come cheap. The mushroom pasta dish I mentioned is about $13 + the salad $5 + 2 beers... x 2 people.. You get the point. In today's paranoid world, a lot of people don't want to hit the ATM for $100 or $200 before dinner. I've seen three people need to run to the ATM (2 blocks away) to get money. Bring cash with you...

Check this place out midweek, they'll be happy to fill the space more those days and you'll be happy to be able to eat here. Reservations are accepted and recommended on weekends. This place still is the best example of a New York bistro in Pittsburgh- keep up the good work.

(12/11/2003)

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

Establishment: Ciao!, Carnegie, PA

Ciao! has been in Carnegie as long as I can remember. My mother use to bring me random Italian food from there almost weekly.

Ciao! is close to post office along Main Street in Carnegie - next to the large parking lot facing the post office. So parking is readily available- unlike many other bar locations.

At night time the place can be easy to miss as the interior is low lighting and aside from one or two small backlit window boxes there isn't much shooting out at you.

Now let's talk about what makes this place a gem...

The beer selection is loaded with Victory, Dogfish and Troegs products to name a few. They started with a large import selection - and that still exists. They recently hosted a dinner with a beer emphasis - so take note.

Food wise, things are affordable if you choose right. A good fresh selection of Italian dishes throughout and a wider selection of bar/grill type foods.

Service wise, I believe the owner was tending bar - I could be wrong - he also served us and preped our meals - the guy sure was hustling.

Now where I thought Ciao! could improve and defintely attract new folks to their establishment:

There is that issue with signage and lighting- it's a big one. Also, the interior seating is basically banquet style chairs and odd tables - very orange and woody and 1970's. Wallpaper is old and crumbling and the paint is dreary. It gives you that dirty feeling.

The bathrooms are bar bones and need updating- the handrying towel roll sagging from use and smack dab in the sink and the old school urinal that actually sits lower than floor level - yep things that give enough of you the creeps.

All and all, Ciao! is a pretty neat nook. As a bar, it's classier than the other stuff in and near Carnegie and their beer selection is major in these parts. The food is above average, fresh and made to order. A little paint, brightening and cleaning and this place could be a reservation only place.

(11/25/2003)

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

Establishment: Tiki Lounge, Pittsburgh, PA

Tiki Lounge is brought to you by the same folks that are behind the Beehive (coffeehouse) and the Lava Lounge (bar/venue)...

Tiki's interior is equally as interesting as Lava's... Actually I think it's even cooler. Interesting waterfalls, 2 story seating, odd nooks - this is a real eyeball of creativity.

The time I stopped in was a Friday and it was packed.. Seemed like 2-1 male-female ratio...

The bartender was real helpful and wants to carry more beer - but Carson Street is really a drunk youthfest... So moving products in a mixed venue like this requires a careful buyer... Kudos for having proper glassware here for my Belgian beers...

They had well over a dozen decent bottles to choose from...

Beware of weekends when the place fills with dance floor prowlers, DJ pop music and a very packed house... Tiki is a cool spot to check out on say a Tuesday :)

(11/15/2003)

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

Establishment: Valhalla Microbrewery and Restaurant, Pittsburgh , PA

Last week the local media broke the story that Valhalla would be closing. This was allegedly the last week of operation.

see: http://pittsburgh.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2003/09/22/daily57.html?jst=b_ln_hl

The lease and assets were acquired by Big Burrito - the folks that own Mad Mex, Soba, Casbah, etc.

Big B tends to have a good beer selection at most locations, so we expect this place to be no exception based on it's proximity to the new convention center boom.

(09/28/2003)

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

Establishment: Bado's Pizzeria and Delicatessen, Pittsburgh , PA

home of SpikeTV's Joe Schmo star Matt Kennedy Gould!

see: http://www.postgazette.com/tv/20030902schmoside0902fnp6.asp

(09/24/2003)

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

Establishment: Foundry Ale Works, Pittsburgh , PA

It appears Foundry is closed for good... front window blinds are pulled and a real estate sign is posted on the building....

(06/04/2003)

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

Establishment: Foundry Ale Works, Pittsburgh , PA

I drove by just to check things out since it's about 5 miles away... It looked quite closed... As they typically are on a Sunday...

(06/01/2003)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Great Great

Establishment: Schnitzel's Tavern, Bellefonte, PA

Ok so I didn't make it in time for Schnitzel's .. turns out that they close at 11pm on Saturdays... I arrived at 11:05 while wandering through through the darkness of Pennsylvania's wilderness :)

I did stop though at the bar upstairs from Schnitzel's called Danny's (?)... I believe the same people own both places...

Danny's had a suprisingly good beer selection that included both quality imports as well as Pennsylvania microbrews like Penn Brewery.

The interior atmosphere was a well kept old fashioned lots of wood type thing... I pool table takes up about 20% of the places space... It actually worked nicely here...

A local folk type artists picked along at a respectful level... providing some soothing background noise...

The place was packed (seating is probably about 40-50 maximum)... The local were friendly...

Definitely a neat place... There is a picturesque park across the street and another interesting restaurant right around the corner....

(12/13/2002)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Great Great

Establishment: Lionheart Blues Cafe, Albany, NY

Lionheart is roughly a cross between a hip college bar littered with intellectuals who still know fun and a corner bar... This place has that worn and grimy feeling, lack of light... old fashion wood feeling...

The beer selection is the redeemer at Lionheart... I noticed a well picked 12-18 quality beers... A well balanced list that included Franzi'....

Lionheart adds a somewhat regular hand to the arts community... They featured an Ed Wood film festival- the workings of local Albany inhabitants, putting their spin on tac-o-mericanization of cinema... Low quality, high fun factor...

Caught wind that Lionheat is losing the non-bar building space where you should wisely run to avoid choking on the bar smoke... As such, they plan on moving the bar somewhere nearby in the coming year.

(12/11/2002)

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

Establishment: Fox and Hound English Pub and Grille, Pittsburgh , PA

Fox and Hound fits that niche between local sports bar and brewery in a good way... They don't brew here, but do carry a very large list of micros and fine imports... All my current beverage choices were covered... The list numbers probably around 100 different types of beer.

The interior is focused around there very large bar that sits smack dab in the middle of the place. There is a seperate room for watching sports and one full of pool tables...

The food has that authentic English pub meets American sports bar ring... the typical appetizers and of course, fish and chips as a meal.

They are thin on the vegetarian selections (white Pizza or a salad)... However, they tend to be friendly and the manager stopped by several times to check on us.

Overall, this is an interesting place that lots of people probably don't even know is around, since they take the stance of not advertising.

In a tough market, this is one of those places that as a group people can all go to and get their individual benefits (food, beer, tv, games), and it is one we hope to see survive.

(11/12/2002)

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

Establishment: Harmony Inn, Harmony, PA

Harmony Inn is a rare find. Stepping into this converted mansion takes you way back in time. But the experience starts actually when you pull into the historicially designated town of Harmony.

The beer list isn't long, but the staff and ownership is all ears to provide great service. On rotation currently are: Guinness Stout, Harp's Lager, Caffrey's Irish Ale, Bass Ale, Hacker Pschor, Pilsner Urquell, Penn Pilsner, Penn Dark and Penn Seasonal.

The food is tasty and fresh, made to suit your taste. A slight emphasis still remains of the tex-mex Colorado influence left on the owner's living experience pre 1985.

Nearby, is also the town museum, making this more than a one stop sort of place. We usually visit Harmony Inn on our return from the Grove City Outlet Mall.

I was also told that Harmony Inn will in the future be brewing on site as Harmony Brewing. The original Harmony settlers were of German origin and known for their whiskey and beer brewing, hopefully their spirit and skills will live on like the spirits that allegedly roam the Harmony Inn.

(10/27/2002)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So Good Good So So Good

Establishment: Paddys' Pour House, Carnegie, PA

Pour House is your essential family owner Irish Bar... A rowdy good time if you like the festivities...

This place is known for its Irish gatherings and political banter...

The beer is standard Anglo-Irish stuff, Guiness, etc...

(08/29/2002)

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

Establishment: Bohemian Brewery and Grill, Salt Lake City, UT

4 beers: Czech Pilsner Bavarian Weiss Viennese Lager Cherny Bock We also have a tavern with a full liscense for alcohol and draft beer

(08/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Mad Mex South, Pittsburgh , PA

This Mad Mex location is in the Scott Town Center - next to Virgina Manor shopping center. It is my local Mad Mex. I end up there for dinner once or twice a month.

Good selection of bottled beer, lots of micros and imports. The tap selection is just okay. Nothing stands out there. Perhaps the local south hills tastebuds at work influencing that.

Good portions of food. Mostly burritos get ordered but they have a respectable amount of other food to choose from. Think California flared Mexican food.

Good place, be it expensive on some items. Great desserts, huge portions.

(07/30/2002)

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

Establishment: Uncle Tucker's Woodfired Pizza and Brew Haus, Cumberland, MD

This is not your average run of the mill experience... We caught Tucker's while traveling the scenic 'America's Highway' - as opposed to the PA turnpike on the way from DC to Pittsburgh..

Tucker's is easy to miss if you are driving too fast, but sits right next to the interstate...

This is one of those odd places that has environment, history, fine food, good service and good beer, all in one.

The menu has various entres as well as a line of wood fired pizzas. The meal prices are on the side of very cheap considering the quality of the products they serve.

The salad we ordered was fresh and contained no filler, lots of greens. Their pizza can stand it's own against anyones.... The gentleman who waited on us was excellent, great timing and attention to detail, even going as far as to make recommendations and getting the chef to mix up a vegetarian friendly sauce...

After all of that and a (6) 5 oz variety beer sampler, I was sorry I didn't have more room to give desert a try.

If Tucker's were local, I would be a regular.

STOP HERE!

(07/22/2002)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Great Great

Establishment: Pennsylvania Brewing Company aka Penn Brewery, Pittsburgh , PA

Penn Brewery continues to grow and produce fine products. We were there last Saturday with a group of six... Waitress was attentative, food was fresh and we consumed a fine portion of their Weizen which is a fine wheat beer and good for summertime..

(07/12/2002)

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

Establishment: Fat Head's South Shore Saloon, Pittsburgh , PA

Fat Head's is located on the South Side of Pittsburgh.. About 1 mile from downtown Pittsburgh, along the busy Carson street corridor.

Fat Head's packs an impressive array of positives... Nice tap head display on a bar back you can actually see and want to see, great selection of drafts and bottle, piping hot fresh food (from there seemingly 100 or more item menu - although a tad lacking on vegetarian selections)...

I downed a veggie sub with fries and chips which hit the spot...I also downed a few brews including an Dunnik(sp?) (new on draft) and a Duvel from a bottle...Sampled their new tap of Erie Brewing's RailBender... not my choice...

For a Monday past 11pm things were still hopping with about 4 people eating at the bar and another dozen downing a few drinks...

Fat Head's is a big place and also has outdoor courtyard seating, which is hard to find in Pittsburgh...

From the beer to the food to the interior Fat Head's should be the role model for other bars. Now if we can only get them to stop carrying that Bud/Miller/IC Light swill...

(06/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Roland's Seafood Grill, Pittsburgh , PA

We visited Roland's again finally just yesterday... Happened to visit right after the weather turned and the area got smacked by a macro burst... read big wind storm... The outside patio was wet and the lighting/heating lamps were mangled... It cleared up and the staff whiped everythign down and the outdoor fun continued.

Roland's is one of the few places with a good location and a well suited above street outdoor seating area where you can people watch.

Now about Roland's.. its in the Strip District... A walkable distance from downtown.

Upstairs is where you should go for beer... its a wide open space with a 4 sided very large bar...

Friday happy hour events seem to be popular here...

I had an Ommegang brew... and a few Belgians... good stuff...

I managed only to jointly pick at a chicken nacho mound.. .it was fresh, straight forward and filling...

Rolland's is well worth checking when in Pittsburgh... They have a very large wooden display cooler at the end of the bar on the second floor.. I recommend giving it a look before ordering your beer..

(06/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY

although I have never visited this place, I have drank enough of their bottles to say they have Belgian beer down pretty good...

at $7 a bottle here you get roughly 2 drinks... A real gem of domestic brewing...

(06/02/2002)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Great Great

Establishment: Pittsburgh Deli Company, Pittsburgh , PA

Pittsburgh Deli Co. is a solid staple in the East End of Pittsburgh (read Shadyside)... Parking can be a pain and you are likely to have to feed a meter or park in the nearby garage..

Pittsburgh Deli serves made to order sandwichs with great variety and quality...

Upstairs you will find the more formal bar area.... They stock a good variety of micros to go with that fresh sandwich you are about to eat...

(05/30/2002)

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

Establishment: Kelly's Bar and Lounge, Pittsburgh , PA

Ok so we crawled our way over to Kelly's Bar to check out what people had been talking about. Kelly's is a real bar, a real old 50's looking retro, black and white checked floor with nice padded booths sort of bar... It's an authentic (mostly) old bar that has been updated. Well its all that minus the 50+ years of gunk that one would expect to find.

The beer selection includes regional favorite Victory products and Stoudt's.. Other micros from Sierra, Anchor, Penn, Sam Adams, Rogue, Ommegang and Hennepin... The import batch includes a Franziskaner, Lindeman's, Hoegarden, Chimay... so the beer list totals 15 micros and 16 imports.. 14 special cocktails...

The food selection is limited to 15 items, which mostly look like sides or appetizers... We tried the mixed green salad, sweet potato fries and tex mex rolls... all are vegetarian... the salad was really green and good... the sweet potato's were over-sized, skin attached and a tad too greasy for us.. The tex mex rolls were alright, but not filling or extremely wonderful...

We saw a nearbly table consuming a char grilled hamburger with fries, which look both filling and more appealing than our fare...

Filling portions are limited to the burger and a char frilled chicken satay..

Kelly's is worth giving a try... A needed destination for people in Shadyside and Friendship areas of Pittsburgh. Recommend it as an after dinner place... Within a few block walk is both Big Bean Burrito Group's Casbah and Buffalo Blues.

Kelly's is the kind of place East Liberty Circle needs to spearhead its redevelopment efforts. It's just 2 blocks also away from the Shadow Lounge, another progressive place just too across the bridge from Shadyside.

(05/26/2002)

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

Establishment: Key West Brewery, Key West, FL

As a part of its restructuring, Key West is merging with Ybor City Brewing Company of Tampa, Florida. The brewing for both companies will be carried out at the Ybor facility which will dramatically impove costs. This also allows us the opportunity to offer for sale several items of brewing equipment. (just taken from their web page)

(05/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Rock Bottom Brewery, Homestead, PA

Well welcome to Pittsburgh... I hope the experience is better than what we found at Atlanta location... This new location is at the very new, very chic, very sprawling WaterFront in Homestead. It is located in the parking lot area of the Dave & Buster's adult entertainment complex...

(04/16/2002)

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

Establishment: Blue Moon Tavern, Seattle, WA

Blue Moon allegedly has reopened... please tell us more... new owners?

(04/15/2002)

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

Establishment: Fuel and Fuddle, Pittsburgh , PA

Nice telling them Lew...

This place is not a brewpub... we list it as a beer bar... they do a fine job with beer selection and the food is hot and fresh... the place is local to us so we surely know it...don't kid yourself about some conspiracy or compare it to McDonald's... this is a quality establishment and we tend to always have a good time.. Our only complaint is that they often have a waiting list..

Nonetheless, this place isn't corporate. Its a family and friends owned place.. not a chain-rot place... they also own the Joe Mama's Italian theme place right up the block...

-paris, co-owner of Pubcrawler.com

(04/10/2002)

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

Establishment: Valhalla Microbrewery and Restaurant, Pittsburgh , PA

We stopped this time on a Sunday evening.. They are lending their walls now to local art which is an interesting experiment... I had the vegetable pizza which was light and flakey and loaded with fresh vegetables, peppers, etc. It was striking and summer-like... The beer choice was their staple Valkarie which I thought was good... They had some smoked beer special along with a chocolatey one which I didn't dare try in fear... I also consumed a salad (fresh and green) and this fruit cup desert... the desert was intricate, attractive and delicious, but damn sweet.. In all this place is a good stop during non-main hours... Parking still remains a stressful manuever when eating here.... Pay lot across the street is a safe choice.

(04/08/2002)

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

Establishment: Mad Mex, Pittsburgh, PA

On occassion when I trek across town I will stop in the North Hills location.. same low-light, big portion food, large beer selection. Mad Mex is a staple establishment of the busy McKnight Road strip corridor...

(03/31/2002)

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

Establishment: Max Lager's American Grill and Brewery, Atlanta, GA

I tried to stop while attending a trade show in June of 2001. Saturday afternoon 3:30 PM and Max's was closed... The hours are really unclear at this place.. so check before going...

(03/31/2002)

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

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

Excellent little place on the main drag in Regent Square area. The have literally hundreds of different types of beer available in the backroom for take out... this place is mostly takeout, although they do have a reduced menu which mostly consists of hot dogs and other grill type things... Seating is limited to a counter and a few tables...

Excellent place with large selection...

(03/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Emerson Biggins, Lawrence, KS

This place closed. Now doing business as Emerson Biggins and is currently searching for a brewer to take over the operations.

(02/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Gooski's, Polish Hill, PA

this is a hidden gem. If you like the neighborhood bars that feel gritty but don't get you dirty, this is the place for you. The interior screams of yester-year, while the beer selection has a good number of micros both in bottles and on tap. The bartender was quite attentative and local speak well of his memory and conversation.

Nothing artificial or high glossed here. This place is what more bars should be.

(02/02/2002)

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

Establishment: North East Brewing Company, Allston, MA

Closed as of 12/31/2001

(01/21/2002)

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

Establishment: Rock Bottom Brewery, Cambridge, MA

Brew Moon sold to Rock Bottom Brewery and operates now as a Rock Bottom Brewery.

(01/20/2002)

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

Establishment: Rock Bottom Brewery, Boston, MA

Brew Moon sold to Rock Bottom Brewery and operates now as a Rock Bottom Brewery.

(01/20/2002)

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

Establishment: Boomerang BBQ was Vermont Flatbread, Pittsburgh , PA

On 01/18/2002 I visited Vermont Flatbread for a second time. It had been some time (approaching 2 years) since I was there before and was interested in their dinner menu.

I had an Edmund Fitzgerald porter, which they have on tap.. good choice.. My meal was made up of a very large bowled green salad and a mushroom loaded flatbread...

Overall, the quality, presentation and environment were quite satisfactory... THe establishment interior has been kept as clean as day one and this is not one of those crammed eating spaces... The booths are wide, spacious and solid. Definitely, a place to stop while in the Strip District of Pittsburgh.

(01/20/2002)

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

Establishment: Standard Tap, Philadelphia, PA

Visited the Standard Tap while on a beer month tour.

What can I say, WOW!

a very big old corner building with a very interesting pipe sculpture on the door.

the beer selection was good, the place was minimally decorated.

the crowd was varied but certainly a lot of tattoos, black haired ravens and night owls who double certainly as artists from time to time.

The staff was charming, funny and good considering we crowded the place during the happy hour on a Friday.

The stock the local products like Yards. Good place. Others should look at what they are doing when opening their own place.

(01/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA

Nodding Head is an old-chain joint (Sam Adams) converted over. It is a second story walk up and quite charming. The interior is unique enough yet still comfortable.

Menu choices are great and quite good.

The beer selection consisted of what they brew plus many others, which is quite a nice feature.

Overall, this is a good place to eat, drink their brews and try some new ones. Highly recommended.

(01/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Boomerang BBQ was Vermont Flatbread, Pittsburgh , PA

Vermont is located in the Strip District, far enough from the noise that you can find some parking.

They are known for their flatbread sandwiches.

They have a good selection of non-beer choices that I have consumed during business lunches there.

The food is fresh and the staff is sure to serve you well.

(01/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Sharp Edge Beer Emporium, Pittsburgh , PA

This is the original Sharp Edge located East of Pittsburgh in Friendship. Actually about 5 feet from East Liberty.

This is the place to find beer in the area and still is. However, the food is average bar stuff at best. The place could use a good cleaning and some updating as it feels dated and dirty.

On Friday look forward to being smoked out unless you are a smoker :)

recommend this place for non-happy hour times and during the week stops for good beer.

(01/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Grille On Seventh was Seventh Street Grille, Pittsburgh , PA

7th Street is located downtown in the Cultural District. So any time you are going to the Benedum or Heinz Hall this is right down the street. Likewise, it is across the bridge essentially from the new stadiums.

7th, tends to be a 5pm bar for professionals - suits and a safe bet for an average $10 lunch.

(01/06/2002)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Great Great

Establishment: Piper's Pub, Pittsburgh, PA

Piper's pub is an Irish/English pub located in the Southside section of Pittsburgh along the popular Carson Street sprawling strip... Pipers has a minimal interior, decorated with several sets that regularly can be found broadcasting what is known to soccer to most of us :)

The beer menu was large enough to take several trips to get through the list. The menu matches the theme and others speak highly of it.

(01/06/2002)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A N/A Great Great Great

Establishment: Kaya, Pittsburgh, PA

Kaya is part of the Big Burrito group that also owns the Mad Mex establishments.

Kaya is in the Strip District. Parking is hard to find and impossible without paying on the weekends.

Kaya's customers tend to be young professionals and there is a certain sophistication with the place.

The Carribean flavoured menu should keep you mouth needing drinks. They have an extensive stocked bar and is a safe place to always find Chimay.

(01/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Fuel and Fuddle, Pittsburgh , PA

Fuel and Fuddle stays consistant with your food quality. Served quick and fresh. (unless you get that pot-head dude waiter on the weekends)

The place is sort of small considering the patronage. With the university of Pittsburgh campus being all around it 45 minute waits on the weekends are very common.

Be sure to take your ID with you even if you are 55 cause the smart ass kid at the door likes to harass people.

Overall it can be a good bet, especially after 11pm when food is half price... given the wait isn't too long... Summer is indeed the best time to go here.

(01/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Bado's Pizzeria and Delicatessen, Pittsburgh , PA

Bado is in the South Hills (Mt. Lebabanon area) of Pittsburgh near Route 19.

We first visited Bado's about 10 years ago when the emphasis was on good pizza, not beer.

Bado's is a nice family owned place with live music and events. It is an old style store front establishment that has been renovated, but still maintains the charm of yester-year.

I happened to be there for the tapping a a Yard cask. Delicious.

The beer selection will keep you coming back to get through it. The food is a bit more than typical. The appetizers are to be avoided if low fat is a concern. This is a safe bet place to take family, a date, clients or just yourself.

(01/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Wainwright Brewing, Pittsburgh , PA

Wainwright is a marketing scam from Pittsburg brewing.. it was used for their Wicked products that were trying to appeal to a younger hipper crowd. This street is one of the streets that boxes Pittsburgh Brewing's compound in.

We leave it here as a reminder of the marketing hype and to hope that they bring something real out of their brewery..

please.

(01/06/2002)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good N/A N/A Good

Establishment: Pittsburgh Brewing Company, Pittsburgh , PA

Pittsburgh Brewing is east of downtown near what is considered the Bloomfield section of Pittsburgh most notably - a rock throw away from the Church Brew Works.

They are known for their IC Light products these days. For the die-hard beer folks Pittsburgh brewing is mainstream swill, although they have the talent, experience and history to turn out small batches of good beer.

I have only vistied their bar/living museum/town hall seeming area during a local feel-good group's use of such. I certainly would like to see more of an emphasis on the micros and more interaction in the beer community from PB.

Notably, the Augustiner product I believes rolls out from them and is notably better than the other stuff Pittsburgher's are accustom to consuming..

(01/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Pennsylvania Brewing Company aka Penn Brewery, Pittsburgh , PA

Penn Brewery is quite an interesting place. Seated in what use to a strong German section of Pittsburgh its history dates back well over 100 years.

Inside you will find a very traditional German interior, very dimly lit at best. The menu reflects the German heritage. Do note, the pickings are very limited (1 dish) for anyone on a fixed diet or vegetarian folks.

Beer wise Penn gets a so-so rap for their local saturation of the Penn products. They are better than the competing Pittsburgh Brewing Products consistantly. Much better fresh picks than the typical beer you find bottled from them.

A must stop for any Pittsburgh beer tour.

(01/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Mad Mex, Pittsburgh, PA

Robinson makes the 3rd Pittsburgh area location for Mad Mex. It replaces the old Kangaroo's restaurant club in a first floor of an office building. The exterior and interior are eclectic metal work unlike most anything in Pittsburgh. Dining fare is best described at Tex-Mex. Well worth checking if you live west of the city or on the to or from the airport. They have a good selection on tap and in bottle number probably 30-40.

(01/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Rock Bottom Brewery, Braintree, MA

The Brew Moon in Braintree is closed. It was bought out and remade into Rock Bottom Brewery.

(12/23/2001)

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

Establishment: Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA

This is the sort of place you wish was closer to home. The menu accomodated the vegetarians with a standard veggie wrap, which I had. I had the Christmas seasonal brew as well as an Apricot infused beer and their sampler... Overall the taste, color and presentation were more than suitable. This IS a place to visit while in Eastern Pennsylvania. Look for our FEATURE ARTICLE with more information to be available soon. We will be back to Bethlehem soon!

(12/13/2001)

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

Establishment: 700 Club, Philadelphia, PA

700 Club sits way North when walking... Anyone thinking North Philly is scary like it use to be should think again.

700 sits on a corner of a district that reminded me in part of the Strip District in Pittsburgh.

The place has a cool metal door, turn of the century bar backstop and some wickedly cool stained glass..

Don't miss the good selection of beer and some of the lowest import prices I have seen anywhere. Not to mention, the bartender was a freidnly gent the locals know well and a trusty black dog absorbed the petting fever of the Friday evening crowd...

A very short distance from the Standard Tap..

(07/02/2001)

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

Establishment: The Khyber, Philadelphia, PA

Caught Khyber on the way through on the Philly Beer Month tour.. your average blue collar bar retrofitted. Grungy, attitude and tons of good times in this place.

The crowd was a mixed professional and blue collar bunch... Interior, dimly lit.. A second seating area sat a short stroll away... On Friday when we visited, it was packed. Had a Hef on tap. Met my taste requirements.

A good place anyone would welcome in their neighborhood.

(07/02/2001)

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

Establishment: Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

We stopped in on a Friday late evening as part of the start of Beer Month tour. The place was completely packed.. People were cramed in booths. However, everyone seemed happy and the waitstaff was quite helpful.

Be sure to go to the back bar... That is where you can find a wide selection of Belgians on tap.

(07/02/2001)

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

Establishment: Burgh's Pizza and Wing Pub, Bridgeville, PA

Local eatery and bar. Excellent brew selection on tap and in bottles... They even have Delerium on tap..

Excellent food, several TV's with sports playing, video games and more...

Stop in on the way to/from Southpointe...

(06/18/2001)

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

Establishment: John Harvard's Brew House, Wilkins Township, PA

try the Hef!... had a Pale Ale there and wasn't thrilled...

The Brewer is always there and seems like a friendly fellow. Food is standard chain pub fair. They did however add a veggy/diet friendly wrap (thank you)...

Good place overall. Hope they do more to raise their visibility along the crowded road they are on...

(06/11/2001)

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

Establishment: The Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh , PA

So I went back for more! The Pale Ale this time was good.. no aftertaste.. they had an Oatmeal Stout that seemed fairly good... Appertizers were good... Our Southwestern Pizza was fresh and spicey as always...

The waitress left a lot to be desired...

(06/11/2001)

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

Establishment: Z-Lounge was Zythos, Pittsburgh , PA

very cool place. Great interior and one of the best beer selections in the Pittsburgh area. Add to it the frequent cool shows and gatherings, this is a must stop bar to visit when in Pittsburgh.

(06/11/2001)

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

Establishment: Sharp Edge Creekhouse, Pittsburgh , PA

located in Crafton/Robinson area, west of Downtown off of Route 60. Use to be the Maggie Mae's Creekhouse.

Largest beer selection this side of town.

TV's everywhere and game specials... Lots of quality beers and beer fans always in attendance.

(06/06/2001)

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

Establishment: Valhalla Microbrewery and Restaurant, Pittsburgh , PA

Nice interior. Tends to cater to a professional bunch...

Food is hit or miss. Great this time though...

(02/04/2001)

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

Establishment: Foundry Ale Works, Pittsburgh , PA

Overall good place to have a safe meal in a healthy environment. Always a friendly crowd and great wait staff.

(01/13/2001)


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