Pittsburgh Restaurant Scene
Why do we blog?
The original thing my wife and I wanted to do was to, I guess “catalog” our favorite meals and restaurants we have enjoyed in the area. Then we had friends and family constantly asking us about our favorite restaurants and bars, so we decided to create a blog for them to follow along and see where we go. Now as we move forward we are trying to find new and creative ways to show people where to eat and drink in the ‘Burgh. On occasion we will also do a local activity that doesn’t revolve around dining, just to change things up.
What is our favorite thing about Pittsburgh?
We would have to say it’s the love and loyalty that Pittsburgher’s have for the city. People love this city, they care about this city and they support others who want to make Pittsburgh better. They support locally owned businesses whenever they can. When they aren’t in Pittsburgh they are usually talking about how great they think it is here. Few cities have a population that is so passionate about their hometown. You may take a person out of Pittsburgh, but you can’t take Pittsburgh out of the person.
On a sunny summer day in Pittsburgh the list of places to go are endless. We opted for a lunch date in Oakland at one of our favorite restaurants, The Porch @ Schenley. The Porch hasn’t been around long; a couple of years, but it is already on the short list of restaurants we recommend to people who are looking for a new and exciting place. Most people are unaware of the fact that The Porch is owned by the Eat ‘n Park Hospitality Group (along with Six Penn Kitchen downtown). The location of The Porch is ideal, right in the center of Oakland; you can walk to the Cathedral of Learning, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History, University of Pittsburgh, Schenley Park and Phipps Conservatory. You can spend a whole day in this area and only see half of what is has to offer.
The building is gorgeous, its “green roof” is both beautiful and functional; growing many different fruit, herbs and vegetables right up above you. The kitchen is open with a beautiful pizza oven front and center. The walls are mostly windows allowing you to people watch or just stare out at the amazing surroundings.
The restaurant is wide open and lively; but not so loud you can’t get some studying done if you happen to be a student. You walk in, grab a menu, and then you step up to the counter and place your order. After ordering you take your numbered sign and grab a table. The service was good but not great, being that you ordered already the server just brings out the food once it is ready. They tend not to check in too frequently, which didn’t bother us at all. Some people who have negatively reviewed this place were unaware of how ordering worked and apparently also like their server to be at their constant beckon call (quick FYI, we are not fans of urbanspoon or yelp, its just people complaining over tiny little things, most of whom have no idea what they are saying). We don’t think Porch has to change a thing, they system is working great. Now to the best part, the FOOD! Everything here is made in house, the bread, the sauces, desserts, veggies, hell they even have honey bees on the roof and are producing their own honey. You can tell this when you bite into the food, its fresh, flavorful and handled with care.
I love the pizza here, they are thin crust but not like a cracker, the dough has just the right amount of chew and the outside of the crust has an awesome crispy texture to it. I went with the special pizza. It was topped with house made Chorizo, herbed goat cheese, red onion, and fried rosemary. This was one of the best pizzas I have had. They serve their pizzas on a stainless steel sheet tray with red pepper flake, Parmesan cheese, and dried oregano. I would order that pizza again and again!
D ordered the grilled cheese and soup. Homemade sourdough bread with aged Vermont cheddar cheese that was crispy and crunchy outside and cheesy gooey on the inside, a simple classic. The soup of the day was Cream of Mushroom and it was delicious, thick and creamy with chunks of wild mushrooms in it, a perfect soup to dip your sandwich in to.
Somehow we managed to save room for dessert. We ordered the bread pudding and the Zeppoli’s (donuts). The bread pudding was made with chocolate and walnuts, it was good but not great. It was a tad on the heavy side, to much egg and slightly undercooked. The taste was still fine. Now, the zeppoli’s are an entirely different story, they were perfect! Freshly fried donuts covered in cinnamon and sugar with a peach jam for dipping. The donuts are served warm, not greasy at all and have crispy exterior and a fluffy light interior. Simply amazing, some of the best we have ever had.
If you are in Oakland and need to eat, get to the Porch, you wont leave hungry. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner; they got your whole day covered.
The Porch at Schenley:
also on Facebook
(412) 687- 6724
221 Schenley Dr.
Pgh, PA 15213
Monday-Friday: 11am-11pm Breakfast window opens @ 7am
We would like to thank Chels & the City for asking us to be part of her blog. We would also like to thank her followers for taking the time to read our post, and encourage our followers to check out her website. http://www.Chelsandthecity.blogspot.com