Pittsburgh Restaurant Scene
I am not very familiar with much of the North Side; nothing personal, D and I just rarely find ourselves there. We have been to James Street Gastropub, Legends, and Max’s Tavern but other than that, we’ve got nothing. We keep meaning to get to Nicky’s Thai Kitchen, but the 2 times we were able to go, they were closed. We made a trip to the Aviary (my first actually, I loved it!) and as we were leaving our stomachs growled, so we needed to figure out what restaurants were close by. I had remembered driving by a tiny bar near the Mexican War Streets while we were lost on our way home from a beer tour (Thanks, Dan!). It was called Benjamins and we decided that would be our destination for lunch.
It’s a small space on the corner of Western Avenue and Galveston Avenue in the area known as Allegheny West. They are known for their burgers here, so I knew what I had to order as my meal. It was a beautiful day out so when we were offered a table out on the back patio we happily agreed.
The patio is beautiful, a few tables, and some plants tucked in between 2 buildings; we had a nice amount shade and a nice breeze. We are seated and begin to scour the menu. It was a tad early for us to hit up the cocktail/beer/wine menu so we decided to forgo any alcoholic beverages. We were thinking of ordering an appetizer but nothing really stood out as something we needed to try. I put all my attention to the burger section while D was on the sandwich section. There was a brunch menu since it was the weekend but we stuck to the standard everyday menu. On a side note, they are also known for the weekend Bloody Mary Bar.
Thankfully we took a while to decide what we wanted to order because it was almost 10mins before our server came over to take our drink order. The workers are friendly enough, just not very attentive. D ordered the BLT with Fried Egg, I ordered the Candied Jalapeno Cream Cheese and Bacon Burger (ordered med-rare of course, never order a burger over medium please!). All sandwiches and burgers are served on Breadworks’ whole wheat Kaiser bun. Also there are no fries served here which I hate! If you are going to specialize in burgers you should be required by some kind of law to serve fries with them. Sorry, off topic. Our food finally arrives, took a tad longer than I thought it should since it was slow on a Sunday afternoon. D’s BLT is awesome; tons of bacon, perfect fried egg and a bun that can hold it all together. My burger was perfect! The cream cheese was a tad spicy with a hint of sweetness, the bacon was crisp and the doneness was right where it should have been. I could order this burger over and over again and not get tired of it. The fact that it was just the patty, cream cheese and bacon on a bun made it that much better. No fuss, nice and simple. The home fries that are served instead of French fries were boring. Please buy a fryer and start making French fries; they don’t even have to be awesome, just decent crisp fries with a touch of salt! No fries aside, the sandwiches are outstanding!
We really want to come back down for dinner with friends and have a few “adult beverages” because the drink menu looked really intriguing. The service was slow but in no way bad. The food was delicious. The atmosphere was nice and had a great neighborhood bar feel. Thanks for reading, now I am off to find a commercial fryer for Benjamin’s to purchase!
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900 Western Ave
Pgh, PA 15233