Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Taste of Nicaragua in Pittsburgh, PA

I recently dined out at Rivas, a restaurant featuring Nicaraguan cuisine nestled down on the far Westnern end of the South Side. It features cuisine which you don't see much in this area, with deeply marinated and seasoned meat and fish dishes. I had the Chimichurri steak, which was a thin flank steak marinated in garlic and herbs. It was excellent. We also had a variety of appetizers, the highlight of which was a fish seviche and small fingers of lightly breaded white fish with a sweet sauce. The prices are quite low, with most entrees less than $15.00.

It's well worth a try if you like Latin American cuisine and are looking for a meal with a lot of flavor.

Attached is the UrbanSpoon page regarding Rivas.

Rivas is a BYOB; corkage is $5.00 per table.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"She's On the Roof . . . "

Our hotel GM Tim McGlothlin and I had the pleasure (?) of climbing up through 150 year old rafters and planks to get up to our Grand Hall roof to inspect one of the air conditioning units. It was an unpleasant climb but produced some very nice views. We also happened to see that the various roofers who had been up over the years had etched their initials into the slate. The oldest dated back to 1940.

One view is across our courtyard to the North. The other is to the South, looking onto downtown. That's Tim on the edge of the roof. Climbing to the edge of roofs is not in my skill set, so there is no similar photograph of me.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Authentic Mexican in the Corner Bar

Pop City's Elaine LaBalme tell's the story of Jesse & Derek Burnell, who transformed the historic "Round Corner Bar," a shot and a beer place on the main drag of Lawrenceville, Butler Street, into an authentic Mexican restaurant. Now christened the "Round Corner Cantina," the cantina features a big patio with small plates of reputedly excellent Mexican fare. The Burnells, who relocated from San Diego, opened their new venture in late 2008. The margaritas, I'm told, are very tasty as well. Read Elaine's story here.

Lawrenceville is an up and coming community located across the Allegheny River from The Priory and to the East -- altogether about a 2 -3 mile drive.

As an aside, I visited the Round Corner some years ago when it was still a shot and a beer place. It was a pleasant neighborhood bar, but what was striking about it was its architecture, which features a front entrance on a curved corner at the intersection of two streets. It's a remarkable place just for that.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Public Market to Debut in Strip District

The New Pittsburgh Market in the Strip (Left). The former Allegheny City/ North Side Market House (above). ***********
Pittsburgh's first public marketplace in many years is set to open Labor Day weekend. Located in an old freight house on Smallman Street in the Strip District, Pittsburgh's historic market district, the Pitssburgh Public Market in the Strip will feature a multitude of vendors offereing fresh, locally grown produce and meat, accessories, prepared foods, crafts and much more. The Public Market is just across the Sixteenth Street Bridge from The Priory, and will be an easy walk or cab ride. The market is an exciting, old-is-new concept that harkens back to the days of the lamented North Side Market House, located just blocks from The Priory, which was torn down in 1965 as part of an urban renewal project (it's now the site of the Allegheny Center office/mall complex). So if you're in Pittsburgh, with or without one of our Discover the Strip Packages, be sure to stop at the Public Market at the Strip. To read a Pittsburgh Business Times story on the Pittsburgh Public Market, click here.