Published August 1, 2019
Can’t keep up with all that’s happening on the local foodie scene? We’ve got you covered. Some hotspots have updated offerings and there are new kids on the block that might soon become your go-to favorites. So explore. And bring your appetite.
SYN Taqueria & Pizzeria, East Liberty
If you’re craving a taco and a slice, head to East Liberty. Pittsburgh’s only build your own taco and pan pizza bar now occupies the old Sharp Edge Beer Emporium on South St. Clair Street. On the pie side, you can experiment with different crusts, spreads, sauces, cheeses and toppings. Or partake in signature offerings like buffalo chicken. Same deal on the Tex-Mex side: Choose a chef’s specialty or Frankenstein your own taco. During Happy Hour (Monday through Friday), find sweet deals on margaritas, craft drafts, wine and snacks like chips and queso.
The Haversack Sandwich Co. at Arsenal Cider House, Lawrenceville
For years, Lawrenceville-based Arsenal Cider House has specialized in adult beverages. Now they’ve added the Haversack Sandwich Co., a gourmet take on everybody’s favorite lunchtime bite. Try a Bay Cubano made with tavern ham, Genoa salami, marinated pork shoulder and baby Swiss — and pressed “Arsenal-style” (buttered and seasoned with Romano). Dr. Pete’s Reuben piles corned beef brisket, Swiss and sauerkraut braised in Picket Bone Dry Cider on grilled marble rye. Salads (served in a jar with dressing on the side) and small eats such as tangy apple slaw are also on the menu, plus wine sorbet for dessert.
Coop de Ville at täkō, Downtown
DeShantz Restaurant Group’s downtown taco place is now offering Southern fried chicken in anticipation of a new spot slated to open this November in the Strip. The Coop de Ville, cash-only pop-up will be open at täkō on Thursdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You’ll find sandwiches (Plain Jane, Hot Chicken, Korean, Cordon Bleu) and salads (Heirloom Tomato, Farro, Corn and Chickpea). Order inside täkō or at the outside counter at 214 6th St. Alongside food whipped up by Chef James Ciminillo, the upcoming eatery (located at 2301 Smallman St., the former site of Marty’s Market) will also feature arcade games, duck pin bowling and other recreational options.
Fish nor Fowl, Garfield
To celebrate its first year in business, Fish nor Fowl is turning the page on its popular menu. The “second chapter” begins Sept. 6, highlighting pasta and wine. Chef Dan Carlton will share details about the new dishes on the restaurants’s website next week. Patrons can enjoy the current menu (barbecue halibut collar served with molasses glaze, peas and carrots, marinated feta and sunflower seeds is a favorite) until Aug. 31.
Convive Coffee Roastery and Mi Empanada, Lawrenceville
Convive Coffee Roastery, a popular North Hills cafe, is opening a second location this fall at 4032 Butler Street in Lawrenceville. Owners Ryland and Katie Weber signed a 10-year lease on the 1,056-square-foot space. In addition to housing a cafe and roastery, the new site will serve as a staff training and education center.
The property is adjacent to another soon-to-open business: Mi Empanada, a food services company founded by Ivan Gil-Silva and Rachel Jenkins, is leasing a 900-square-foot storefront at 4034 Butler St. It’s the first retail location for the catering company, which specializes in traditional Argentinian empanadas. Both properties were acquired by Midwood Investment & Development.
Some brick-and-mortar restaurants start out as food trucks; others enter the mobile food fray after they’ve set up shop.
Cilantro & Ajo, a Venezuelan joint on East Carson Street, recently hit the road with their traditional street food. Grab-and-go eats include empanadas, arepas, pabellon bowls and yuca fritas.
Another South Side establishment, Thai Me Up, is rolling through the city with a rotating menu that includes authentic meals such as red curry and kai zaab (Thai fried chicken with sweet chili sauce).
And Hitchhiker Brewing Co. finally got a lift. Next time you’re at a farmers’ market or outdoor event, look for the brewery’sNomad, a 1977 Citroen van that sells cans and dispenses up to four different craft drafts.
Photo courtesy of SYN Taqueria + Pizzeria.