Nadine’s Bar and Restaurant – Pittsburgh, PA

On the first day that I arrived in Pittsburgh last week, I asked for recommendations. Nadine’s was one of the places that was recommended. I was warned that it was not a fancy restaurant, and I was okay with that. The main road that I have been used to in Pittsburgh is Carson Street. Nadine’s is about a block and a half off the main road, and further East than most other places, so I think it’s one of the places that is more for the locals.

When I walked in, there was a very small area. It was pretty much a small diner/bar. This was apparently on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, which I think is pretty cool.

I was looking at the menu and trying to decide on what I would be eating for dinner. There was chicken fried steak, which sounded really good, but I decided to go with a fried bologna sandwich. It was not expensive at all, so I decided to also order some tater tots, which were also pretty cheap.

I got my money’s worth and then some! There were a lot of tater tots. I wasn’t going to be taking leftovers, and I wouldn’t want to be rude, so of course I ate them all. Every last one. It meant that I had to do a lot of walking the next day, but it was worth it.

The fried bologna comes on fresh sliced bread, with peppers, pepper jack cheese and mustard. The first thing that grabbed my attention when my dinner was being made was that a loaf of bread was taken out and then sliced. This was not just a plain old sliced bread, it was fresh sliced, which was not expected. I watched as the bread stayed on one part of the grill, the bologna was on one part and the peppers were on one part. Once the sandwich was completely built, I was more than ready to chomp down.

The bread was nice and soft, almost delicate. It had a nicely crisped outside due to sitting on the grill, but very soft and light on the inside. Biting into this sandwich, the flavors all came together really well. The part that really took this over the top was the mustard. It was not a standard yellow mustard, and it enhanced this sandwich.

I wanted to go back for a breakfast sandwich, but never made my way there. This is a place that I plan on heading back to when I’m on that side of town. Good price, great portions, great food!

Bartram House Bakery – Pittsburgh, PA

During my visit to Pittsburgh last week, my hotel was a about a three minute walk from Batram House Bakery. As a result, I ended up going there a few times throughout the week.

My first visit was on the night I arrived. I had a very big lunch/dinner at Hofbrauhaus, and waited a few hours before venturing out for dessert.

When I arrived, I started looking at the goodies. So many nice looking items to choose from, but I was leaning towards a cupcake. Then I saw a sign that indicated that the pastries were on sale (if you purchased two). So, I decided instead to go with the pastries.

I started with a chocolate croissant, which was my dessert for the night. This was a really good dessert. The bites that had the chocolate on the inside were truly delicious. The crust was nice and flaky. It was easy to bite into, and the soft bites of chocolate added a perfect amount of sweet. I was happy with this choice.

The other pastry I went with was the croissant. I saved this for the morning. Even though it sat overnight, it still had a really nice crunch to it. The inside was very flaky and had a really smooth flavor. This was a really good croissant and was a nice breakfast treat.

The next night, I went back to the bakery again for dessert. Fortunately, they still had the cupcakes, and I went with chocolate, although the vanilla was also looking quite good. The cake part had a nicely baked outside, and the inside part was very light and fluffy. The flavor was very good. The frosting was almost like a mousse and was also delicious. The bites with both the cake and the frosting were exactly what I would want from a cupcake. So I was a happy camper.

On my last night, I went back to Bartram House one last time. This time, I went with the S’Mores bar. It looked too good to turn down. There are three main components to a S’mores bar, and they did a great job on two of the three. The marshmallow topping was perfect. Nice and gooey, but not so much that was hard to bite through or would stick to part of your face. The chocolate layer was incredible. Probably the best chocolate layer I’ve had in any store bought S’mores bar. The graham cracker crust was the only part that missed the mark. Not on flavor. It had really good flavor. My only problem with it was that it broke apart too easily. There were some bites that the crust fell before I got it into my mouth, which was disappointing. It is a shame, because it had good flavor. And when all three were together in one bite, it was a great S’mores bar.

I would be happy to go back to Bartram House the next time I’m back in town. I would easily order any of these items again, or try something new. Knowing that there is a good place for some tasty sweet treats is an easy way for me to stay positive.