Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The diner capital of Pgh

Our stretch of Liberty Ave. arguably has the biggest number of delicious breakfast nooks in the city in the smallest amount of space. Check this out: The Bloomfield Sandwich Shop, Rocky's, Dog&Burger, Seven Cees, and Ritters. With the exception of Ritter's, which is pretty well-known and well-marked, the rest of these places are so small and unknown that you might have to live there and wander around Liberty Ave. with a weekend hangover in order to find - and appreciate - them. Since I've had coffee & omelets at all of these places, I'll give you a brief review of each one.

Bloomfield Sandwich Shop:
Thank goodness for this place. Run by two fantastic hippies who singlehandedly feed the local punk population, it's (in my opinion) the best place to go for breakfast. You get a nice fluffy omelet with three different cheeses, some sliced homefries and toast. Under $5. Though it sells itself as a sandwich shop, I have never witnessed anyone ordering a sandwich there - just breakfast. Although they've recently extended their hours to dinner so I'll have to check it again.

This place is the best if you want to catch all the old Bloomfield characters. There's a little bar right in front of the kitchen, where Rocky himself chats with the chain smoking coffee drinkers who seem to always be there. The conversations are always interesting/amusing. As far as omelet quality goes, they're pretty substantial and artfully wrapped in a way that the crusted edges hang off the ends of your plate. Also super cheap.

Not sure if they still make it or not, but Dog&Burger used to be home of the Roethlisberger (two hamburger patties with pepperjack cheese, and a whole bunch of other stuff). I used to catch my bus right in front of Dog&Burger and they had a sign that read "Try our Roethlisberger - Only $2.75. You give us $3.00 and we'll give you a quarter back." For the longest time, I used to stare at it and be like, "well, duh." Months later, I got it. A little slow. This place has 4 tables total and a tiny little bar. The omelets are...not the best. They're really thin and puny. And it's always crowded by staff from the hospital across the street. Still, it's worth it.

Open 24 hours, this place has a mishmash of typical diner cuisine, breakfast foods, and oddly enough, some decent Greek selections. They also have fried green tomatoes with a dipping sauce that is addictive. Actually, anything they serve fried is pretty addictive. They have jukeboxes at ever table and the waitstaff wears hospital scrubs for some reason. They've been around forever, but there are rumors that they'll be bought by either UPMC or the housing development company that is going to tear down the car dealerships for luxury condos. Boo.

Seven Cees:
I think I've saved the best for last. Seven Cees is hidden behind a windowless facade on a poorly graffitied building. It is seldom open. When it is, there are seldom seats. There are 2 booths and about 5 or 6 stools at the counter. You're lucky to get one. The owner is the most foul-mouthed woman I've ever encountered, and she's constantly cussing at her son who does the serving and register. However, she makes the most heavenly omelets - light and fluffy and folded expertly into little triangular pockets and layers. They are fantastic. I wish I had one right now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Something to do tomorrow night:

Two friends of mine started the New Yinzer link in 2000-2001. Since then, they've both moved on to other places and other things, but it's nice to see that the publication is still alive and well.

This event features some literary readings and some local bands and a real pretty flyer, but if you can't read it, it's tomorrow night at the Brillobox (corner of Penn & Main)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yo No Quiero Taco Bell

I've been thinking of starting a petition. As much as I love this neighborhood, there is one thing that it is seriously lacking.

We have two Thai restaurants,
two Vietnamese restaurants,
two Indian restaurants,
three Chinese restaurants,
one Polish restaurant,
about a dozen Italian restaurants (and 3 or 4 pizza joints),
but what's missing from this picture?

How about some burritos? Some fresh guacamole? Jeez, even a decent taco salad will do. Where is our Mexican restaurant?! There is a Taco Bell up on Baum Blvd., but let's be serious here. There are plenty of empty storefronts that could easily house this venture. Bring the burritos to Bloomfield!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Zumba classes at ModernFormations

You may snicker about the concept of zumba - high energy dance routines set to latin american pop music - but I'm willing to be that anyone who who gives it a shot will be hooked after one class...or at the very least, they'll have a great time. It's the current trend in aerobics, but most places that offer classes require you to either join a gym or commit to several months at a time. Even if you claim you can't dance, you won't be able to stand still to this music.

But at ModernFormations on Penn Ave., it's only $5 per class. Classes are Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"I Can't Be Blue in Bloomfield"

Here's the myspace page for a local band that has a cute little song about Bloomfield -

The Harlan Twins

They're performing live on May 23 at Garfield Artworks.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Welcome to Bloomfield!


This blog is all about Bloomfield, the Pittsburgh neighborhood where I live. I'll try to keep it current with upcoming events, news, stories, etc.

This picture is the mural of the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, or the BBT for short. It's the only polish restaurant in what was (and still is) considered a mostly Italian area, and quite possibly the only place where you can eat pierogies while listening to live drum n' bass music.