We had the pleasure of traveling to Pittsburgh a couple weeks back for a weekend away. We went record shopping at the famous Jerry’s Records, stopped in to Sound Cat Records and Mind Cure Records as well. We ended up picking up some great vinyl finds. I got a mint copy of R.E.M’s Monster, and a promo mint copy of The Replacements Pleased To Meet Me. Both super rare and hard to find, and we also stocked up on tons of 80’s and 90’s 12’s from the Psychedelic Furs, Berlin, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Mighty Lemon Drops, R.E.M (again), New Order and even a sealed copy of Ian McCulloch’s Faith and Healing. While our other recent vinyl hunt in Detroit yielded double our Pittsburgh run we love hitting up these great indie stores in Pittsburgh. Jerry’s is a vinyl hunters paradise with wall to wall records as far as the eye can see. Sound Cat is a great little shop that carries a lot of CD’s and like 33 1/3% vinyl. They had a couple new releases we were looking for but their used was lacking. Mind Cure I really like because they carry a lot of punk and indie stuff, and you can usually walk out with something you were looking for. Not to mention it is above a quaint little coffee shop called Lili Cafe that had a great Sunday brunch an makes some great vegan delights.
We also hit up the Warhol Museum which I have always wanted to check out. At $20 the price is a little on the high end, but it was still worth it. The shop kind of sucked. I was hoping for some cool souvenirs but I was underwhelmed. The exhibits were very cool, and all the 7 floors were loaded with works I had always wanted to see in person. There are film exhibits, paintings, photography, and everything in between. If I was a huge Warhol fan, which I am not, I could have spent hours in there. However for the casual Warhol fan you can probably clear the building in a little over an hour. I still was amazed by a lot of the exhibits being a casual Warhol fan. It was worth the trip especially on a rainy day.
We ate brunch at Lili Cafe which was excellent. For lunch we tried Burgatory, a high end burger shop that is like a B-Spot on steroids. Total food overload here. We started with the Onion Rings, which were just okay. They were onion rings, no complaints. I wasn’t expecting anything too over the top but they were just okay. We also tried the JUST FORK IT House-Cut Twice Fried Potatoes smothered with Braised Short Ribs, Cheddar Cheese Curds & Pan Gravy. You’re going to need a fork, and damn was that good. I built my own burger choosing Dry Aged Wagyu on Brioche with Sriracha Remoulade, Fried Egg, Bread & Butter Pickles, Farmhouse Cheddar, and Arugula.
First off ground Wagyu is a sacrilege you couldn’t tell if it was Wagyu or just regular ground beef. Totally not worth the up charge. My burger came without the cheese and the Arugula was mush. It was an okay burger. It was a little overcooked, and at $12.50 + toppings my burger was about $15.00 of meh. Cool concept, but I wasn’t a huge fan. Never mind the table of screaming dummies next to us it just wasn’t a good experience. Service was also slow so they pretty much missed across the board for me.
When in Pittsburgh you are compelled to hit Primanti Brothers. I am not compelled to ever go again. It really does nothing for me. We went to the one in Moon Township as it was close to the hotel. The service sucked, and the food wasn’t much better. We had some french fry monstrosity loaded with mediocre chili, fake cheese sauce and really nasty bacon bits. I did the fried pickles too and those weren’t bad. My sandwich choice was The Pitts-burger (#2 Best Seller). Beer is the #1 best seller for the record. If you could take a Steak-umm and press it into a burger that’s your meat. It’s gross. It’s greasy. It’s just nasty. I think this is just drunk food. 2am and this would be excellent, but for dinner no thanks.
While I had a great time shopping and at the museum we completely struck out with our food options this time out minus the brunch at Lili’s. Live and learn I guess. I still love Pittsburgh though. It’s a great city, but I made some complete bonehead food mistakes while I was in town mostly because I pricelined a shit hotel too far away from the city. Location, location, location. Next time I come to town I am staying in the city.