Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pittsburgh, PA–Touring the City …

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Pittsburgh Festivals Day 1 001We previously mentioned Point State Park and its newly reborn beloved Fountain. We also walked the nearby Northside District where there are several of the Pittsburgh sports arenas. As most are aware there are a lot of big time sports venues available here in Pittsburgh not to mention those of the area colleges and Universities. There is Heinz Park where the Pittsburgh Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers play,  as well as PNC Park where the Pittsburgh Pirates play and the Consol Energy Center where the Pittsburgh Penguins play. A little know fact is that all the pro teams in Pittsburgh have the same team colors… kind of neat.

We discovered there is much more to the city of Pittsburgh, known as the “Steel Pittsburgh Festivals Day 1 030City,” than expected and we decided to set out for a long walk to see all it has to offer.The city seems to be enjoying a bit of a rebirth which is evident when strolling along the downtown area amongst the Pittsburgh Festivals Day 1 043confluence of the thee rivers. This area is very compact making it easy to see most of the downtown area on foot. We walked through the Cultural District which is rich with theaters and art venues as well as the cool glass gothic looking building, the PPG Place with a water feature in its plaza accenting the beauty of the glass.Nearby was a gathering place with eateries and outside seating where we imagined that during the work week it is probably a popular place to relax with a coffee or lunch. There were of course lots of very tall buildings in the downtown area to admire as we wandered and we especially enjoyed the architectural wonders along Grant Street.  Sharon had read about some of these neat buildings and was particularly interested in seeing the US Steel Building, the William Penn Hotel and the Allegheny County Courthouse, a super cool building where we spent a great deal of time ohh’ing and ahhh’ing.

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Pittsburgh Festivals Day 1 017We also visited the Southside where at one time most of the mill workers resided. However, now Carson Street is a vibrant shining star in this area that is also seeing a lot of development . It was here that we stopped for lunch since the plan was to spend a long day touring. One food item that we were told was a “must have” when in Pittsburgh was a sandwich from Primanti Brothers, It has been a Pittsburgh Tradition Since 1933.  We read that the sandwiches were huge so we ordered a cheesesteak and split it.

Now their trademark is a sandwich on homemade French bread, your choice of meat topped with their unique coleslaw and fresh cut French fries. They put the fries "IN" the sandwich not on the side. Odd no doubt but worth a try since it was even mentioned by Food Network.   These sandwiches originated during the depression where laborers were then able to "have a complete lunch in one hand". So what’s our opinion onPittsburgh Festivals Day 1 019 Primanti Brothers? Great service, great bar but the food was over-hyped and too bland for our tastes. Oh well… back to touring.

We took a stroll around a shopping/bar/restaurant area called The Strip and  there were a ton of people out and about.  Here there are ethnic food stores, street wares and restaurants causing us to assume it is probably also a hopping place at night. We did find some inexpensive produce here and one neat place, Wholey’s Meat Market. It has been around since the early 1900’s and is a really cool little market that specializes in fresh seafood. Good prices for an inner city location and a splendid Pittsburgh Festivals Day 1 042diversity of seafood product. Sharon was also excited to see Lidia's Italy Restaurant there as she had recently become a fan of Lidia's  PBS cooking show.

On our way back home we stopped again at the Southside Mullen's Bar and Grill to have some wings and some cold Canadian beverages before heading back to the RV park. We decided to save the East End for another day as that is where we will visit the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.


  1. Thanks for the tour and the heads up on Primanti. Fries IN your sandwich? Not so much.

  2. Really enjoying your blog. I was born & raised in Pgh and graduated from Pitt. Haven't been back there in many years, since moving west. Pgh also has a great zoo if you're into that.

  3. Looks like and interesting city to explore.
    I jave had french fry sandwiches for years by them selves but not on the burgere, but have had onion rings on a burger. Personally like my fries and rings beside my burger.

  4. I was there in my 20s for a week, and was surprised, like you were. Even then, there was a lot more to Pittsburg than what I expected. Thanks for the tour.

  5. Carnegie Mellon is a beautiful campus. You will enjoy it.