Have You Tried ‘Steeling’ Away to Pittsburgh for the Weekend?
By October 13, 2021 0 222•
When talking to a group, Texas has “y’all,” the Midwest has “you guys” and us Pittsburghers have the unique “yinz.” I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and most of my family still lives there. It’s a quick, four-hour drive from the Washington area and a fun place for a long weekend. Pittsburgh is interesting, as it’s a sports town with working class immigrant roots yet it’s a thriving city with a big arts and food scene. The fall is a great time to head to the city, as the weather is cool but not freezing just yet. Here are some suggestions on how to spend a weekend in the “Steel City.”
Staying downtown is the easiest way to move around the ‘burgh. The Sheraton Station Square is a great option, with views overlooking the city. If you want to go all out, the Omni William Penn is a four-star hotel, over 100 years old. It’s also conveniently located near Heinz Field and PNC Park.
For dinner, the very best views of the city are on Mount Washington at the Le Mont. The restaurant offers upscale dining with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Pittsburgh skyline. The filet mignon at this five-star Diamond Award-Winning Restaurant is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Save room for the dessert cart too — the coconut cake is to die for.
You’ll want to check out the Strip District (no, not what you think!) for amazing ethnic food from all over the world. The Pennsylvania Macaroni Company is an Italian food lover’s dream, starting out as a pasta manufacturer and growing into a store that sells over 5,000 specialty products.
Wholey’s, a meat and seafood grocery store, is also worth exploring. They offer streetside lobster rolls and a dining counter where you can nosh on incredible crispy fish sandwiches.
After the Strip, learn about the rich immigrant history of Pittsburgh by visiting the Nationality Rooms. They’re located on the first and third floors of the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning, the 42-story Late Gothic Revival tower on campus. They represent the culture of the various ethnic groups that settled in the Pittsburgh area. Tours are conducted year-round, but of course double check online regarding Covid precautions.
Another place worth checking out Saturday afternoon is the Andy Warhol Museum. It’s the largest museum in North America dedicated to a single artist – one who gained more than his 15 minutes of fame. An upcoming exhibit opening October 14 called “Marisol and Warhol Take New York” documents the emergence of Marisol and Andy Warhol in New York during the beginning of the Pop Art era of the early ‘60s.
Take in the sunset by heading up one of the inclines (either the Duquesne or Monongahela) and see the city from Mount Washington. Golden hour makes for some amazing photos!
Head back to Station Square for dinner at the Grand Concourse, a preserved Pittsburgh and Lake Erie train station. It was built in 1901 and still has the original look and feel of a station. The steak and seafood are divine, especially the lobster and shrimp stuffed salmon.
Grab some brunch at Pamela’s (locations in the Strip District, Oakland, Shadyside and more). Their pancakes are as big as your head! If you want an authentically Pittsburgh brunch, order the kielbasa and eggs.
If you’re in Pittsburgh for a Steelers home game, it is a 100 percent must-see! The fans of the black and gold – six time Superbowl champions — are unlike any other. Heinz Field is a great place to watch a game and just turned 20 years old this year. Grab some Potato Patch fries to eat while you watch the game, a Pittsburgh original!
After you see the Steelers crush, grab some dinner at Primanti’s, the place famous for Pittsburgh’s sandwiches with fries on them. The restaurant chain is yet another nod to Pittsburgh’s working class — it started during the Great Depression. Joe Primanti operated a small sandwich cart starting in 1933. His sandwiches grew in popularity so much that he opened a storefront that same year. Come hungry, as the sandwiches are piled high with coleslaw, provolone, tomatoes, your meat of choice and of course the fries all on soft, fresh cut Italian bread.
Before you leave the ‘burgh, grab a quick breakfast at the Oakmont Bakery. The family-owned bakery was born in 1988 and is home to decadent coffee cakes, gigantic bagels and doughnuts of all kinds (fritters, long johns, and 10-inchers, oh my!)
As you head home, make sure you find a neighborhood Eat N’ Park. Their signature smiley cookies are a great souvenir to bring home from the ‘burgh. Yinz come back soon now!