North Side Restaurant Round Up

Going to Fringe Fest this weekend and looking for food? Try these local North Side restaurants.


Max’s Allegheny Tavern is a German restaurant and the weekend home for Storyswap storytellers, Michael McGovern: Stand Up Horror and several other performances. Grab a schnitzel or bratwurst and enjoy. Max’s is located a few blocks from Fringe Central, Bistro To Go and several other venues.

Bistro To Go hosts several performances. Pick up a salad or sandwich before, during or after Major, Songs from a Lost Civilization, Tales Too Tall for Trailers or The Food at our Feet. Located less than a block from Fringe Central. @bistrotogopgh

James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy offers a broad food and drink menu and live Jazz performances. Try their craft beer selection or menu of comfort food favorites. @JamesStreet422

When? Friday and Saturday 11am-1am; Sunday 11am-11pm

Proximity to Fringe Fest: Located at 422 Foreland Street. 2 blocks from Max’s Allegheny Tavern; 1 block from Allegheny Commons Park

El Burro is a takeout taco and burrito joint with daily vegan options. Snag a burrito from El Burro and eat it outside between shows. @ElBurroPGH

When? Friday and Saturday 11am-9pm

Proximity to Fringe Fest: Located at 1108 Federal Street. Less than ½ mile from Randyland and the City of Asylum Tent

Legends of the North Shore is a classic Pittsburgh American Italian restaurant. Bring a bottle of wine (it’s BYOB) for a meal after a performance.

When? Friday 11am-9:30pm; Saturday 4pm-9:30pm (Reservations Recommended)

Proximity to Fringe Fest: Located at 500 East North Ave. 3 blocks from Max’s; less than ½ mile from Neu Kirche and Fringe Central

Wilson’s Bar-B-Que, known for traditional barbecue, is another place to stop of you want to grab food and eat in the park.

When? Friday and Saturday 12pm-8pm

Proximity to Fringe Fest: Located at 700 N. Taylor Ave. 3 blocks from City of Asylum Tent; ½ mile from Randyland

Benjamin’s Western Avenue Burger Bar is the newest restaurant on this list, recently bringing gourmet burgers and a broad craft beer and cocktail selection to Western Ave. Try it for brunch and Build Your Own Bloody Mary’s before a performance on Saturday or Sunday. @BenjaminsPGH

When? Friday 11:30am-11pm; Saturday 10:30am-11:00pm; Sunday 10:30am-9:00pm

Proximity to Fringe Fest: Located at 900 Western Ave. 3 blocks from the Western side of Allegheny Commons Park. A short drive from all venues.

Many thanks to Pittsburgh Happy Hour’s  Lou Kroeck for input!

Shop Late Night in Lawrenceville is Tonight!

Most of us don’t shouldn’t take off work early to go shopping – and there is nothing more frustrating than getting to your favorite store and realizing it closed while you were waiting for the bus.  Fear not!  While many shops in Lawrenceville stay open late every Thursday, shops and galleries will stay open until 9pm the second Thursday of every month as part of Shop Late Night in Lawrenceville (SLN).  This year this event is better than ever with more shops, an online map, and specials at local restaurants and bars for SLN shoppers!

Shop Late Night in Lawrenceville!  Make a purchase at one store and get 10% off at another participating store with proof of purchase.  After 9pm get discounts and specials at participating bars and restaurants with proof of purchase. Many stores will also have drinks and snacks available while you shop!


Restaurant Review: BOhèm Bistro in Seven Fields

The charming, rustic decor at BOhèm.

The charming, rustic interior at BOhèm.

You don’t need a plane ticket to Europe to feel like you’re there this summer–a quick drive to BOhèm Bohemian Bistro in Seven Fields can do just the trick. The rustic design and Euro-centric menu will leave diners feeling like they’ve left Pittsburgh for a bit.

The working fireplace (with the saying "alma, corazón y vita" written on it) is fired up in the colder months.

The working fireplace (with the saying “alma, corazón y vita” written on it) is fired up in the colder months.

Let’s start with the decor, which owner Markay Harlan proudly explains is both recycled and personal. BOhèm capitalizes on reusing elements to furnish the space situated next to Siba in a small strip mall. The restaurant is small, but comfortable, and bursting with character–much like small bistros in France.

The chandeliers are remnants of wine barrels, the seat backs are feed bags sewn together to create a cover, and decorative wood beams come from a 150-year-old local barn. The tables are rough cut wood, adorned with simple chairs, letting the plates speak for themselves. A close friend of Harlan crafted the corner hearth and it’s adorned with the phrase “alma, corazón, y vita”– soul, heart, and life.

BOhèm offers menu items not often found in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. With small plates meant for sharing, each diner gets a taste of the unique offerings, best described as fresh European tapas with a predominantly French influence.

Crispy Brussels sprouts with pancetta, parmesan, and balsamic glaze.

Crispy Brussels sprouts with pancetta, parmesan, and balsamic glaze.

The grilled brussel sprouts in balsamic and parmesan, dusted with pancetta, are beyond delicious, and, according to the servers, one of the most-ordered dishes. We had to stop ourselves from licking the plate clean when we had other plates coming along. Other small plates include bone marrow, escargot, and, another menu favorite, Prince Edward Island mussels.

Our salads were fresh, lightly dressed, and unique. The beet salad came with savory chevre, crispy pancetta, pea shoots, mandarin oranges, and red onions and was light yet tasty. The star of the mixed greens salad, with its fresh vegetables and farm fresh egg, was the pickled ramps, which our wonderfully attentive and friendly waiter Chris forewarned us had a strong flavor.

BOhèm’s menu features a section of tartines, crepes, and flatbreads, with a variety of styles prepared in one of the aforementioned ways. We opted for the fig and smoky moody blue cheese tartine with duck confit at the recommendation of Chris. Essentially an open-faced sandwich on French bread, the tartine was smoky, cheesy, and sweet, a delightful combination.

Bistro wine is served by the glass, in quatrinos, or by the liter.

Bistro wine is served by the glass, in quatrinos, or by the liter.

We were far too full to try any of the bistro classics, such as roasted chicken with andouille sausage or mac and cheese, but we did order a Nutella crepe from the dessert menu. The large crepe was filled with a light hazelnut chocolate mousse and topped with fresh whipped cream and a strawberry.

Aside from tasty food, BOhèm mimics European dining with their selection of over 100 wines. Harkening back to family vineyards, the restaurant offers liters or quatrinos of bulk Bistro wines, served simply in stemless glasses. With a vartiey of choices, diners can try multiple wines to accompany their many dishes, or choose a cocktail from the fully-stocked bar.

There’s also a charming outdoor area for diners to enjoy their meals.BOhèm has its invite-only grand opening reception on June 27 and will be open for both lunch (Monday-Friday) and dinner (Monday-Saturday) starting the next day. The staff and owners enthusiastically answered questions about the food, wine, concept, and decor. Our experience, from the food to the wine to the atmosphere, was great and we hope to check it out again soon!

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Five Things To Do This Week (and One Next Week)

Tuesday 7p
ToonSeum, Cultural District

Based on the groundbreaking cartoon series, this 1988 animated Japanese film is set in an obsessively detailed version of a post-apocalyptic Japan.
More info:


Obscure Game Night
Wednesday 9p
Hambone’s, Lawrenceville

Not much on the website, but it looks as if it’s a night dedicated to weird and obscure board games. Sounds ridiculously fun.
More info:


Thursday 6p-9p
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, North Side

Create keepsake items, feast on local artisan foods & specialty cocktails, more. Ages 21+.
More info:


Gojira with Devin Townsend and The Atlas Moth
Saturday 8p
Mr. Smalls, Millvale

If you’re at all into metal, this is an awesome lineup. That’s a lot of musicianship for one evening.
More info/tickets:


Pulp Fiction
Saturday Midnight
Manor Theatre, Squirrel Hill

Tarantino’s classic 1994 film shown in all its glory on the silver screen. If you’re like me, you were too young to see it when it was new.
More info:


Arcade Comedy Theater Grand Opening
Friday, Feb 15 8p
Cultural District

I’m a week early on this one, but let’s support our newest comedy club. Their mission statement: “Arcade Comedy Theater provides an interactive platform for players of all levels, both onstage and off, to experience various forms of theatrical comedy, from proven standards to offbeat styles.”
More info:


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Four Things To Do This Week

Here’s your first weekly preview of 2013!


Check Out The New Franktuary
M-W: 11a–midnight
Th–Sat: 11a–2a
Sun: 12p–midnight
3810 Butler St, Lawrenceville

The much anticipated upscale hotdog shop is finally opening in Lawrenceville. I, for one, am thrilled because I’m never able to be downtown during the day to enjoy their original location.
Check out our other coverage here:


Downtown Reddit Bar Crawl
Vote for a time here:

Good drinks, good people, good god let’s party now that the holidays are over.
Reddit thread:


Pittsburgh Improv Jam (21+)
Thursday 10p, $3
Cabaret at Theater Square, Downtown

Improv comics from all over Pittsburgh take the stage performing unscripted scenes in this fast and frenetic improv jam. The show features randomly-generated teams and truly unpredictable comedy that the audience can watch — or even sign up to perform.


Title Town Soul & Funk Party
Saturday 9p, $5
Brillobox, Bloomfield

This monthly program features local disc jockey Gordy G. and guests spinning 60’s and 70’s soul, funk, classic rhythm & blues and Motown at the Brillobox. This month, “Title Town” welcomes special guest DJ Riel, host of the Steel City Soul Club.


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