It is so nice to see a local home town guy make a name for himself. Congrats!
I lunch here often. Today was the worst service. I ordered tea. I didnt get a spoon for a good 7min after i asked
I didnt have any eating utensils once my food arrived (i ordered L9-chx tryki/general tso w lo mein noodles). My general tso chx was very dry. I had several servers-didnt appear familiar w menu or have an idea who was taking care of my table. After the meal, i didnt even get a fortune cookie.
I also have dreamed of returning to a Ramen bar after many trips to the Yokuska Naval base in the early '70's. Walking in to the diner-like joint and pointing to the stainless bowls of ingredients like the usual Chicken, shrimp and such plus the more adventurous squid, urchin and roes, all topped by sprouts and toasted sesame seeds was a revalation. This goes so much deeper than mere soup.
One of the best memories of my entire life is closing time at a favorite local joint in an alley with the wonderous buzz you could only get from the proper mixture of Akadama Plum wine, Absinthe, Thai and Opium after a superb TomPopo (look it up, not the movie). Walking out under a full moon and hopping on a cart that was pulled down the alley by a slow donkey driven by an old and miserable Japanese gentleman. In the back over a brazier was a large pot of boiling water tended by his long suffering wife, surrounded by the magic ingredients. There were four stools on each side of the cart and two on the back.
You had to cling to the wall it was so narrow to let the ancient food truck by and jump on if you found an open seat. Then you would point to whatever you drunken desires commanded, flirt with the toothless old woman to make sure she snuck more into the bowl than he old man approved, and lsten to the music of the donkey hooves and the sizzling of the water that occasionally slopped onto the coals. And then you were served. Nirvana.
And just as you finished, you pulled up to the front gate of the Naval Base, and climed back aboard 100,000 tons of steel and death. But the Donkey and Ramen told you that this was only temporary, and life was still good Out There.
Can't wait to get back to the 'burgh this summer to try this place. It could never match my memories, but I bet it will put a smile on my old face.
OVER PRICED AND MASS PRODUCED
We had a bad experience at Jimmy Wan's restaurant at Freeport Rd. It was like eating at a fast food restaurant. They took our order and immediately brought the food to the table before we got our drinks. It was a 15 minute meal. We complained to the owners. They were not concerned and never apologized for the bad service. The food here is MASS PRODUCED. The food is already prepared; that is why they bring it right away to the table. It is also overpriced. We won't go back.
Having lived in Japan for three years while in the Air Force, I can say that the ramen bar is one of the things I miss most. Large bowl of ramen and a side of rice for 5 bucks. How do you beat that? Looking forward to trying this!
This place is great. I grew up in Ambridge, and little diners like this one are a great representation of the town.
My husband and I had the pleasure of eating at Twisted Thistle once. It was incredible. My husband also had the pumpkin soup, and loved it. My appetizer was the tuna tartar. Probably the best food experience in my life! I also had the butternut squash ravioli for dinner. That won't be the last time we're there, for sure.
I totally agree with none!!! My wife and I had dinner there, paid about $40, and went home and ate again! Same situation--the portions are small and the prices steep.
I ate at Fukuda with a friend a couple of weeks ago. Everything we had was delicious. It was also very expensive. After $84. (including tip) we went home and had spaghetti as we were still hungry. I am wanting to inquire about the photo you featured labeled "Chef's nagiri/sashimi sampler".
We had something called "Chef's Choice Sampler-large for $38.00. It was way less food than you are showing in your photo: 6 slices of sashimi, 2 pieces of nigiri, 2 tiny oysters, ginger and wasabi. We shared it, each having 5 bites of food for $38. It felt pretty steep, but I am puzzled. Is our experience typical and your photo is unrealistic, or did the chef just choose to give us not so much?
I haven't been there, but I will try it. I prefer to form my own opinion. I like to read reviews, but I take them all "with a grain of salt". Thank you all for your opinions.
Best restaurant I have ever hat the pleasure to eat at in my whole life!!!!! The food is to die for. Don't listen to the nay-sayers who criticize the joint. They are only trolls seeking attention. LOVE IT!!!
We have been to Twisted Thistle more times than I can count already (over 20), and have never had a bad experience. The food is great, but we also love the people - the owner, bartenders, managers, and servers have all been great to us. We go for dinner for 2, with family/friends, sometimes brunch with family, sometimes to hang out at the bar, and the food is always delicious (and fresh and local!), and for what you get, the price is completely reasonable. The same dishes could easily go for an additional $10/plate in a bigger market. This restaurant has made my transition from NYC much, much easier - knowing there's a cool local place with excellent food or just a familiar face at the bar. Not to mention that it has been beautifully restored and the ambiance is great. Boo-hiss on the negative reviews - see for yourself. :)
Chef Olshanskyis a great chef but he isnt cooking at he restaurant all the time and when he is not there the food really suffers. We have experienced bland, dried out, sloppy, and even food that has made us sick. The desserts are amazing and have never missed. In our 6 trips to the thistle i would rate it a 6/10. It has promise but they have to get more consitent.
Medvedrichie: It's a matter of personal preference. If you don't like it, then don't return. Obviously others like this venue a good bit. I will travel to it and enjoy it. I think that a "conspiracy theory" on the thread, may be a bit extreme. You made your feelings known. Let everyone comment, from here on out. Your approach to a restaurant review is kind of immature.
yeah ok so your no.longer letting other opinions in this you rebut them ok so you want them to get a good review ok but its still as i said before
Great review! The food, atmosphere and people are so wonderful there! Everyone I told to go there was very pleased and went back. It is a homey atmosphere that I enjoy going to visit and everyone makes me feel at home. Keep up the good work, Linda, and KUDOS to all the great staff!
Accolades to to "The Thistle!" The aesthetic environment is warm and visually stimulating. The staff are friendly and eager to help. They have a solid wine list that pairs well with the menu, without a hurt on the wallet. (Very Intelligent) The food is prepared with choice ingredients as well as a unique twist on standard dishes...not to mention, the Chef's signature dishes, that prove the kitchen is a talented, tight knit organization. I have enjoyed many dishes there, though if I were to highlight, I would recommend: The New York Strip with Frites and Root Vegetable Succotash, the Pork Belly Wraps, and Duck with Oyster Sauce, Basil, Soba Noodles & Veggies, to name a few. A great dining experience, off the beaten path. You will not regret your time and money spent at The Twisted Thistle!
As the photographer who shot the images above, I would like to add to this piece by explaining that the images of the old furniture and the deconstructed interior belong to the upper floors of the building in which the Twisted Thistle is housed. The building is a former hotel, which the owners (who also own nearby Lingrow Farm, a wedding and banquet facility and organic farm, which produces a lot of the fresh produce served at the restaurant in-season) are painstakingly restoring the upper 3 floors of the building into a hotel. I was lucky enough to get to peek around upstairs and snap some "before" photos of the space, which is very inspiring. I am wishing them all the best in giving the building the loving care she deserves and am looking forward to seeing the finished renovation someday. It's going to be a real asset to Leechburg and all visitors to the Kiski River area, which has amazing hiking and cycling trails these days.
Also, in rebuttal to the opinion above, I found the food that I tasted to be definitely above average in quality, thoughtfulness and presentation, as well as in efforts to serve locally sourced ingredients. Chef Michael Oshansky knows his stuff! I work on reviews for CP every week, as well as cover food for several other regional publications, and so I eat out A LOT and I completely disagree with the idea that this place is mediocre in any way. Also, I drive out to that area routinely from Pittsburgh during the summer and fall to hike in the woods and I would happily factor in a stop at Twisted Thistle after my expeditious!
Might want to rethink your review city paper over priced and food isn't that good . Its another mediocre restaurant out in the stix and no one is going to drive 50 mile for common food right idea bad location
I'm sure the owner is posting this. You fired the only guy that knew how to make pasta on the machine. Just close down!!
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