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Comment Archives: stories: Pittsburgh Dining: On The Side

Re: “The Saloon

We are weekly regulars, as a family of four and as a couple for over the past year... so we know The Saloon from good to bad from both perspectives.

This last week, we met the "Manager", unrequested. He harassed my dinner partner and myself with a condescending tone regarding a sandwich that we order nearly every visit, which happened to be just last Sunday, in which we had great service (she must have worked at a steak house somewhere and SHOULD be the manager, her name is Erika, thank you Erika... and she was rewarded with a 30% tip. Prior to the plate landing on the table, the waitress commented on its appearance.

We both agreed with her, tasted it as per our request to be nice, and sent it back to the kitchen as she recommended it prior to us tasting it. It came back to the kitchen in the same condition, supposedly "remade"... which by that time, my sandwich was cold from waiting, in which I kindly requested it to be reheated if that was possible.. We have also ordered the same sandwich from about a dozen other Pittsburgh restaurants.. we know what it's supposed to look like and taste.

Not to mention, our order was delivered wrong. My offered sandwich toppings were not on the sandwich. And my dinner's partner side was completely wrong.

So I complimented the waitress, I told her that she was great. She told us that she did not know what was going on in the kitchen and that she was sorry for the third or fourth time... something that the "Manager" could learn to use in his vocabulary.

So after the second sandwich landed on our table, and we decided not to eat it. My partner and I agreed to simply leave and eat elsewhere. We were planning to pay for our drinks, and tip the waitress, and simply leave as we did not receive the food that we ordered...

Then the "Manager" came out.. a loose cannon that has no business even working in an establishment. He harassed us, we showed him the sandwich, a smooshed example of their culinary art that "his guys worked so hard on". He did not understand the concept behind keeping customers, "you can get it right 6/7 times a week, but tonight you got it wrong, and we are not paying for an ill-made sandwich". Those were my words.

We even politely called over the waitress to mediate his attitude that had no firsthand experience in our situation.. as she was readily available for us. She flipped her story, so the sandwich and kitchen that was off in her opinion was suddenly on their A game tonight. I guess the three to four prior apologies from her was also none of the "Manager"'s concern.

He threatened to call the police and told us that he never wanted to see us again. This was after he personally insulted myself for having a couple of light beers...as I was "welcomed back to enjoy drinks since I enjoyed them so much." I told him that a personal insult was unnecessary and with that, I also advised him to attend a management school and that we will not pay for our meal. He then harassed us more, asking us what was wrong with my sandwich.. at that point I was done. I simply told him that we were not paying because of the way he treated us.

The staff illustrates the faces behind the business. The Saloon would be great in the right hands, but it's in the wrong hands, run by people that may have over 30 years of ownership, but zero concern for their customers nor any competence in organizing and managing their business. And that lends itself to a less than mediocre ambiance, low food quality, and inconsistent service... hence the 3 - 3.5 star rating seen around the Internet. And the 5 stars... they had Erika and no "Manager" presence nor drinks from the bar. Not to mention, the bartender has little competence in mixing drinks, hence the long beer list. Save some money, fire the manager and the bartender.

After walking half a block home, we changed our clothes from our traumatizing, filth of an experience from our lovely, family friendly neighborhood restaurant, and headed to the Walnut Grill, where we sent back the sandwich only once (thanks to a kitchen error on the order), there were only smiles and no threats. There's a reason why Walnut Grill has several locations, the ambiance is killer, the service is stellar, the drinks are mixed the correct way, and the food is just as edible the next day, because it's that great to take home.

IF the owners were savvy and recognized that they live in 2015, they would know that this review alone can hurt their business by up to 20% or more. I hope it does.

A $8.99 Sandwich and incompetent service.. lost a tab + tip which was going to be paid.. weekly patrons.. and has initiated an interview with our dedicated lawyer.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by The Customer on 05/11/2015 at 12:15 AM

Re: “Smoke Barbecue Taqueria re-opens in its new Lawrenceville location

Are we talking about the same Smoke here? After waiting and hoping for so long, my friends and I were THRILLED to get back in there, eat the tacos we loved, and see Nelda. Smoke is about food, yes, but it's also about relationships and community. This piece, sadly, missed out on everything that makes Smoke work. And if you're disdainful of the current offerings, I know a starving posse that will gladly take them off your hands.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Leigh Anne Focareta on 02/25/2015 at 4:18 PM

Re: “The Ball Joint, in Beaver Falls, offers fun-to-eat of meatballs

best balls this side of the pacific.....

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Roger Flynn on 02/04/2015 at 2:21 PM

Re: “The Ball Joint, in Beaver Falls, offers fun-to-eat of meatballs

My family LOVES this place. We drive there from Wexford on a regular basis. It's well worth the drive. :-)

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Julie Kaigler on 02/04/2015 at 11:57 AM
Posted by Chad Hammitt on 12/31/2014 at 12:45 PM

Re: “By your pie, this holiday season, you shall be judged

it's buy not by

Posted by grammar nazi on 11/19/2014 at 8:40 AM

Re: “By your pie, this holiday season, you shall be judged

My wife's pie crust is incredible (and I'm not a crust guy, I could live without it, and as a kid wouldn't really eat the crust that my mom or grandmothers would make). Her crust is flaky, flavorful, crisp on the outside and soft and moist on the inside and she never uses lard.

That said if you're not into making your own, don't want to show up with one from the Massive Eagle or Whole Paycheck, (and my wife won't make one for you), check out Eliza's Oven in the Pittsburgh Public Market - WOW her pies are amazing and they're made from scratch and with booze. You won't mind telling people you didn't make it yourself because let's face it, they're your family, they know you, they know you can't bake. Besides Eliza's Oven pies are so amazingly good that you'll be proud to tell everyone where you got it. I mean, I'm not being paid to write this, I like Eliza's pies that much that I've written this big ol comment here without getting so much as a free sample. Seriously they're that good!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Don Orkoskey on 11/19/2014 at 8:18 AM

Re: “The latest iteration of Conflict Kitchen features take-out fare from Palestine

There is nothing anti-semitic about Conflict Kitchen nor the programs it presents. As it has done with every other nation whose food Conflict Kitchen presents, it also allows the residents of those nations to express their thoughts through printed material and via panels held. If those opinions are sometimes critical of Israeli policies and US policies toward Palestine, that does not make it anti-semitic any more than I could have been termed anti-American for protesting the VietNam and current wars we wage. The cry of anti-semitism is both commonly and over-used by those who will not tolerate any criticism of Israeli policies by anyone (which Conflict Kitchen does not express itself) nor any recognition that Palestinians, like all human beings in all nations, deserve full human rights. In fact, the charge of anti-semitism in this case cheapens the word and will eventually cause people to ignore such charges when, in fact, there are many other instances in which the charge can be and should be used, but Conflict Kitchen's existence is not one of them.

16 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by melpacker on 11/05/2014 at 10:02 AM

Re: “The latest iteration of Conflict Kitchen features take-out fare from Palestine

It is a shame that some good food will be tainted by the undercurrent of anti-semitism displayed by the planners.

2 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Pollock on 11/05/2014 at 8:19 AM

Re: “Rent the Chicken lets you rent a chicken coop, complete with birds, for your own backyard

Thank you for your concerns, Jen! Our hens are transported very safely and as stress free as possible. Sometimes they even lay in transit! We are very aware of bio security and take strict measures upon return. We are giving people an opportunity to experience backyard chickens without the commitment and without the many other obstacles faced when starting a flock.

"Homestead Jenn"
Rent The Chicken

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jenn Tompkins on 10/01/2014 at 3:28 PM

Re: “Rent the Chicken lets you rent a chicken coop, complete with birds, for your own backyard

Moving hens to a new home can stress them and could result in no egg production for up to three months. You can also purchase nice coops for under $500.00 that will last years to come. However, of there are people participating in this program, good for them. If they return the birds, strict biosecurity measures need to be taken.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Jen on 10/01/2014 at 10:39 AM

Re: “Meat is the word on this year's Heinz Field menu

Go fuck yourself Jack Wolf

Posted by Jack Wolf is a fag on 08/31/2014 at 11:06 AM

Re: “Meat is the word on this year's Heinz Field menu

That sounds absolutely disgusting.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Jack Wolf on 08/27/2014 at 8:19 AM

Re: “Fresh and homemade define the cuisine at Shadyside's new Greek Kitchen

The owner is authentic Greek and very nice..the food is the best Greek food I have ever had...The Gyros are huge! This is a must when your in the Shadyside area..

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by ch on 08/23/2014 at 8:49 AM

Re: “Southern BBQ and all the fixin's — served in a waffle cone

I had one of these at a food truck round up at Coffee Buddha a few weeks ago...it is amazing!

Posted by Carlo on 08/13/2014 at 9:12 AM

Re: “A new food stand in Hazelwood helps residents and commuters pick up fresh fruit and vegetables

Areas such as Hazelwood need such places to provide fresh fruits and vegetables at a fair price! Kudos to Dianne Shenk for moving forward on this!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kenny Menno on 08/07/2014 at 9:47 AM

Re: “Fresh and homemade define the cuisine at Shadyside's new Greek Kitchen

The address is 5700 Centre Ave

Posted by Aleita Hermanowski on 08/04/2014 at 11:19 AM

Re: “Mac-and-cheese to go: Pittsburgh's newest food truck will serve the popular comfort food

where can I find you!!!
I absolutely LOVE mac n cheese..
I never ever go downtown..
what parts of the city do you go to

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by jean a. on 07/24/2014 at 9:59 AM

Re: “Fresh and homemade define the cuisine at Shadyside's new Greek Kitchen

I have deleted two previous comments that traded libelous accusations.

Posted by Chris Potter on 07/16/2014 at 9:01 AM

Re: “Yovi's Hot Dogs in Market Square is your local source for Chicago-style Italian beef

I miss Yuvi's. When I worked downtown I'd drop in almost every Friday, always the same, 2 chili cheese dogs & a chili cheese fry. Often was ready when I got through the line to order. Great service.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by tallfellapgh on 06/18/2014 at 9:53 PM

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