About Eric Fontana

Restaurant Gems of Pittsburgh Restaurant Reviews

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About Eric Fontana

Restaurant Gems OF PITTSBURGH Restaurant Reviews

It's a pretty familiar thought..."Where should we go out tonight?"

"I know what I don't want!" someone chimes in.

"I don't care where we go as long as I don't have to go through the Squirrel Hill tunnel!" another says, not kidding.

"I only have $10..."

Perhaps you've been here before.

There are so many great bars and restaurants in the Pittsburgh area...

...but finding reliable information on the internet can feel like an exercise in futility.

How many fake-sounding Yelp reviews can you read before you throw in the towel and hit up the Olive Garden?

I'm here to tell you that you do not need to settle for the "same old" with so much to experience in Pittsburgh, and you do not need to spend a fortune to have an amazing time.

There is another way! But first, a little background...

At Penn State, I discovered a site called theย State College Bar Tour.

It had all the drink specials at every bar, every day of the week. It was updated weekly.

As most of you know, when you are in college, funds are limited, having access to see where you can drink cheap in college is a huge asset. This was the first time I was like, "wow, how useful to have this information available any time, right at your fingertips - tailored to my location and written by people I trust!"

As I moved on from my college years, I noticed a lack of the same tools for the general public.

Sure, I could sift through reviews of bars and restaurants in Pittsburgh on Google or Yelp until the cows came home...but I never felt like I could really trust what I was reading.

Additionally, there wasn't a single place I could go to see all of the best specials of the week to decide where to spend my cash.

Thus, Restaurant Gems Restaurant Reviews of Pittsburgh began!

I started small, posting reviews on Facebook for fun. It grew from there as people found my reviews helpful, thorough, and sometimes even comical.

My ultimate goal is to help everyday Pittsburghers find hidden restaurant gems that wonโ€™t break the bank.

Think of me as your good friend who has tried the best restaurants in and around the city, giving youย reviews you know you can trust. That's what this website is all about.

I have written restaurant articles for applications and newspapers, appeared on the radio, am working on my second Pittsburgh restaurant book, and am starting to become well known in the Pittsburgh area as I visit all different types of restaurants from all over the area.

You can get started by reading some of my reviews below!


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๐Ÿฅฉ๐Ÿฅ“๐ŸŒถ๏ธ RESTAURANT OWNERS, DID YOU KNOW THERE are PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT DO NOT EVEN KNOW YOUR RESTAURANT EXIST? Think of this analogy, you drive the same way to and from work every day, it becomes second nature, you donโ€™t even think about it anymore. Well, what if someone showed you a new and faster way to get to work?๐Ÿ”ฅ Every time I visit a restaurant and post a reel/write an article, I get comments from people all over Western Pennsylvania that didnโ€™t even know the restaurant existed, and restaurant owners message me that they had new customers show up at their restaurant because of seeing the video and article! The bottom line is if you can bring new customers in and give them a great experience, they tell other people about it, which in turn increases your revenue! The key is, you must take action and invest in your restaurant/business!๐Ÿง Let me show you what I mean. I visit a restaurant, the Facebook video reel and article shows up on 1000s to tens of thousands news feeds, the video gets 1000s to tens of thousands of views. Letโ€™s say 10 new families try your restaurant at an average of a $60.00 restaurant tab for 2 people and they visit weekly. Thatโ€™s an extra $31,200 of revenue a year that you didnโ€™t have before! Itโ€™s a no brainer to not hire me!!!๐Ÿค” PM me for more details on how I can visit your restaurant and create a video reel and professional article for your restaurant or email me at eric@foodofsteelcity.com.๐Ÿ–Š๏ธ You can also click on the below link and complete the short form below.๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡christinatarantola.typeform.com/to/WIUA9vUr ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

Restaurant Gems of Pittsburgh
FAYETTE COUNTY RESTAURANT SERVES UP DELICIOUS MOUNTAIN TOP COUNTRY COOKINGBraddock's Restaurant & Tavern๐Ÿค” If you are looking for nature and sheer beauty, look no further than Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Situated in the majestic Laurel Highlands, there are a ton of attractions to visit. If you want treated like royalty, book a few days at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Visit Fallingwater, designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which was a retreat house and deemed an architectural masterpiece used by the Kaufmann Family to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can visit Ohiopyle State Park where you can visit waterfalls, take a hike on one of the many hiking trails, and whitewater raft for the more adventurous! If you are looking for a bite to eat, and are near the Farmington area, look no further than Braddockโ€™s Restaurant and Tavern. It is here where comfort food is made with love. Let us look further into why the locals are saying you must give this place a try.๐Ÿฅ“ Breakfast โ€“ Braddockโ€™s has a multitude of Omelets to choose from. The โ€œRoute 40 Monsterโ€ consists of sausage, bacon, ham, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, and onions. If you are looking for a mixture of breakfast goodness the โ€œGarbage Breakfast Plateโ€ is eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, peppers, onions, potatoes, and melted cheese. An item available all day is the โ€œChicken and Wafflesโ€, which is a southern fried chicken over house made waffles and is served with butter and maple syrup.๐Ÿฅฉ Lunch and Dinner โ€“ Start out with an appetizer such as the โ€œStuffed Banana Peppersโ€. They are stuffed with hot Italian sausage and smothered in homemade marinara and mozzarella cheese. If chicken wings are your thing Braddocksโ€™ does not disappoint. They have a wide variety of sauces to choose from.๐Ÿ” Steak Burgers โ€“ There are 5 burgers on the menu to choose from. I am a big fan of the โ€œRodeo Burgerโ€. It features pepper jack cheese, bacon, onion rings, jalapenos, and Carolina barbecue sauce.๐Ÿฅช Sandwiches โ€“ Thereโ€™s nothing better than a greasy, flavorful Philly Cheesesteak. The โ€œNot from Philly Cheesesteakโ€ (captioned) is topped with thinly sliced steak, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and provolone cheese. The โ€œCowboy Brisket Sandwichโ€ is a half-pound of smoked brisket, jalapeno, pepper jack cheese, and BBQ sauce.๐Ÿ– Entrees โ€“ Now it is time for some good ole fashion country cooking! The โ€œMountain Meatloafโ€ is bacon wrapped meatloaf smothered in a homemade gravy. The โ€œOpened Face Roast Beefโ€ features tender shaved beef on Texas toast smothered in brown gravy served with your choice of mashed potatoes or fresh cut fries. The โ€œShrimp and Gritsโ€ has blackened shrimp, andouilles sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a creamy Cajun sauce.๐Ÿง€ Other menu items โ€“ Braddockโ€™s also has tasty salads, paninis, soups, sides, and more!๐Ÿง My Final Take โ€“ It is clear as day that when you try the food at Braddockโ€™s Restaurant & Tavern you can tell they strive for excellence. Most people can tell the difference in average, edible food, and food that is cooked and prepared homemade, and is made with love. Itโ€™s restaurant gems like these that are off the beaten path and if you find them, you are in for a real treat! ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ RESTAURANT OWNERS and ENTHUSIASTS LISTEN UP! If you want your restaurant highlighted to tap into a new customer base or know of a restaurant you want highlighted, click on the below link, and complete the short form to see how I can visit your restaurant and create a video reel for you!๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡christinatarantola.typeform.com/to/WIUA9vUr๐ŸŒถ๏ธ CHECK IT OUT! My new Website, RESTAURANT GEMS OF PITTSBURGH, has been launched! The Restaurant Finder lets you search by geographic location and restaurants I recommend will pop up with a detailed review. I am constantly adding new restaurants!restaurantgemsofpittsburgh.com/ ... See MoreSee Less
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๐Ÿฅฉ๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿง€ CHECK IT OUT! My new Website, RESTAURANT GEMS OF PITTSBURGH, has been launched! Click on the link below๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡restaurantgemsofpittsburgh.com/๐Ÿ– PLEASE SHARE and GET THE WORD OUT! This is going to help you get a delicious meal, big portions, and save you money!๐Ÿ”ฅ With the help of my amazing Web Designer, Sky Stover, I have created a database where you can search your favorite hidden restaurant gems by geographic location/county/town, and restaurants that I recommend will show up and you can read the reviews. I will also be adding video reels that I have done for restaurants as well!๐Ÿค” Note โ€“ This has just been rolled out so please bear with me! There is a ton of work to do, you will also notice a Brewery section which I am starting to update which is a work in progress. I want you to become familiar with it and I want it to be your go to for restaurant recommendations in the greater Pittsburgh area!๐Ÿท RESTAURANT OWNERS and ENTHUSIASTS LISTEN UP! If you want your restaurant highlighted to tap into a new customer base or know of a restaurant you want highlighted, click on the below link and complete the short form to see how I can visit your restaurant and create a video reel for you!๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡christinatarantola.typeform.com/to/WIUA9vUr ... See MoreSee Less
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๐Ÿฅฉ๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿง€ CHECK IT OUT! My new Website, RESTAURANT GEMS OF PITTSBURGH, has been launched! Click on the link below๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡restaurantgemsofpittsburgh.com/๐Ÿ– PLEASE SHARE and GET THE WORD OUT! This is going to help you get a delicious meal, big portions, and save you money!๐Ÿ”ฅ With the help of my amazing Web Designer, Sky Stover, I have created a database where you can search your favorite hidden restaurant gems by geographic location/county/town, and restaurants that I recommend will show up and you can read the reviews. I will also be adding video reels that I have done for restaurants as well!๐Ÿค” Note โ€“ This has just been rolled out so please bear with me! There is a ton of work to do, you will also notice a Brewery section which I am starting to update which is a work in progress. I want you to become familiar with it and I want it to be your go to for restaurant recommendations in the greater Pittsburgh area!๐Ÿท RESTAURANT OWNERS and ENTHUSIASTS LISTEN UP! If you want your restaurant highlighted to tap into a new customer base or know of a restaurant you want highlighted, click on the below link and complete the short form to see how I can visit your restaurant and create a video reel for you!๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡christinatarantola.typeform.com/to/WIUA9vUr ... See MoreSee Less
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4 weeks ago

Restaurant Gems of Pittsburgh
BRIDGEVILLE NEIGHBORHOOD BAR AND GRILL HAS EVERYONE BUZZING WITH CREATIVE, MADE FROM SCRATCH DISHES, HUGE ASSORTMENT OF CRAFT BEERS, ALLURING ATMOSPHERE, and EXCEPTIONAL SERVICEThe Crafty Jackalope๐Ÿค” Hear me out, you work hard for your money, and when you go out to eat and enjoy a drink, you want delicious food, good service, and a comfortable atmosphere. You also want somewhere that pours love and passion into their restaurant giving you the best experience possible. Look no further than The Crafty Jackalope!๐Ÿ™‚ This is a place that anyone is welcome that wants a great meal, excellent service, and an inviting, laid back atmosphere. It is not your typical bar food either, The Crafty Jackalope features creative dishes and everything that can be is made from scratch. They also have a plethora of a selection of craft beers. Let us explore what makes this establishment such a hit in the Bridgeville and South Hills area.๐Ÿฅ„ The Culinary Vision - This is not your typical bar food. The food at the Crafty Jackalope is unique, well thought out, and seasoned to perfection. Their philosophy is using a synergy of ingredients resulting in food that is full of flavor. They describe their food as โ€œtraditional American fare on its head.โ€ The goal is that every item on the menu is unique, and their menu is comprised of all kinds of creative dishes. They also have seasonal menus depending on the time of the year, and they are always changing, giving you immense variety. Their chef takes considerable pride in giving you a ton of imaginative variety to choose from.๐Ÿ“บ The atmosphere โ€“ The theme is relaxing and inviting, and their mission is to provide you with a comfortable atmosphere. Upon entering you will notice the cleanliness of the establishment. There is plenty of space, multiple rooms and bars, and an outdoor patio. They also have live music, happy hours, and it has been voted best trivia in Pittsburgh for the past three years!๐ŸŒถ๏ธ Appetizers โ€“ The appetizer list is extensive. A few that caught my eye were the Grape Leaves which are served with freshly grilled pita. The Crafty Kabobs feature grilled sirloin, peppers, mushrooms, peppers, and onions finished with a Crafty kabob sauce. They also have sweet potato fries, fried pickles, pizza dunkers, Hawaiian shrimp, and Ahi Tuna. They also have your more traditional appetizers as well such as onion rings and chicken tenders.๐Ÿ– Chicken Wings โ€“ The Crafty Jackalope uses fresh, never frozen chicken, and fries their wings extra crispy. They have a multitude of sauces including hot, mild BBQ, garlic parmesan, honey BBQ, honey mustard, honey teriyaki, Asian spice, hot garlic parmesan, hot garlic, hot ranch, hot Cajun, blackened Cajun, BBQ Cajun, wet Cajun ranch, honey jalapeno, honey habanero, sriracha BBQ, zesty garlic, ghost hot, and Thai chili. They also have boneless wings as well if bones are not your thing!๐Ÿฅช Handhelds/Sandwiches โ€“ You can get traditional sandwiches such as an Italian or Steak Hoagie or go with something a little more complex. The BBQ Beef Brisket features slow cooked brisket, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, mushrooms, pepper jack cheese, tangy BBQ sauce, and is housed on focaccia bread. The Guinness French Dip sandwich has slow cooked brisket, melted Swiss Cheese, and is housed on a Mancini hoagie bun with a side of homemade Guinniess au jus for dipping.๐Ÿ” Burgers โ€“ The Crafty Jackalope uses a special blend of meat in their burger patty. They use a combination of brisket, prime rib, and ground chuck. You can create your own burger or go with one of their specialty burgers. The burger patty size is generously portioned at 8 ounces. If you like heat, go with the Burning Burger. It has roasted jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, habanero peppers, and a house, bourbon based sweet heat ghost pepper sauce. The Spicy Bison Burger features an American Bison burger patty, and is topped with pepper jack cheddar, roasted jalapenos, and is finished with a spicy aioli sauce.๐Ÿง€ Mac Nโ€™ Cheese โ€“ You can create your own Mac Nโ€™ Cheese with meat selections such as pulled chicken, shrimp, or chili, or go with a specialty Mac Nโ€™ Cheese. The Buffalo Chicken has pulled chicken tossed in hot wing sauce and is finished with ranch dressing. The Bacon Chicken Mac consists of big and small pieces of Applewood smoked bacon, seasoned pulled chicken.๐Ÿฅฉ Other Menu Items โ€“ They have some of the freshest tuna in the Burgh! Just try the Ahi Tuna Salad and you will see! The Crafty Jackalope also has delicious salads, flatbreads, chili, wraps, and more!๐Ÿบ Craft Beers โ€“ If you are looking for an extensive beers list, you came to the right place. They have over 20 draft selections and 50 bottle selections stocked at all times!๐Ÿง My final take. At the end of the day, it all comes down to treating people right. When you take a genuine interest in giving your customer the ultimate hospitality experience, the rest will fall into place. When you bring a relentless level of enthusiasm and excitement about your mission every day, people take notice. The Simoni familyโ€™s enthusiasm filters throughout their staff, and they will give you excellent customer service. Those that are regulars know this place is a hidden gem, and if you have not tried it yet, make your way to Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. You will be glad you did!๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ RESTAURANT OWNERS and ENTHUSIASTS LISTEN UP! If you want your restaurant highlighted to tap into a new customer base or know of a restaurant you want highlighted, click on the below link, and complete the short form to see how I can visit your restaurant and create a video reel for you!๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡christinatarantola.typeform.com/to/WIUA9vUr ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ’Ž CHECK IT OUT! My new Website, RESTAURANT GEMS OF PITTSBURGH, has been launched!The Restaurant Finder lets you search by geographic location and restaurants I recommend will pop up with a detailed review. I am constantly adding new restaurants!๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡restaurantgemsofpittsburgh.com/ ... See MoreSee Less
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