When you think of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania foods and culinary items that come to mind are Isaly’s chipped chopped ham, Heinz Ketchup, the Primanti’s sandwich, and Potato Patch fries just to name a few. Another culinary item that Pittsburgh is famous for is the pierogi. During the region’s steel-producing days, a large influx of Eastern Europeans migrated to the steel city. With this migration, the region’s cuisine has fused itself into the diets of its residents over the years. The pierogi has a popular following in the city and can be ordered anywhere from church basements and food trucks to high-end fine dining establishments. Today we are going to visit Starlite Lounge in Blanox and see why Guy Fieri made it point to stop and see what owner Ron Esser aka “Moondog” is cooking up. Not only are they famous for their pierogies, but other amazing culinary dishes as well. Let us dive in!
The pierogi (captioned) – Starlite Lounge does not mess around when it comes to their pierogi-making philosophy which is big, bold, and flavorful. It starts with the dough which consists of flour, sour cream, eggs, and water. Next, the filling consists of potatoes, sauteed onions, American cheese, and a copious amount of butter. Remember, butter makes things taste better! Flatten the dough and add filling. Finally, boil the pierogies and sauté with even more butter and onions and serve. This is purely and simply comfort food at its finest moment and the portion size is massive. They are available in potato and cheese, spinach and feta, and jalapeno and cheddar.
The chicken diablo – This was also a dish featured on Triple D. Start out with peppers and onions that Moondog himself grows and cans. Next, add a little bit of marinara sauce and a touch of sriracha to add some heat. Add some tender and juicy white meat chicken cut and cooked right on the flat top. An overly generous serving of pasta creates the base, and it is finished with parmesan cheese. What you are left with a dish that is simple, yet full of flavor generated from the peppers with just the right amount of spiciness.
Other menu items – Starlite Lounge does not serve your typical bar food. They have a stuffed pepper soup which is homemade using the same peppers as the chicken diablo. Their fish sandwich (captioned) is massive and features a monster piece of fresh North Atlantic cod. It is deep-fried and served on a Mancini bun with a side of coleslaw. You can also get a hoagie, burger, or Pittsburgh-style sandwich and add a side of their homemade fresh-cut, skin-on, double-fried fries to finish any sandwich. They have great appetizers, salads, soups, and other entrée items. The menu is diverse and gives you a ton of options to choose from.
The Starlite Lounge Final Take:
MOST UNDERRATED PIEROGIES in the STEEL CITY? SO GOOD THAT EVEN GUY FIERI of TRIPLE D APPROVES!
My final take – When Guy Fieri reaches out to your restaurant and wants to feature you in a segment on Triple D, it is safe to say you are doing something right. The homemade, delicious food at very reasonable prices, coupled with tremendous hospitality is what keeps people coming back to the Starlite Lounge. The locals rave the atmosphere is very homey. Owner Ron Esser is a gem and treats his customers right. His motto is “things don’t have to be that fancy to be good.”