Friday, March 10, 2017

Three Western Pennsylvania Favorites

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties

- Old School Eats in Western PA

A couple summers back we took a little roadtrip to Pittsburgh where we ate well. Our eating however was not limited to just the Steel City as we made some stops along the way. Today's post focuses on three old school spots in Western Pennsylvania. The type of places I love to stop into and eat like a local. After reading through this you can check out my Western Pennsylvania Hot Dog Tour.

Mister B's

 New Castle, PA

New Castle is a town that's most certainly seen better days. Nonetheless it's also a town that seems to have some classic establishments that are still up and running. One of the locally loved eats of New Castle is a dish called "Lamb on the Rod" referring to lamb kebobs. There seems to be  quite a few old school spots serving this dish in town. Mister B's was most intriguing to me as it's basically a liquor store with a really good looking food menu. It's not just the aforementioned lamb but there's also fresh fried lake smelts and even the burgers and homemade gyros were tempting. Though I wanted to try the locally loved lamb and did so by getting a 7x7 which is slang for a seven piece meal. It's also offered as 21x21 but this was one of many stops. It's lean lamb cooked nicely and served with yogurt sauce and banana peppers. Not bad but not something I found myself craving.

Lamb on a Rod at Mister B's

Muse Italian Club

Cecil, PA

Acting out on a tip from a buddy at the gym we decided to take a little Friday late afternoon drive for a Western Pennsylvania fish fry favorite. Each Friday this social club in the town of Cecil hosts a fish fry. Fish Sandwiches are a favorite in these parts. It's somewhat odd since there is no ocean nearby but like many of the other towns along the Ohio River they have a strong tradition of eating fish sandwiches on Friday's. It's busiest during lent but popular year-round. So I was told this place produces one of the finest fish sandwiches in the area. So we wanted to see what was up.

a peek inside

From an article on the wall - "The women of the club have been serving the sandwiches for decades, getting paid in tips. Four or five of them get together each Thursday to prepare roughly 400 pounds of fillets, 600 pounds during Lent. In a process that takes as long as five hours, the women hand wash each piece of fish and pick out the bones. They take pride that the fillets are "clean."


As seen above the menu also sported spaghetti and tripe but it was a Friday and we were there for the fish sandwich which would end up being pretty good. Maybe not the most remarkable fish sandwich one can have but certainly a good bar bite. I felt like I was somewhere in the Midwest. One day places like this will be nothing but memories. So it's nice to be able to say I once ate there.

Friday Fish Sandwich

Bert's Wooden Indian

Beaver, PA

Acting off on a hot tip from legendary Roadfooder aka BuffetBuster aka @jcstrutz we pulled in here for lunch on the way back to Chicago. I had seen a social media post of his praising the ham sandwiches from this longtime institution. We walked in and were immediately brought back to another time. It felt like I was somewhere in the Dells. They dont make them like this anymore.

a peek inside 

We sat at the bar and enjoyed some cold brews as well as the sandwich that Cliff had praised. This guy knows good roadfood as much as anyone myself included, so it was no surprise to find this sandwich was every bit as good as described. The sandwiches are listed under the section titled specialties and this was a special sandwich in that great old school sort of way. Perfect bar food.

Hot Ham Sandwich at Bert's Wooden Indian

Mister B's
2034 E Washington St
New Castle, PA 16101
(724) 654-4144

Muse Italian Club
283 Muse-Bishop Rd
Canonsburg, PA 15317
(724) 745-7280

Bert's Wooden Indian
308 Leopard Ln
Beaver, PA 15009
(724) 774-7992

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