Where You SHOULD be brunching in Pittsburgh

Originally published June 18th, 2017.

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I'm not a big fan of brunching.  Deep down I just associate it with being hungover. 

That's not to say I haven't had some terrific brunches in my life.  I've just had way more where I was only doing my best to stay alive (thanks, college).

This isn't really a big deal because Pittsburgh isn't a "brunch city." D.C. and Chicago - those are brunch cities. Pittsburghers don't brunch (something I am #forevergrateful for). Frankly, I really can't afford it either. 

However, today I had to literally eat my words about hating brunch. 

The brunch at the Café Carnegie (in the CMOA) in Oakland offers an elegant, and delicious brunch that leaves you satisfied, but not stuffed (another reason I dislike brunch - I usually leave so full that I hate myself).

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Brunch dishes at the Cafe Carnegie in Pittsburgh: 

Donuts

Filled with Housemade Concord Grape Jelly
Perfectly size - just a bite so you don't feel guilty (but damn is it a good bite). 

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cafecarnegiepittsburgh

Oysters on the half shell

Enough said. 

Mahi-mahi Cheesesteak

Mahi-mahi, cheese, peppers, onions (ingredients from memory) 
This was such an interesting combination. Cheesesteaks usually feature nacho or american cheese, and it is pretty rare to see fish paired with a cheese like that. I'm happy I took the plunge and tried it. It was just as good as a Philly Cheesesteak, but was much lighter.

cafecarnegiepittsburgh

Cocktails:

Filled with Housemade Concord Grape Jelly
Perfectly size - just a bite so you don't feel guilty (but damn is it a good bite). 

They have stepped up their cocktail game since the last time I visited. I think I had the "chai mule" or something the first time.. and it was terrible. But LOOK at this beautiful drink my mom ordered (again, cant find the name online).

I had a lavender gin drink.  They cure the lavender gin in house. WOW can you TASTE that lavender.  Normally lavender drinks have just is a whipser of lavender.  Not this time.

This is great news for lavender fans (like me). If you're into that, you'll be into this. It was also a huge drink... took me all meal to finish.  

Things that looked good:

French Toast: Bruleed Triple Cream Brie, Meyer Lemon Compote
Chicken crepes: (can't find description on the online menu)
Le Hot Dog
The brunch menu can be viewed online, but I don't believe it is totally up to date.

cafecarnegiepittsburgh

My family was really happy with the entire meal: ambience, decor, drinks, food. We went 50/50 (vs. the Ace Hotel) for selecting it as our favorite brunch spot in Pittsburgh. 

My only complaint was that everything was a smidge over-cheesed... to the point where it was greasy.  I love cheese, so I didn't mind, but I think a lot of people would. 

TO CONCLUDE: As I have made it pretty damn clear, I don't like to brunch.  That being said, if you're going to brunch in Pittsburgh... It better be the Cafe Carnegie. 

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HAPPY GALLIVANTING!