I love date night! (Thanks to some impressive research on a certain guy's behalf.) This past weekend, I experienced Monterey Pub on the North Side in Pittsburgh for the first time. I'll be honest -- the only Monterey I knew of was the one with the view one up on Mt. Washington. Don't get me wrong, I love that one, but I was more than happy to try this new one.
Aiming to bring a little piece of Ireland to Pittsburgh's Mexican War Streets area, Monterey Pub is the kind of place that makes you want to be a regular at a restaurant. Sit down, order your "usual" drink and dinner, and get a nod from the bartender. The restaurant is on the smaller side and was full, but we only had to wait five minutes. Wouldn't have minded waiting longer, since the service was so attentive and kind.
The menu is really creative and a few things caught my eye: Smoked salmon nachos!? English BLT?! (I love a good BLT.) Bangers and mash?! And it was Saturday steak night. I don't remember the exact price, but I do remember that it sounded like an amazing deal.
I'm on this kick of trying to order something new and unique to that specific restaurant when I go out, so I picked the Mango Ginger Salad wrap with grilled chicken. Oh.my.goodness. Mixed greens, fresh red peppers, sliced almonds, super plump dried cranberries, and crumbled Stilton white cheese with a mango ginger dressing, all tucked neatly in a honey wheat wrap. I realize that I'm usually writing about sugar-laden items, but I'm not one to mix sweet things into pre-dessert (in some cultures it's known as "dinner"). The wrap was savory with a touch of sweet (the cheese and cranberries) with the perfect amount of dressing, unlike anything I've ever tasted. Because the sweet fry portion was heaping, I boxed half of the generously-sized wrap to take home. My date got the roasted pork loin dinner and, since it was gone with little talking from that side of the table, I presume it was good.
I'm not a leftovers person, usually pawning them off onto someone else, but I was looking forward to Sunday lunch when I could finish that wrap. Just as delicious as the night before. Mmm! Like I said, the service was great, and for two dinners, two beers, the total bill (before tip) came to $33. Yep, the fairy tale continues, my friends. I highly recommend this place for something different, quiet and cozy... a perfect conversation restaurant.
Following dinner, we rounded out the night by hitting the new Rivers Casino (since it's right around the corner), gambling a whopping $5 on penny slots, and were home by 11:00. I'm going to be such an awesome senior citizen someday, and then I will have all day to work at becoming a regular at Monterey Pub. If anyone has also been there, share your thoughts, please!