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 Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater

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  • Total Posts: 33
  • Joined: 10/8/2003
  • Location: Libertyville, IL
Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Thu, 04/21/05 10:22 PM (permalink)
After years of seeking and trying suggested Roadfood restaurants, I can finally repay the favor with information about some new discoveries of my own.

When visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in southwestern Pennsylvania, we skipped the upscale café there and went instead to local restaurant “Show’s Country Café” (Mill Run Road, Mill Run PA 15464 (724) 455-2308). Wow, was it great! It’s that perfect combo of “been around forever and looking a little worn” crossed with “starting to spiff up and looking pretty good.” It’s small and charming with a choice of stools at a lunch counter, booths or tables, and lots of Americana decorations, wood paneling and lovely lace curtains. The restaurant owner was both cooking and serving the food, yet still had time for a friendly chat. Menu included burgers, fish, chicken, several sides and lots of other stuff. Excellently seasoned chili truly like homemade with huge quantities of fresh ground beef and chunky fresh tomatoes. My grilled chicken sandwich was tender and moist. Now, panini seems like an item too trendy and not “Roadfood-y” enough to be on the menu at this quaint place, but the “Hometown Panini” were a huge hit with my mom and my son. Mom’s turkey club was piled high with genuine fresh turkey breast, not the smooth deli kind. My son’s panini contained the ingredients of an Italian hoagie grilled on flat bread rather than a traditional hoagie bun. He loved the sandwich, and we all loved this country café. Too bad it’s almost two hours from my mom’s house.

We skipped dessert there in order to visit the “The Country Pie Shoppe” (3822 State Route 31, Donegal PA 15628 (724) 593-7105) and “The General Store” just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the Donegal exit. The pie shop actually had a full selection of all kinds of baked goods, and we filled a huge bakery box with samples of several items, and paid only $8.73 for the whole box (I live in Chicago where $8.73 could buy you about one-and-a-half pastries). We had a white chocolate macadamia cookie, chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter cookie, individual coconut cream pie (excellent), a peanut butter and chocolate bar, frosted sugar cookie, a kolacky, cream cheese coffee cake and more! All delicious. The pie shop and general store are within sight of the turnpike entrance/exit so very easy to visit when passing by.

My other recommendations are in a totally different area closer to Pittsburgh International Airport (well, about 20-30 minutes from there). The “Pittsburgh Cookie Company” ( (724) 796-6500) is in McDonald, PA and although the name sounds like a big chain it’s actually a single location owned by an individual. All baked goods are made by owner Sandi Heil at this location. Especially luscious are the tender crumbly scones. “Hunner’s” (811 Main Street, Sturgeon PA 15082 (724) 926-9636) is a pizza and hoagie place in Sturgeon, PA that is just adorable. They have yummy Hershey ice cream, too (not affiliated with Hershey Chocolate company, by the way). These two places are located along local hiking/biking trails so if you’re a Pennsylvania outdoor enthusiast maybe you’ll pass by here sometime.

Well, I’ll end with an endorsement of a previously recommended place: the Muse Italian Club. Here’s how you know that this is a truly classic Roadfood joint: my mom said “Why would anyone on the Internet recommend that old rundown place?” Well, because the fish is fabulous, Ma! The Italian Club sponsors a fish fry every Friday, those big hanging over the bun sandwiches that are typical in Pittsburgh. I recall a discussion in this forum where people not from Pittsburgh were skeptical that this inland city could have such excellent fish, but it’s a fact. I don’t know why, does anyone know the background? I don’t think the fish served is native to the three rivers…I think it’s usually cod which is a salt water fish, yes/no? Maybe the rivers made it easy to transport it there, or one of the ethnic groups specialized in it? I dunno. Anyway, my brothers were very impressed that I traveled 500 miles to tell them about restaurants in their own back yard.

I hope yinz enjoyed the information about these Pittsburgh restaurants an’ ‘at. I gotta go redd up now.
    seafarer john

    RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Thu, 04/21/05 10:32 PM (permalink)
    Great report. Wish I'd known about those places when we visited Falling Water a few years ago. We wound up eating a bad hamburger in a chain and sleeping in a cruddy motel in some small town at a Turnpike ramp.

    Cheers, John

      • Total Posts: 773
      • Joined: 3/28/2001
      • Location: Laurel, MD
      RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Fri, 04/22/05 1:22 PM (permalink)
      Nice write-up Imthemom! Thanks!

      BTW--how did you like Fallingwater? I think it is fantastic!

        • Total Posts: 33
        • Joined: 10/8/2003
        • Location: Libertyville, IL
        RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Fri, 04/22/05 9:54 PM (permalink)
        Yes, I thought Fallingwater was fantastic in many different ways. I don't know much academically about architecture, but in general I admire creative people so I enjoy pondering how he developed a style so different from anything else at the time. I like the "making of" stories and pictures that explain how projects like that are conceived and carried out, and the challenges along the way. The docent gave an enthusiastic and informative tour with lots of background and explanation. I also have a People Magazine type of fascination with the rich and famous, so learning about the Kaufmann family and their use of the house was interesting. Too bad the only son died unmarried and childless before he had a chance to adopt me! The wooded setting and the waterfalls themselves are so gorgeous, and I was very pleased to learn that the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has purchased and preserved a lot more land than the Kaufmanns originally owned.

          • Total Posts: 21
          • Joined: 9/5/2003
          • Location: cedar grove, NJ
          RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Fri, 04/22/05 10:02 PM (permalink)
          ImtheMom - Wow thanks the the food recommendations. We are planning a trip to Fallingwater and they will definitely come in handy.

          Where did you stay? I've looked for somewhere to sleep the night before and there doesn't seem to be much out that way. Any info on that would be appreciated. TIA

            • Total Posts: 33
            • Joined: 10/8/2003
            • Location: Libertyville, IL
            RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Fri, 04/22/05 10:17 PM (permalink)
            Oh, from my mother's house we drove there and back in one day, so we didn't sleep over. Maybe someone else will know a good place to stay. If you're staying multiple days and you're looking for family adventures, the Ohiopyle State Park is supposed to be really nice. Also, there are several white water rafting places, as well as tamer canoe and boat trips, and I think also biking opportunities. Penna Dept of Tourism probably has lots of info, or even if you call the receptionist at Fallingwater they may have good info for you.

              Vince Macek

              • Total Posts: 855
              • Joined: 7/15/2003
              • Location: Decatur, GA
              RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Fri, 04/22/05 10:53 PM (permalink)
              That's a terrific writeup! I'd made a pilgrimage to Fallingwater a few years back and could've used the info - meals were often a bust for me. I did have a very nice breakfast at an old grand hotel on US 40 east of Uniontown (forget the name, very 'The Shining' feel). I had lunch in the Fallingwater parking lot from food I packed in for intended camping stays (very nice lunch it was, too)

              Boy, I tell you, Fallingwater is a howlingly impractical place, but what a feel it has! That was like visiting the Grand Canyon for me - so familiar from pictures, but they're nothing like being there. All that great art inside made me slack-jawed...wish I could've gotten a fire going and kicked back with some of the Kaufmann's books.

                • Total Posts: 6217
                • Joined: 3/22/2003
                • Location: Gahanna, OH
                RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Sat, 04/23/05 1:08 AM (permalink)
                Growing up in the Pittsburgh area (with relatives in Uniontown, Charleroi and California (PA) ) I was fortunate to visit Fallingwater numerous times. Each time I was more impressed with it. My mother and my aunt would take me to Nemacolin Country Club for lunch.....I felt very was not a private club, open to the public, still it was special. Another wonderful place to eat was Linden Hall, the Cochran mansion. They had just opened a small dining room. The waitress asked us, "Younz want dessert?" We declined......until she told us the cook had just taken fresh blackberry pies out of the oven.......we changed our minds right quickly. US 40 does have some grand old historic places to eat in too.
                  seafarer john

                  RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Sat, 04/23/05 9:20 AM (permalink)
                  When we visitedFalling Water it was at the end of an eight week driving trip to Los angeles and back- five National Parks, etc.,etc.

                  We visited the Hearst castle near Cambria California - a grotesque triumph of money . power, and bad taste - a pile of mismatched architecture that no one (except maybe Randolph himself) could ever feel comfortable living in. BTW: we ate very well in Cambria - a seafood place on the shore.

                  We visited Biltmore near Ashville, NC. It is huge opulent, and fascinating.
                  The house, as anormous as it is seems to have a level of comfort about it that made the place seem like a family could actually be at home there.
                  And we ate very well in and around Ashville- I remember that we liked Bono's BBQ.

                  Falling Water turned out to be incredibly beautiful in its woodland setting. The approach to the house is a knockout- one moment you are walking in the woods, make a slight turn in the path,and THERE IT IS! The very picture of everything youv'e ever seen in photos - it was Fall and it was misty that day but the trees were in full Fall color and the stream was running pretty high. The house was built for small people, low ceilings, narrow doors and hallways, even small furniture. the kitchen is rudimentary and the bedrooms and baths are as plain and simple as one could imagine - with a minimum of privacy provided. . A couple of Picasso's and some other art are hung almost casually here and there. The house is great but hardly a comfortable place to live, but the Kaufmans only used it for weekends.

                  I thank all of you who have contributed some new info on food in the area- we intend to return someday and hope to eat and sleep better than we did on our first visit.

                  Cheers, John

                    • Total Posts: 1329
                    • Joined: 6/24/2001
                    • Location: Baltimore and Florida,
                    RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Sat, 04/23/05 11:03 AM (permalink)
                    We are going to Fallingwater the weekend of June 24. Thank you for the review of places you ate. We are staying at the Hampton Inn in Uniontown. We will plan on having lunch at Snows Country Cafe and that evening we are planning on dinner at Chez Gerald in Hopewood.
                      kitty and dale

                      • Total Posts: 10
                      • Joined: 5/30/2004
                      • Location: Brighton, MI
                      RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Wed, 05/11/05 10:56 PM (permalink)
                      Chezkatie, having grown up near Uniontown and still having relatives back there, that area of PA has a few Roadfood worthy places. Glissan's on Route 40 east of Uniontown, east of Farmington is a particular favorite. Big portions and all kinds of comfort food. Country ham, salty as all get out, but great. Breakfasts that will surely fill you up. Rolls that are more like little loaves of bread. Fresh vegetables. Good prices, very friendly waitresses. It ain't the Ritz, but it is worthy of a Roadfood mention. It used to be open 24 hours.
                      There was also a restaurant at Braddock's Grave on 40, west of Farmington that had great buckwheat pancakes.
                      The Old Stone House also on 40 is a real nice place for dinner.
                      Hopwood, just east of Uniontown has (or had) a few. Russes' (sp?) Roost was a great little drive-in. Herring's was a place for one of the best hot beef sandwiches anywhere, real mashed potatoes.
                      Enjoy the area. Also check out -
                      Dale of Kitty and Dale

                        • Total Posts: 139
                        • Joined: 11/11/2003
                        • Location: Tallahassee, FL
                        RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Fri, 05/20/05 1:29 PM (permalink)
                        In terms of a place to stay, if you like Bed and Breakfast places, the Inne at Watson's Choice just west of Uniontown is excellent. We stayed there a couple of years ago after our trip to Fallingwater.

                          • Total Posts: 2187
                          • Joined: 5/7/2003
                          • Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
                          RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Fri, 05/20/05 3:33 PM (permalink)
                          Thank you for an informative an interesting trip report, ImtheMom. I enjoyed reading it.

                            • Total Posts: 305
                            • Joined: 9/4/2004
                            • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                            RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Wed, 05/25/05 1:21 PM (permalink)
                            Originally posted by kitty and dale

                            The Old Stone House also on 40 is a real nice place for dinner.

                            The Old Stone House isn't worth it anymore. We were there about three weeks ago, and while the food wasn't bad, it wasn't any better than most of the national chains. Bland, misrepresented and overpriced. The service was mediocre, too.

                            I'm interested in this thread, though, because my husband just took a Nemacolin job, and we need to know where we can eat when he's not working.

                              • Total Posts: 9
                              • Joined: 2/20/2004
                              • Location: Beachwood, OH
                              RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Tue, 06/14/05 9:01 PM (permalink)
                              Say, in Hopwood, just west of Falling Water, on US 40, is the best little French Country restaurant you could imagine. It's called Chez Gerard.Not really cheap, but oh so good.

                                • Total Posts: 1017
                                • Joined: 5/10/2001
                                • Location: Morgantown, WV
                                RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Thu, 06/16/05 3:05 PM (permalink)
                                Lone Star Restaraunt is down the road on RT 40 on the outskirts of Markleysburg, is a real blue plate special kind of place. In Uniontown off of 40 on the RT 21 exit is another diner, which the name escapes me, but has homecooked fare. It's on the right of the 21 exit ramp, across from Staples.

                                I agree with the Glissan's and Chez Gerard kudos. Also on the top of Chalk Hill (on RT 40) as you head down the mountain into Uniontown is The Summitt on the left and Fabiano's Italian on the right. I've not been to either in several years, but they were very good. Also on out from Uniontown on RT 21 is Dolfi's of Masontown, which has been an area favorite for many years. It features Italian, Steak and Seafood and is also known for it's wild game buffets. (Try the Filet Mignon A'la Spumante:A large filet stuffed with jumbo lump crab meat and drizzled with an Asti Spumante die for) Prices and dress are both reasonable and casual.

                                  • Total Posts: 1329
                                  • Joined: 6/24/2001
                                  • Location: Baltimore and Florida,
                                  RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Tue, 06/28/05 8:58 AM (permalink)
                                  On our long weekend in the Fallingwater area, we had good food but the two stand-outs for us were The Coal Baron and Glisan's.

                                  Glisan's is Roadfood heaven. We had a very nice complimentary breakfast at our motel, including waffles and sauage patties so felt there was no need to go out for breakfast. But the night before, the bartender at the Coal Baron told us to make sure and stop in there for a piece of pie for which they are famous.) After our fantastic tour of Fallingwater, we asked one of the workers at Fallingwater if she knew how to get to Glisan's. Her eyes rolled and she said "I know that you said you wanted to go there for pie, but ask if they have any ladyfingers today. If they do, make sure and buy some as they are incredible."

                                  They did not have ladyfingers that day but what an array of pies. They had baked that morning and there were shelves filled with at least 20 kinds of pie. What a sight. We decided that we would all have sandwiches and pie. Most of us ordered hamburgers but one ordered a fried chicken sandwich and another ordered country ham on homemade bread. The waitress was quite disappointed that none of us ordered a hot roast beef sandwich. She said it was the one sandwich that they were famous for. We saw a few servings of it and I must say it was the highest hot roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, with great looking gravy on it and the potatoes. ($4.75). While waiting for our lunches to be serve, the waitress brought us a basket of homemade rolls (each was the size of a grapefruit)and told us it was to "tide us over". I had a plain hamburger and asked for it to be served on homemade bread (which is at least 8 inches high. When I received my sandwich, I saw that it had 2 hamburger patties in it. This was priced at $1.75 and 80 cents extra for the homemade bread. It was cooked perfectly (medium rare) and so big that I had no room for dessert.

                                  The country ham sandwich (again on homemade bread) was the best ham sandwich that I had ever tasted. (I begged my son for a bite). Again, at $3.00, this was a bargain. All the slices of pie ordered (1/5 of a pie) were just wonderful and $1.80 per slice. We sampled blackberry, rhubarb, cherry, coconut cream, and lemon.

                                  The next morning, we decided to skip our free breakfast and went back to Glisan's for a wonderful breakfast. To say everything was terrific would be an understatement. We all agreed that we would be happy to eat there 3 times a day for a week.............this is one great Roadfood restaurant.


                                    • Total Posts: 305
                                    • Joined: 9/4/2004
                                    • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                                    RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Fri, 07/15/05 12:57 PM (permalink)
                                    Originally posted by chezkatie

                                    On our long weekend in the Fallingwater area, we had good food but the two stand-outs for us were The Coal Baron and Glisan's.

                                    Good to know. Driving past, we couldn't decide if The Coal Baron would be good roadfood or poor quality prime rib and baked potatoes. We chose (badly) The Old Stone House instead. On one of my drives past the resort, I found Glisan's, but wasn't hungry and it wasn't mealtime. I've been wondering if it was worth going back. Now that I've heard that it is -- I'll be stopping in next time I'm down that way. Thanks!

                                      RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Sun, 12/16/07 9:24 AM (permalink)
                                      Looking back through some old trip reports, this one stopped me in my tracks. I am happy to see Glisan's in Markleysburg and The Muse Italian Club mentioned because they are both wonderful places it seems that few know about. If I ever get off my butt and start doing more reviews, these two would be automatics.

                                      By the way, I haven't been to Fallingwater in 20 years. It is high time I go back!

                                        • Total Posts: 41
                                        • Joined: 11/12/2007
                                        • Location: Washington, DC
                                        RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Mon, 12/17/07 3:42 PM (permalink)
                                        Wow, I'm so glad I found this thread. I really want to check out Falling Water - does anyone know how far it is from DC? Driving?


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                                          • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
                                          RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Mon, 12/17/07 6:38 PM (permalink)
                                          Originally posted by CookieMonster84

                                          Wow, I'm so glad I found this thread. I really want to check out Falling Water - does anyone know how far it is from DC? Driving?


                                          Google Map or Mapquest it to get the miles and estimated time. I would guess it would be about 3 hours from Washington DC based on Pittsburgh to Washington DC being about a 4 hour drive. I was there over 40 years ago and again about 6 or 7 years ago just before they fixed the cantilever deck. The temporary supports were still there. I would like to see it again now that it is fixed.

                                            • Total Posts: 378
                                            • Joined: 7/17/2003
                                            • Location: Sewickley, PA
                                            RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Tue, 12/18/07 1:33 PM (permalink)

                                            Directions/maps for Muse Italian Club and Glisan’s:

                                            The Muse Italian Club is along Muse-Bishop Road, which you can pick up off Route 50 in Cecil or Route 980 outside of Canonsburg. Phone: 724-745-9878. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays.

                                            Glisan's Restaurant is located at 4625 National Pike, Markleysburg, Fayette County. Phone: 724-329-4636. It's open 24 hours a day..

                                              RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Tue, 12/18/07 2:08 PM (permalink)
                                              Have you been to Glisan's and the Muse Italian Club? If so, what did you think?

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                                                • Joined: 6/3/2004
                                                • Location: durham, NC
                                                RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Tue, 12/25/07 8:53 AM (permalink)
                                                Went to Fallingwater in Oct. Awesome place. Went to the River Front Inn in Confluence. Very neat B&B. Also had a gob which is a cream filling between 2 pieces of cake -some call it a whoopie pie. The pumpkin festival was going on in Confluence that weekend. Ohiopyle is a near place with the falls and park.

                                                  RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Sun, 01/20/08 11:08 PM (permalink)
                                                  There was a real nice article in the PG about the previously mentioned Glisan's, most famous for their pies.


                                                    Kenny da Fat Man

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                                                    • Joined: 7/13/2002
                                                    • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                                                    RE: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Sun, 02/17/08 11:02 AM (permalink)
                                                    I agree Glisan's is great - Pies to die for. And if you have a few spare bucks, I would take a second look at the Golden Trout in Nemicolin Woodlands Resort (in Farmington, on Rtoute 40). The food there is truly fine.

                                                    If you're coming from the direction of the PA Turnpkie in Somerset, I recommend The Pine Grill, Just off the TP exit on Route 31. Food is really good, upscale home-made and the ambiance is nice (prices are great!). Also, just across the street is the good old Summit Diner. An honest to goodness stainless steel diner. It has a relatively new owner and was spotlessly cleaned inside and out (a BIG change from the previous owner). It's not haute cuisine, but the diner food was good. Try the Big Top sandwich - It's a PORK BURGER! There are a few other pretty god places in Somerset: The Grapevine Cafe and the Main Moon Chinese. Good traveling.
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