Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater
Thu, 04/21/05 10:22 PM
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” (www.pittsburghcookie.com (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.