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Category Archives: Bar food

ROUND CORNER CANTINA (BRUNCH EDITION) – LAWRENCEVILLE

ROUND CORNER CANTINA (BRUNCH EDITION) – LAWRENCEVILLE

Wow, it’s been almost three years since our last post? Ridiculous. It probably didn’t help that our last article was ominously focused on hospital food.

But you can breathe a sigh of relief, folks, because yours truly is alive, kickin’, and eatin’ all types of crap!

People tend to bring up a restaurant they’d like to try with a tacked-on “I’ve heard good things” type of comment. This was the case when a good friend suggested we try brunch at the Round Corner Cantina.

Over the last 8 or 9 years, I’ve had a handful of good times at the Cantina, especially on those beautiful spring days when the patio is open and the suburban brigade hasn’t entirely emerged from their hell holes. That being said, it can get pretty bro-ish in there. But regardless, I saw a few pictures of the Cantina’s brunch on their Facebook and decided it would be worth a shot.

Ahhhh, brunch. A wise man once said “It’s not quite breakfast, it’s not quite lunch; but you get a slice of cantaloupe at the end”. At the Round Corner Cantina, I would say it’s equal parts breakfast and lunch, and you get a litany of delicious booze at the end.

Or the beginning. Or consistently throughout the meal.

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Bloody Maria, $4

The Cantina has lots of breakfast booze to choose from, including La Prima coffee, tall cans of Tecate, Micheladas; but I went with the Bloody Maria – just like a Mary, but with tequila instead of vodka.

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The interior at the Cantina has been renovated a bit with new wallpaper, paint, and the appropriate amount of dim mood lighting.

Me and the hubs got Breakfast Tacos. They came loaded with scrambled eggs, queso fresco, cilantro, and tomatoes – and, surprise! Sides of refried beans and rice!

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Breakfast Tacos (3), $10

I just can’t say enough good things about this meal.

The beans and rice should be a meal by themselves. Serve up a cereal-sized bowl of each and I’d be in heaven.

Everything on the plate tasted supremely fresh and legit – no killer, no filler. I’m pretty sure the tortillas are made in-house, possibly day-of. Fresh, soft, and flavorful. Like, perfect.

I don’t even like tomatoes, but the ones they used were like sweet little pops of savory goodness, and every topping worked in with the eggs made sense. Top them all with a little salsa, and you’ve got yourself one of Pittsburgh’s best brunches.

YEP. WENT THERE.

We ended up going back to the Cantina two more times – three weekends in a row – because of the commanding quality of their entire brunch thing. BUTTTTT, nobody’s perfect.

Unfortunately, and we’re not sure why, but the Cantina can’t seem to get it 100% right when it comes to service – and this is by no means any judgement on any particular wait staff. Every server, bartender, or back-of-house person has been great each time we’ve gone. But there are mistakes. We’ve ordered a few drinks that never came, same with some chips and dip that never made their way out of the kitchen. And a breakfast burrito that left a bit to be desired, according to our friendly friend:

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Brunch Burrito, $10 (made “wet”, +$3)

The menu says the burrito will come with carne asada, eggs, salsa, beans, and poblano potatoes. Our friend said, “You know how sometimes when you’re eatin’ a burrito, the filling isn’t mixed well, so you have to keep eating until you find all of them? I kept eating, but they weren’t there!”. Her burrito only had the steak and beans – nothin’ else. Still yummy, but also a big bummer.

As long as you’re willing to encounter some minor mishaps, I can safely say that brunch at the Cantina beats out any $14-$20 brunch buffet. I don’t care. Sue me, Lawrenceville!

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Round Corner Cantina – 9.5/10 on the BRUNCH SCALE OF BRUNCHY PERFECTION.

 

 

Check back soon for more Pittsburgh Nommers!

 

 

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The Cage – Squirrel Hill

Squirrel Hill Cafe

Is it The Squirrel Hill Cafe? The Cage? The Squirrel Cage? Ask five people and you’ll get five different answers. But by any name, this place is the home of many things I love: cheap Yuengling pitchers, Dracula pinball, and quite possibly the best cheeseburger in the city.

I ventured out to The Cage for last night’s Penguins game against the Mighty Ducks (Disney TM lolol) with my friend Andy. They generally don’t get busy until after 8:00, and business can lead to them running out of important things — like hamburger buns. Luckily, we made it early enough for the full bun effect. We shared a pitcher of Yuengling and each got a burger with fries. There’s been a lot of talk of “the best burger in town” lately, with gourmet burger joints popping up everywhere you look. Wingharts is pretty good. Burgatory is better. But nothing compares to The Cage.

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Cheeseburger, $3.75 & Fries, $1.50

Just look at it. And don’t worry, they do have lettuce/tomato/pickle/etc toppings, but I hate all of those. I got my burger with American cheese. They have swiss, provolone, and pepperjack as well. And let there be no confusion – $3.75 is not a “special” or “happy hour” price. IT IS $3.75 ALL DAY. EVERYDAY. I hate to harp on the price, but I could have easily paid $10-$15 for this meal anywhere else, and I still would have been elated. I decided to shell out the extra $1.50 for fries because the burger’s default side is potato chips. The fries are pretty much identical to Primanti Bros, except better.

The bun was soft and fresh, and toasted a little on the inside to avoid that godawful soggy thing that happens with other buns sometimes. The burger itself was cooked perfectly, medium-well,  and was about 1.5″ thick, which I think is perfect. It was also smothered in melted cheese. I made sure to fashion a large ketchup pond on my plate for optimal dipping of both the burger and fries.

Sip of beer. Bite of burger. Fry. Repeat.

I’ve never done Ecstasy, but I can’t imagine it’s better than this meal. 10/10 BECAUSE I SAID SO. Also “Best Burger”, in my opinion. And that’s all this blog is – PAM’S AWESOME OPINION. And you all love it.

haha

Haha.

-P

Squirrel Hill Cafe on Urbanspoon