In July, we flew to Pittsburgh, PA.
Pittsburgh is known for its limestone, its lumber, its natural gaz but also and mostly for its charcoal and steel production. By the way, a certain man called Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant, made a fortune by producing steel but using new ingenuous methods to make his business very successful.
He is notably known for his creation of horizontal and vertical integration. What does that mean? It means buying a rival company to have the monopoly on steel, diversifying his offer or offering substitutes to make sure that the customer does not go somewhere else to find what he needs. Furthermore, it also means taking part in the different production and control steps of the products sold.
At the beginning of the 19th century, literally everybody needed steel : the Navy, cities, railroads.. etc so thanks to some ingenuity and an ever-increasing demand for steel, Andrew Carnegie built an empire. You won’t be surprised to find that many things in Pittsburgh carry his name as he is known to be one of the most philanthropist businessman in the history of the United States. Indeed, he donated $350 million dollars to charities, universities and donations which is a huge part of his worth (Does the name of Carnegie Mellon ring a bell?).
Pittsburgh is stuck between two rivers, the Monongahela and the Allegheny River which, together at that point, forms the Ohio River (see panoramic photos in this article). We spent three days in Pittsburgh. When I say three days, I mean three intense days walking everywhere. We really wanted to make the best of our little exploration of the city. Before you think about going there, I must tell you that Pittsburgh is hilly (we’re talking “San Francisco” hilly here so no joke) so be prepared and bring adequate shoes or you will regret it. The city is divided into 90 different neighborhoods, each with its own character but it would be too long for me to tell you about them all BUT I have a blog which could be of interest to you and that you can find HERE. It is the blog of a couple living there and that plan to visit all of those neighborhoods and everything they have to offer. It is very complete and detailed, I love it !
Here are some of my photos of Pittsburgh :
One of the most famous desserts of Pittsburgh is called Burnt Almond Torte. In brief, a genius decided one day that buttercream + pastry cream + sugared almond would make a killing ! And IT IS DELICIOUS ! You can find that pastry in different spots in Pittsburgh but we went to the bakery where it all began and it is the Prant’l Bakery. It is fluffy, creamy, slightly sweet and very good. You can also make it at home (how would I make it for months without it otherwise?) and the recipe can be found HERE. I have not tried it but if you like to bake as much as I do, click on the link and tell me what you think when you make it.
Mercurio’s : Their pizza is to die for and our waiter was straight out of Italy ! The restaurant is situated in a neighborhood called Shadyside and don’t be fooled by the name because it is a nice, walkable, posh area of Pittsburgh, have a walk there after dinner.
Ginza : Two type of restaurants my hubby and I always go to when we go on a trip somewhere, a pizzeria and/or a Japanese one no matter where we go and how long we stay. Why? Because they usually are simple, unassuming and usually have great quality dishes at a great price. And this is exactly how I would describe this Japanese gem we found in Pittsburgh.
Want an ice cream? Hurry and go to Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream ! I cannot describe it, you need to taste it ! (One of the things I love the most in the United States is definitely the size of ice cream. It is always worth your money and your stomach is happy)
A craving for French food/pastry? You can find delicious savory and sweet crepes at Cafe Moulin (they have my stamp of approval), the taste is not lacking and the prices of crepes are totally acceptable, especially since this restaurant is in a fancy area (Shadyside). Then, I would recommend to go to Gaby et Jules (THEIR ECLAIRS ! If you are worried about being fit, Pittsburgh got you covered and you will find endless steep streets to climb !). After all that, you should have your French fix for the week !
Hyatt Shadyside. Good location and comfortable beds ✔️
WHAT TO DO
- Panoramic view of Pittsburgh from the Mt Washington Incline. Pittsburgh has 446 bridges, it is the perfect occasion to see some of them !
- Take a break from the city in the city by going to nature havens like Frick Park and/or Schenley Park.
- Go check the downtown, especially the market there ! (you can even fish your own crab/fish !).
- Climb (yep, that’s the right word, I told you) the streets of Squirrel Hill and take a look at all the cute houses.