Pittsburgh: A bust!

Now that it is snowing, I figured it was about time that I got to the end of our summer Baseball Stadium Road Trip (BSRT).  Better late than never, right?  Last stop, Pittsburgh!  (Read about our adventures in New York, Baltimore and DC here). 

All throughout our trip, we heard from so many people how amazing PNC Park was and how it was destined to be our favorite.  And as the title gives it away, eh, not so much.  

It's not the stadium's fault though.  It was the rain.  And our experience the night before, eating at the funkiest restaurant I've ever been to.  Shall I begin? 

We arrived in Pittsburgh at around 4pm on Sunday, checked into the DoubleTree and ate a hot cookie.  Things were looking up!  

It was raining and there was no end in sight.  But luckily, our hotel offered free shuttle, so we had a free, convenient ride to dinner.  We planned on going to an interesting new restaurant called Meat and Potatoes, and in fact, got dropped off there.  But it wasn't until after our shuttle drove off that we realized the restaurant was closed.  (Even though we did check on-line and it was scheduled to be open).  Grrr!  

No big deal.  We'd just have to walk, albeit in the rain, until we found somewhere to eat.  But we couldn't go far, because we didn't bring Aless's wheelchair.  The only restaurant that was open was Christos, which served authentic Greek cuisine.  So, that's how we ended up in the twilight zone.

Totally bizarre place.  The food was fine.  But the food isn't the story.  It was our waiter, who I thought looked like Joe Dirt: 


But Alessandro thought he more favored Matt Stone in Orgasmo:


I think we were both right.

He said nonsensical things like, "Yeah, that's when this thing ha, ha, ha, right up into the....did someone take your order?"  And indecipherable things like, "Would you like transmaglef, right on."  What?!  Alessandro and I kept exchanging glances to make sure the other was fully grasping the craziness of the situation.  

When we sat down, I got a glass of water with red lipstick smothered on the mouthpiece.  I asked for another glass and a server (not our waiter) brought me a new glass, but not before lecturing me on how the chemicals that make up smear proof lipstick are near impossible to wash out of glassware.  I shook my head and agreed, but really I was thinking that a little soap and water should do the trick. 

Then, our waiter (let's call him Joe) brought us out hummus, which I don't believe we asked for, so we thought it was complimentary.  It wasn't.  I said that I didn't believe we asked for it because we were not sure what we were responding to when Joe would come over and say things like the above ramblings.  It was like a foreign language (and no, English was not this guy's second language, so that wasn't the issue) and instead of saying, "Huh?" over and over again, we just resorted to nodding our heads and smiling.  Another table saw that we were served hummus and asked their waiter (a 10 year old boy...more on that later) if it was complimentary.  He said he didn't know.  And that was the end of that conversation.  

We sat for about 20 minutes, not having yet ordered, and watched Joe out front enjoying a smoke.  Then, the same server who got me a lipstick-free glass of water finally took our order.  Joe came in from outside about 10 minutes later and asked us if we enjoyed our meal.  But then he realized he never took our order, got really confused when we told him we ordered with someone else, and walked away after saying something indecipherable.  Twilight zone people.  

Meanwhile, the 10 year old boy, who was a very inexperienced waiter, but so cute in his cowboy hat and boots, was helping one table with an older husband and wife couple.  The wife was a retired teacher, and bless her heart, she was so very patient with the boy.  It was really nice to see how kind she was treating him...even though he was unable to answer several of their questions about the menu items and no one was supervising him to make sure the paying customers got the service they deserved.  

Our food was served, and it was actually decent.  (Or "dece" as our friend, Brian, would say).  I waited at the register for 10 minutes to pay our bill and finally the cook came out to take my money...Joe was nowhere to be found.  We headed back to our hotel and hoped that the next day at the ballpark would be less weird.

Well, the next day was WET.  It rained, rained, rained all day.  This was the only day game that we had been on all trip, and it was the only game with bad weather.  Bummer of a way to end the trip, but we made the best out of it.

The park was dece.  The food was just okay.  I don't remember what I had, but Alessandro had the famous Pittsburgh Primanti Bros. sandwich and hated it.

We had only planned on staying for a few innings and then getting on the road home early, but there ended up being a 2 hour rain delay, so we waited around.  In the meantime, we went to guest services to switch our non-covered seats to covered seats so we would could enjoy the game a bit more.  Guest services tricked us into taking some very lame seats in right field that were covered, but were behind a fence so we unhappily watched the game from our seats behind a fence and under a covered, but leaky roof.  Lame was the name of the game and P-Burgh. 

Finally, we said goodbye to that city and headed home.

It was the greatest vacation Alessandro and I have ever had.  For anyone who loves baseball, a BSRT is a must.  There is nothing like it.

We have been planning our next BSRT ever since.


  1. Bummer! However, bad dining experiences make the best stories... later. I can't believe he didn't like the Primanti Bros sandwich- that was my favorite part of my visit to Pburgh years ago!

  2. Maybe the ones at the ball park are lower quality?

  3. Anonymous6/18/2012

    Yes. "Joe's" name is James and he is a terrible human being.

    So very sorry that your experience sucked. I hope Christos is learning the folly of his ways for only hiring help right out of prison that will work for free.

  4. Anonymous6/20/2012

    The best waiter doesn't work there anymore sorry you guys had to deal with crap.

    1. Aww, we're sorry we missed out!