Pittsburghese food missing Pittsburgh heritage

Let’s begin by pointing out – for those reading this outside of the Pittsburgh area – that “Dahntahn” is Pittsburghese for “downtown.”  I work dahntahn and after a team meeting decided to gather a couple co-workers for lunch.  We all were up for trying something new, so I suggested the Taste of Dahntahn.  This new restaurant has a large colorful sign which hangs over the sidewalk of Liberty Avenue near Fifth Avenue Place.  The entire restaurant is themed toward historical Pittsburgh – the tabletops are even covered with black and white photography which probably dates back into the early 1900s (or earlier).  The menu is very kitschy, infusing many Pittsburghese-like words into the selections and their descriptions.

For my lunch, I decided to order from the BURGERS N’ AT section and get the “Bees Knees Sirloin” – Half pahn burger with bacon, American, cheddar, dahntahn’s 58 mayo, shredded iceberg, tuhmaytuh & red onion. $9. with fries add $3.

The highlight was the $3 add-on fries.  The fact that they were shoestring fries wasn’t something I even noticed on the menu, but it was a nice surprise because you can’t get them many places.  The Burger was cooked as ordered.  I ordered my burger medium-well, and it was delivered hot and to the correct temp.

Sadly, those are it for my highlights.  The burger was just okay – nothing special, but overpriced.  Plus, I still don’t know what dahntahn’s 58 mayo is.  Did they add something to Heinz 57 to turn it white and call it mayo?  (I’m joking.)  
Taste of Dahntahn on UrbanspoonWhat I find most disturbing isn’t the fact that I wasn’t impressed with the food, because every town has run-of-the-mill lunch spots which are able to have a neat theme.  The problem I had was that due to its name and its location, I could picture travelers to come to Taste of Dahntahn, be as unimpressed as I was, and think that all of Pittsburgh dining is like this.  In fact, I don’t think the menu is a good representation of how great Pittsburgh dining is.  I hope travelers see it for its theme and don’t judge the rest of the city’s dining scene based on a single visit here.
If given the opportunity, I may try it one more time and try to get something else.  But I’d like to see them upgrade the menu with some regional flair.  I mean, can you really represent the taste of downtown Pittsburgh without a Pierogi on your menu?

While "TasteBud B" doesn't feel very photogenic, he certainly gets out and about to snap pictures of his food. He's passionate about sharing Pittsburgh events, food talk topics, restaurant recommendations and travel destination finds. (@PghTasteBudB On Twitter)

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