Let’s be real for a second. Pittsburgh is a blue-collar town with some pretty cultures that still honor the older times. For some reason, on an absolute whim, I decided to go to Mullin’s Diner one morning for a late breakfast. Luckily I was with two friends, if I were with TasteBudA, I’m sure he would have insisted we turn around before even sitting down. Walking in, you feel like you are eating in a Pep Boys next to the guy changing your oil. It isn’t overly clean or inviting, but after 3 steps into the door none of us felt like turning back now.
It seems like a place overrun with regulars. As we walked in, it felt like all eyes were on us. The waitress was surprised that we needed to look at a menu – literally 1 menu. That’s all we got between the 3 of us. After the shoddy service and atmosphere lowered the bar so low, it was a welcoming surprise that our food was pretty good. Though I’d have been scared to look into the kitchen the prepared our food, the eggs, sausage and homefries that I ordered were hot and didn’t need seasoned. My friends equally enjoyed their cheesy eggs with toast and cheeseburger with fries. Looking at the burger – sure it looks rough – but it was clearly hand-pressed and cooked to temp. I’d probably return and get one of those to go. Eating a nice burger on the grassy northshore might hit the spot one of these days.
After bowling in the Greater Pittsburgh USBC BA City Tournament at Wildlife Lanes in Lower Burrell with a friend, we asked for a local lunch suggestion. My doubles partner heard “Tavern” and said let’s go there. After pulling into the parking lot, we knew we’d be in for an adventure. While the exterior looks like a dive bar, the interior looks like a 70s Italian restaurant. With plastic over the tables and wax dripped, wine bottles for table decor, we lowered the bar for our food expectation. We noticed when we checked in on Foursquare, that it was even classified as a dive bar!
My doubles partner, J.M. ordered a personal size pizza with mushrooms and half a meatball hoagie. I ordered a tossed salad and the pepperoni rolls appetizer. Arriving first was my salad and the size of the salad reminded me of the table-sized serving you get at Olive Garden. With the first bite, I turned to J.M. and proclaimed that their Italian Hoagie must be awesome because the dressing was perfection.
J.M.’s pizza and my pepperoni rolls arrived and we knew right away that this “dive bar” must be an overlooked gem. The pizza (pictured first) and absolutely amazing. My pepperoni rolls were served as air filled bites with a pepperoni and cheese center. What made them even tastier was the garlic baked into the middle.
So, while I take a break from my lunch to write this post, I recommend to anyone in the area to give this place a shot and don’t judge it by its appearance.