My wife’s uncle who we lovingly refer to as Big John is a full-blown, ivory bagpipe playing, “futbol” watching, Scotsman. He just recently got his citizenship and loves all things American, but from time-to-time, he misses his homeland. He has highly recommended Piper’s Pub on several occasions because the atmosphere and the food reminds him of home. I’ve never been to Scotland but if it’s anything like Piper’s Pub – I’ll have to put it on my bucket list.
As my wife and I entered the pub around 7:30pm, a lively and happy atmosphere greeted us. I was surprised to see how many people were packed into the pub on a snowy, bitter-cold Friday night. I’ve been to the pub before, but its always been on nice days when you’d expect to see a crowd. Most of the people there were packed around the long sprawling bar that is positioned to one side of the narrow, but deep pub. Several big screen TVs hang behind the bar making it easy to watch futbol (which is usually on, but last night it was the Pens) from any seat at the bar, or the hightop tables that surround the bar. I’ve always found the bartenders to be friendly and make great drink recommendations even though they are trying to take care of an army of patrons.
I remember one time conversing with the bartender about Johnnie Walker and him recommending a Scottish liquor that, if memory serves me right, is one of the components used to make Johnnie Walker. He advised to sip it and boy was he right. It was strong but tasty all at the same time. While at the bar, or at your table, I’d recommend you order their root beer that is on tap. It is a sweet, syrupy, delicious beverage that is full of favor and not watered down like the canned stuff.
Eventually my wife and I worked our way through the crowd to the middle of the pub where you make your seating reservation. The nice thing is that as you get towards the back of the pub it gets roomier and there are TVs back there too — so don’t worry — you won’t miss the game. It took us about forty minutes to get seated, but it was well worth the wait – like always.
When I first visited the pub several years ago, I ordered safely not sure I’d enjoy the traditional dishes. My safe picks were the “pub” burger and the fish & chips. Both have always been excellent. There are speciality burger restaurants out there that make a good burger, but Piper’s Pub makes one hell of a burger that can go toe-to-toe with any speciality burger out there. The burger is comprised of your choice of cheese and bacon – it’s simple, but so, so good.
Speaking of good, last night my wife (the good Catholic she is) ordered fish & chips. We’ve both had it before and agree that it is the crispiest fish we’ve ever had. We’re not fans of soggy breaded fish (and you shouldn’t be either). Take a look at the picture below and you can see just how huge of a portion of fish you get. My wife usually has to take half of her order home because there is just so much there – it’s a massive amount of fish that spills over the bun it’s served on.
I ended up going traditional for the first time and ended up getting shepherd’s pie with beef. Wow, was it good – it’s like a thick beef stew mixed with a layer of mashed potatoes. It was the perfect meal for a cold, winter night. At first, I wasn’t sure it was going to be enough food based on the deepness of the dish, but it was so jam-packed with huge pieces of beef that it filled me up in no time. I’m definitely going to get it again and may even try out their Guinness beef stew next.
Just look at all that beef. They should call it chunky shepherd’s pie.
My wife and I are full-blooded Italians; therefore, when we see that there is a cheesy appetizer on the menu, we have to get it. When we see that the cheesy appetizer is made with beer, we MUST get it. Do yourself a favor, the next time you go to the pub get the beer cheese & chips appetizer – it’s a home-run. The cheese dip is made with sharp Welsh cheddar and amber ale beer. It’s super creamy and super thick. Just look at how much cheese sticks to a fresh, crispy cut “chip”.
All-in-all it was another great dinner at Piper’s Pub. Happy Valentines Day weekend everyone! Consume Review Repeat gives Piper’s Pub a 10 out of 10 oh danny boys.
Pipers Pub is located at:
1828 E Carson St
Pittsburgh, PA 15203