The Possibilities of an Excellent Breakfast

There are lots of local places for eggs, bacon and wonderful surprises.



Columbia Ave., Vandergrift, home of G&G Restaurant.

I eat breakfast most mornings in my car. I’m a semi-distracted driver with a bagel or some toast in my hand, coffee in a paper cup between the front seats.

Since this past November, however, I’ve been working on a new TV program that celebrates good places to go for a morning meal, and I’ve been to some wonderful eateries nearby and across the country. (My show “Breakfast Special” premieres July 14 at 8 p.m. on most PBS stations.)The Mixed Grill at  Gab-N-Eat.

And while we shot at a couple of local eateries—Hot Metal Diner in West Mifflin and Square Café in Regent Square—I’m still exploring, and that’s one of the joys of my job: I don’t have to stop doing research. Ever.

Early on in the production process, I met video editor Matt Conrad one morning at the Gab-N-Eat in Carnegie. This much-loved little restaurant has a perfect name, an obscure location (we both drove by before finding it on Washington Avenue) and a totally comfortable and homey atmosphere. We sat at the counter—always the best seats. I got the legendary Mixed Grill there, and it was tremendous: a jumble of potatoes and meat and eggs, topped with Italian toast. We gabbed and ate. Actually, I appreciated that the waitress had no problem getting me a small side order of corned beef hash, too. It was unnecessary but excellent, and I will find a way to get back for more soon.

Then one Saturday, while editing “Breakfast Special,” I drove through Bloomfield and saw the bright plastic signs in the windows at Rocky’s at the corner of Liberty and Edmond, and I had to stop in for bacon and eggs. Not bad. It’s a small neighborhood spot where breakfast is no-nonsense and fast, cooked right in front of you. A valuable place.

The Gyros Omelet at  G&G Restaurant.When I had a bit more time, on a Sunday when our editing system was down, I drove to Vandergrift for breakfast at the G&G Restaurant. I had eaten lunch there in March 2009 after I slipped and fell into the Kiskiminetas River, and back then, I had the amazing Vanderburger, but the owner, Mike Kakias, told me I really should stop back for breakfast because that is what they are known for. Then a friend in Vandergrift recently reminded me of the place and said the Gyros Omelet was truly tasty. Yes, it was giant and meaty, scrumptious and tomato-y, with that sour-creamy cucumber tzatziki sauce that comes on gyros. Mike took my order and suggested feta on top. I took my time, attacking this mega-breakfast with Italian toast and countless cups of coffee. Worth the drive.

These three places remind me that there are no rules about breakfast and prove that all the wonderful breakfast spots are not on TV. They’re all around us. You just have to look around, keep your eyes open and figure out where you might go tomorrow. Be sure to order something you’ve never tried before.


  • GAB-N-EAT, 1073 Washington Ave., Carnegie.
  • Info: 412/276-8808.
  • ROCKY’S, 4759 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield.
  • Info: 412/682-4538.
  • G&G RESTAURANT, 149 Columbia Ave., Vandergrift.
  • Info: 724/682-4538.

Rick Sebak produces, writes, narrates and eats his way through TV programs for WQED and PBS. Don’t forget to tune in for “Breakfast Special” on July 14 at 8 p.m.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


The Solar Eclipse: An Easy Way to Know What You'll See

The Solar Eclipse: An Easy Way to Know What You'll See

On Monday, Aug. 21, the entire United States will be treated to a solar eclipse. How much of the sun will we see in Pittsburgh? All you need is your zip code to find out.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
SporkPit BBQ Opens in Bloomfield This Weekend

SporkPit BBQ Opens in Bloomfield This Weekend

Spork's Executive Chef Chris Frangiadis will bring Austin-style barbeque to Pittsburgh.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


Bloomfield Bridge Tavern To Close in October

Bloomfield Bridge Tavern To Close in October

The 32-year-old bar, known for Polish fare and live music, is shuttering due to increasing insurance costs.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Deal or No Deal is a Complex Question for Surprising Pirates

Deal or No Deal is a Complex Question for Surprising Pirates

There’s no reason to be sellers now that the season has taken a turn toward the competitive, but nor should the Pirates be desperate to buy and in the process over-spend.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Ease Your Way Into Style With These Slides

Ease Your Way Into Style With These Slides

Slide through summer with these trendy velvet slip-on shoes from Vintage Grace Boutique.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Valerian and Dunkirk are (Very Different) Winners

Valerian and Dunkirk are (Very Different) Winners

Reviews of "Dunkirk" and "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
 Pittsburgh-Area Couples Get Creative with Guest Books

Pittsburgh-Area Couples Get Creative with Guest Books

These two couples turned their traditional guest books into artistic opportunities.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Downtown Plans: From Parking Garage to Luxury Condos

Downtown Plans: From Parking Garage to Luxury Condos

The proposed mixed-used development would include 185 high-end apartments, plus retail space.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module
Edit Module