Where We've Been Eating: No Fuss Edition

Plus, a new al-fresco lunch spot sets up shop downtown and a sustainable feast comes home.

Cafe serves inexpensive fare to Point State Park visitors   
As of last Friday, 'Burghers can now enjoy lunch in downtown’s front yard without bringing a picnic basket. The Café at the Point is the city’s newest al-fresco lunch spot, serving bikers, joggers and visitors. While the cafe offers the standard hot dogs, French fries and bottled beverages, it's more than just a concession stand. The menu also lists a variety of salads, sandwiches and several Mediterranean-style vegetarian items like hummus and spinach pie.

As a gift from the employees at PNC, the café also aligns with downtown’s drive toward environmental conservation. It’s a green building made of recycled steel and masonry, and the roof and west-facing walls are covered in live, sprawling greenery.

And though the café—owned by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and operated by Boulos Concessions—is brand new, it pays tribute to Pittsburgh’s past: Etched aluminum front panels give guests a history lesson whether the café is open or closed, and each table features a graphic and historical fact about Fort Pitt or King’s Garden, the 18th-century version of the Point, for lunch with a side of learning.

(Cafe at the Point, Point State Park, downtown. Hours: Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., for events only.)
—Richelle Szypulski, PM Editorial Intern

Fact: Eat Street loves to explore the city, visit new places and try new foods. So, after dining at a few casual spots for the first time, here are highlights from the two best:

Starlite Lounge: Forgive us if you're looking for a swanky, modern restaurant because Starlite is neither. But if you take our word for it, and Guy Fieri's, venture into this "dive" to order some of the famous homemade pierogies. Available in original or spinach varieties, the three large potato-stuffed dumplings are smothered in butter and caramelized onions before hitting your plate. Two words: delicious and authentic. Even better: Fresh and frozen batches are available to go, but call in advance—they're snatched up quickly.

(364 Freeport Road, Blawnox. Info: 412/828-9842, moondogs.us)

Vincent's of Green Tree: While the Hawaiian pizza (topped with baked ham and sweet pineapple) was decent, the real star was the fresh, thinly sliced zucchini starter served with marinara. Unlike most fried zucchini, it was coated in the perfect amount of breading prior to being cooked. You receive a generous portion, so sharing is possible … if you can spare a few slices.

(333 Mansfield Ave., Green Tree. Info: 412/921-8811, vincentsgreentree.com)
—Kristina Martin, PM Assistant Editor

Fifth-annual event moves to original location

The Rachel Carson Sustainable Feast, which was held on the Rachel Carson Bridge last year, returns to Springdale next Saturday. The annual market and festival, hosted by the Rachel Carson Homestead, will take place at Springdale High School (adjacent to the Homestead property) in the late afternoon. Live music is new to the lineup this year; the main features remain the same, including the local farmers market, food from local chefs who support the buy-local movement (like Six Penn Kitchen), sustainable craft vendors and representatives of the region’s best environmental, conservation and fair-trade organizations.

(Rachel Carson Sustainable Feast at Springdale High School, 501 Butler Road, Springdale. Sat., Oct. 1, 2-6 p.m.; rain or shine. $12, members; $15, nonmembers. Info: 724/274-5459, rachelcarsonhomestead.org)
—Kate Chynoweth, PM Food Editor, pittsburghmagazine.com/food

Categories: PGHeats