So many brunches, so little time.* There’s a lot of good food being served in Pittsburgh; we’re spoiled by an embarrassment of riches at the moment, meaning that there are a lot of places we’d like to try but haven’t had time to. One such spot, which we finally remedied recently, was the Muddy Waters Oyster Bar in East Liberty. We stopped in to give their brunch a try, and I must say, it was hands-down the best one we’ve had yet this year.
We kicked things off with a pair of really solid cocktails: a French 75 (a brunch classic if there ever was one), and the smoky and refreshing house original, The Bull and the Donkey (strawberry-infused mezcal, sherry, lemon, simple syrup).
I should pause now to note — it’s fairly dark inside Muddy Waters…unless you get the table we did, under the gorgeous skylight in the back. It was truly pleasant, and it just did wonders for our photos. Here’s Fox, looking gothy and cute as hell.
Anyway. Back to the brunch.
We opted to get a bunch of small plates and share them, as is our general wont. We kicked things off with an order of the Oysters Moscow, which are East Coast oysters on a half shell, topped with borscht consommé, horseradish sour cream, caviar and dill. I’m so tempted to say they were dill-ightful, but for the sake of both our dignities, I’ll just say they were dill-ightful. Dammit!
They do a lot of interesting spins on Cajun food at Muddy Waters, and the wasabi hush puppies we ordered next were a smashing success. They had had corn, scallions, and dill, and were served with a remoulade that was out of this world.
It was hard to come down to a final decision on what we’d treat as our main course. We opted to get something a little bigger and split it. This is the alligator po boy, with blackened gator, fried green tomato, spicy slaw, and pimento cheese. It was messy and glorious — and those Cajun fries? They were so good, we had to position them in a heavenly ray of light for the photo in order to capture our emotional state.
After all that food — and an inexplicably undocumented extra round of cocktails and an oyster shooter (basically a pickleback that subbed in gin and an oyster for the whiskey) — we were pretty well stuffed. Couldn’t eat another bite. Well…
…all I’ll say is this: to hell with Jell-O. There’s always room for beignets. These were dissolve-in-your-mouth delights, and I don’t regret one grain of the powdered sugar on top — even if it meant the difference between going on about my day and needing a post-brunch nap.
The quarters are tight in Muddy Waters, so I suggest you get a reservation, but without a doubt, take someone there on a date, post-haste! (But take someone you’re sure you like — be warned that although it’s worth the cost, your bill can rise pretty quickly here.)
Muddy Waters Oyster Bar is located at 130 S. Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206. Their brunch runs Saturday and Sunday, 10:30am – 3pm.
* I would call that out as the most bougie thing I’ve ever written…but I kind of doubt that’s true.