Back in February, we posted the first of a three-part series of brunch recommendations in Pittsburgh. That first review was of the Saturday health brunch at Spirit Lodge, which is a place that we typically only go at night. Continuing in that vein, we decided to brunch again in another area that we generally only visit come sundown — the South Side of Pittsburgh, a snarl of bars, traffic, belligerence, and general ratchedness…that’s actually pretty pleasant during the day, it turns out!
For this second brunch, we checked into a bar and restaurant on East Carson St. called Carmella’s Plates and Pints.
Inside, Carmella’s has a charming, rustic feel, and their presentation of the food and drink is very much on point. Check out the adorable french presses we got to begin with! They came with an hourglass that let us know when to execute the press. Dale Cooper would have said these coffees were damn fine (and so do we).
We were disappointed to learn that the fresh baked muffins had already run out (it was close to 2pm when we came in), but the Spanish rosé we had along with our coffees went a long way to keep our optimism high.
And I’m happy to say that our optimism was totally justified! Fox ordered the frittata of the day, which was chipotle chicken with goat cheese and a fresh crema, along with some lightly dressed greens. On the side, she got an order of the hash brown bake. It’s not what you might typically imagine when you hear the words “hash brown,” but it is rich, decadent, cheesy, and freaking fantastic. It’s a can’t-miss if you visit.
I stuck to the standard brunch menu for my entree, opting for the steak and egg tostada, which came with chili-rubbed hanger steak, fried egg, black beans, pico de gallo, a crispy tortilla, chimichurri, cojita cheese, and jalapeño. The egg was perfectly drippy, allowing the yolk to serve as an additional sauce, and the seasoning and level of doneness on the steak was spot-on. (Not pictured in this shot is the additional side of sausage I ordered, which I scarfed down in its entirety before my wife could pull focus. Whoops!)
After all was said and done, we were full without being stuffed or breaking the bank. I can definitely see us becoming regulars for the brunch at Carmella’s; we suggest you give it a shot, yourself!
(And speaking of shots, Carmella’s also has over 300 whiskies and a Wall of Fame for those who try them all. I smell a future achievement here…and it smells a hell of a lot like delicious whiskey flights.)
Carmella’s Plates and Pints is located at 1908 E. Carson St., Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Their brunch runs Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 3pm.