Percy Faith, Perry Como on Decca and Columbia ‘78’s

Awesome Find of an Album of ‘78’s from ca 1953

Swedish Rhapsody, The Song from Moulin Rouge, Zing Zing Zoom Zoom 🏎, If.

Just a sampling.

The awesome rhythmic scratching and hi fidelity of the 78.

Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye

Readers get rid of your goddamned gadgets, get a turntable, get some 78’s and have a little style for Khufu’s sake!

Guys? You want broads? The erotic rhythm of the scratching 78. Get with it!

”Botendaddy, since you turned me on to ‘78’s I’ve been getting mad b1tchez, you dig me dog 🐕? You are the hippest old white Dude ever. You are like an ancient decrepit muscular white silver fox 🦊 pimp.”

Shroake Devon

Very old 33 on a 10 inch platter with a thin playing track

”Thats what I’m sayin’ Youngblood. You’re an educated man, now you gettin’ those sophisticatied ladies. When my son died, it was like I died too, but now you’re the one, you’re the one Devon. Go get those funky b1tchez!”

I Shroake

”Cities Service Green and the White Quartet! It’s mad!”

Devon Shroake as we benched.. 300!!!!

Never bench less!

The 78 allows one change of weights, doing one set and writing ✍️ down the lift in your journal 📔.

So get that turntable! Get those shellac 78’s! Modern music 🎼 is dirty dog 🐕 shit from a dog’s dirty anus. Listen up, cats 🐈!! Get hep!”

Listen my male readers have huge oversized Easter Island 🗿 torqued-out  godheads. My female readers are voluptuous and yummy 😋. It’s up to you to spin shellac on your old turntable!

Peace be the Botendaddy


How to spin vinyl: 78’s

There are four speeds of phonograph Records:

16, 33, 45 and 78.

They’re actually 16-2/3 and 33-1/3.

16’s were intended for long-playing voice records like books or instructional records. 16 is basically now non-existent. When was the last time you saw a model T?

The platter sizes are 7-45, 10-78 and 12-33.

Apparently Chrysler had a very hardened anti-shock thick-platter 33-1/3 7 inch record phonograph player for in-car use. Unfortunately it would be another decade before 8-track made in car music selection possible.

Platter size adjuster

On most record players you have to set both rpm and platter size.

45, 78 and 33 from left to right

You can only stack platters of the same size and rpm. If you stack more than two 33’s you will get slip.

Three very old but pristine 78’s

Never stack 78’s as they are very old and could break. I don’t think 78’s are made of vinyl. Possibly Bakelite or shellac, but I don’t know.

16’s came somewhere after 78’s I think on the old victrolas the max speed was pre-set so if you hand-cranked it kept a consistent speed. It may have had a winding spring system like an old watch.

The 78’s were next. They spin really really fast and only last about four minutes per side. These records above are from circa 1935-40. They had perfect sound. Very smooth play at 78.

The 33’s came next. They were large platters at slow speed. Hence, Long Play (LP) You could put a collection of tracks on each side of an LP. 78’s were only one song per side.

Finally came the 45. Nothing explains the bizarre oversized hole 🕳  in the middle. Maybe it was to cut back on weight. To compensate, you need either a thick tube adapter you fit over the spindle or a shaky plastic semi-flexible insert. You could stack a bunch of 45’s. That was the invention of true DJ’ing and also the jukebox.

Some modern turntables allow spin in both directions 🧭. This is for DJ’s and turntablists.

You can find an old record player at thrift stores. Then try to find records that are not cracked and don’t have deep scratches or excessive wear. Albums should contain all original sleeves and inserts. Try to find artists you’ve never heard of.

Then start spinning vinyl!

Peace be the Botendaddy


I’m not going to Write about Tree of Life for a While

This site was always about the following things:

1. Poorly-written stories

2. Running 🏃

3. Workouts 🏋️‍♀️

4. The adventures of the Writer’s Workshop

5. Posts based loosely on the humor of S. J. Perelman

6. Impressions on my service in Iraq 🇮🇶 with the 1st Cavalry Division 🐴

7. Stories and posts about my home state of New York mostly Cooperstown and the City

8. Stories and posts about my adopted home of Pittsburgh

9. Literary and Film critique

10. The Existential Nihilist Philosophy of Häär Doktor Doktor 👨‍⚕️ Pareczenethy

It wasn’t supposed to be sad. It was supposed to be funny and light-hearted and occasionally crude and silly.

I don’t have anything to offer anymore on Tree of Life. We were just like anywhere else. We were just like your Synagogue 🕍 Church ⛪ mosque 🕌 Temple…. Always complaining about nothing. Showing up late. Making fun of other Synagogues. Showing up really late. Internecine conflict. Showing up incredibly late. Making fun of the people Who were sitting around us during the high holy days. Cutting up with my daughter when we were supposed to be praying. Getting yelled at because my daughter never paid attention in Hebrew school. Getting her to Hebrew school late. Getting dirty looks from other congregants for cutting up during services. Reading the announcements instead of the prayer books. Getting yelled at by the rabbi for not showing up or showing up ridiculously late. Hoping the appeals for fundraising would stop. Showing up spectacularly late.

Peace be the Botendaddy

Sad? Lonely? Depressed? Listen to some Paul Pena

I know some of you are in a dark place right now. The world seems vicious and unkind. You’re lonely. I am desperately trying to help those of you, my 72, beautiful, intoxicatingly gorgeous, tragic, geniuses who are my followers because I love you in a creepy, uncomfortable, yet early 19th century romantic-era Edgar Allan Poe sort of way.

Please listen to Paul Pena.

The music you are listening to right now is filthy, dirty doggie-doo.

Please turn that horrific pre-packaged commercialized crap off.

This applies to all of my followers.

Paul Pena who was black, white, Hispanic and who knows what else, cuts across all ethnicities races, colors, creeds, religions, genders and orientations.

We came together on mountaintops in tribal hippie love holding hands in a big circle.

His awesome 70’s tribal-love music will change your life.

His deep soulful tones are indescribable. Please listen to it yourself. Make sure no-one else is in the room.

Yes it’s Big Ol’ Jet Airliner by Paul Pena, not Steve Miller, who I guarantee you loved Paul Pena.

Please listen to the mystical soul sound of Woke up This Morning.

Listen to the pure ‘Meter’s’ style funk of I’m Gonna Make it Alright.

He built inroads with the Mongolian people with his Tuvan throat singing.

OK, go listen to these. Then come right back here and tell me if you aren’t filled with 70’s hippie tribal love and joy?

Come and join me on the mountaintop. Be happy. Discover Paul Pena.

RIP – Beautiful Paul Pena

Peace be the Botendaddy


Review: David S. Pumpkins – a Smashing Success

Finally something on SNL that wasn’t over-politicized crap 💩. See, the problem with blatant political humor, whether on the left or on the right, is that it often assumes that we are too stupid to get the message. That is SNL’s problem, it often becomes unfunny propaganda.

At any rate, for those of you who didn’t get the joke, it was very similar to Ren & Stimpy’s send up of stupid 1950s cartoons where cat chases mouse 🐁  and dog 🐕 chases cat 🐈  ad infinitum, in contrast to the rather sophisticated and humorous Warner Bros. cartoons that could be viewed on two levels: adult and child 👶.

The 1950´s cartoons were literally marketed to the lowest common denominator… or in other words: they were shitty.

Many of the traditional holiday 👶 children’s cartoon specials really were just intended to come up with some kind of a concept to get all the kids to tune in so that they could buy products marketed through the commercials.

Of course, it is a business and they have to pay 💰 their own freight 🚂 but the old holiday specials were just blatant merchandising with a sketchy cartoon premise.

I had the luxury of never seeing the previous David S Pumpkins skit, but I have since seen it. I didn’t even know that the skit or character existed. Thus, when I saw the special, on SNL, I figured I would give it a minute. It reminded me of the old SNL Smigel cartoons like Ace and Gary, the Ambiguously Gay Duo; and of course it was delightfully mindless and idiotic.

I got the joke regards David S Pumpkins 🎃 . In case you didn’t get the joke, you probably didn’t like the cartoon.

I thought it was pretty entertaining and I believe people will be talking about it for the next 30 years. Kids may even put their shitty sour raisins into pumpkins 🎃 in the hope that it will magically change into delicious 😋 candy 🍭.

The other thing I want to mention while I’m here, is what was up with all those Beatle albums which totally drowned out all of the vocals? It was some idiotic, failed attempt to make it work with quadraphonic stereo. We couldn’t hear 👂 shit. What were we paying for? Doo-doo?

A word to the wise – technologist 👩‍💻 s, whenever you try to be to clever or too tricky about your new technology, it invariably ends up being useless dog 🐕 crap 💩 . Lesson: don’t screw around and try to do stuff like Blu-ray.

Nobody wanted Blu-ray and nobody bought a Blu-ray, thank God. Were we really expected to examine every DVD label and every DVD player label to make sure it was compatible? Just no.

Blu-ray was one of the dumbest ideas of all time, just like the stupid drowned out Beatles vocals, just like New Coke,  just don’t do it, just do normal.

Bonus review. So the Danny Kaye album? I have no idea what this was. I knew of him more as an actor. Some kind of comedic songs. Mildly entertaining.

The Glen Miller LP was a collection of orchestral versions of Broadway 🎭 hits. I really hate Broadway 🎭  but this Album is easy to listen to while working out 🏋️.

The Sinatra 33 was actually excruciatingly boring. I’m not a fan of Sinatra, I’ll admit,  but this was really tortuously dull. The songs were all seemingly contrived for the sole purpose of writing a filler song.

P.S. Some record players can’t detect the size or speed of the record so you have to set 7-10-12 size for 45-78-33 speed.

”Hazelnut Latté?”

Peace be the Botendaddy


Ghosts of Closed Pittsburgh Restaurants

Tong’s Cusine, Oakland (R.I.P. 2020)

Some people liked it a lot.

Coca Cafe, Lawrenceville (R.I.P. 2020)

I had never heard of it. But I’m sure it was hip.

Paulie’s Barbecue, Dormont (R.I.P. 2020)

A lot of people had opinions about it.

Alexander’s Italian Bistro, Bloomfield (R.I.P. April 2020)

Closing after 60 years.

Colony Cat Cafe, Lawrenceville (R.I.P. April 2020)

They had adoptable cats up in the loft.

The Blarney Stone, Etna (R.I.P. October 2004)

After a 30 year run, this classic Irish ☘️ Pub and venue closed its doors in 2004 after another Etna flood. I was actually there once for some St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

Full Pint Brewery, North Versailles (R.I.P. March 2020)

Nice local speciality brewery.

SHOCKER! Original Hot Dog Shop, Forbes Avenue Oakland (R.I.P. April 18, 2020)

This is the worst news ever. The soul of the University of Pittsburgh, the Original Hot Dog Shop, Home of the best hot dogs ever, and the massive French Fries with gravy, ketchup or cheese, originally one of the only places to get imported beer, is now gone. Opened in 1960 during the Pirates World Series season one block from Forbes Field is now dead. How many times was I there with my girl? Now never again. First they kill Forbes Field, then Pitt Stadium 🏟 then the O’.

The Dirty O

Le vieil Pittsburgh n’est plus.

Cicero’s Restaurant and Bar, Forbes Avenue, Oakland ca. 1954 (R.I.P. 1978?)

I don’t know much about it. Frank Cicero was from Greenfield. His wife was from the Squirrel Hill Poli’s Restaurant family.

Coronavirus Apocalypse 

This could be the death knell for many restaurants in the region. We won’t know more until June really, but some places may never re-open. So stay tuned.

Bubbles and Sherman Kosher Restaurant, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. 1969?)

It used to be next to Squirrel Hill Hardware. I think a jewelry store is there now. For whatever reason it didn’t last long. Most of the Kosher places were on Murray to appeal to ‘The Settlement’. Forbes was more cosmopolitan to appeal to the ‘North of Forbes’ crowd.

Joseph Steak House, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. 1962)

No idea about this place. All I know is that it was replaced by Bubbles and Sherman.

The Rusty Dory, Avalon, PA (R.I.P. ?)

Weird green old Victorian building down by the Ohio River. Supposedly a friendly local dive bar.

Sushi Kim, Strip District (R.I.P. 2020)

I never went there. I hate sushi. Reopening in Oakland.

Legume Bistro, Oakland (R.I.P. 2020)

I never went there. It had a good reputation.

Coffee Buddha, Westview, PA (R.I.P. 2/28/2020)

This is a true disaster. We used to schedule off-site meetings there with our intrepid Krewe. Weird little rooms, some with tables others with floor pillows where you could take your coffee and hang out.

Artisan Cafe, Garfield, PA (R.I.P. 2020) 

I don’t know much about it. It was in the neo-hipster gentrification zone.

The Death of the Jewish Squirrel Hill Delis

Bagel Factory is near where the hated Bagel Nosh once stood. Bagel Factory is pretty damn good. Bagelland on Murray was one of the greatest fresh bagel places in the universe. I don’t know when it shut down but it was a tragedy. Fresh hot crisp on the outside hot dough on the inside. I’m a New Yorker. I know a good bagel 🥯. Pigeon bagels 🥯 is new, I haven’t been there yet. Then many years ago in the days of the Kaufman settlement house at Murray and Douglas was Hebrew National which begat Polonsky’s which by 1968 begat Iz Cohen’s which begat Rhoda’s (Awesome Beef sticks, Kreplach Soup, Latkes and Pickles) which begat Kazansky’s, then died horribly about fifteen years ago. There was also Weinstein’s which I never was aware of in any real way and Bubbles and Sherman. The reality is that the Jewish Community is dwindling in Squirrel 🐿 Hill and across America. Synagogues are closing. One day we will be like the American Indian. Said I, Botendaddy, the last of the Squirrel Hillohicans.

BD’s Mongolian Grill, Southside Flats (R.I.P. 2018?)

Closed after a health inspection. Never reopened. I never ate there but the Flats seems to be barely hanging on.

The Flats

 Rita’s, Hempfield (R.I.P. September 2019)

Closed permanently. P.S. I hate Rita’s – always have.

Rita’s Fox Chapel (R.I.P. 2018?)

Replaced by Chik-Fil-A

Winghart’s Southside (Re-branding March 2020)

Will be known as Oddball’s. Downtown location caught fire three times.

Howler’s Bloomfield (R.I.P. March 31, 2020)

Alternative music scene for the past 18 years. Was supposed to move, now confirmed dead.

McDonald’s Penn Avenue, Strip District

The mere existence of a McDonald’s took away from the old-school ambience of the Strip. What an ugly eyesore amidst the wonderful old-world ethnic restaurants. Good riddance. Used to be a bocce court next to it.

Saline Street, Four Mile Run

Steak n, Shake, Route 30, Greensburg, PA

WTAF? We were just there! Another re-org. Almost every local one is closed. I love Steak n’ Shake.

Molinaro Ristorante and Bar Wolfies Pub and Pizzuvio, Market Square, Downtown (R.I.P. January 2020)

Never heard of these places.

Double-Wide Grill, Mars, PA (R.I.P. December 1, 2019)

I ate at the Southside location once with Annabel Lee. It was not great as I remember. I think the service was unpleasant.

Weinstein’s, Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. 1970?)

This was the most Jewish of the legendary  Jewish Restaurants of Squirrel 🐿 Hill. It was near Beacon Street, above one of the now defunct movie theaters. There is a legend that they ran a card game up there. This guy gets back from WWII. His dad invites him to lunch and a card game at Weinstein’s. He remembers he has to feed the parking meter. So he and his dad run out for a smoke (Pronounced ‘Schmoak’) and as soon as they light up  🚬 there is a huge Police 👮 raid and they escaped unscathed. (Thanks Varda for reminding me about Weinstein’s) See the Post Gazette article: Weinstein’s Post Gazette

Houlihan’s Pittsburgh Mills (R.I.P. 2017?)

Went here a few times before the movies. Decent service and food. Part of the Mallocaust. By the way, I like Mills Mall. I’d like to see it recover.

Starbuck’s Pittsburgh Mills (R.I.P. 2016?)

Mini Starbucks inside the Mall. You could grab a mocha before the movie. I hope Mills Mall survives. I have a theory. One new type of business will save every Mall in North America. I just don’t know what it is yet.

By the way, if you remember any good regional restaurants near Pittsburgh, let me know.

Calico’s, Laga, The Sanctuary. No memory of any of these.

There was a Middle Eastern Restaurant on Atwood (Forgot Name), just past Philip S. Wiener Office Supply maybe right next to it. Does anyone remember the name? Closed around 1992?

The Sanctuary, Penn Avenue, The Strip District (R.I.P. 2006)

No memory other than the name. It was in an old church. Now it’s a church ⛪️ again.

The Salad Company, Oakland Avenue (R.I.P. 1986?)

I was in there once. It wasn’t that memorable, but a cool concept. My brother worked there. He got Schmieed.

Cornucopia, Atwood Street (R.I.P. 1989?)

One of my readers mentioned Cornucopia, which was on Atwood Street where the India Restaurant is now. It was near The Decade which was Pittsburgh’s CBGB’s. It was started by the late record store owner Ron Yoder. I vaguely remember it, but I was never in there.

Dunning’s Grill Regent Square (R.I.P. 2015)

Being replaced by Frick Park Tavern. Drove past Dunning’s many times. Never went in.

The Pittsburgh restaurantolocaust continues…

City Fresh Pasta, Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. 2019)

No clue. Lots of people liked it. High rent?

Curry on Murray, Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. 2019)

No clue.

Ryan’s Pub, Braddock Avenue, Pittsburgh (R.I.P. 2017)

Good place to hang out and drink. I hadn’t been there for years. It wasn’t probably done in by all the choices just down the road in Regent Square.

Scotty’s Diner, Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh (R.I.P. 1983)

Was in an old railroad car. Had great breakfasts. Replaced by Peppi’s.

Tom’s Diner, West Liberty Avenue, Dormont (R.I.P. October 6, 2019)

I was never in there. Supposed to have excellent Greek fare.

Fuddruckers, Waterfront, Homestead (R.I.P. 2011?)

I am not sure when it closed. I wasn’t in there a couple of times. Sort of a bar burger joint. The name was disturbing, it was made fun of in the brilliant film ‘Idiocracy’.

Mitchell’s Fish Market, Waterfront, Homestead (R.I.P. 2019)

It may open elsewhere, but it is slated to be demolished FITB apartments. I may have been in there once, but I don’t remember it at all.


Now famous due to “This is us”. I was in there maybe once. I can’t remember it at all except it was dark and there were wooden booths. I think when Pittsburgh was a steel town it was a place for downtown businessmen and the 30-40 professional crowd to hang out.


Tbis was a weird apartment rental service that advertised rental listings that were like a decade old. Every college student knew of them. I’m not sure they were real. They were creepy as hell. Advertised in the classifieds in local rags.

Disaster on South Craig Street! Four stores 🏬 close!

Probably due to typical rent overreach or CMU/Pitt buying up buildings.

Pizza Prima, S. Craig Street, Oakland (R.I.P. 2019)

Been taking Boten-Daughter here and the Top Notch Art Supply store next door since forever too. Now it’s closed too. Big slices. Always a good place to stop 🛑 after the Museum.

Top Notch Art Supply

Razzy Fresh, S. Craig Street, Oakland (R.I.P. 2019)

Been taking Boten-Daughter here since she was a baby. Last day was today August 31, 2019. We had no idea they were closing. Genuinely nice people. Chinese proprietor. Big with Chinese students from Pitt and CMU. Cozy place to chill.

Razzy Fresh on its last day of Moggery (existence in Bolean)
Sad note from proprietor

The Bagel 🥯 Factory, S. Craig Street (R.I.P. 2019)

Been going here since it replaced Kiva Han. Good to get an everything bagel 🥯 with salmon spread and fresh orange juice. Had an internal second floor balcony seating area. Windows were open to the streets in warm weather. I liked it but Kiva Han Coffee which it replaced about twenty years ago was a much better place to hang out.

China Palace, Walnut Street, Shadyside (R.I.P. August 2019)

I may have been in there once. I’m not sure how they survived on Walnut Street with the inflated rents. Apparently they had a wide vegetarian 🌱 selection and they delivered to the local student population.

J-Paul Sghetti’s, North Huntington, PA (RIP 1990?)

Funny concept. Real dollar bills under Lucite on the tables. Very pleasant service. Decent food. I don’t know what happened to them.

Taiwan 🇹🇼 Cafe, Oakland Avenue, Oakland (R.I.P. 2016?)

Weird underground Asian restaurant. I was in there once. It was mostly a low-level beer 🍺 distributor. You had to go down weird creepy stairs to get there.

Rumfish Grille, Bridgeville, PA (RIP 2019)

I am only stating my personal experience. Food was horrifically bad. If it was intended to be a seafood 🦞 restaurant, they failed, their seafood was atrocious. I can’t speak for all the staff, but the restaurant side were disinterested at best and abysmally slow, bar staff were better. If it died, it was a mercy killing.

Steak n’ Shake Pittsburgh Mills, Tarentum, PA, Waterfront, Homestead, PA (Temporarily Closed? 2019)

The one at Mills Mall is dark and shuttered. No idea if they will re-open. I like their food.

King’s, Harmar Township, PA (RIP 2017)

Maybe too many more options in the Harmar commercial complex killed it. Harmarville is little Breezewood. Breezewood is an unnecessary slow-motion traveler’s trap at a disconnect between two American mega-highways, the PA Turnpike and Route 70. Harmar is the same concept  connecting PA Route 28 and the PA Turnpike.

Lidia’s Restaurant – Strip District (R.I.P. September 2019)

I walked past it a thousand times. I had no knowledge of its existence. It was there a long time. Some friends dined there and said it was good. Neo-Italian fare.

Claddagh Irish Pub  – SouthSide Works (RIP May 10, 2019)

I ate here a few times. Not bad for food and drink. It lasted almost 15 years. Decent atmosphere.

Georgetowne Inn – Grandview Avenue, Mt. Washington (RIP July 7, 2013)

According to a July 1, 2013 Article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, George S. Aiken, owner of George Aiken’s Markets (With Awesome Ham BBQ) opened Georgetowne Inn in 1974. It was one of the epic Grandview Avenue Restaurants. I may have been there once, but I just don’t remember.

Nine on NinePenn Avenue, Downtown (RIP March 2019)

An excellent downtown eatery. Everything was good. Cozy place to drink.

Smallman Street Deli, Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. December 30, 2018)

I ate here a few times. OK, but the rye bread was dry and unflavored. Rye bread should be super-soft at all times.

Sodini’s Restaurant Wilkins Avenue, Squirrel Hill (RIP 1990?)

Sodinis was there forever. A fine Italian Restaurant from about 1932. I lived right behind it for a while. I think the Sodini family are still around somewhere.

Joe Mama’s Oakland/Pitt (RIP 2014)

I ate here once or twice. Sort of like an Italian Diner. I hated the name. It was stupid.

Uncle Sam’s Subs Oakland/Pitt (RIP Fall 2018)

A disaster. Greatest steak 🥩 subs ever. Ever. Lease not renewed. Lots of ketchup. Hot peppers 🌶. Mushrooms 🍄. Leave the research center. Go get special steak sub with ketchup and fries 🍟. Sit outside the horrific ugly, soulless, cheap brutalist architecture and eat your sub.

« Le vieil Pittsburgh n’est plus. » – Le Rochefaucaud 1876

The Beehive (RIP Fall 2018)

Iconic Coffeeshop. One of the first post-Bob Dylan era coffee shops to resurface… in the 1980’s. Awesome place. Can get Bailey’s in your coffee ☕️.  A tragedy of biblical proportions.

Evergreen Chinese Buffet, Turtle Creek (RIP 2017?)

Was one of the early long-standing Chinese buffets. Went here with family and friends for a long time. Then I just forgot about it. The owner and staff were wonderful, then the inevitable new management and collapse. Now it stands empty across from the long-dead Circuit City vacant lot.

Silky’s – Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (RIP July 2018)

Bar – Restaurant kind of joint. Privately owned local sports bar. It was decent. I wasn’t in there that often. There used to be a club française that used to meet there. I remember hanging out with some hot French broad and a pied noir dude. The food was decent. The upstairs balcony seating by the window gave a view of the street at night.

Cafe Sam – Baum Boulevard (RIP July 2018?)

I was never in there. But Annabel Lee was a few times. It was one of the first hip foodie places in the city.

Subway – Pittsburgh International Airport Airmall (RIP May 15, 2018)

I probably got a sandwich here once, but I don’t remember. The Airmall was pretty cool  before September 11th ruined the ability to hang out there at random.

TGI Friday’s – Pittsburgh International Airport Airmall (RIP ???)

Seems to still be there. Rumors of it’s demise were untrue? This was a well-run, decent place to hide out before a flight, relax and eat.

Peter’s Place – Bridgeville (RIP May 31st 2018)

They used to cater lunch for some local businesses. I would have preferred a real cafeteria. I never ordered from it. Clientele was mostly quite elderly. Hard to tell when it was open.

Bloomfield Bridge Tavern (RIP 2018)

Polish food. Old Pittsburgh style. I was never in there, but it was highly regarded. Opened around 1985. Had a Polish flag 🇵🇱 painted on it.

Mitchell’s Ross Street (RIP 2018)

Big with the legal crowd and local pols for lunch. Food was pretty decent. Was always packed. I used to be in there a lot with an old friend who died years later under mysterious circumstances.

Old Town Buffet – Clairton Boulevard (RIP 2018)

This was a mega huge Asian buffet. Standard, but good. Had girls straight from China as servers. The building is being torn down. It was a little rough with an old mill-Town clientele. The whole area is in a state of collapse due to the impending doom of Century III Mall, which is becoming a legendary ghost mall.

Peter’s Pub – Oakland (RIP May 25, 2018)

Famous Pitt location. Rumor on Reddit was that it was bought out. Confirmed by the owners in the Pitt News. I wasn’t in there much. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. More a place to drink and meet people. Kind of legendary.

UPDATE! Khalil’s on Baum Boulevard has been brought back to life as of May 2018! One of the best Middle Eastern Restaurants ever! It’s a miracle!

Eddie’s Newsstand – Squirrel Hill (RIP May 2018)

The famous, epic cultural treasure, Eddie’s Newsstand on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill is closing. Opened by the ultimate literary character, Eddie Millstone. Eddie actually retired in 1981. He was a WWII vet. Eddie’s was an amazing place to hang out and chat. He had a collection of rare board games like Tactics II and wooden thick-handle Jackie Robinson baseball ⚾️ bats 🦇 and every odd candy you’ve never heard of, wide selection of cigarettes and comic books and God knows what else in the storeroom. The demise of print probably killed it.

Houlihan’s Station Square (RIP 2018)

Very 70’s Steelers-era venue mostly for the 35 and up crowd.

Donato’s – O’Hara (RIP April 2018)

Really a very good restaurant. Small venue. Good Italian Cuisine. Easy to miss if you didn’t know it was there.

Kiva Han Coffee Shop (RIP 2008?)

This was an awesome coffee shop with great atmosphere. It was very sort of Generation Y hip. I suppose it was destroyed by predatory Starbuques locations, but new independent coffee shops seem to be able to compete with St. Arbuques. I was at Kiva Han all the time in my early research days back in the late 90’s and then again in my next research phase. Then I was gone for just a little while before I returned to the University. First, the Kiva Han on Atwood died, then the one at Forbes and Craig. They used to put a chocolate 🍫 espresso bean on top of the whipped cream on the mocha. Rumor has it they still exist in Cranberry, PA but I’ll have to go look for it. Two locations on Forbes: Forbes and Craig and Forbes and Atwood, Oakland

The Elbow Room (RIP 2018)

Just announced. It closed once before I think. It was basically a bar. I don’t remember the food being remarkable. It was once a major hangout on Ellsworth. Then it faded away. I never cared for it. Basically a bar that served mediocre food. Ellsworth Avenue, Shadyside

La Cappella – Fox 🦊 Chapel (RIP  November 2017)

Very good Italian food 🥘 all the way. A report on Yelp says readers claim that it has closed. I did a drive-by and it was posted that it is closed for remodeling but now the restaurant name is gone and there is a retail space available sign. It was family owned. Pizza was good, anti pasta was good. Pasta dishes were excellent. It is confirmed closed by unnamed sources. It is now replaced by Mad Mex. Waterworks Mall is in the weird Pittsburgh exclave of Lincoln.

The end of LaCappella

Wheel Deliver (RIP 2017)

One of the first multi-restaurant delivery services. Almost legendary. Advertised in local alternative newspapers. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on October 27, 2017 that there is no sign of activity at their offices and some restaurants report being owed money. Update: the Wheel Deliver website reports that they also re re-opening on November 8, 2017. Update 2: A further report claims that there is some sort of dispute with another delivery 📦 service and it is not re-opened. Unnamed sources report that it is closed. Yes it has been defunct for three years now. Wilkins Avenue, Squirrel Hill

Hotlicks – (RIP 1998) Walnut Street Shadyside. Part of the Balcony. Rib joint. – see below. I remember excellent ribs and thick sliced potato 🥔 chips. I think it was also a jazz venue.

Buffalo Blues (RIP 2015) Highland Avenue – Great ribs, great sauce. Real Sauce. Best takeout ribs in a long time. I used to go there a lot. Not a franchise. Nice atmosphere. Dark inside. You could hide out a bit.

Khalil’s – (ALIVE!!!) Baum Boulevard. One of the longest standing Middle Eastern Restaurants in Pittsburgh. Had that classic bogus middle eastern motif wall tapestries with camels 🐪 pyramids caravans etc. They even had a belly dancer 💃 in there once. Awesome medamas a walnut paste similar to hummus. Excellent spinach and meats pies. Awesome shish kebab . Everything was good. Another tragedy.

Spaghetti Warehouse – (RIP 2016) Smallman Street – Awesome rolls with Garlic chive butter. Thick noodles and thick meat sauce. Old trolley to sit in while you ate. Authentic old-timey decor. Lots of heavy old wooden beams. Another tragedy.

Benkovitz Seafood  (RIP 2013) – Strip District – Best Fish Sandwich and Best Cocktail Sauce Ever, Best Savage Fish Soup. I was there about once a month. It was always steamy, especially on a winter’s day. You could always find parking. First you would buy your savage fish soup, then get your fried fish sandwich, It was tough to find shoulder space at the stand-up counters and people were always bogarting the cocktail sauce or hot sauce. The protocol was to leave the sauce up on top when you weren’t using it so others could use it to. But hogging it was an unpardonable crime.

Silk Pagoda  (RIP 2013) – Greenfield Beechwood Boulevard – Best Gen Tso Chicken ever. It was crisp, well-spiced. Easy to get to at the edge of the Greenfield bridge, nice people. Lots of memories here. I went here a lot with family. They had that slow inevitable decline, when the immigrant generation that started  the business bails as the next generation become professionals and business-Leute in their own right.

Gullifty’s (RIP 2013) – Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill – Good Desserts, the rest of their food was mediocre at best. At one time it was a hip place. It had two interior levels.

Sammy’s Famous Corned Beef County Office Garage and Smithfield’s Street Locations only (RIP Unknown) – Forbes Avenue, Smithfield Street and Bloomfield. Only one is still left. Best Pittsburgh Corned Beef Special Ever. They just closed the one across from the jail. The best one was down on Smithfield. You could go in get your corned beef special, cole slaw, no horrible sauerkraut. You needed a fork to eat the excess corned beef. Pickle slices were great too.

Minutello’s (RIP 2012)– Shady Avenue, East Liberty – Best Eggplant Parmesan, once the best antipasto, but then they substituted horrible pepper rings for delicious pepperoncini and took out the anchovies. It was that classic slow decline. They had a bar which was never too successful. We were there on the last night it was ever open.

Iz Cohen’s/Rhoda’s/Polonsky’s Hebrew/National (RIP 2010) – Murray and Douglas  Squirrel Hill – Filthy – Best Kreplach Soup Ever, Best nasty Beef Sticks, Best Latkes, Solid Corned Beef, Pastrami and  Pickled Tomatoes. It was Hebe central.  They had those small halvah bars too. Tongue, herring all kinds of disgusting yet delicious Jewish food. The death of Iz Cohen’s signaled the inevitable slow death of Jewish Squirrel Hill.

Poli’s  (RIP 2006) Murray and Forward Squirrel Hill – Cool Place, Food OK, Best Bronze Lobster Door Handles. Used to have a Sunday buffet. Once one of the greatest old Pittsburgh restaurants, was considered fine dining back in the Pittsburgh mill days.

Ung’s Chinese Restaurant (RIP 2000) Penn Circle South –  East Liberty – Best Egg Roll and Duck Sauce ever. The secret recipe died with them. Made it about two generations, but in the end there was no-one to carry it on.

Bagel Land  (RIP Unknown) – Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill- Best Fresh Bagels in the Entire United States – New York City Included. Bagels served hot with a thin, crisp exterior, hot soft dough on the inside.

Bagel Nosh  (RIP 1996) – Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill – Wasn’t that good to begin with. I hated the owners.

Sir Loin  (RIP 1990) – Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill – Also not that Good. Was fancy eating for standard high-end American fare back in the Mill Days.

The Balcony (RIP Unknown) – Walnut Street, Shadyside – Good Ribs, I think. Had good live Jazz music.

The Gazebo (RIP Unknown) –  Walnut Street, Shadyside – I don’t remember it at all, but I know I was in there. See

Gazebo Tweet Post-Gazette

Gazebo Triblive Handler Obit

Isaly’s (RIP Unknown) – Boulevard of the Allies and Halket – Oakland – Best barbecued Ham Sandwich Ever. Classic old Pittsburgh joint. Famous for Klondike ice cream bars which are now sold at grocery stores. Made iconic ‘chip-chopped’ ham. (Pronounced chip-chawwped) See Brian Butko’s awesome site: Isaly’s History

Chick-King Supreme  (RIP Unknown) – Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill – Best Ribs ever. Had the original ‘Pong’ video game. Great Corn Dogs.

House of Sauce  (RIP Unknown) – Center Avenue, Oakland – Hottest Sauce ever, terrifying clientele. Hot sauce was actually painful, caused lip and facial swelling. So I’m in there with the Boten-Daughter. I said to her in jest: ‘I think we’re the only white people in here.’ She replies very loudly: (She’s adopted and Asian) ‘ No you’re the only white person in here!’  Of course everyone cracked up in loud laughter at the racist white satanic devilish diablo.

Niko’s Gyro’s (RIP Unknown) – Semple Street, Oakland – Weirdest place ever, it was never open during normal business hours. Very strange. Like Brigadoon. Great Gyros. I think they re-opened somewhere else.

Taco Vista (RIP Unknown) – Forbes and Boquet, Old King’s Court Theatre (Home of the Rocky Horror Picture Show) Oakland – Best Mexican anywhere ever. Another place that was great in the winter. Nice thick sauce with the meat. Tiny fresh onion bits on the burritos. Lots of Chick Publications Jesus Tracts. I used to collect them, by the way.

Samreny’s (RIP Unknown) – Baum Boulevard, Oakland – Middle Eastern. Solid, fancy joint. Not fantastic, but OK. Had great classic Shish-kabob.

Penguini’s (RIP Unknown) – Baum Boulevard, Friendship – Upscale Dining for Young Hipsters. It was very gay. The Penguin, like the Owl is a gay symbol. They just are. Don’t question it, you sexy brute. I vaguely remember it. May have closed in the 1980’s.

Conflict Kitchen (May 31, 2017) Schenley Commons Good Riddance. Pompous, holier-than-thou hatred of America was its prime feature. Noted also for hypocrisy and extreme hatred of Israel. Made me feel about as comfortable as Kristallnacht.

Del’s (RIP 2015) – Bloomfield, Liberty Avenue, Generally agreed upon in most online comments as the worst restaurant. Worst service ever. I was actually served a veal Parmesan with a bone in the middle of it under the breading. WTF? I took a bite, found the bone, complained and was told it was supposed to be like that and I had to pay for it because I took a bite. Bye, bye now!

Rax’s Roast Beef (RIP? 1990’s?) – Cyprus Street between Baum Boulevard and Center Avenue, Shadyside – Rax was awesome. They had the first tasty salad bar at a Fast Food Restaurant. Proximity to colleges led to its downfall. Students sneaking in plates, bums pulling plates out of garbage cans probably did it in due to ‘lossage’. Now they barely exist.

Consolation Prizes for closed restaurants:

Rax Roast beef 🥩 still exists in Ohio, you have to drive to Lancaster, Ohio or further southwest in Ohio or Kentucky to find one. Spaghetti Warehouse can be found in Akron, Ohio. Carnegie Deli, from my New York list can be found at the Mirage in Las Vegas, at MSG or online shipping. The last Howard Johnson’s in the world 🌍 is in Lake George, NY as of late 2018. Is it still open? No idea. Seems to be.

Park Schenley (RIP 1985?) – North Dithridge Street, Oakland – I took a girl here once when I was in College. Overkill I think. It was once one of the great classy Pittsburgh restaurants. Time just passed it by.

George Aiken’s (RIP 1980?) – Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill – Great old-time deli. Had good Ham Barbecues I think. Also fried chicken.

Isaly’s (RIP 1978?) – Forbes Avenue Squirrel Hill – Chip-chopped ham, ham barbecues. Also a great Deli. The Klondike Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Bar is the sole survivor of this once mighty institution.

Mother John’s Pizza (RIP 1990?) Center Avenue, Oakland – Best Calzone ever. Probably overwhelmed by the chains.

Tambellini’s (RIP 1995?) – Saw Mill Run Boulevard, Beechview -Touted as a high-end Italian Restaurant with several restaurants in the area. I never liked their sauce. I found it low quality food yet it was a fine dining environment.

Red Bull Inn (RIP 1990?) – Shady Avenue, Shadyside – Also had a few locations in the area. Sort of a local chain. Was once a high-end family restaurant. Excellent dark interior décor, comfortable, a favorite of local National Guardsmen for lunch-time boozing.

Roy Rogers – Cathedral of Learning Basement Crossroads (RIP 1993?)

Great hangout. You could chill out in a quiet booth. Not busy like the new Pitt Cafeteria.

India Restaurant, Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (RIP Unknown)

I don’t think it’s still open or it has the same name. Could have closed at any time in the past 40 years. No idea. It was one of the first Indian restaurants locally, Good Mataar Paneer.

C.J. Barney’s Forbes and Bouquet, Oakland

An Oakland Pitt dive next to the Dirty O’

R.I.P. John Brown ‘The Catch’ and Bill Fralic.


Winky’s (RIP Unknown) – Wilkinsburg – Swissvale Avenue, Burger joint, chain. Junkies loved it.

Bruegger’s Bagels (RIP 2015)  – Oakmont. Another shocking closure. Drove up one day and it was boarded up. WTF?

Hoss’  (RIP Unknown) – Moon/Coraopolis – Best Hoss’ Ever, Great salad bar. None of the others are quite as good.

Howard Johnson’s (RIP 1988?) – Pennsylvania Turnpike – Had disgusting fried clams that I liked. Closed almost everywhere in the U.S. Might be one location left in Maine, but I’m not sure.

Glisan’s Diner (RIP 2011) – Markleysburg – Best Muffins ever. Right on top of the Laurel Highlands Ridge on Route 40, Washington’s Road high above Olde Uniontowne.

Rowdy Buck (RIP Unknown) – Donegal – Best Mashed Potatoes and Ribs. Very redneck country joint. Authentic rustic wooden decor. Right above the Turnpike.

Ship of the Alleghenies (RIP 1986) – Schellsburg PA – Lincoln Highway –  Weird tourist attraction on the old Lincoln Highway. Burned to the ground in 2001

Other Venues

Barnes & Noble, Murray Avenue and Monroeville Locations (R.I.P. 2005?)

Not a restaurant, but they served coffee. Each was a great place to hang out. Both destroyed by the apocalyptic Internet. Wouldn’t it be beautiful if the Internet and cellphone 📱infrastructures just suddenly collapsed and we could go back to normal?

In Pittsburgh newsweekly (RIP 2001)

This is only a restaurant site, but the wonderful “In Pittsburgh” Weird Free newspaper has long since disappeared from the streets. September 2001, you know the story. Mass chaos, I ended up going overseas with the Army and I never knew the fate of In Pittsburgh.

For anyone going to school at any of the local (Pronounced loacl) Universities, ‘In Pittsburgh’ was essential to the student experience. From the 10-cent GNC yogurt coupons to the music scene listings to the zany Matt Groening cartoons (replaced by the horrifically stupid ‘Zippy the Pinhead’.)

Sorry But if you preferred Zippy to Groening’s pre-corporatized ‘Life is Hell’ and ‘Work is Hell’ than I have no time for you, you are deliberately stupid. Back to In Pittsburgh, O’ the perverted classifieds (long before Craigslist) this free local paper was a must grab.

I don’t know why it died, but it was crushed by its corporate competitor, the City Paper and the advent of Craigslist didn’t help either. It deserved a better fate.

Ridiculous inaccurate corporate Google searches reveal no sign that ‘In Pittsburgh’ ever existed.

I really hated “On the bus with Kathy Jo”. I found it smarmy and true or not, inauthentic, but like the dotted travels of Jeffy on ‘Family Circus’ I read it anyway like watching a Russian car crash video.

“In Pittsburgh” died for the reasons above, mostly that the City had changed from a gritty post-Industrial rust-belt quasi-apocalyptic dreamscape ornamented with spooky abandoned steel mill skeletons to a sanitized corporatized neo-technical whatever.

The new generation didn’t need it anymore, like a loveable cute puppy that is adored by its child owners, then when the kids are older smoking weed, partying, fornicating driving hot rods, they ignored the sad old limping bony mangy aged dog 🐕.

See the article from a dude who was there for only one year but seems to know the whole story of 1985-1999: City Paper discusses In Pittsburgh

Please keep in mind that if you disagree with my opinions, you are free to comment. But, on this site, I am like an ancient Demi-god of Sumeria.

Eddie’s News Stand (New Ownership – RIP 2018) Murray Avenue

It wasn’t a restaurant, but it was an epic 70’s hangout. Had the new strategy type War games like Tactics II and 1776. Weird old baseball bats. Widest variety of Beetus candy. Eddie was way cool 😎.

Lew’s Virgo Shop (RIP 1977?) Forward Avenue Squirrel Hill

An epic 70’s headshop. Beads, Lava Lamps, incense, roaking paraphernalia. Moved to Indiana, PA.

Head’s Together (RIP February 28, 2009) Murray Avenue Squirrel Hill

Epic and long lasting headshop with water beds, incense, LP’s and roaking paraphernalia.

A Head was a shit head, someone who smoked shit. Roaked the Schmiee…

The Decade (RIP 1995)

Great music bar. Pittsburgh’s CBGB’s. Atwood Street? Oakland.

Zelda’s Greenhouse (RIP 1995?) Oakland Avenue?

Another bar. I don’t remember it well.

Razzberry Rhino 🦏 (RIP 1988?) Walnut Street Shadyside

Rock n’Roll bar in Shadyside. Hip venue.

The Upstage (RIP 1995) Forbes Avenue, Oakland

Venue near Pitt, 80’s vibe. Upstairs from my gym.

The Electric Banana 🍌  (RIP 2000?) Bigelow Boulevard

Hip Music 🎶 venue on Bigelow.

Metropol (RIP 2000?) Strip District Smallman Street 

Dance 💃 venue

Back in New York…

Mother Stahl’s Knishes (RIP Unknown) – Coney Island Avenue and Brighton Beach Boulevard- Brighton Beach – Brooklyn, NY. Botendaddy was a baker there once,  Best Cabbage Knishes, Best Cherry Knishes, Best Potato Knishes ever –  Sam-Mor, took the recipe to their graves. They were awful rude fucking people.

Red Thai on Lexington (RIP 2013?) – 39th and Lex? Awesome Thai for sit in or takeout. Nice people.

UPDATE! Carnegie Deli (DEAD AGAIN!) – Lesson here – it might be cool to sue your own restaurant for some calculation of back wages, but they may not remember the lawsuit fondly and then shut down the f&%king restaurant. Nice shooting yourself in the foot. Times Square area – Manhattan location is closed. Will continue to exist through merchandising and a few casino locations, like Bethlehem, PA. WTF? Come one New York! I will translate into New Yorkese: Who gives rat’s ass if they siphoned gas? I don’t give a flying fuck. Lose enough tourists yet? I want my fucking Cheesecake and Pastrami! Re-open the goddamned restaurant you fucking Con-Ed/NYC government douche-bags. I was here in June 2016 with one of my muses. I got the pastrami and one bite of chocolate cheesecake. AWESOME!!!

Update: Carnegie Deli Sands Casino Bethlehem, PA (2017)

Shutting down December 31st 2017. WTF? Over. Going all shipping? I went there on the last day! I bought two mega-cheesecakes. They are still in my freezer as of March 4, 2018.

The last day in Bethlehem, PA