Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, otherwise known as The ‘Burgh, The Steel City, or The City of Bridges. Notorious for its steel businesses, famous sandwiches, bridges, and sports teams, Pittsburgh is a unique city with a lot to offer.
Recently, my girlfriend and I took a weekend trip to see Judah and the Lion (her favorite band) at Stage AE and we made a weekend trip out of it. It isn’t the easiest to navigate around since the locals say the city was built so fast the infrastructures couldn’t keep up…which I found ironic since it’s known as the steel city. Walking is recommended since everything is pretty centrally located, it just depends on which side of the city you’re on.
Split in several pieces thanks to the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, there are almost two downtowns in Pittsburgh. We walked around both, but mainly stayed on what would be considered the “Southside” I believe.
We stayed at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown and the best part about this place was the location. We had the “city” view which only meant we were able to look at other tall buildings next door, not much of a “city” view. The room was very small with a king-size bed and was a bit on the expensive side for what it offered. In addition to the price, there is mandatory valet service, which is $35 per night. The only other option to not having valet is to find a vacant lot in the area and hope for the best. So regardless of what you pay for your room here, tack on an extra $35 for parking. Would we stay here again, that depends, are there other hotels in Pittsburgh?
We spent the majority of our time walking around and taking in the sights of what is a nice city. We walked around Point State Park, Market Square, Mellon Square, and other parts of the city in the downtown area. Across the river from Point State Park is a great view of Heinz Field, home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a view of PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
There’s also a great place to visit that overlooks the entire city and everything in the valley, the Duquense Incline. Built in 1877, it’s an old railroad car that goes up and down Mt. Washington and provides a really unique experience!
We also found some time to stop at the Heinz History Center to see some of Pittsburgh’s history and neat other nuggets from around the world. It was a great time to go since there was a Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood exhibit too!
When you go to a city you’ve never been to before and the city is known for its deli sandwiches, you have to go to them. I’m a huge fan of sandwiches and subs, my go-to food, and Primanti Brothers is a must stop. I was a bit hesitant since some of the reviews were underwhelming and being a sandwich connoisseur, I had my doubts. But after the first glimpse, I was sold. We went to the one in Market Square and ordered the Reuben on our first stop (which was phenomenal), and got the Pitts-burger (ok) and cheese fries (delicious) after the concert.
We also stopped at Pork and Beans which was absolutely phenomenal. Being from Upstate New York, we’re very fond of Dinosaur Barbecue, and some Sticky Lips, but Pork and Beans was pretty damn good. The pictures below will speak for themselves.
We did some research and also found that Prantl’s Bakery was a great spot for some pastries and baked goods. It’s a cute little shop with a wide variety to choose from and we opted for the ham & cheese croissant and the raspberry & cheese croissant. Both had a lot to be desired. While we ate both of them, there is definitely better out there.
We also got drinks and food at Redbeard’s on Sixth before the concert and it was a really solid spot. Some pretty good bar food and very reasonably priced too.
Judah and the Lion
This is probably the only part of this post that my girlfriend will actually read, if she reads it at all, because this is the main reason we came to Pittsburgh in the first place. She’s been a huge fan of JATL (Judah and the Lion) for several years now and we’ve seen them before, but I was able to surprise her with VIP meet-and-greet tickets to the show.
Stage AE was the venue, which is right next to Heinz Field, and the venue has an indoor and outdoor stage. Prior to the concert starting, we were able to have a small acoustic session, Q&A, and photo opportunity. These are definitely some good dudes who love playing music and having the opportunity to connect with their fans.
I’m a huge fan of live music, concerts in general, but another great aspect of them is being able to meet and interact with all different types of people. While waiting in line, we met a great couple who also loves music and traveling to shows and have seen a long line of great acts. However, we did make a note to see everyone who they plan on seeing in the near future since they mentioned several of the artists they’ve seen have passed away shortly after they saw them! We also met a father and daughter who we spent the duration of the concert with in the front row. Some really great people who we’re now friends with on Facebook and who we wish all the best to health-wise!
While Pittsburgh may not be a destination city, if there’s ever a game or event going on that sparks your interest, it’s definitely a city you should stop at. There’s a lot going on and some great people to meet!
Check out more stories of mine here!