Meat & Potatoes has been on my wish list for-ev-er. With a restaurant name like "Meat & Potatoes," one envisions basic, hearty dishes heavy on protein and carbs. But, Meat & Potatoes a bit more refined. The gastropub serves up high-end craft food classics and libations:
"Meat and Potatoes" are generally the stand-in for "bread and butter" as shorthand for the staples we need to function. With that thought in mind Chef Richard Deshantz had the desire to enhance his culinary vision by opening up a second restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh. Chef Richards' favorite type of food is simple and approachable; it is the type of food that a chef would eat after a busy day at work. Meat & Potatoes, Pittsburgh's first gastropub, was born in the spring of 2011.Meat & Potatoes was our first lunch stop of the day (yes, I said first). So, after our little adventure on the Duquesne Incline, we headed downtown for our lunch reservation. Meat & Potatoes has quite a large space, with a cozy waiting area lined with pickled veggies in jars and decent outdoor patio area. We requested to sit outside.
The lunch menu has a few snacks, like fried taters, devils on horseback, macaroni & cheese, pate and fried brussels. Sandwiches included a pub burger, Cuban, hot chicken, catfish tacos, and wild boar sloppy joe. Salads offered were Thai steak, winter (with poached pear, chickpeas, pancetta, brie) and house smoked duck. Entrees: grilled pork chop, chicken paillard, baked rigatoni, mussels and bi bim bap.
We ordered the "Old School Mac" ($8) and the "Fried Chicken & Biscuits" ($14), which came with buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, coffee bacon jam, ranch cole slaw, pickles and french fries.
Let's talk Old School Mac first. This heaping helping of cheesy cavatappi was spiked with bits of grilled hot dog. That thick cheese sauce is heavenly, and I can assure you this is the tastiest combo of mac & hot dog that you'll have. Reminiscent of childhood with a chef's touch = perfection.
And that chicken, tho. The breading is nothing short of perfection, the biscuits are light, buttery dreams, and that bacon coffee jam had me scraping the bottom of the tin cup. The pickles - housemade -, the fries and the slaw were all tasty, as well.
I'm glad we shared, because I would have been stuffed having ordered this entree or appetizer to myself. A plentiful helping of mac, three pieces of chicken, two biscuits, fries, slaw, pickles... you won't go hungry, at least. And the flavors? Phenomenal. I love comfort food, so taking it up a notch with bacon coffee jam or ranch slaw makes it that much better.
Do expect a bit of a wait for food. It wasn't especially speedy, and the water refills weren't as plentiful as I would have liked. But, is it some of the best damn food in the area? Without a question. Delicious.