Sunday, October 16, 2011

Where Did Yinz Go?

I was in Pittsburgh for a few days this past week attending a conference for a professional association to which I belong. I had a great time networking and learning with my First State Chapter members and other regional chapters, including our gracious hosts, the Pittsburgh Chapter. Saturday sessions ended at 12:30 and my plane did not leave until 5:45 so I ended my visit frolicking around the City of Bridges with a wonderful and funny group from the Philadelphia Chapter.

We walked across the Smithfield Bridge over the Monongahela River (does anyone else remember that Rocky and Bullwinkle often mentioned the Monongahela River?) and took the 17 passenger Monongahela Incline up to the charming little neighborhood of Mt. Washington. The Incline was built by John Endres in 1870 and is the oldest continuously operating funicular in the United States. At top of the incline, there was an Outlook that offered the most spectacular views of this lovely city and many of the 29 bridges that cross three rivers in Pittsburgh, the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio.

We decided to eat lunch in one of the restaurants not far from the Outlook and we stumled upon the Shiloh Grill. Now, unbeknownst to us, this was a perfect choice for this season of ghosts and goblins! Our very chatty informative and affable server Steve, told us the story of the restaurant. In the early 1900's, the house was owned Peter and Kate Soffel. Peter was the warden of the Allegheny County Jail and his wife used to visit the jail to teach the gospel to the inmates. Well, apparently, the gospel wasn’t the only lesson wifie was preaching because Kate fell in love with one of the prisoners and helped him and his brother – The Biddle Boys – escape. They were caught and so was Kate who spent some time in the slammer for her role in the liberation. It is said that the ghost of Mrs. Soffel still haunts the restaurant and she has been observed by patrons and staff alike.

We did not have a paranormal encounter…unless you see an image in the lower left side of this mirror…what do you think?

I had the tastiest Polish Church Basement Pierogies. These little lovlies were stuffed with potatoes and cheese and slathered in butter & onions. I also had a beer to dilute the artery clogging consequences. A few of my friends had the Aw, You’re Pullin’ My Pork, a rich, slow-cooked pork shoulder sandwich accompanied by the restaurant’s famous Macaroni and Cheese. They also had a beer. Be sure to put the Shiloh Grill on your destination list if you visit Pittsburgh…you won’t be disappointed and you might get a surprise visit!

Following lunch we took the Incline back down the hill and bolted (literally, because we only had 15 minutes) to meet the airport shuttle. It was the perfect end to a very enjoyable visit.

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