Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Munch Goes to Breakneck Tavern

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Munch Goes to Breakneck Tavern

Article excerpt

With apologies to my esteemed colleague Gary Rotstein, I'm going to briefly co-opt his "Random Acts of Kindness" column to relay the following tale. After sweating gallons and drinking pints at an outstanding though sweltering Vintage Grand Prix tailgate in late- July, I and my better half piled into an Uber bound for an air- conditioned nap at home.

Along the way, I lost my keys, a fact relayed to me the next morning by a call from a customer service rep at the Cranberry Giant Eagle. Apparently my Uber driver, Carlos, found said keys in his backseat with my Advantage Card keychain attached and turned them in to his nearby store. They got in touch, thereby saving me scads of aggravation.

So why the lengthy preamble (other than to publicly thank Carlos, the greatest Uber driver in town)? Because the trip to pick up the keys yielded the inadvertent discovery of the most excellent Breakneck Tavern, open since mid-June, just a hair off Route 228 outside of Mars, by Jason Eisenreich, the original founder of the North Hills mainstay Blue (now under new ownership as Blue North), in McCandless.

Dedicated to sustainable construction with reclaimed materials - and named for the Breakneck Creek out back next to tracks from rail lines that once serviced the area (nicknamed the "Breakneck Valley") - the place has a loose railroad theme with various antique remnants of industry. There are spikes, a crossing sign and lights, a rail wrapped around the foot of the bar, and wall mural maps of the Harmony Shortline route and the Velte Foundry, that once stood at that location. More recently, however, it was Good Ole Uncle Bob's, and lumber from that structure was used to build the new bar.

The menu is likewise adamant about its sourcing, using meat and produce from the Penn's Corner Farm Alliance, sustainable seafood, a beer list from area craft breweries, and cocktails incorporating spirits from local distilleries.

In addition to steaks, chops and ribs, the dinner menu includes a half chicken from nearby Eichner's Farm ($18); brook trout in a lemon garlic butter ($19), Verlasso sustainable salmon ($19), or Marine Stewardship Council-certified Chilean sea bass ($29). …

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