The New York import lasted just under a year in Pittsburgh’s North Side.
These are, as they say, the days that try men's souls. The news each day is stomach churning. Our institutions and the things we hold dear are seemingly under a relentless attack. The leaks from the inside paint pictures of worrisome instability with many questioning the top man's ability to lead.
But enough about the Steelers’ locker room already.
You thought I meant something else?
Because between AB’s sideline tirades, Big Ben openly questioning if he still has anything left, an underwhelming offense and bad losses to Chicago and Jacksonville, it has been a tumultuous start to the season.
Ergo, heading into huge week six tilt against Kansas City, one’s best bet for viewing was to hunker down at a place with quality food and drink, and a lot of televisions.
And one can find all of those things at The Pub at 333 in Oakmont.
Opened last summer by the same folks who own nearby Carnivores, it's an ideal spot to catch a Steelers or Penguins game.
The menu is much better than average bar food, including 10 sandwiches and another 10 pizzas, none for more than $16, and a variety of plates that include tacos, crab cakes, ribs and stuffed peppers ($9-18).
It is not often that one describes a fried bologna sandwich as life-affirming, but I can’t say that I’ve ever had one better, and that’s because of the little touches. This used a heaping helping of a premium mortadella (which I believe translates from the Italian to “jumbo of the Gods”) that was perfectly crisped, with melted cheddar cheese, a spicy mustard aioli on a perfect brioche bun, and served with a particularly good bell pepper slaw ($10).
My health conscious friend reported that the Mediterranean sandwich with hummus, provolone, spicy pepper relish, lettuce, tomato, onion, on ciabatta was “hearty, tasty and had a nice kick to it.”
The pizzas are particularly good for a bar, and we split the Rabe and Sausage pie, with a chunky tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, rapini, spicy sausage and a cracker-crisp crust ($15).
The quality not quantity draft list included a pair of excellent Pennsylvania IPAs: the hazy and citrusy Hazeldelic Juice Grenade, from Millvale’s Grist House, and the maltier Pennsyltucky IPA from Blue Canoe in Titusville, Crawford County.
Service from the bartender, Jen, was excellent, and the running commentary from the septuagenarian couple sitting nearby -— “Who in the hell is calling these plays?” “Nail this bum!” “Bury this sissy!” — was a hoot. Think Pittsburgh Dad’s parents.
Football, as in life anymore, is overly fraught with politics. So it’s a relief to simply sit back, chow down, drink up and yell your head off once in awhile in a good sports bar.
The Pub at 333: 333 Allegheny Ave., Oakmont; 412-794-8904; www.thepubat333.com
Dan Gigler: email@example.com; Twitter @gigs412