Piper’s Pub

By | February 27, 2006

Piper’s Pub
1828 E Carson St
South Side, 15203
412-381-3977
M-Sat 11am-2am (kitchen@11); Sun 11am-Midnight (kitchen@10)

My favorite time to go to Piper’s Pub is after an unsuccessful fishing trip in the canoe.  I simply MUST have the fried fish I was fantasizing about all day!  And since their fish and chips is grand (complete with malt vinegar for your fries), this is the perfect spot.  It is so delicious that I completely forget about all the humiliation I felt from not being able to hook a trout.  There are other reasons to go there too!  It is a place where you can hang your hat on a shoogly peg with a Guinness and an order of Scotch Eggs.  And whatever you bring home in the doggy bag can be bubble and squeak next eve.

When I first looked at the menu here I got really excited because it is jam-packed with dishes that are genuinely from the British Isles: Bangers and Mash, Beans on Toast, Cottage Pie, Toad in the Hole, Steak and Kidney Pie….pretty much everything but the haggis.  I think most people come here for the Guinness Beef Stew, which is hearty, chunky, and way more food than I can ever eat (especially when served in a bread bowl).  However, it is the dog’s bollocks and very comforting on a chilled evening.  They also serve a so-called Shepherd’s Pie. ‘So-called’ because it is really just the beef stew with a few half-mashed potato glops on the top.  Personally, I am very particular about my Shepherd’s Pie, which is, in my opinion, as much about the potatoes as it is about the meaty goodness underneath.  The potato layer should be thick, fluffy, browned, and completely covering the filling underneath.  The Piper’s Pub filling is OK, but it really isn’t much different from the beef stew.  I am looking for a ground beef and/or lamb base with plenty of green beans and carrots and whatnot.  However, that does not mean that YOU won’t like the Shepherd’s Pie here – it just doesn’t qualify as a true SP in my little SP fantasy world.  (Weirdly, one of my favorite SP’s is at O’Brien’s Pub & Grille in the airport – go fig!  Also I have had a good lamb one that was a special at the Sharp Edge)

Anyway, SP notwithstanding, the other dishes here are all pretty good.  Not amazing, but definitely pretty good.  The exception to this generalization is the aforementioned Fish ‘n’ Chips, which, although basic, is way tasty and highly recommended.  Another exception to this generalization is the Brunch menu.  Brunch is a slightly different experience to be had, and is pretty much undiscovered.  I’ve never seen more than a handful of tables filled for this better than average and distinct brunch menu.  They have sort of two categories of items: the boxty filled with stuff, and the traditional British breakfasts by region.  Boxty, as you may already know, is a big Irish potato pancake (huge in this case), and is way yummy.  You can get it filled with creamed chipped beef, veggies, bangers and eggs, or smoked salmon (everyone’s favorite).  The British breakfasts are all various items (eggs, bangers, ham, rashers, potatoes, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms) on or near toast or bread of some kind.  My favorite is the English breakfast, which is baked beans, fried eggs, tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms on toast.  This would be because my father is from Aberdeen and I grew up eating variations on this dish my whole life.  You should try any one that you fancy, because they are all as good as each other.  Additionally, they offer a French Toast made with Lindeman’s Framboise with a raspberry topping, and a smoked salmon RLT (r is for rashers which is basically bacon).  I haven’t personally had either, but that French Toast sounds mighty awesome!!

A final and totally valid reason to go to Piper’s Pub is its function as simply a pub.  They have a large array of imported European beers and a mind-blowing scotch menu.  They have something like 103 different scotches, alphabetized, some aged as much as 25 years, and conditioned in all manners, from French oak to cask.  It is a scotch lover’s paradise!  So, as you can see, there are plenty of reasons to go to this British pub in the South Side.  Ye kin sell the cou an sup the milk!

The Stand o’ the Trump:
Fish ‘n’ Chips
Brunch
Scotch Menu
Beef Stew

SNEAKY TIP:  The room seems to always run a little cold, so if you chill easily bring a long-sleeved top of some kind.


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