Chinese Food in Pittsburgh

After my rant about P. F. Chang’s you might ask, “Pete, where do you get chinese food you like in Pittsburgh?”. Ten or so years ago, my answer would have been “I call my mom and ask her to come into town.” Happily, things have gotten better since the dark days of the mid to late 80s and early 90s. Now I believe that there are four places in town that it is safe to bring your Chinese Mother Who Can Cook for a meal and stand a fairly good chance of not completely blowing it. 1. Tasty

This dive in Shadyside breaks all the rules by having pictures of the food and being in a shopping center. But, they have really nice home style Cantonese food here which is a welcome change from the cookie cutter generic Americanized Szechuan standards that you see everywhere else.

Scrambled eggs with shrimp or sweet roast pork, eggplant and tofu hot pots, great fresh greens from Lotus, fried Udon noodles, and the Deanna Rubin memorial Beef Chow Fun are among the favorites here. Carol can get snippy, especially if you order the salty/spicy fried squid. So beware.

2. Chopstick Inn

Out in the sticks of the North Hills, this place has the largest and best Cantonese Seafood menu in the area; and most of it is well executed. Never get takeout. Great whole fish, whole roast chicken and duck, pork belly, and a few dishes involving animal parts normally not seen on plates around here round out a great selection. Good with kids.

3. Rose Tea Cafe

The bubble tea place has been around a long time, but the big news is that they are now serving food, and it’s really really good. Fairly authentic Taiwanese style home cooking. Get any of the special “over rice” dishes (curry beef over rice, beef stew over rice, etc). The Taiwanese sausage is yummy, the pork stir fries look good, and for the adventurous, they have pork intestines served with large cubes of duck blood sausage, or something. I’m not sure what it was. But they make it there and it’s yummy. The bubble tea is interesting too.

4. Ya Fei

Out in the sticks near IKEA. This is the most generic of the four places, but the good dishes here are really good, so it’s worth going. I like the soft shell crabs and their other seafood things.