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The Original Oyster House, Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh, PA

On March 12, 2012

Judging from some of the reviews on Yelp, The Original Oyster House isn’t everyone’s favorite joint…think that’s the operative word: joint…OOH is a dive, a throwback and, in my estimation, a great place to spend a couple of hours. Prop your elbows up on the stainless steel counter, have an IC Light poured into two fingers of Zing Zang, let your companion eat a triple of lightly breaded oysters…fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The bartender isn’t going to listen to your sorrows but he does know just what you need to drink and that’s really all I ask from my barman. Cash only, which was okay because I found this place looking for a Bank of America ATM. Parking is extremely tight.

green awning and doorway of courtyard oyster house in Pittsburgh, PA

For an entirely different atmosphere in which to drink a few pints in Pittsburgh, try the Church Brew Works. The premises housed St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church from 1902 until 1993 and has housed a working brewery and restaurant since 1996. Felt a little like Homer Simpson (“sacrilicious”) while drinking a pint of sinfully good Licorice Mint beer at the bar but, hey, it’s better than having the building torn down. Fermentation vessels now sit in the apse and the wings of the nave contain seating and the bar. Be sure to look up above the front door to see what remains of the church pipe organ.

Very busy on a Saturday night. Didn’t try the food and my friend said the other beers were only slightly above average but the interior alone is worth a visit. Prices were reasonable, the service knowledgeable and friendly.

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