My family hails from Pittsburgh, and it’s always a treat (both literally and figuratively) to visit, especially since Pittsburgh offers such a wide variety of restaurants, including an extensive (and much appreciated!) selection of cheap eats. During our most recent family visit this past weekend to see some great football (Go Stillers!) my family craved breakfast fare, without hesitation my uncle insisted we go to Pamela’s.
Not quite hole-in-the-wall, not quite restaurant, not quite diner, Pamela’s embraces the laid-back atmosphere of Pittsburgh I love. According to my uncle, the line is usually out the door and around the corner on most weekends, as locals know this is the place to go for pancakes and my favorite breakfast item (aside from cereal!)….French Toast!
I’m not sure I can do the dish justice with mere words, but I sure will try! I ate – well, more like devoured – the California French Toast: three thick slices of cinnamon-raisin toast, dipped in a vanilla-flavored batter. Not sure if it’s usually served with butter/whipped cream, but I asked for it on the side in the name of ‘health’ in any case :)
I added both bananas and strawberries on top of my Toast to fulfill my fruit quotient of the day…and I would say without a doubt it was some of the best French Toast I’ve ever had. It was lightly dusted with powdered sugar, not smothered like other dishes I’ve had at other similar diner-type restaurants, and not nearly as greasy as expected. The bread itself was really good – not overwhelmingly raisin-y and it tasted really fresh. And importantly for this egg-phobic eater, the Toast wasn’t saturated in egg and wasn’t overly saturated in batter….a great balance!
Besides my obsession with French Toast, Pamela’s has a wide variety of other breakfast items. My uncle says the pancakes are very well known among Pittsburghers, and they don’t disappoint! They are more analogous to crepes instead of traditional pancakes, but they are light, fluffy, fresh, and delicious! The other members of my family went with various varieties of omelets, eggs, and sides of bacon and potatoes, and without exaggeration, there was no food left on any plate by the end of the meal!
The potatoes were really good – seasoned to potato heavenly perfection, and mixed with a perfect amount of onions. A great complement to the meal!
The service was friendly, very quick, fresh, and most importantly, delicious! And cheap, which is always a plus. Great mix of families, couples, locals, and tourists, and of course Steelers apparel and paraphernalia dominated the scene! When it’s totally packed I’m sure it can get a bit noisy, but what’s not to love?
It is in a great location on Walnut Street, in the heart of the Shadyside neighborhood, full of other great restaurants and shops! I’m going back with my boyfriend in a couple of weeks, and you can be sure we’ll be stopping by :)