You know, if there’s one thing that makes the very hottest heat of summer more bearable, I’d have to say that it’s a nice martini in an air-conditioned bar. And if you can’t have that, sitting in an air-conditioned living room watching the Buccos comes pretty close. And you know what goes great with both of those? Bacon. Yes, BACON.
And you know where you can get all three of those things at once? The Shiloh Grill on Mt. Washington.
So, on one of the hottest days of the summer, we headed up to the top of the mountain once again, clad in my finest 1984-era-Madonna gear and armed with a Groupon coupon and a never-ending love of bacon.
The Shiloh Grill is not one of the fancypants Mt. Washington restaurants that boasts a spectacular view from each other tables (in fact, we had a view of a parking lot through the blinds at our table), but this allows them to keep prices low and reservations unnecessary, which we appreciate. Sometimes, it’s nice to go up to Mt. Washington for a great dinner without all the glitter. (You’re just a few steps from the view though, if you’d like to scope it out after your bacon. Yes, BACON.)
Like its Shadyside counterpart, Harris Grill, the Shiloh Grill holds Bacon Night each Tuesday. What’s Bacon Night, oh ye-who-will-hopefully-soon-know-better may ask? It’s bacon, celebrated at the bar (for free) and at your table (for $1 per basket). They’ve also got bacon-tinis, bacon vodka, and I believe bacon somehow made its way into one of their desserts, although we haven’t taken that plunge yet.
But there’s nothing better on a hot summer night than bacon in a basket. (Remember that song from the ’90s, ‘what if God was one of us’? It’s like that, but more ‘what if Madonna went to Bacon Night’.)
Michael was talked out of the bad choice of a bacon-tini by our fantastic server Marlon-Miles (his real name is Marlon, but he says you can call him Miles, just in case you were thinking about accidentally calling him Melvin). You’ll notice that he was perhaps talked-into one of his favorites, the Chelsea Manhattan. Shiloh has a shortened version of the ‘Grill Swill’ booze menu at Harris, but their extensive Manhattan list was all there.
Since we were trying to do the ‘new experience’ thing, we broke out of our Goat in a Boat comfort zone (seriously, sometimes I think I could eat that every single day) and got an order of the Dippo de Queso con Carne. It’s hot cheese, with chiles and chorizo, which is the yummy sausage you get on taco pizza. This was awesome: obviously a bit heavier than the Boat (which is a feta cheese and red pepper dip, served cold), but really, really tasty.
But when it came time for entrees, I couldn’t hold back. I had to order my old Harris favorite, the salad de la ‘Burgh. It’s just like every good Yinzer ever intended, a hearty salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, a hardboiled egg, a nice blend of mozzarella and provolone cheese, and of course, piled high with fries. I’m typically an Italian-dressing kind of girl, but there is something about the Harris/Shiloh ranch dressing that is just unbeatable. Marlon filled us in on the secret: it’s homemade, so they’ve probably thrown in all sorts of secret delicious mystery bits that mean the salad can never be replicated. I’m okay with that: I’m a Harris Grill Regular on Yelp, so I guess I get my fair share of it.
Michael did a bit of a changeup on his typical order, and strayed from the Baby Burghers (the little slider burgers that you used to be able to get in unlimited quantities for $1 each – they are now $2.99 for 2, but still a great idea when you’re out drinking frozen cosmos and craving some protein). This time, he got the ‘I Can Haz Bacon Cheeseburger’ plate. (Please be warned – if you go to Harris or Shiloh, be prepared to giggle through your order. There are a lot of titles like this to choose from!) If you’ll notice, in place of fries on Michael’s plate, there are tater tots. That’s because, as he was about to order fries, Marlon stepped in and said, “Are you sure? You could have tater tots. It could be just like old times.”
Oh, some other reasons that we thought Marlon was pretty much the best waiter of recent memories: as he brought my second-round cosmo (I cannot do the frozen kind, unfortunately, because of brain freeze), he remarked, “I don’t know, but this one looks a little paler, but to me, that makes it more proper.” And when I ordered both a cosmo and a water, and only the booze arrived, he said, “I have forgotten your water, because obviously, the cosmo is more important.” You know whose section to sit in next time!
All in all, Harris Grill is a bit more convenient to our place (we like to walk there in nice weather), but Shiloh serves up the same quality of food and drink, and the same ‘welcome to our living room, make yourself at home’ kind of feeling that you get at Harris. Street parking is just as sketchy, and the bacon is just as juicy. You don’t get the same drunk-Shadyside-er watching that you do at Harris, but after you’ve finished dinner, you can make your way up a block and take in the lovely sights of this fantastic city.
Shiloh Grill gets an A+ in our book, and we will certainly be back! You should visit, too: they’re in the former location of the Shiloh Inn on Mt. Washington, 123 Shiloh Street, and serve food up until 1am every night.