5747 Ellsworth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
As Shadyside has rapidly developed in east Pittsburgh, its dining scene has thrived with the advent of many new concepts springing up. Harris Grill does burgers, sandwiches, and other contemporary cuisine like few others. But where this spot really thrives, though, is in a very favorite meal where it faces stiff competition in this city: brunch. But in spite of the great well-known national brunch corners of Steel City, this spot holds its own handsomely.
The brunch menu is what keeps lines of people going out the door on weekends, and it’s the first thing you should try when considering this restaurant. Among some of the great stuff I have tried:
- Omelettes: The omelettes are, unlike much of the rest of the breakfast buffet, cooked to order with a person staffing the omelet bar. The omelet is very lightly browned and topped with whatever you like; a good mix of veggies and meats, though is certain to impress.
- Bloody Mary: The drink comes with the buffet, and it’s hard to ignore. This particular version of the bloody mary comes especially spicy; it’s got a warm kick and a peppery finish. Topped with an olive, green pepper, lemon and lime, it’s got a nice hot and sour taste to it, but nonetheless is very enticing.
- Chicken and waffles: Impossible to forget, the chicken and waffles are a great option. These waffles are made very thick and soft, so the crunch of the chicken is all the more nice. Quality syrup makes the whole thing rock, and this place does a great job of it.
- Eggs benedict: The option served when I came was a Florentine-style egg, topped with spinach, tomato and a thick hollandaise sauce. My one complaint here: this is a dish that isn’t made to be in a warmer. If it isn’t fresh, the egg will likely be overcooked.
The service at the spot is nice. While Harris Grill doesn’t take reservations, it does a great job of managing call-aheads and moving people through the tabels quickly. Sometimes you can’t avoid a wait. But even when you take on the brunch buffet and staff interactions are minimal, you’ll find it to be a pleasant experience, especially in the summer when you can take advantage of the outdoor patio. Either way, not a place to be ignored.
- This spot does not take reservations. That said, I highly recommend calling ahead day-of to reserve a table. They won’t hold it forever, but it’s a much better bet than the certain 20 to 30 minute wait walk-ins often see.
- The brunch is the most popular menu item. When it’s served, it comes with one drink, a bloody mary or a memosa. That said, plan for a wait or call ahead.
- The restaurant has a good mix of burgers and other sandwiches if you’re not a breakfast type.