Rivertowne

337 North Shore Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
412.322.5000
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2 stars

With something of a sports bar feel, Rivertowne attracts people to its four locations across Pittsburgh with an assortment of its own craft beers and apps that fill up the numerous Pittsburgh fans while rooting for their favorite Black and Yellow teams. The high-traffic locations where you find this spot often leave long lines, especially on game day, but I wasn’t attracted by the charm that brought others in the doors. The food is sloppy and the beers are forgettable.

The craft beers I tried were a mixed bag. I was a fan of some, others less so. Among them:

  • Grateful White: This was my favorite of the beers.  A Belgian wit, it’s crisp and features a very clean finish. Very nice.
  • Old Wylie’s IPA: This one is a combination of four kinds of hops. The hop flavor is aggressive and strong in front, but lighter on the back end. Overall though, I like it.
  • RT Lager: A lighter amber lager, it is well balanced per the menu, but the combination of seven hops leaves the flavor overall generic.
  • Hala Kahiki: This one is supposed to be a “pineapple ale.” The idea is neat, but it’s too sweet. In fact, it just tastes like pineapple juice. Is there alcohol in it?

The food, though, was less of a mixed bag:

  • Nachos: This app comes with a mountain of grilled chips topped with veggies, grated cheese and served alongside a salsa. Let’s start with the chicken: it’s dry and the topping is a pretty simple seasoned salt. Add to that the overcooked chips and you have a dry dish. It needs cheese sauce, not grated cheese, to balance that out.
  • Pierogi pizza: I wanted to like this one, it’s a namesake of Pittsburgh’s favorite food. But the pizza is served white, topped with an overload of mashed potatoes, then topped off with grated cheese. Maybe it could use some bacon, or some more white sauce, but it definitely needs fewer potatoes.
  • Spinach & artichoke dip: While I like it best overall, the dip doesn’t taste fresh. Either it’s frozen or it’s microwaved so much that the spinach and the artichoke have wilted. Not great.

You’ll find a line if you come here on game day. You’ll also find that the service, while amicable, can be very sluggish during these hours. But I don’t think it’s worth the wait. There are plenty of other great spots around town to enjoy.

Recommendations

  • The spot does craft beers, and some of the in-house varieties are good.
  • On game day, certain to be crowded. Come early or expect a wait.
  • Some of the food tends to be dry, though the aforementioned beer menu will certainly quench that thirst.

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Comments
One Response to “Rivertowne”
  1. What a feast! The pictures look great, however it’s nice that you’re writing honest notes and remarks about the dishes and the fact they taste dry or are not top-fresh. At least future consumers will know what to expect (or if the owners come to read your post, they might want to put an extra effort to make improvements!).

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