If you like bars that feature beer that’s worth drinking, step out to Greenfield and raise a glass at Hough’s. Of their 8 draft selections, only two (Miller Lite and Yuengling) represent the run-of-the-mill; the rest, which rotate based on what the Hough family has in stock, represent a range of craft-brewed options. Recently, they’ve added Edmund Fitzgerald, my favorite offering from the Great Lakes Brewing Company; and they’ve also had a Peak Organic Maple, which has been aged in maple and bears that wood’s distinctive, sweet flavor.
Should none of the draft beers strike your fancy, consult their list of 60+ bottled beers. If you like hops, I suggest either Dogfish Head’s 90-Minute IPA or an Arrogant Bastard. Of course, there are plenty of choices for those who prefer their beer less bitter. My wife has recently been enjoying an Ichabod Pumpkin Ale from New Holland Brewing Company.
Hough’s has a nice menu of solid bar food, as well: the benko burger is fantastic; as is the barbecue bacon burger, which I usually will order with blue cheese instead of swiss. The steak hoagie holds its own, too–though I usually get it with provolone, instead of the american cheese that’s listed on the menu. Hough’s makes its own chips and fries; or, if you want a side that’s not deep fried, they’ve got applesauce from a jar for you. The menu is expanding, and now features chicken parmesan and spaghetti and meatballs in addition to their variety of sandwiches and appetizers. I’d like to see them go a little bit further in the knife-and-fork direction and feature offerings such as meatloaf and mashed potatoes; steak and eggs; and red beans and rice. But I haven’t yet been disappointed by anything that is available that I’ve ordered.
Where is Hough’s? In true Pittsburgh tradition, I’ll tell you it’s where Pickles used to be, at the corner of Greenfield and Nantasket. Don’t let the small number of changes to Pickles’ old storefront fool you, though–the entire inside has been renovated and improved. There are lots of big-screen TVS you can watch your favorite sporting event on, especially if your favorite sporting event happens to be the Steelers or the Penguins. Otherwise, you still have a pretty good chance of watching it; I was able to get one TV tuned to a Red Sox-Rays game last week even as the rest of the bar was cheering on the Pens.
I really like the family feel. at least one of the Hough family members, if not 2 or 3, is likely to visit your table and make sure that everything is okay. I haven’t had reason to complain, but I have a definite feeling that if there were something wrong, the Houghs would be very quick to correct it. Quite honestly, sometimes when I’m sitting there sipping an ale, I half-expect the entire bar to chant “Norm!” when George Wendt walks through the door. It just feels like that kind of place.
Rating: 3 Oranges.
Hough’s is located at 563 Greenfield Avenue in Pittsburgh.