Muddy Waters Pittsburgh Restaurant Review
Ever since my trip to Charleston I had been on an unofficial self-imposed ban of Southern foods (if you’re wondering why, clicking here will fill you in). So that’s the main reason it took me so long to dine at Muddy Waters Oyster Bar, a tiny spot serving New Orleans-style fare in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood. (In my defense, I actually dined there back in September, so my ban wasn’t as long as it took me to write this post.)
I knew it occupied a small space as we had eaten plenty of times at its neighbors over the years (the long defunct Abay and the now relocated Twisted Frenchman). So I made sure to make reservations in advance. Now, I’ve eaten at a lot of restaurants over the years and no, not really any uber-hip L.A. or New York City joints, but within a mere second of arriving at the front door/hostess station, we were rudely greeted with “do you have a reservation?” It was strongly implied by that abrupt statement that we’d better or we shouldn’t have even bothered to come. (Pittsburgh, you’re changed a lot for the better in recent years but c’mon, you’re still no global cosmopolitan mecca.) I don’t know if the hostess was just having a bad night or what, but she wasn’t exactly the person you want to be greeting diners for the first time. Thankfully our waiter was a whole lot more personable.
So I know we’re extremely lame and definitely not adventurous but yes, we went to a place where oysters are in the name and we didn’t have any. On my one (and only) time trying oysters (and they were super fresh), they just, in the words of Shania Twain, didn’t “impress me much.” Thankfully, if you’re like me and don’t necessarily want to slurp down uncooked gooey/jiggly shellfish, there are lots of great Southern favorites to tempt you. The supper menu is divided into small/bar plates, sandwich shop, and large plates (those items that are the most expensive).
I (unfortunately) didn’t photograph my drink but I ordered the “Ain’t Got No Thyme” cocktail (all featured cocktails are $10). It consisted of Root Ten Spirit, Bourbon, Lemon, Lavender Simple, and Thyme. It was quite tasty.
We couldn’t decide on appetizers so we ended up ordering two (gluttonous, I know). I had my heart set on the Fried Green Tomatoes ($9) which came with Pimento Cheese and Spicy Slaw. These were extremely delicious. Sadly, reheating, at least in the microwave, they didn’t hold up too well.
D was interested in one of the specials for that night, a Louisiana-style charcuterie board. It came with four different types of meats ( all save for one were sausage) and varied in terms of spiciness. I particularly liked the pickled vegetables.
For my main course, I ordered the Classic Po Boy ($16). You had a choice between fried shrimp or oysters and it was topped with iceberg, tomato, pickle, and chili mayo. It also came with Cajun fries (as do all sandwiches). I was tempted by the Alligator Po Boy but didn’t work up enough nerve to actually order it, even though I’m sure it would have tasted similar to “other animals.”
D went with the Hot Chicken, a favorite of his. This truly hot dish ($26) came with cheddar grits, pork-braised collard greens, hot oil, and a sweet pickle. He liked it immensely and had no complaints save for wanting to get to Nashville for some in-house hot chicken.
We passed on dessert for no other reason than the kitchen staff at Muddy Waters had indeed done its job of filling us up. Thankfully, the hostess not with the mostess manners was the only bump of the night. Southern fare isn’t in abundance in the Pittsburgh area so it’s nice that such a place exists.
30 S Highland Ave| Pittsburgh, PA| 15206
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