Pasha Cafe Pittsburgh Restaurant Review
Back on a cold and extremely wintry day (there was ice and snow involved), I dined at Pasha Cafe. We planned to visit the Phipps Conservatory as we hadn’t seen the holiday flower show in nearly a decade. I was looking for someplace new to try in the Oakland/Shadyside area and I stumbled across Pasha Cafe, a Turkish restaurant housed in a former private residence. It sounded perfect.
We were somewhat delayed heading out as we first had to ice chip through our driveway so we got there in the mid-afternoon, not exactly the lunch or dinner hour. As such, we were the only people there the whole meal. Located in a former mansion (and knowing Shadyside, a very historic neighborhood, it was probably from the turn of the last century if not older), the place has a unique feel to it. The former living spaces are still clearly defined (you can tell what once was a parlor, dining room, etc).
Being such a cold day, I ordered a glass of the Turkish Tea ($1.50) which I just loved. I absolutely adore the presentation of a hot drink in a glass, not a ceramic piece you usually get in the West.
As is the custom in Turkey and the Middle East, the menu featured cold appetizers (soguk meze) and hot appetizers (sicak meze). To start, we split an order of the Babaghanoush ($6) which is pureed grilled eggplant in yogurt, tahini, garlic, oil and dill. Our waiter said theirs was the best and it really was excellent. It came with pita; we even got more since this is something we always finish before the baba.
From the sicak meze, I ordered the Cigarette Borek ($7) to come with our meal. Borek is a type of savory pastry made from phyllo dough that’s stuffed with feta cheese and dill and then pan-fried until golden brown.
Entrees were available in chicken, lamb, seafood, and vegetarian options. All come with house salad, rice, grilled tomato, and a fresh jalapeno.
For my entrée, I went with the Chicken Kofte ($14) which consisted of seasoned ground chicken cooked on a grill and marinated in Turkish spices. It was a huge amount and I had more than enough to take home with me.
Somewhat surprising me, D went the lamb route and ordered Lamb Shish ($17) which included char-broiled lamb cubes cooked on skewers and then marinated in Turkish spices. He enjoyed his, but wishes there had been more.
We did get dessert to go, since I can never say no to Baklava ($5). This, no surprise, was delicious and we got four diamonds total.
Although I have way too many Pittsburgh restaurants to try out at any given time, I wouldn’t think twice of returning to Pasha Café in the future. Service was great and the food even better. For anyone who lives in the Shadyside area and is only a quick walk away, I envy you.
808 Ivy St, Pittsburgh, PA 15232