Pittsburgh-style steak (FACTIVA cites); The Fun CIty (January 7, 1966)

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"Shreton" in that 1976 citation should be "Sheraton." I was tired.

Peter Citron
Bush Leaguers Taste What Bush Ate
1,084 words
15 February 1990
The Omaha World-Herald
She wanted to know whether the Bushes "made it all gone," and King said they consumed 90 percent of their opener - spinach salads - and 100 percent of their entrees. Bush had a pepper steak, Pittsburgh style, with wild rice; his wife opted for seafood over fettuccini.

Peter Citron
Bushes' Chardonnay Choice Was Fine
1,086 words
16 February 1990
The Omaha World-Herald
(Copyright 1990 Omaha World-Herald Company)

WHEN GEORGE and Barbara Bush dined last week at the Marriott's prestigious Chardonnay Room, they showed remarkable self-control, bypassing the half-dozen temptations on the dessert cart.

I didn't miss a bit, a bite or a just dessert in an afterglow re-creation of the capital residents' meal (upon which the hotel intends fully to capitalize).

Already added to the Chardonnay's nine-page menu (three of them devoted to wine) is a note from Dave King, maitre d', and Bill Tomek, chef, describing the Feb. 7 first family visit:

"The president especially enjoyed our rendition of the classic steak au poivre prepared 'Pittsburgh Style': charred outside, medium rare center. The first lady selected our shellfish fettucine, an array of shrimp, crab and scallops tossed in a supreme sauce, served on a bed of spinach pasta."

The Tangled Ways and Means Of Dan Rostenkowski
Phil Kuntz
6,190 words
5 June 1993
Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report
1403; 1404; 1405; 1406; 1407; 1408; 1409; 1410
Issue: VOL. 51, NO. 23
(Copyright 1993)

COVER STORY: Personal, political and official expense accounts merge to support a power-broker's lifestyle

After a frenetic day of politicking and legislating on Capitol Hill, Rep. Dan Rostenkowski likes a nice dinner out with his pals. On a typical night, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee will gather with a group of colleagues, aides and lobbyists at Morton's of Chicago, a Georgetown steakhouse where the best cuts go for $28.95. They sit at one of Rostenkowski's favorite tables, near the brass plaque that says "Rosty's Rotunda," next to the flaming grills. They order drinks, most likely a Gordon's Gin on the rocks for the chairman, maybe two. After the waiter rolls up a display cart of the day's choice steaks, the barrel-chested chairman orders his Pittsburgh style - charred on the outside, rare inside.

370 words
29 September 1993
The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA
(Copyright 1993)

The party's over. For this year, anyway.

But what a party it was for Dave Rosenfield, general manager of the Norfolk Tides. His team had a great debut in its dazzling new Harbor Park stadium, drawing more than 500,000 spectators to the ballpark in the opening months.

Now maybe this native Texan - who says he likes his steak Pittsburgh style - will have a little time to pursue his hobby (watching television) or enjoy his idea of a perfect day (doing nothing).

Shadyside back yard Elbow Room cooks up casual repasts
Review by Woodene Merriman, Post-Gazette Dining Critic
752 words
19 August 1994
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(Copyright 1994)
Biggest sellers on the menu, according to restaurant management, are the steak salad, a Pittsburgh-style salad with fries inside, and the hot chicken salad, with more fries. Both are $6. Maybe next time.

Cake bakers: Don't let lack of eggs beat you
484 words
23 October 1994
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(Copyright 1994)

Nothing quite tops the sinking feeling of facing a deadline for baking a cake -- and finding that the last eggs went into the morning's omelet.

When it was developed, Depression Cake was the solution to an even more distressing problem: bad times when there were no eggs at all.

And Wacky Cake is an apt solution for kids who like to cook -- but not wash dishes.

Answering a request from John Van Horn of Bethel Park, Paul J. Steliotes, the manager of The Colony Restaurant, Mt. Lebanon, explains the origin of steak prepared "Pittsburgh" style: A customer requested a steak rare. The chef, by accident, charred the outside of the filet mignon nearly black while the inside remained red. The waiter explained to the customer that the chef prepared her steak "Pittsburgh" style. The Colony to this day prepares steaks "Pittsburgh" style at the request of the customer.

Seven wonders Longstanding Pittsburgh restaurants that haven't lost their touch
Woodene Merriman, Assistant to the Editor, Post-Gazette
2,721 words
27 August 1995
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(Copyright 1995)
The Colony -- 1958

Some of the mature-looking waiters at The Colony were busboys back when Dean Steliotes opened the restaurant in 1958. The menu consisted of lobster tail, sirloin steak and filet mignon. Son Paul, who runs the steakhouse now, remembers that people said it was too expensive and wouldn't last. Complete dinners were about $8.

The Colony still has the Lazy Susans with a selection of toppings for salads and a pastry tray with tempting desserts. You can still have your steak "Pittsburgh style" -- black on the outside and red inside -- which Paul thinks started here. But if you want the signature Colony steak sauce, so successful that it's now sold in supermarkets, I guess you have to ask. We weren't offered any.

The biggest seller on the menu today is filet mignon, but a strip steak or sirloin has more marbling and more flavor, Paul believes. I agree. His Honor has ordered the filet, and I'm having the sirloin, so we can compare. Both are an inch and a half thick, grilled to perfection. But I do think the sirloin has slightly more flavor than the filet. It doesn't even occur to us to ask for the famous steak sauce; the beef needs no enhancement.

I like being able to choose my own salad toppings and ladle on the capers and blue cheese dressing with abandon. Strangely, the rolls served with the salads are cold, but warm buttery rolls of a different variety come with the entrees.

Another Colony tradition is the lavish fruit tray -- pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe, dates, figs, you name it. That's plenty of dessert for us.

The Colony has an extensive, pricey wine list. His Honor has chosen a 1992 Chateau Souverain merlot. At $27, it's about the cheapest on the list.

The restaurant is dim and quiet, though most of the tables are filled on this weekday. It has an old-time, but yes, solid and established look. Complete dinners are $21 and up.

The Colony, corner of Greentree and Cochran roads, Scott; 561-2060.

520 words
5 October 2001
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(Copyright 2001)
Pittsburgh rare

Jeff Ehland of Baldwin Borough says the expression "Pittsburgh style" for a steak that's grilled so it's black outside and rare inside has spread to two restaurants he's encountered: Carolina Roadhouse in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and the Warsaw in Dallas, Texas. (Earlier I had mentioned seeing "Pittsburgh rare" at the Weber Grill near Chicago.)

"Can you tell me how the Pittsburgh style got started and where in Pittsburgh I can get a steak prepared Pittsburgh style?" Ehland asked.

Pittsburgh Steak Co., 1924 E. Carson St., South Side, for one, offers steak Pittsburgh rare -- pan-seared on each side so it's charred on the outside, but still has a cold rare center.

Chef George Sotirake says it was started by big, burly steelworkers who carried meat, perhaps a steak, with them to the mills instead of a little bag lunch with a baloney sandwich. They would throw the meat onto the hot steel to blacken it on one side, then the other, and lunch was ready.

Any different opinions?

Drop a line

Woodene Merriman can be reached by e-mail at wmerriman at post- gazette.com, or by writing to her at the Post-Gazette, 34 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222.

As dining critic, she eats at restaurants at least twice before reviewing. She tries to remain anonymous, and the Post-Gazette pays for all meals.


The Independent Consumer - Steak on a plate...

By Caroline Stacey.
1,646 words
26 January 2002
The Independent - London
As well as rare, medium and well done, some steak lovers insist on having their steak black and blue, or Pittsburgh style - cooked at such a high temperature that it's almost black on the outside and so barely cooked that it's dark red within. Christopher Gilmore, the owner of the two Christopher's grills in London, won't eat it any other way.

WAR IN THE GULF: HOMEFRONT: HOMECOMING: Parents, Lithia Springs eager to see pilot
914 words
15 April 2003
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
His parents plan to serve him a dinner of steak cooked "Pittsburgh" style, charred on the outside but rare inside, just the way he likes it. They'll bake potatoes and pour Dr. Pepper, one of his favorites. He's invited to a celebration in the football stadium at Douglas County High School, his alma mater. Organizers say they will schedule it for a few days after Young comes home. They want to give him and his family time to catch up.


Unfortunately, my "Fun City" citation from the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE is in the old ADS-L archives, no longer available. I tried to find it again, but couldn't. Anyone have it? In the meantime, here's another "Fun City" that I hadn't posted.

7 January 1966, NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, pg. 13, col. 1:
_Dick Schaap_
_The Fun City_

Not long after the transit strike began the other day, Mayor John Lindsay went on radio and television to announce that New York is a fun city. He certainly has a wonderful sense of humor. A little whole later, Lindsay cheerfully walked four miles from his hotel room to City Hall, a gesture which proved that the fun city had a fun Mayor.

The funniest thing was that New Yorkers actually were finding humor in the absence of buses and subways. One citizen was very concerned that the pickpockets and muggers, the true New Yorkers, he called them, would get out of shape. He offered to give them a room where they could practice on each other for the duration of the crisis.
The New Yorkers' sense of humor spread out of town. In Philadelphia, nearly everyone was talking about the contest in which first prize was one week in New York and second prize was two weeks in New York.

(See the ADS-L archives for "one week" and "two weeks" and the Philadelphia origin of that joke--ed.)

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