It’s definitely been a while and I have a very poor excuse for my absence. My life just got in the way of my going out to eat and watching movies! Not that I haven’t been going out, I certainly have! I’ve just been going places that I’ve already been to and cooking easy meals that either aren’t worth posting (umm, spaghetti with meat sauce) or things I’ve already showed you how to make. I will admit that I’ve been hitting up a new breakfast place quite frequently and will definitely write up a review soon since I am pretty sure I’ve had about 5 things on the menu already and loved all of it.
Jen found an article about Kavsar a month or two ago and we decided that we should definitely hit up this Uzbek restaurant. Because honestly, I’ve never had anything from Uzbekistan and Pittsburgh doesn’t have much in the way of middle eastern cuisine. Quick geography lesson for everyone, Uzbekistan is north of Iran and Afghanistan. So we decided to hit up this cozy place on Mt. Washington on the corner of Southern and Shiloh. The restaurant itself is in a renovated house. The dining room is upstairs and you have to brave the uneven Pittsburgh stairs in order to get up there. In the dining room they had live music. At first I thought he was just going to play the keyboard but then he sang, and while it was a bit loud, he did have a decent voice!
Kavsar seems to be run by a family and the service was different. I won’t say it was bad, it just wasn’t American style so you have to be a little flexible. The two girls working the dining room were very sweet, I just think a few things get lost in translation and we definitely could have been more clear with what we wanted done with the check (long story, I won’t get into it but it really wasn’t a big deal).
Ok, on to the food… finally!
We figured, hey, we’re in this Uzbek restaurant, we probably won’t come back (or at least not often), lets try some stuff since it was all reasonably priced. We decided to start with an appetizer. I actually asked the girl serving us what she liked best and she recommended that we get the Julien in Pancake Bags with the chicken. This was really tasty. We usually think of pancakes as being something sweet and I forget that they can also be savory. These were very thin, almost crepe like and filled with a chicken and mushroom mixture in a creamy sauce. Jen was nice and ate them with me by picking out the mushrooms since she doesn’t like them. I would definitely suggest you get these if you try out this restaurant, it was worth trying out.
As usual, Jen and I shared the main dishes as well as the app. The first thing on the entree list came with the following description: Palov is the symbol of Uzbek food. It is prepared in every Uzbekistan family, whether Uzbek, Russian, Tatar of Korean. Uzbek palov is the part of mentality of Uzbekistan people and traditionally it is cooked by men.
So We decided that we had to try it since it was the only item that came with a description like that. I mean when in Rome (or an Uzbek restaurant)… There was definitely a heavy tomato flavor on the rice, which I loved. I’m honestly not sure how to describe the rest of the seasoning, it wasn’t especially spicy or anything, but it was very good. The beef was good and was sliced thin and served over the rice.
The other dish we opted to try Kovurma Chuchvara – small, handmade dumplings filled with ground beef and onion. It said that they were roasted on the menu, but the certainly tasted fried to me! They were really good and were served with a little sour cream to dip in. The onion mixture in these was really fantastic. And they were bite sized, so they were really easy to eat, honestly, I could have kept eating these delicious little puffs.
Overall, this was definitely something different to try and I’m very glad we went. I really enjoyed the food and I’m happy that something middle eastern has opened up as that is definitely a hole in the Pittsburgh restaurant scene. Another friend of mine recently tried a Turkish restaurant in the Regent Square area and he said that it was really good and also very reasonably priced so I’d like to hit that up soon as well. I’m not sure I’d be a regular at Kavsar, maybe if I lived nearby I would be. But even at that, there are several places on Shiloh that are also good. In fact, when we were done Jen and I walked down the street for some soft serve ice cream. Because it’s summer and I’m allowed to have ice cream!
So, if you are in the mood for something different from the ordinary, give this family run place a try.