Pittsburgh Blue rolled into town a few years ago as a sort of Manny’s-for-the-Suburbs: It’s owned by Parasole, which owns Manny’s, our state’s defining steakhouse, and offers a lot of Manny’s signature items, like hash-browns cooked into a perfect disc through use of an iron skillet, and a warm dessert brownie big enough to feed the whole IT department. But community-wide passion for the endeavor seemed low: If you can afford the Rolls Royce, why get a Buick? Especially since the prices are not that disproportionate; if Rolls Royces cost a mere 20 percent more than Buicks, there would be no Buicks. So it was with deep skepticism that I entered the new Pittsburgh Blue in the Edina Galleria. What can you possibly do, you new Pittsburgh Blue, with your Manny’s-like décor, your Manny’s-like rolling-cart-of-meaty-desire, your Manny’s-like well-trained servers in white-coats? What can you do that Manny’s can’t do?
Then I met the “halfsteak” and fell in love.
Ah, the halfsteak. It’s $14. Well, $13.95. And it’s a very good, thickly cut sirloin steak—not too big, but rosy, tender, well-charred, perfectly cooked, served with the a good béarnaise and a generous heap of the crispy, gorgeous Parasole parmesan fries you love from Salut and Il Gatto. There’s not much more to say about it than that; it’s the best under-$15 steak in the metro, bar none. Oddly, it made me remember my immediate post-college years, when me and everyone I knew each had three internships, two jobs, and six roommates, and it was a really big deal to head out to the northeast Minneapolis Best Steak House for lunch, to sup upon shoe-leather and a baked potato. Wow, that was awful. If I was that kid today, I’d go to Pittsburgh Blue and have an experience one-thousand-million-billion-times better. Some other budget options at Pittsburgh Blue are quite nice: a good oversized half-turkey sandwich with fries; a salad for $8; a solid, but not wonderful, burger for $10; and some of the best onion rings in the metro for $9—whoops, there’s that old Manny’s pricing again. But if you are on a budget, or just looking for a great business lunch in or around Southdale and the Galleria, Pittsburgh Blue gets my wholehearted, one-thousand thumbs up for their halfsteak.
In fact, depending on the cost of gas, it might even be worth the drive from Manny’s.
Pittsburgh Blue at The Edina Galleria
3220 West 70th St., Edina; 952-567-2700