Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sharp Edge Brasserie

Last Saturday was dreary day and a day of painting for us. I like having pretty, freshly painted walls, but it's a lot of work. When we finally wrapped up the painting, we decided to run some errands and eat dinner out. After considering several options in the South Hills (since we were at South Hills Village), we finally decided on Sharp Edge Brasserie in McMurray. We hadn't been there in almost 2 years, SP likes beer, and the food was always decent.

Things have changed. We arrived around 6:30 pm. We were shocked at how empty the place was! It's not as if 6:30 pm is a super duper early bird dinner hour. I thought there would be more people there having dinner and people watching the Pitt-Villanova game (which was over at that point, but it had ended just a short while before). We were seated in the room off to the right of the hostess station - and it was empty.We had the room to ourselves. It was dimly lit, so my photos were dark and blurry until I decided that if we were alone in a room, I could use a flash and not disturb anyone! It was nice to have the room to ourselves, but also kind of disconcerting. We both ordered iced teas (fresh brewed) and SP opted to try the mystery beer ("A quality import or micro selection that we feature on a rotating basis").It was a dark beer, but other than that we have no idea what it was. Our server didn't know, we didn't persist in discovering. SP liked it, so that was good!

We debated and debated on an appetizer. Breaded zucchini was a March special, but we just had it last weekend. I love fried cheese, and while SP likes it, he enjoys other appetizers more. So we ordered The Sampler provolone wedges, onion petals, Buffalo Bites and Belgian croquettes. We chose honey BBQ for our buffalo bite sauce and blue cheese dipping sauce. I was a little disappointed in the sampler. It seemed like everything had been fried a bit too long and was too dark. Look at the buffalo bites - they're really dark. The croquettes, too. It all tasted OK, but that's it, just OK, maybe even a bit less than OK. The marinara sauce wasn't very good. I ended up eating my cheese wedges plain, which made me sad because fried cheese really is tastier with a bit of a dippy sauce. I did dip a bite of fried cheese in the blue cheese dressing, but that doesn't taste too great.

Moving on. SP loves soup, so he ordered the soup of the day, a Hot Sausage & Mediterranean Vegetable soup:I tasted a wee bit and didn't like it. It could be I was mentally prepared to reject it because often Mediterranean = garlic or because of the hot sausage, which I like but only in small quantities. This was very sausage-y soup. SP enjoyed it.

For his meal, he chose Grilled Fish Tacos – Fresh grilled white fish served in a grilled flatbread with fresh avocado salsa, diced tomato, roasted poblano pepper, fresh greens & herbed aioli. For his side he chose sweet potato fries.It was huge. He really liked it. He couldn't identify the white fish (tilapia? cod?) but there really is a good sized piece of fish under all those greens! Here's a close up:
I've always ordered pizza at Sharp Edge, but I didn't really want pizza. I wanted something different. The drunken sirloin options were tempting, but I ended up choosing Roast Beef & Brie Panini – house roast beef, caramelized onion, creamy brie & horseradish mayonnaise.I also asked for pommes frites (instead of fries or cole slaw) for an additional charge.

I was disappointed in my meal. The panini bread was yummy and crunchy, but the roast beef was kind of dry and very gristle-filled. I kept having to pull gristle out of my mouth - good thing we were still the only ones in the room because spitting out food or pulling food out of your mouth is not attractive restaurant behavior. It looked like I had been served the end of a roast, so it was cooked more (drier, more well done) but the gristle - the amount of gristle was very disappointing. It should have been cut away before being placed on the panini.The pommes frites were also very disappointing. While the appetizers seemed overcooked, these were undercooked. The exterior was not crispy but kind of soggy and the interior was not soft potato but hard uncooked potato. I was not very happy that I was paying extra for these. SP agreed that they were definitely not up to the standard of past pommes frites we've enjoyed at Sharp Edge.

Yes, I could have complained, but our server was really great and it wasn't her fault. I just didn't feel like complaining. I was disappointed and frustrated and wishing we'd chosen option #2 (Al's Cafe, which neither of us has been to since high school). I just wanted to finish our meal, leave, and get home to some tea & cookies. We didn't have any dessert.

By the time we were paying the bill, the room had filled up with 3 more groups of people and we had seen other people seated in the back area of the restaurant where the TVs are. I guess McMurray is a late dining crowd?

Bottom line: while our server was fantastic, the food was below expectations based on past experiences. We will probably at some point give them another try, but it won't be any time soon.

Sharp Edge Brasserie on Urbanspoon


  1. I've always been a tad underwhelmed by the food at Sharp Edge. The pomme frites are usually delicious, but everything else is so-so. It's really a beer-person's restaurant, so maybe they don't put too too much effort into the food. Too too bad for them, then, cause beers great to drink, but it's also great for washing down a delicious meal.

  2. Even though I enjoyed the fish tacos, they weren't anything spectacular. The appetizer plate and the fries were definitely disappointing. We'd had much better meals there in the past.

    I always preferred Bocktown (and FatHead's :) ) though, now even moreso.

  3. We were just at the Brasserie on Friday...went mainly because the Mrs. and I wanted some good beer and they have a great happy hour special. Food has always been hit or miss, but Friday thankfully was a hit. I am reluctant to go there more often for anything but beer because the price to quality ratio, even when the food is on, isn't great.

    That said, I'm happy to have a Sharp Edge in the 'hood because there really isn't anything else particularly compelling in our general area.

  4. I gave up on the Sharp edge after realizing what an absolute rip off the place is, $25.00 for a beer that sells at Smokin Joe’s for $11.00. The most expensive hamburger in Pittsburgh, $45.00 + six packs and generally sub par food. You can’t walk in the place for under $50.00 pp, and since I stopped going I figure I am saving over $300.00 a month. It’s a shame because we have nothing else like it in the area and as most of the reviews state, A Great beer selection but that’s about it. I did try to talk to the management about my concerns but was told “if you don’t like it go elsewhere” which I have,