I was thrilled when LivingSocial offered a deal for Max’s Allegheny Tavern a few weeks ago. Max’s isn’t fancy, but it’s good. If I had a top 10 list of favorite Pittsburgh restaurants, Max’s would be on there.
Max’s is one of only 3 German-ish restaurants in Pittsburgh (that I know of). Although the Hofbrauhaus is a lot of fun, I don’t much care for the food. Although the mashed potatoes are good, the rest of it tastes rather mass produced. When I was a vegetarian, Penn Brewery was my favorite of the Pittsburgh German restaurants. They offer a decent variety of vegetarian options, and the food is tasty. Now that I’m not longer a vegetarian, Max’s is my favorite. The food and the atmosphere are very homey, like someone’s Oma is cooking up a plate for you.
I usually get some sort of Wurst dish, but this time I decided to try the Count Esterhazy Schnitzel. When I am in the mood for a plate of schnitzel, I usually order the tried-and-true Wiener Schnitzel, but this time I wanted to try something different. It was a decent dish, but I believe the veggies were from frozen. They weren’t bad, but they would have been a lot better if fresh. The german potato salad was tasty, as was the spaetzle. Mr. Beez was smart and asked specifically for a side of kaesespaetzle, which is what I wanted, but I was too busy dealing with a snarling toddler to think of it. Spaezle is good, but kaesespaetzle is GOOD. He did generously share some of his side with me, though, and next time I will make a point to remember to order the kaesespaetzle.
Mr. Beez ordered the wurstplaette, which has bratwurst, knackwurst, and weisswurst. He was very happy with his selection.
Max’s offers a Sunday Brunch at a reasonable price. My favorite part about the brunch is that it’s such a random mish-mash. They have some German dishes, breakfast pastries, an omelette bar, and then miscellaneous things like lasagna. The sheer scatterbrained quality of the offerings remind me of my Grandma, who offers everything in the fridge (regardless of whether it is coordinated), to make sure that everyone has full bellies.
The shining star of Max’s is always the soft pretzels. They’re deep fried and served with sweet mustard, and are AMAZING. One caveat- the many pretzels I ate in Germany did not taste like these, but that’s no problem, because these are even BETTER. These pretzels are the best part of the restaurant, and an order is a must-have on every visit.