As you may know by now, I like to ride my bicycle on the random days off I get during the week. I use this time to meet up with friends for lunch downtown, hit the gym, work on my blog, and sometimes grab a drink before returning home. One place in particular I like to venture for a post lunch beverage is Redfin Blues located right in Washington’s Landing Marina at 100 Waterfront Drive. My favorite time to come for a drink is during the week in the summer because it makes me feel like I’m on a relaxing vacation somewhere outside of Pittsburgh. Having a beer at the bar overlooking the dock with boats lined on the water makes me feel like I am in Baltimore overlooking the bay, or even Key West! Going along with the summer vacation theme, it’s only important to know that Redfin Blues is only opened seaonally, running from April 2nd-October 7th. So just because Pittsburgh has one random nice day in February, don’t go racing on your bicycle there with your friends just to realize it is closed! I may have done that before…
I only know how to get to Redfin Blues by bicycle, so my friend Pasco and I biked from Mount Washington (taking the incline) through Station Square, the Point, and North Side to get onto the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. There, we followed the trail towards Troy Hill and veered right onto the bridge with a sign reading Washington’s Landing. I was exploring the Three Rivers Heritage Trail about 6 years ago when I first found Redfin Blues. Since then, I have never visited the restaurant any other way than by bicycle. It is an added bonus that the route has a scenic river path that I really enjoy.
Since I am used to the low volume crowd at Redfin Blues during a weekday afternoon, I had no idea what to expect on a Saturday evening. It was bumping! They had a two and a half hour wait for a table excluding first come-first serve high top tables and bar seating. We managed to grab a bar seat but quickly jumped to a high top table that opened up. Believe me when I say we jumped faster than a hare running from a predator to get that table. I am glad we sprung to the high top because we had not been waited on at the bar after sitting there for at least 10 minutes. Since they do not take reservations on the weekends, I would highly suggest using the No Wait app to cut down on your potential wait time.
Once we were situated at the high top, we ordered some drinks and an appetizer. This is the second blog post in a row where I ordered a mead from Apis. The bottle we split was their featured drink (which wasn’t on special) called the Strawberry Kiwi. Just like the blackberry raspberry mead, it was sweet and fruity.
As for the appetizer, we split the bruschetta. Since Redfin Blues is a seafood restaurant, my preference for non-seafood options for appetizers were limited. It came down to the bruschetta, quesadillas, fries, or nacho, so I tried to pick the least greasy option for us.
We didn’t mess around at all and placed our entree order in at the same time. I ordered the pulled pork tacos while Pasco ordered the fish tacos. Unfortunately for me, doing a taco swap during this meal was not an option with Pasco’s choice of fish, but we did exchange some bites.
Pasco and I scarfed down the bruschetta once it arrived given how hungry we were after burning all those calories bike riding. It was delicious, but we both thought our own homemade versions were comparable. Or, for example, Pasco adds pesto to his bruschetta at home so he missed that little touch. I thought it was a tad better than mine, especially because of the fresh bread they used.
After an average wait time, our tacos were ready. The pulled pork was served in a flour tortilla with Carolina Style slaw on top. The thick sauce covering the pork was sweet like the Apis Mead. I usually prefer smokey pulled pork but the sweet sauce worked well with the slaw. The shells were warm and super soft which was a nice contrast from the crunchy slaw which was light and not too vinegary. My only complaint here is that I would prefer the flour shells to be toasted. I think a little more crunch could work with the simple, yet substantial pork and slaw. The tacos were served with a bowl of fire roasted corn salad which I thought was refreshing, but the corn was a little overcooked and too onion-y for my palate.
I did venture out of my comfort zone and tried a bite of Pasco’s fish taco with lime crema sauce. For me, it was still too fishy tasting even with the abundant chopped cucumber, lettuce, and tomato. In exchange, I gave Pasco a bite of the pulled pork taco which he admitted to liking more than his fish taco. In his words, he thought the pulled pork was simple and delicious. As a mild critique of his taco, he would have suggested having the fish mixed in with the filling instead of having the fish lay on top of the taco.
The food came out within a reasonable amount of time but the service in general was slow. I did like the pulled pork tacos, but I wish I could chose a different side other than coleslaw or corn salad without the $4.50 up charge. The tacos were a little pricey for just two tacos and a small side. In the future, I think I will stick to my weekday afternoon visits to enjoy the river view, drinks, and solitude.
Price: 2 Pulled pork tacos with corn salad $14; 2 fish tacos with corn salad $16