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Cafe Sam

(34)
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Italian Restaurants, American Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants

5242 Baum Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

412-621-2000

CLOSED NOW: 
Today: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm

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REVIEW SUMMARY

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34 Reviews
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First-classBetter than mostAbout what I expectedNot the worst...Disappointing
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shpss

04/14/12

Provided by Citysearch
Great Restaurant

My fifth visit to Pittsburgh and fourth time at Cafe Sam -- you can't beat this place.

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jansch101

03/01/12

Provided by Citysearch
DELIGHTFUL!

This was my first time at Cafe Sam. I had the mussels appetizer and lasagna. Loved the sauce... the food was exceptional as was the service. I found the place to be quite delightful!

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mcam600

12/13/10

Provided by Citysearch
Never Disappointed

I have been to Pittsburgh for business over the last three months and have had the pleasure of eating at Cafe Sam during many of my stays. I can't get over how good the food is! I order something different every time and have not been disappointed once. Although, I have to admit, the last meal I had (smoked turkey sausage appetizer and braised lamb entree) has been my favorite so far. For my next visit, I'm getting the veal chops. A table next to mine had an order. Boy, did they look good!

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pnydin

08/15/10

Provided by Citysearch
Excellent!

We had an excellent meal at Cafe Sam. Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the menu and answered all of our questions. Her recommedations served us well! My rainbow trout was perfect and my friend's steak was cooked exactly as she ordered it. The cajun seafood nacho appetizer had just enought kick to it, too!

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llbgh5

07/27/10

Provided by Citysearch
Great Pittsburgh Restaurant

The food at Cafe Sam is not only prepared well, but the combinations of ingredients are a feast for your taste buds. I've been there three times in the last month - grilled veal tongue, cajun nachos, naked pork riblets, grilled eggplant appetizer, ahi tuna, chicken tikka masala... I eat out often, and Cafe Sam is high on my list of restaurants. Oh, did I mention how great the service is? The waiters are very friendly and aim to please.

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MarkMLE

06/30/10

Provided by Citysearch
Great Dinner

My wife and I had a great meal at Cafe Sam. We don't get the chance to go out to dinner very often (with three small children at home), so it was nice being at a restaurant with friendly people waiting on you and excellent food. Next time my wife and I are able to go out for dinner, we'll be sure to return to Cafe Sam.

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csim15211

06/13/10

Provided by Citysearch
Fabulous!

I hooked up with my friends at Café Sam a few nights ago. Margaritas, strawberry daiquiris, infused martinis, oh my! And the food was fabulous… the roasted sea scallops were to die for. Café Sam is as good as any New York joint I’ve been to!

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dmcl098

06/04/10

Provided by Citysearch
Unmatchable

My wife and I have been eating at Café Sam for 15 years, and I don’t ever recall having a bad meal or experience at this fine establishment. Last night I ordered the Turkey Meatloaf from the four course dinner special. My wife had the Vidalia Onion Pie and Stuffed Pheasant off of the Chef’s Specials card. You can never go wrong with anything you eat at Café Sam. The quality and consistency of the food is unmatchable, and Mary, Dan, and the wait staff are delightful!

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anonymous

01/27/10

Great lunch & Dinner. Lunch salads are to die for. all sandwitchs good & Cream of Mushroom soup the best.We have had several dinners and everything we picked was great. Great place to dine.

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pittgirl15216

03/05/09

Provided by Citysearch
March Madness

We had the $17.95 ""March Madness"" Four Course Dinner - Beef Brisket and Vegetable Soup, House Salad, Fresh Turkey Cutlet Parmesean (my boyfriend had Tilapia with Pecan Butter), and Strawberry Shortcake. Our waitress was great. Cafe Sam Rocks!!!

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johndavis8729

01/26/09

Provided by Citysearch
Great Dinner

Cafe Sam is Pittsburgh's best restaurant. Period. Where else can you get a large martini for $7.50 and a 15 oz. New York Strip Steak broiled to perfection for under $20? We stopped in on a snowy winter night, and were quickly warmed by the cozy atmosphere, friendly service, and great food at reasonable pricing. There is something on the huge menu for everyone, from basic continental to the finest in French cuisine (the host told us that both the owner and executive chef are Culinary Institute of America graduates). A lot of the food has interesting twists: there is a white kidney bean soup with kielbasa, a.k.a. Sam's wedding soup ($3.75), and tilapia picatta style ($14.95) which I usually see on veal or chicken. Don't forget to try the bittersweet chocolate mousee for dessert. Everthing about our experience was really perfect, and we can't wait to go back again!

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marvinschwartz

01/01/09

Provided by Citysearch
New Year's Eve 2009

We celebrated our fourth New Year's Eve at Cafe Sam last night, and the entire experience was absolutely outstanding. On New Year's Eve the restaurant puts together a ""prix fix"" dinner for $39.95 that includes four courses and a campagne toast. I had shrimp scampi with lemon butter and garlic toast, lobster bisque, lamb chops rubbed with olive oil and herbs, and chocolate mousse for dessert. My wife had an assorted hors d'eourvres platter with ahi tuna tartar, pate, and smoked salmon, the lobster bisque, and venison osso bucco with kiln dried cherries and chesnut sauce, and chocolate cake for dessert. We also like this restaurant on New Year's Eve because it offers intimate dining and an opportunity for us to talk about the year past and our hopes for the new year. The service was very attentive, but paced to let us relax and enjoy the dinner. High praise to the entire staff for being able to stage such a high quality dining format that is different from the ""regular"" Cafe Sam menu. Looking forward to our fifth time next December 31st. Happy New Year to all!

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ronjamin

12/29/08

Provided by Citysearch
Mixed Bag on Food, Wait-Staff Not Properly Trained For Level of Service Expected, Terribly Haughty a

When you enter Cafe Sam, you are greeted by an improvised bar meant to relieve you of a few dollars while you wait. There is no bar tender, just one person shared between the hostess stand and waiting tables. You won't feel comfortable there either, it?s not a quiet place but right in the middle of the hallway.

The hostess greets you with an affected demeanor that turns sour if you question why you aren't being seated at the empty tables.

The tables are small and comfortable, but not intimate.

Cafe Sam is located in an old house that has been adaptively reused, using the former living space for seating. Over all, the feeling is fine and busy with smartly dressed people, I suspect from Shadyside or the hospital, eating away.

The food here is a mixed bag. Some are unique, while others are completely bland. The Portabella Mushroom soup and the Shrimp Cakes are delicious, however, the Pasta with Beef Tips is a mass of mushy overcooked pasta drowning in a brown tasteless sauce.

I appreciate the samples that the staff brings around, but am very annoyed when interrupted by untrained wait-staff shoving a platter of hors de oeuvres into my face.

I would not recommend this restaurant because of poor service. The wait staff tries very hard, but it is obvious that they do not receive proper training from the management. Tongue and lip rings on a waitress belong in a coffee-shop, not here.

Finally, you can forget about splitting the check. The manager will tell you in no uncertain terms that they will not split the bill, period, instead telling you how fortunate you are to have the place to eat in and if you don't like it to go elsewhere.

(PS: The management responded cordially to this review. I am hopeful that a future visit will see an improvement in service.)

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MichaelEdu

12/06/08

Provided by Citysearch
Pittsburgh at its Best!

Cafe Sam is really Pittsburgh at its best, when it comes to local restaurant scene, in consideration of the overall value of the food, service, ambiance. We had dinner there last night with another couple, and after our entrees were served the topic of conversation turned to how true this restaurant stays to consistency and creativity with the food. Our entrees choices came mostly from the ""specials,"" and included a roast leg of lamb with polenta, tilapia fillets picatta style, peking duck salad with peanut dressing, and pork cutlets with homemade apple sauce. The latter was one part of my four course dinner that also included cheeseburger soup, salad, and a brownie a la mode for $17.95!!! (I don't know how they are able to do this for that price). The service is always crisp, not overbearing, and friendly, and the same managers are always on the premises, often strolling by and offering a complimentary taste of something. Cafe Sam is lodged in one on the few remaining old residences that once lined Baum Blvd., so the atmosphere is warm and homey. When you think about the whole experience, and factor in the price of the dinner compared to what you get elsewhere, Cafe Sam is simply tops. We always leave this restaurant happy and relaxed, and feeling lucky about having it in the neighborhood.

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marjorieoleary

11/17/08

Provided by Citysearch
Best food & service

I recently celebrated my birthday at Cafe Sam's. I have to admit that I was aprehensive after reading the reviews posted on the web site. My party of eight went anyway and had one of the best evenings ever. The food was excellent, the service was above board and the prices were reasonable. The event was on a very busy Friday night and I truly think that a crowded restaurant is testimony to the greatness of the restaurant. I plan to return as soon as possible.

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anidiazabala

11/03/08

Provided by Citysearch
The Worst Meal I Have Ever Paid For

Side dishes with entrees included, not fries or anything like that, but, like two leaves of green lettuce and this glob of what appeared to be uncooked seeds wrapped in these brown, brittle strings that I initially thought were pieces of very old wheatgrass, but which turned out to be something I couldn't identify -- maybe very thin roots or something. No idea. When I ordered the Buffalo Turkey Burger, I assumed I would get a turkey burger -- ground turkey meat hand-formed into the shape of a burger, simmered in Buffalo wing sauce and then placed on a bun, with lettuce, tomato, and maybe an onion. Instead, I got this burnt slab of what tasted like very porous rubber -- the sole of a shoe, maybe -- or maybe a bunch of paper that had been cut into the shape of a shoe sole, then soaked in oil for a week, then cooked in a frying pan and then placed on a firm, twelve-inch bun. No identifiable spice at all. Just the taste of rubber or maybe paper. Damp dust perhaps. On a bun. I had to request a reservoir of barbecue sauce just to give the thing some flavor. The glob of seeds and string was also seemingly not seasoned with anything. My eating partner's meal was not much better. I had a bite of her meal and it tasted like they had gone to great lengths to make the food as uninteresting and characterless as possible. No spices at all. No hint of flavoring. The salmon was dry; the potato was slightly burnt and crumbly; the cranberry sauce -- her additional side -- was bland and not even slightly sweet. Which prompted us both to ask: How do you mess up cranberry sauce?

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rustymandel

08/01/08

Provided by Citysearch
Lovely and Charming

We are staying next door at the Marriot Hotel, and this restaurant is lovely and charming. The entire staff is warm and welcoming, and the food is outstanding. Last night we enjoyed the Jamaican Swordfish Steak with Tequila Lime Butter and the Mahi-Mahi with Fresh Mango Chutney. The prices are reasonable and the restaurant is very clean. There is an outdoor patio that most resembles a garden of eden - many flowers and homegrown tomatoes and basil. Worth returning to Pittsburgh just for this iconic place! Five stars.

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Mika61

07/25/08

Provided by Citysearch
The Worst of the Worst. Simply Horrible!

One Star is already too much. This restaurant represent what is wrong with Pittsburgh taste. Anyone who says that food is good at Cafe Sam should be indicted of ""crime against food"". Is not surprising that they have been open for 21 years....looks like there is a lot of ignorant people out there that consider what is served at CS..FOOD!!. Please! I do not want to go in details about the preparation of the food, but I can tell you that the experience of my 3 course meal was simply HORRID, ABOMINABLE, PAINFUL, DISGRACEFUL and hopefully forgettable.

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nelson1457

05/25/08

Provided by Citysearch
Eat two pastas on the outside deck

We've been going to Cafe Sam for over a decade at least six times a year, and highly recommend it. We've never had a bad meal there, and the vast majority have been fantastic. I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the outside dining or the pasta. At the top of the restaurant there is a deck you can eat on a beautiful evening, one of the best outdoor dining experiences in Allegheny county. The menu has a series of pasta dishes that are appetizer size, and you can order two of them for an entree. And no one mentioned the cookies!!!!!! Eat there, you'll be happy!

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mandelsteve

05/15/08

Provided by Citysearch
Beautiful Lagoon

C'mon! We just had dinner at Cafe Sam, and it is stll by far Pittsburgh's best restaurant. It's the place the competition loves to hate because the quality of the food, service, and atmosphere can't be touched. And that's why it's full every night. Cafe Sam is unpretentous, you don't need to be the king of cool to go there. And that's probably why there are so many cool people there! Because it's so affordable, the restaurant sports an unusually diverse crowd - artists, students, doctors, politicians, and plain neighborhood folks. No snots! We find it a place to go and relax, come as you are, and get greeted as you are in the friendly atmosphere of a locally owned spot. How they are able to produce homemade food for the price is the mystery. Last night's four course dinner included a greek salad, vidalia onion soup, a fresh chopped lamb steak, and almond cream cake for sixteen bucks. My wife ate calamari sushi, hand breaded fried mushrooms with horseradish sauce, and a grilled radichio salad - no entree. All superb. Add to that a choice from the extensive list of micro brews (I had a Dogfish Indain Pale Ale) and your good to go! This restaurant isn't formatted for the wannabees . It's always been the place that gets the job done for great food and drink, simple as that. Five stars - it's a no brainer. All the regulars at this place (and there is a ton of them) know the score.

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DETAILS
Hours
Regular Hours
Mon - Tue:
Wed - Thu:
Fri:
Sat:
Sun:
Categories
Italian Restaurants, American Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Caterers, Restaurants, Steak Houses, Take Out Restaurants
Payment Options
Price Range
$$
Neighborhoods
East End, Bloomfield
Other Information

Parking: Lot, Private

Wi-Fi: No

Attire: Casual

Good For Groups: Yes

Good for Kids: No

Take Out: Yes

Cuisines: Caterers, American, Take Out, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Italian, Steakhouse, European, Continental

Alcohol: Full Bar

Bike Parking: Yes

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Average

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