229 S Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA | Directions 1520640.458216 -79.924979
Will not return again! – We will not return to this restaurant again! This is not the Casbah we used to know and love from several years ago. The restaurant has changed and the food and service are no where near as good as they used to be. Our last two visit were quite disappointing. I had to send the pork chop I ordered back to the kitchen not once but twice because they served it to me practically raw. I was 9 months pregnant at the time and clearly they should be careful about serving undercooked food to pregnant women. Most recently, I returned with my husband to celebrate his birthday after we received a "coupon" in the mail from the Big Burritto group. We figured we would give Casbah another chance, and were completely disappointed again. The manager was a nasty woman with no customer service experience. We notified her that we had accidentally forgotten the birthday coupon at home, but my husband was gladly willing to show her his drivers license to prove it really was his birthday. She refused to grant the coupon and forced my husband to drive back home to get it. I explained that we were regular patrons and this was no way to treat customers, she stated to me that she didn't care. To add insult to injury, the food we had that evening was rather mediocre. The duck was served cold and the octopus salad made no sense with a mixture of tastes which simply did not belong together. Please do not waste your time here. There are much better restaurants in Pittsburgh like Spoon and Legume.
Disappointing! – We went for a quiet, romantic dinner. Our reservation requested a quiet, intimate table... there is no such thing! We have enjoyed Toast, Eleven, SOBA, Nine on Nine, etc but Casbah does not have the atmosphere or dining experience of any of the above mentioned restaurants. The atmosphere is more like "fast food", with very close seating, children arguing and a noise level that prevented conversation across the small table. Requested dress is "business casual" but many were dressed in jeans/tshirts and some wore hoodies. The waitress was harried, the portions were very small and the food was very boring for $30 per plate. The tuna with pasta was bland, but the salmon was quite good. Reservation was for 7:00 and we were in our car by 7:45... certainly not what we expected!! Very, very disappointing for $100.
Different – I ate here during summer, it was hard to get a seat. It was small inside with a large tackily decorated enclosed patio. I ordered the scallops which were good but small portions for the price. I ordered the blueberry cheesecake desert but it was small, it was good.
The location is hard to find, weird streets and parking. It was good food but really small for what you are paying for. It would be worth it for lower prices.
Classy restaurant where you can go for dates – I am a single guy and have been to Casbah twice during the past year on two different dates. On both those occasions, I have enjoyed both the food and the ambiance; the ambiance more than the food but by only a little. On both occasions, I have sat on the porch on a table for two and have had good conversations with the other person.
Food: Good; pretty eclectic; not out of the world given that over the last year I have had food at lots of fairly pricey restaurants across the U.S.; nevertheless it is among the better that I have had in Pittsburgh.
Service: Great. Waiters are courteous and respect your privacy and personal space. On one occasion, when the waiter took longer than normal to ask us for drinks, we were offered a complimentary cheese plate. Before serving our meal, they also offered us small portions of dishes as compliments of the chef.
Cons: Somewhat pricey. A dinner for two of us without any drinks and appetizers cost me ~ $55. However on the other occasion when I had gone for the Sunday brunch, I got what I thought was a good deal. You can definitely try that out. Also somewhat a limited selection of entrees. Would have liked somewhat more options.
Overall one and a half thumbs up.
Delightful find. – Again, stumbled upon this restaurant on a Wednesday night. They had a lot of business, but were able to accommodate us easily. We sat in the covered patio at first -- it started to pour so eventually we moved inside to the downstairs area, which they opened because of the rain. It is a very clean restaurant with warm colors (browns and reds).
Some quick negatives: The outside patio is almost too dimly lit; the dishes while inventive/complicated do not always deliver; in general I prefer less sauces/salt to my meals.
Our dishes: I ordered the pork loin, which was fantastic (and large). It came with butternut squash risotto, which I felt went very nicely with my meat. I also tried a friend's lamb dish (a bit small) -- it was ordered medium, but came out more of a medium rare (however, I prefer rarer so I thought it was delicious). I did not care for the sweetness of the sides that accompanied the lamb, however. As for appetizers -- the hummus dish is generous, but did not stand out. Their flatbread was not to my liking. The cauliflower soup was good -- wonderful flavoring, however it was very creamy so I could not eat too much of it -- perfect for sharing I thought. Finally the lamb mac n cheese had more lamb than pasta -- I couldn't really taste the cheese and I was not a fan of the bread crumbs (too many; too greasy).
Overall, I loved the atmosphere. Our server was amazing, patient, sweet and attentive. The bathroom downstairs was impeccably clean. I find the food good -- some dishes are better than others. I enjoyed my wine flight -- I loved the vast wine selection. I would certainly return and am considering having it be one of the restaurants I take my parents to during graduation week.
Great food, OK service – First the good: Casbah has great food and an inventive menu. Dishes are very well prepared. I enjoyed their wine list. Trendy but comfortable decor. Now the bad: I have had multiple experiances of bad service there. I have found some staff to be arrogant, dismissive, and once downright rude. I sat at the bar one evening, waiting for a friend. The bartender was washing glasses. I sat for a few moments and then ask her for the wine list. She said nothing and finnished a few more glasses. I thought maybe she did not hear me. She finally came over set down a menu and walked away. I had to flag her down again to order, and I was the only person at the bar (she was not busy). I have had some wonderful meals there and some staff is great, but I have had enough bad experiances that i stopped going. They should send there staff to Eleven to learn about service excellence.
Excellent Eclecticism – This is a wonderful restaurant. The ambience is immediately set by the intimate enclosed porch area, which insulates the restaurant from a busy street and pedestrians. The interior of the restaurant is equally intimate, and the food is superb. There is a wide range of cuisine, all of which is fresh, inventive, and subtle. The wine list is outstanding, as is the service. This is one of the finer restaurants in Pittsburgh, and is well-suited for larger groups.
Poor brunch – A small group of us went there for brunch on a fall Sunday and the experience was sub par. We had very slow service and our entrees took over 30 minutes to come out after the appetizers were finished. The entrees themselves were nothing to write home about -- the french toast was bland and the eggs were runny like water. Avoid.
Best deal is Sunday brunch – I agree that Casbah food can be very good, though not consistently excellent, and agree with some reviewers that it's a bit overpriced and that the portions of some dishes can be stupidly stingy. The $20 Sunday brunch is a decent deal, though, especially for Shadyside. It includes a bread basket, any appetizer, any entree, and a cocktail (or any non alcoholic beverage they offer). Most of the entrees added to an appetizer a la carte would be well over $20. And not all the brunch entrees are breakfast-y, there are always meat, fish and pasta options. If you want to try Casbah, Sunday brunch is the way to go.
My favorite restaurant – When I moved to Pittsburgh over a year ago from NYC, I was so impressed with Casbah. Excellent food, decor, and service. The wine list is huge. The summer sangria was amazing. The menu is constantly changing, with the freshest ingredients. Outdoor seating is the best. Even though a little pricer than other Pittsburgh restaurants - WELL WORTH IT.
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