It's probably not possible to cheaply pack food for 3 days in a carry-on, so can I get some advice for what places are local to get food from?
You will get a bag at Registration when you get your badge. Look in it! There will be a guide to eating places in the area. Last year's guide separated the places by group (American, Chinese, Greek, Fast Food, etc.) and even had a map in the center showing where the places were.
Given that furry fans are usually low on cash, the three places you'll hear mentioned most often are Hanlon's Diner, Cory's Subs and, of course, Fernando's Cafe. The first is (basically) an old-fashioned diner and the other two are sub shops. Fernando's (or Furnando's, as it renames itself for Anthrocon week) is a favorite of Anthroconners because a few years back, a panhandler was bothering some of his patrons. Fernando came out and told the guy to leave his patrons alone and to move along. (The people happened to be Furries, but I think he would have done the same thing for any of his patrons.) The panhandler took offense to this and threw a rock at him, hitting Fernando in the head. He suffered a slight concussion and needed a few stitches: the panhandler was arrested (reportedly being tasered in the process) and was dealt with accordingly. This incident raised Fernando to almost saint-like status.
Actually, Fernando was already much-liked BEFORE that happened.
A) He had "Anthrocon specials" on his menu, a fur fringe marking the spot,
and paw-prints drawn on the ground went (IIRC) to his door.
B) He allowed a furry radio-station (internet) to set up in his seating area.
This is despite that obviously being space needed for customers.
However, this was liked by the customers, who got to listen to the music directly
on speakers, and got to put in requests. (I, personally, jogged over to put in
the first request the moment the DJ called for them, and that triggered some
other responses. I requested that Bloodhound Gang song.)
C) Fernando is a nice guy who opened earlier, closed later, and had more staff
to ensure we could all get food there.
D) Fernando has t-shirts made up with his store name and a big pawprint.
The incident in question elevated him from THAT status (we like this guy) to
"martyr for the cause".
I posted and linked and quoted about the incident here:
As for local food, there's plenty, even if you want to keep expenses down.
More of them are open Mon-Fri, but there's some open on the weekend as well.
(I've eaten at Subway's for breakfast, and the Smithfield Cafe is open for
Besides the aforementioned, there's Liang's Hunan right next to Hanlon's
and Furnando's. It's a Chinese buffet/restaurant. It's not award-winning,
but I give them props because when AC fell just after July 4, some of us
arrived July 4 and there were no restaurants open. Liang's was about to
close, but saw all the hungry people and they stayed open. They had one
person to cook, and one person to handle all the tables, but they stayed
until everyone was finished. (Nobody complained about slow service because
it was the fastest service in the area that night... )
I also like Golden Palace, which is a little further away, but has a
fantastic Chinese buffet and has a steady stream of AC'ers during the con.
There's also pizzerias and other fast food places (RB's, etc.)
Don't forget that most or all of the hotels will have places to eat inside
them, which is handy at odd hours. Some have places you can buy snacks for
your room in them or nearby as well.
MOST AC ATTENDEES DO NOT WEAR A FURSUIT OR ANY FORM OF COSTUME.
Let me add a few personal notes:
1) Ten years ago, Fernando DeCarvalho was homeless and living under one of Pittsburgh's many bridges. He worked himself up from those humble beginnings to become a successful businessman and one of Pittsburgh's most respected citizens.
2) He never forgot his roots. He watches out for the "little guy" and is always willing to offer help to someone who needs it. He even gives a hand up to local businesses that most would consider his competition.
3) He makes a damned fine, absolutely addictive lasagna-wrap!
I adore Fernando. He is one of the finest men I have ever met and I am very, very proud to know him.
Damn.. Now I want a lasagna-wrap
David M Stein, DI
"Not Unlike the Toaster, I Control the Darkness"
-- Abby Normal, "You Suck"
I will note that last year's guide is at http://www.anthrocon.org/node/6851/anthrocon-2011-dining-guide , for an example. Most of the places listed should be in the same business and location, but there will as mentioned be a fresh guide in your conbag.
I recomend Primanti Brothers
There are a few of your basic fast food joints and a drug store in the area too, for the seriously cash strapped.
Also, as you look through the dining guide, you'll find the restaurants helpfully labelled by price range ($ to $$$$) and reported quality (* to ****), with spots marked for them on the enclosed map and an address and estimated walking distance for each. I've never had any trouble finding places to eat in it.
Of course, you could also just start wandering and you'd probably blunder past an eatery or two anyway; the westin and convention center sit in the midst of a large cluster of restaurants, all within walking distance with nice sidewalks and crosswalk lights, so it's very easy to get food.
Being from the area for so long I highly reccomend Primanti Bros and Quaker Steak and Lube (best wings there not to mention a hot wing challenge of which I won several times.... I like hot stuff). For those with a bit of spare cash the Jerome Bettis restaurant next to Heinz field and the science center has amazing food. There's some fast food places downtown obviously and if you can travel there's quite a lot of affordable restaruants about 15-20 minutes outside of the city in Robison.
the Jerome Bettis 36 restaurant isnt too expensive for a sit down place. The casino has decent food in it too
Please tell me more of this hot wing challenge, as well as how to get to the place that holds it...
http://quakersteakandlube.com/Oakland_PA/ theres one over by Pitt university. Youd need to take a cab or city bus or have a local friend with a car take you .theres a small SMALL one inside the baseball park but its not a place you can do the wing challenge, its just a food vendor just like primanti bros has a small limited menu booth inside the baseball park as well
Seems like fun. I will give it a shot.
Hmm... Well, if I can get some furs to share a taxi, I'd like to go try it! Please tell me more about the challenge...
"Hmm... Well, if I can get some furs to share a taxi, I'd like to go try it! Please tell me more about the challenge..."
the challenge is simple.You have to eat I think 6? of their super SUPER hot wings.If you can do it,you get a certificate saying you did and your name gets on a list of people who could stomach the challenge.
Furnando's. Alternative, you could also go to Furnando's, and - if you have some spare cash - there's also Furnando's.
I've heard wild, unsubstantiated rumors about other places existing, but I pay them little mind.
Places exist to eat OTHER than Furnando's? HERESY!!
--Fandom Track Lead
As much as we adore Furnando, there are indeed other eateries. And believe me, Furnando is happy to have the help during Anthrocon weekend.
There's Hanlon's Cafe, run by a former Pittsburgh firefigher who lost his arm on duty several years ago.
There's Cory's, run by a fellow who put up his life savings to open a sandwich shop across the street from the Westin, and got his entire investment back before Anthrocon's opening ceremonies. As a native Philadelphian, I can attest that Cory's Philly Cheesesteak is top of the line.
And there's the Westin's own Original Fish Market, whose staff has been catering to furries for the past six years, and the Penn City Grill, home of Randy Gilson, humble waiter by day and Pittsburgh hero by night, a man who has single-handedly set out to beautify the city one block at a time.
Anthrocon is unique among Furry conventions, not only in having found such a loving and welcoming home in the city of Pittsburgh, but to be blessed by such a colorful array of local characters who have become dear friends to us.
I can definitely second Hanlon's Cafe as a very yummy place to eat! They really enjoyed our visits last year, and are wonderful people to chat with.
I third this statement.
Once more into the Fray, into the last good fight i'll ever know
I went to Hanlon's myself, and the food was great. So fourthed.
I definitely get my fair share of Philly Cheesesteaks at Cory's during AC. Love those things.
Assistant Director of Registration
This is me eating a Cory's Philly Cheesesteak: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAOJJ15hHhk Om Nom Nommy Num Nums! Seriously. I did that in front of the Westin a couple of years ago, and several furs got the reference!
I also highly recommend anything at Hanlon's. Especially his Shakes.
Same for FURnando's. Except for those bacon-topped muffins. Ewwww! (Although, the one time I tried them, the bacon was soft and chewy, not hard and crispy. So maybe I got a bad batch.)
The group I hung out with last year also hit the Original Fish Market on Thursday evening. A bit pricey for some budgets, but my Ahi Tuna Steak was excellent. However, the giant sushi platter that one of my companions ordered is what I'm having this year. This Otter was drooling, just looking at it! And the Bass Ale was superb. (Although, to be honest, after spending the previous day and morning packing, and then ten hours driving, even a couple of Duffs would have tasted pretty damn good as well!)
Soggy (the food critic) Otter
Philosophy is useless.Theology is worse.
Randyland is freakin' awesome!!!!
I love Pittsburgh.
Furnando's will be closed by the time the Con starts...I do recommend Hanlon's etc...you will see many places in your dining guide or do an online search for
restaurants via google maps etc. Pizza and sub shops nearby though some close Sun. Golden Palace--Chinese buffet weekdays.
If you venture a bit further away, Primanti Bros Market Sq....Station Sq area with Buca di Beppo. Doubletree has, or had, breakfast buffet
Have attended every single Anthrocon
I saw a photo suggesting Cory's is closing and being replaced with a gyro shop. True? Is he moving or shutting down entirely?
What? Where is this photo?
Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!! Cory's cheesesteaks were a staple of mine during the con. Now I will have to find another place to eat. This is so depressing.
Just to double check I called Cory's phone number and got the "number has been disconnected" message so it looks like it could be true.
That would be a disaster. We eat most of our meals at Cory's. Also, I hate gyros.
A page on Flayrah (quoting from a newspaper article--see below) said Cory's had 2 months' worth of business in about 5 days when we were here...sadly we're only here a little less
than a week per year. Well, if the place that replaces it (gyros) is worth it...Last yr on Sunday I finally wound up trying Tonic, across
from the Westin. A pretty good BBQ sandwich (may have just been a special but who knows) --and for the first time I noticed that in PA, you can't buy beer at a liquor store. You have
to go to a restaurant..as someone bought a 6 pack of Rolling Rock at the bar when I was there.
from Pitt. Post-Gazette, just after last yr's Con:>>At Cory's Subs, directly across the street from the Westin on 10th Avenue, owner Cory Robinson was offering furry fans a meal and a T-shirt featuring an illustration by a furry artist for $20. The convention is a boon, Mr. Robinson said, bringing him two months' worth of business in just five days. "We love furries," he said. "They're just people having fun, and they don't hurt anybody."Cory's Subs is in a prime location for Anthrocon. The convention's events take place on a tight schedule in the convention center and at the Westin, so furries don't often venture into the city for meals or entertainment
It sounds like a couple of the traditional favorite eating spots that I had been hoping to visit will no longer available as options for newcomers to Anthrocon.
Are there any brewpubs or microbreweries withing walking distance of Anthrocon? I run the brewfurs group on FA and was thinking of organizing an outing for subscribers who go to AC, and anyone else who is interested.
There's Sharp Edge a little down the street from the Marriot. It's a Belgian beer restaurant with lots of imported beers, ales, and ciders, as well as gourmet food.
well hopefully that new deli/gyro place gets a heads up that they are in for a world of business when we come there in June.they better be prepared.Hopefully they arent bad.I liked Cory`s .
I don't know about brewpubs/microbreweries within walking distance but for those with cars (I'll have a rental as always)
there are places like one I've been meaning to try, Church (about 2 miles away)
Or maybe buses go there.
a search for pittsburgh brewpubs on yahoo etc should turn up some, including one on the North Side but it may be a bit
more than walking distance (1.4 to 1.7 miles away, 800 Vinial St
A quick look at their menu shows they have an appetizer called Beer Cheese...
The loss of FURnando's was a tragedy; losing Cory's as well, and this takes on the characteristics of a disaster. Is the guy with the Hot Dog Pushcart still going to be at the corner of 10th and Penn Avenue, at least?
Hanlon's is going to be positively swamped!
As to Cory's location - small businesses like that close for a variety of reasons, including the health of the owner or family problems. If it is strictly due to lack of customers for most of the year, it is hard to see how another operation - particularly one with a less broad spectrum of menu choices - is going to succeed.
Especially yet another gyro place; there are probably at least three places within a 3-block radius that have them (Hanlon's being one); I've eaten Friday's lunch at one of them (a couple of blocks down Liberty) for all but one of the ACs in Pittsburgh...
If I do go to AC this year I think I'm going to bring some Hot Dog Shoppe food with me. It's a staple in the neighboring Beaver County (of which I'm from), and I actually work in one of the shoppes. Freshly made burgers, classic hot dogs, and some of the best fries in... ever. And trust me I would know since I have to make all this food lol. Literally the best chili-cheese or cheese or whatever you want on your fries fries in the area. I don't know if there's actually one in Pittsburgh, but it's definitely something you need to eat whenever you come to Western Pennsylvania.
it looks like the closest one is Ambridge which is only like 15 miles away
There's a hot dog place downtown, but I'm not sure if it's a Hot Dog Shoppe.
according to their website. the closest is in Ambridge like I said. Im sure there are other hot dog shops downtown though.
Wiener World and Franktuary are downtown.
As you've prob heard by now Furnando's will still be around at least for this year. My Moon Handbooks: Pittsburgh book mentions a place called The Original Hot Dog Shoppe that has been around for decades, open late, etc. Problem: way too far to walk. It's in the Oakland section nr Pitt. U ---maybe 3 miles from the Con but if ya got a car or wish to take a bus...(Of course the conv sched is jam packed so you want a place nearby) Open 10 am-4 pm, hot dogs, pizzas, lots of fries but again, more of a place to drive to. 3901 Forbes Ave (Haven't tried but may)
--the dining guide you'll get
--the official Pittsburgh travel guide...send away for it, or find it at the John Heinz History Center (tourist stuff, free, within the gift shop)
http://www.visitpittsburgh.com/ (or use that site)
--the aforementioned Moon Handbooks: Pittsburgh (I'm looking forward to brewpubs etc.)
I keep forgetting that Ambridge is so close to Pittsburgh. My grandma lives in Ambridge and it definitely seems a whole heck of a lot closer to my house then Pittsburgh. Probably because I never go to Pittsburgh that way. I375 for me or whatever the express way to the Fort Pitt tunnel is called these days lol.
"Madonna's" downtown. Authentic Mexican food (cooked by Bulgarians.) Just went there today and had THE BEST fish taco EVER!!!
I used to go to Madonna's all the time when it was in Oakland and I worked in Oakland. Delicious food, nice hearty portions, reasonable prices, clean shop, very nice owners.
It's not far from Anthrocon. Not as close as the Penn and Liberty restaurants, but a pleasant walk.
There a a lot of restaurants and a grocery store in "The Strip" which is a mile away or a 20 minute walk from the convention center. I've never been there before this past weekend but I'm checking it out this year.
This year, the Dining Guide and At-Con guide are being merged into one publication: The Convention Guide. It will be full of useful information for your visit to Anthrocon, including places within walking distance to eat!
We've made some changes and improvements to the Dining Guide this year based on our attendee feedback:
As always, your feedback is important to us and we hope to make your Anthrocon experience an enjoyable one!
Karl Xydexx JorgensenPublications DirectorAnthrocon, Inc.
Visit the Furry Fandom Infocenter at www.furryfandom.info!
Just a reminder to check out the Anthrocon Convention & Dining Guide and let us know what your favorite places to eat are. Your feedback is important to us!
If some furs are interested in trying one of the most delicious foods in the world, yet one that's practically unknown among the Great American Mallrat Crowd, might I suggest...Vietnam's Pho in the Strip.
What is pho? Best to let celebrity food loudmouth Anthony Bourdain explain it...
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