It’s summer time and time to be touristy! Check out Pittsburgh’s Just Ducky Tours!
Pittsburgh is gorgeous in the summer. Whether you are an actual tourist or a Pittsburgh resident, a great way to explore our fair city is to take a Just Ducky tour. The World War II amphibious vehicles tours embark at Station Square and wind through downtown Pittsburgh. The driver/tour guide shares information about the history and architecture of different sites, churches, and buildings usually with a good dose of “Dad Humor.” Guests are encouraged to quack at different times during the trip and to wave to walkers in the city. Eventually, the tour takes riders into the rivers, entering first into the Monongahela. The tour then takes riders down around the Point and down the Ohio River towards the casino. Again, the driver/tour guide points out items of interest along the river. I learned that the fountain at Point Park has a wind sensor that determines how high the fountain should project water into the air without soaking park visitors. When in the water still, and there are younger children aboard, they are given opportunities to come to the front of the amphibious vehicle and steer. The tour then returns to the ground on the North Shore near the city stadiums before eventually returning back to Station Square.
This is a great outing for young and old alike. If the weather is inclement, the tours are land only, which is information that they share on their web page (See below). Wait for when the weather is more agreeable so that you enjoy the entire spectrum of the tour. It is a lighthearted, informative, and fun way to spend an afternoon. I give Pittsburgh Just Ducky Tours an overall rating and recommendation of:
“Absolutely Must Visit!”
125 W Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Visit Just Ducky Tours
Park Bruges, located in the Highland Park section of the city (and its cousin restaurant Point Brugge, located in Point Breeze) pay homage to the European experience of finding unique bistros in obscure residential sections of villages or towns. Both restaurants are in sections of the city which could be described as isolated, but that is part of their intended charm. Both feature food with Belgian inspired fare. Park Bruges is different from its cousin in that it has a flair of French food emphasis and will be the venue focused on in this review.
Park Bruges features a great food and drink menu. A great starter cocktail is the Black Manhattan, but there are a variety of other drinks to choose from including a good selection of Belgian beers. A great appetizer to start with is the mussels. They have four different versions to choose from. Go with the small portion because it is more than amble for a party of four to share. I strongly recommend the Spicy Creole mussels that have great broth for bread dipping. For the less adventurous, go with the Classic White Wine mussels. I would suggest skipping over the Green Curry mussels though; curry doesn’t go with everything. There is a wide spectrum of dinner salads, but if you’re going to a restaurant with such unique food, go with one of the entrees. My three favorites are the Bay of Fundy Salmon, the Chicken Milanese, and the Braised Short Ribs. If you aren’t that hungry, go with the Bruges Burger and try the slaw.
The greeter, servers, bartenders have always consistently been very welcoming and friendly. In all the instances that I have been at Park Bruges, the bartenders were not frantically overworked and had time to banter with the patrons. However, in my last visit, the wait staff was undermanned and therefore the service was slow and not as fluid. One example of the irregularities was the waitress bringing the entree course before the appetizer course dishes were cleared. This was all inconsistent with past visits, and the staff warmth overall has been always been terrific.
Park Bruges, unlike its cousin, offers a choice between indoor and outdoor seating. If given a choice and the weather is nice, go for the outdoor seating. The decor offers a bright vibrant space to enjoy one’s dinner. The lighting and music are not overbearing and strike a nice balance of both.
Park Bruges reliably provides a terrific restaurant experience. Although, my last visit there were some bumps with the service and my short ribs entree was a little overcooked, this is inconsistent with what my Part Bruges encounters have been. My overall rating is:
“Go For It!”
5801 Bryant Street
Highland Park, Pittsburgh PA