Sally Ann’s Review – Downtown Cafe Style Diner
Last updated on August 10, 2022 by Angie
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Sally Ann’s is yet another restaurant concept from Richard DeShantz, and it fills a much-needed niche by offering casual, vegetarian breakfasts and lunches in downtown Pittsburgh.
Taking over the old Pork and Beans spot, this large space in the heart of the Cultural Quarter has a vibrant, laid-back atmosphere with lounge-style seating in the center of the restaurant, plenty of high tables, and a large outdoor seating area. space on 6th street.
In keeping with the cafe’s vibe, food and drink are all served at the counter – there’s a dedicated register for ordering food, while drinks are ordered separately at the bar. There is also a separate line for coffee drinks during the day. Although it took a second to get used to, it really highlighted how different this one is from other restaurants nearby!
Casual drinking and dining at Sally Ann’s
On our visit we naturally had to start by checking out the bar menu which had a good variety of beers, wines and cocktails.
The beer menu had a few local options but seemed primarily geared towards crowd pleasers with broader styles (think Blue Moon and Stella next to Arsenal Fighting Elleck and an East End Hefeweizen). The wine list was surprisingly interesting with options like a Zweigelt sparkling rose, a blend of Grenache blanc from Languedoc and one of our favorite Italian varietals, Nero d’Avola, to name a few.
The cocktail menu piqued our interest in this particular visit as it had several spritz options, a negroni draft, sangria, an espresso martini and a few other more creative options including the Almost Famous and the Sunflower Smile which we have tried. The Almost Famous was made up of mezcal, genepi, aperitif and lime which was smoky, herbal and slightly tart, while the Sunflower Smile was a mix of gin, orange liqueur, fleur de elderberry and bergamot syrup which had a hint of citrus and was deliciously floral, but not too much.
Food-wise, the menu primarily features soups, sandwiches, salads, and bowls, leaning into their cafe-style dinner. There are a ton of options for vegetarians and veggie lovers with plenty of seasonal ingredients along with other meat dishes to suit every palate.
First, we tried the Japanese sweet potatoes from the snack portion of the menu. Lightly fried with a delicate, crispy exterior and creamy interior, these potatoes strike the perfect sweet/salty balance. The potatoes had a subtle sweetness and were topped with a creamy mayonnaise and eggs for a contrasting savory punch.
During our visit, the sandwich of the day was a hot chicken sandwich. Although a modest portion, the chicken was super tender with a slightly crispy fry, but we thought it had almost zero spice and would have liked a lot more heat and sauce all around.
We also tried the cereal bowl with salad leaves, quinoa/farro mix, smoked beets, pickled carrots and chickpeas. You can add a protein of your choice (steak, falafel, chicken or homemade smoked turkey breast) and choose your own dressing. We opted for a lemon tahini dressing (rich with lots of tartness from the lemon) and a falafel (three small falafels with a nice crispy fry and tons of fresh herb flavor).
The individual components of the bowl were all well seasoned and well executed, but the beets stood out with their unexpectedly delicious subtle smoke. For a quick and healthy lunch downtown, this bowl would be really hard to fill.
We couldn’t leave without trying a dessert, and we opted for the raspberry and hibiscus cheesecake. The graham cracker crust was nice and thick, and the raspberry hibiscus layer on top was sweet but tart, to offset the rich cheesecake filling. It was one of those treats we could see coming in, ordering take out and enjoying just as much by the river as for dinner!
All in all, there’s a lot to like about Sally Ann’s. The restaurant offers fantastic healthy and vegetarian breakfast/brunch/lunch options with a modern cafe vibe – something downtown Pittsburgh can always use more of. Although the counter service setup can be a bit confusing at first, it fits perfectly with the informal nature of the place and helps keep the price of everything under control.
We can’t wait to come back for brunch and for more creative vegetarian offerings here!
at Sally Ann is located at 136 6th Street in downtown Pittsburgh.
For more Richard DeShantz restaurantsdiscover Butcher and the Rye, Tako, tako Torta, Fish Nor Fowl, Poulet Bleu, Coop de Ville, Gi-Jin or Meat & Potatoes!