Pamela's P&G Diner
60 21st St, Pittsburgh, PA
Originally written for the Mix
Slush, wind, and heavy snowfall never keep Pittsburghers from huddling into Pamela’s Diner at the Strip District. Flamingo-tinted doors open to bundled up couples and parties of friends waiting patiently for their brunch. Each group waits for their name to be called, which could take up to half an hour. They are seated at retro, metal tables next to bright blue walls that are scattered with family photos. The conversations hold typical Pittsburgh values. Words fly around the air about the Penguins playing tomorrow, Giant Eagle being busy, and the tunnels being backed up.
In the short hours they are open for breakfast and lunch, Pamela’s never stops bustling. The diner moves like clockwork between bussed tables, hot plates, and coffee carafes. Despite the busy space, it is well worth the wait for the sake of tasting Pamela’s star dish, hotcakes. Crepe-like and crispy edged, the hotcakes can come with a variety of fillings. The most popular is a mixture of strawberries, brown sugar, and sour cream wrapped up like a gift with a bow of whipped topping.
The hotcakes can be complemented by another specialty of Pamela’s, Lyonnaise potatoes. They are pan-fried but soft made with a savory mixture of potato, onion, and butter. You could stick with one dish and be satisfied but Pamela’s is a place for indulgence. You will want to try each item at least once, the Chorizo and eggs being a must, but it’s the strawberry hotcakes that bring you back to this colorful diner every time.