Pillbox

Le Melon: Murray Avenue Grill’s Heart Comfort Food

Credit: Apeksha Atal/ Credit: Apeksha Atal/

It’s Sunday night, and you haven’t seen a movie anywhere except on the confines of your too-bright laptop screen. Your hand reaches for your phone, desperate to find a nice theater where you can put your feet up and relish in the glory of the big screen, but alas, it’s cold outside, and you’re not about to wait for a bus or take an Uber to South Side or the Waterfront. Well, there’s always Manor on Murray, folks. It’s got student friendly prices, and if you go late enough, crowd sizes on the lower end of the spectrum. It’s truly a unique experience having a theatre almost all to yourself — you can laugh as loud as you want and put your feet up. You can also eat as much as you want, which for me tends to be a problem, for movies distract the part of my brain that tells me that I’ve eaten four buckets of popcorn and probably should hold off on that next one. Because of this, I strive to eat a good meal before I catch a movie, so the munchies take a backseat to the actual movie experience.

Manor is in a local hotspot for restaurants, including a handful of ones that I’ve reviewed this semester. There’s Thai food, Chinese food, Italian food, you name it, and just across the street is a local favorite: Murray Avenue Grill. It echoes the spirit of South Craig’s own Union Grill, but with a sort of small town homeliness that warms up the place.

Every time I eat here, the waiters seem to be well acquainted with a majority of the customers present, and are always incredibly friendly. What’s best? They know the menu inside out, and have yet to let me down with their recommendations.

Favorites:
“Famous” Salmon Burger: This burger is an actual godsend. The patty melts in your mouth and is richly seasoned just enough to allow the fish to remain the hero of the plate. The warmth of the patty is cooled down with a roasted red pepper mayo. While the mayo sounds a little odd, its flavors compliment the salmon’s incredibly well. The red pepper gives an extra edge of body and bite to the mayo, and tastes best when spread over the patty as opposed to as a mere dip for the sides that come with the burger.

Onion Rings:
The onion rings at this place are huge and fried to perfection. The onion itself is thick enough to hold when you bite into the ring, but also soft and light once it hits your tongue.

Dessert:
Murray Ave has a wonderful spread of desserts, including the famous Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte. I did have the pleasure of trying a dessert, which I believe was a chocolate cobbler of some sort, that surpassed my expectations by a long shot. The dessert arrived in a large glass goblet, like the one’s you see giant ice cream sundaes served in in movies. It had a thick layer of a chocolate cake of some sort and glorious vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sauce slopped on top. At first glance, it looks like an over-glorified chocolate sundae, but the flavor is something else. I guess the best way to describe it would be a solidified, gooey hot chocolate with ice cream. It’s warm, it’s familiar, but it’s new at the same time.

“But Apeksha, do they have tea?”
Of course they do, it’s your pretty standard run of the mill tea-bag selection. I think the lemon tea washes down the salmon really well, and the green tea is always great. Everyone should try tea with their dinner at some point or another.

Cha-ching:
This place takes cards and cash and is happy to split the check on request. The prices aren’t too outrageous considering the sheer size of the portions, you’ll get your money’s worth and have nice a full belly by the end of the meal.

Herbivores, Omnivores, and Carnivores, lend me your ears:
There’s a pretty solid variety, I would say, of vegetarian and non-vegetarian. They do have an excellent black bean patty burger option for vegetarians that is in a class of its own. You can also craft your burger by asking for specific toppings, or you can order any of the pre-designed gourmet options they have to offer.

Are we there yet?:
Right across the street from manor, on Murray Ave. I’d take any of the 61’s from campus. If you’re going to Uber or walk, head on over to: 1720 Murray Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Click, click:
The website’s got a menu, a photo gallery, contact information, and other pretty standard features. It’s got a nice black and red aesthetic and isn’t too hard to maneuver through. Check it out: [SLANT12]http://www.murrayavenuegrill.com/[SLANT12]

For those stay-at-home days:
There’s no delivery straight from the source, but you can always use Postmates. They do have takeout though, so you can ring in to place an order and pick it up after catching a movie. Here’s a number: 412.521.1272

21+:
Pretty much a full bar, which is open later than the kitchen.

Ambiance:
As was mentioned, the warmth of the establishment is infectious and I’ve done everything from grabbing a quick bite to working on homework here and it’s always been an enjoyable experience.

College student friendly?:
For sure. There’s very much an “everyone is welcome” sort of vibe that lingers around the restaurant.

Overall rating: 3 melons