Cafe Sam

★★★★☆
  • 5242 Baum Blvd

    Pittsburgh, PA 15224

    Map & Directions
  • 412-621-2000

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We celebrated our wedding anniversary at this restaurant and enjoyed the whole experience. Great food, prompt service, and a comfortable environment. We love this place. This place is the perfect spot to share a special occasion with loved ones.

5
★★★★★

We celebrated our wedding anniversary at this restaurant and enjoyed the whole experience. Great food, prompt service, and a comfortable environment. We love this place. This place is the perfect spot to share a special occasion with loved ones.

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My fifth visit to Pittsburgh and fourth time at Cafe Sam -- you can't beat this place.

3
★★★★★

My fifth visit to Pittsburgh and fourth time at Cafe Sam -- you can't beat this place.

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This was my first time at Cafe Sam. I had the mussels appetizer and lasagna. Loved the sauce... the food was exceptional as was the service. I found the place to be quite delightful!

3
★★★★★

This was my first time at Cafe Sam. I had the mussels appetizer and lasagna. Loved the sauce... the food was exceptional as was the service. I found the place to be quite delightful!

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I have been to Pittsburgh for business over the last three months and have had the pleasure of eating at Cafe Sam during many of my stays. I can't get over how good the food is! I order something different every time and have not been

3
★★★★★

I have been to Pittsburgh for business over the last three months and have had the pleasure of eating at Cafe Sam during many of my stays. I can't get over how good the food is! I order something different every time and have not been

.

We had an excellent meal at Cafe Sam. Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the menu and answered all of our questions. Her recommedations served us well! My rainbow trout was perfect and my friend's steak was cooked exactly as she ordered it. The cajun seafood nacho appetizer had just enought kick to it, too!

2
★★★★★

We had an excellent meal at Cafe Sam. Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the menu and answered all of our questions. Her recommedations served us well! My rainbow trout was perfect and my friend's steak was cooked exactly as she ordered it. The cajun seafood nacho appetizer had just enought kick to it, too!

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The food at Cafe Sam is not only prepared well, but the combinations of ingredients are a feast for your taste buds. I've been there three times in the last month - grilled veal tongue, cajun nachos, naked pork riblets, grilled eggplant appetizer, ahi tuna, chicken tikka masala... I eat out often, and Cafe Sam is high on my list of restaurants. Oh, did I mention how great the service is? The waiters are very friendly and aim to please.

2
★★★★★

The food at Cafe Sam is not only prepared well, but the combinations of ingredients are a feast for your taste buds. I've been there three times in the last month - grilled veal tongue, cajun nachos, naked pork riblets, grilled eggplant appetizer, ahi tuna, chicken tikka masala... I eat out often, and Cafe Sam is high on my list of restaurants. Oh, did I mention how great the service is? The waiters are very friendly and aim to please.

Pros: Innovative Dishes and Friendly Service

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My wife and I had a great meal at Cafe Sam. We don't get the chance to go out to dinner very often (with three small children at home), so it was nice being at a restaurant with friendly people waiting on you and excellent food. Next time my wife and I are able to go out for dinner, we'll be sure to return to Cafe Sam.

2
★★★★★

My wife and I had a great meal at Cafe Sam. We don't get the chance to go out to dinner very often (with three small children at home), so it was nice being at a restaurant with friendly people waiting on you and excellent food. Next time my wife and I are able to go out for dinner, we'll be sure to return to Cafe Sam.

Pros: excellent all around

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I hooked up with my friends at Caf Sam a few nights ago. Margaritas, strawberry daiquiris, infused martinis, oh my! And the food was fabulous? the roasted sea scallops were to die for. Caf Sam is as good as any New York joint I??ve been to!

2
★★★★★

I hooked up with my friends at Caf Sam a few nights ago. Margaritas, strawberry daiquiris, infused martinis, oh my! And the food was fabulous? the roasted sea scallops were to die for. Caf Sam is as good as any New York joint I??ve been to!

Pros: great drinks and food

Cons: none

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My wife and I have been eating at Caf Sam for 15 years, and I don??t ever recall having a bad meal or experience at this fine establishment. Last night I ordered the Turkey Meatloaf from the four course dinner special. My wife had the Vidalia Onion Pie and Stuffed Pheasant off of the Chef??s Specials card. You can never go wrong with anything you eat at Caf Sam. The quality and consistency of the food is unmatchable, and Mary, Dan, and the wait staff are delightful!

2
★★★★★

My wife and I have been eating at Caf Sam for 15 years, and I don??t ever recall having a bad meal or experience at this fine establishment. Last night I ordered the Turkey Meatloaf from the four course dinner special. My wife had the Vidalia Onion Pie and Stuffed Pheasant off of the Chef??s Specials card. You can never go wrong with anything you eat at Caf Sam. The quality and consistency of the food is unmatchable, and Mary, Dan, and the wait staff are delightful!

Pros: consistent quality and delightful staff

Cons: none

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Entering the resturant, I was greeted in a friendly manner, there was a play going on across the street so Cafe Sam had a special "european" menu to go with the regular menu. There is a huge selection, everything is reasonably priced and the portions are just enough. All of the waiters were extremly professional and explained the menu completly. The food came to the table in record time and the meat/veg/grain ratio was perfect. The only thing that could be changed is the decor is dated, although the resturant was very clean I will definetly be returning to Cafe Sam

2
★★★★★

Entering the resturant, I was greeted in a friendly manner, there was a play going on across the street so Cafe Sam had a special "european" menu to go with the regular menu. There is a huge selection, everything is reasonably priced and the portions are just enough. All of the waiters were extremly professional and explained the menu completly. The food came to the table in record time and the meat/veg/grain ratio was perfect. The only thing that could be changed is the decor is dated, although the resturant was very clean I will definetly be returning to Cafe Sam

.

We had the $17.95 "March Madness" Four Course Dinner - Beef Brisket and Vegetable Soup, House Salad, Fresh Turkey Cutlet Parmesean (my boyfriend had Tilapia with Pecan Butter), and Strawberry Shortcake. Our waitress was great. Cafe Sam Rocks!!!

2
★★★★★

We had the $17.95 "March Madness" Four Course Dinner - Beef Brisket and Vegetable Soup, House Salad, Fresh Turkey Cutlet Parmesean (my boyfriend had Tilapia with Pecan Butter), and Strawberry Shortcake. Our waitress was great. Cafe Sam Rocks!!!

Pros: Amazing Food

.

Cafe Sam is Pittsburgh's best restaurant. Period. Where else can you get a large martini for $7.50 and a 15 oz. New York Strip Steak broiled to perfection for under $20? We stopped in on a snowy winter night, and were quickly warmed by the cozy atmosphere, friendly service, and great food at reasonable pricing. There is something on the huge menu for everyone, from basic continental to the finest in French cuisine (the host told us that both the owner and executive chef are Culinary Institute of America graduates). A lot of the food has interesting twists: there is a white kidney bean soup with kielbasa, a.k.a. Sam's wedding soup ($3.75), and tilapia picatta style ($14.95) which I usually see on veal or chicken. Don't forget to try the bittersweet chocolate mousee for dessert. Everthing about our experience was really perfect, and we can't wait to go back again!

2
★★★★★

Cafe Sam is Pittsburgh's best restaurant. Period. Where else can you get a large martini for $7.50 and a 15 oz. New York Strip Steak broiled to perfection for under $20? We stopped in on a snowy winter night, and were quickly warmed by the cozy atmosphere, friendly service, and great food at reasonable pricing. There is something on the huge menu for everyone, from basic continental to the finest in French cuisine (the host told us that both the owner and executive chef are Culinary Institute of America graduates). A lot of the food has interesting twists: there is a white kidney bean soup with kielbasa, a.k.a. Sam's wedding soup ($3.75), and tilapia picatta style ($14.95) which I usually see on veal or chicken. Don't forget to try the bittersweet chocolate mousee for dessert. Everthing about our experience was really perfect, and we can't wait to go back again!

Pros: Great value!

Cons: None!

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We celebrated our fourth New Year's Eve at Cafe Sam last night, and the entire experience was absolutely outstanding. On New Year's Eve the restaurant puts together a "prix fix" dinner for $39.95 that includes four courses and a campagne toast. I had shrimp scampi with lemon butter and garlic toast, lobster bisque, lamb chops rubbed with olive oil and herbs, and chocolate mousse for dessert. My wife had an assorted hors d'eourvres platter with ahi tuna tartar, pate, and smoked salmon, the lobster bisque, and venison osso bucco with kiln dried cherries and chesnut sauce, and chocolate cake for dessert. We also like this restaurant on New Year's Eve because it offers intimate dining and an opportunity for us to talk about the year past and our hopes for the new year. The service was very attentive, but paced to let us relax and enjoy the dinner. High praise to the entire staff for being able to stage such a high quality dining format that is different from the "regular" Cafe Sam menu. Looking forward to our fifth time next December 31st. Happy New Year to all!

2
★★★★★

We celebrated our fourth New Year's Eve at Cafe Sam last night, and the entire experience was absolutely outstanding. On New Year's Eve the restaurant puts together a "prix fix" dinner for $39.95 that includes four courses and a campagne toast. I had shrimp scampi with lemon butter and garlic toast, lobster bisque, lamb chops rubbed with olive oil and herbs, and chocolate mousse for dessert. My wife had an assorted hors d'eourvres platter with ahi tuna tartar, pate, and smoked salmon, the lobster bisque, and venison osso bucco with kiln dried cherries and chesnut sauce, and chocolate cake for dessert. We also like this restaurant on New Year's Eve because it offers intimate dining and an opportunity for us to talk about the year past and our hopes for the new year. The service was very attentive, but paced to let us relax and enjoy the dinner. High praise to the entire staff for being able to stage such a high quality dining format that is different from the "regular" Cafe Sam menu. Looking forward to our fifth time next December 31st. Happy New Year to all!

Pros: Unique New Year's Eve Dinner

Cons: Nothing

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When you enter Cafe Sam, you are greeted by an improvised bar meant to relieve you of a few dollars while you wait. There is no bar tender, just one person shared between the hostess stand and waiting tables. You won't feel comfortable there either, it?s not a quiet place but right in the middle of the hallway.

The hostess greets you with an affected demeanor that turns sour if you question why you aren't being seated at the empty tables.

The tables are small and comfortable, but not intimate.

Cafe Sam is located in an old house that has been adaptively reused, using the former living space for seating. Over all, the feeling is fine and busy with smartly dressed people, I suspect from Shadyside or the hospital, eating away.

The food here is a mixed bag. Some are unique, while others are completely bland. The Portabella Mushroom soup and the Shrimp Cakes are delicious, however, the Pasta with Beef Tips is a mass of mushy overcooked pasta drowning in a brown tasteless sauce.

I appreciate the samples that the staff brings around, but am very annoyed when interrupted by untrained wait-staff shoving a platter of hors de oeuvres into my face.

I would not recommend this restaurant because of poor service. The wait staff tries very hard, but it is obvious that they do not receive proper training from the management. Tongue and lip rings on a waitress belong in a coffee-shop, not here.

Finally, you can forget about splitting the check. The manager will tell you in no uncertain terms that they will not split the bill, period, instead telling you how fortunate you are to have the place to eat in and if you don't like it to go elsewhere.

(PS: The management responded cordially to this review. I am hopeful that a future visit will see an improvement in service.)

0
★☆☆☆☆

When you enter Cafe Sam, you are greeted by an improvised bar meant to relieve you of a few dollars while you wait. There is no bar tender, just one person shared between the hostess stand and waiting tables. You won't feel comfortable there either, it?s not a quiet place but right in the middle of the hallway.

The hostess greets you with an affected demeanor that turns sour if you question why you aren't being seated at the empty tables.

The tables are small and comfortable, but not intimate.

Cafe Sam is located in an old house that has been adaptively reused, using the former living space for seating. Over all, the feeling is fine and busy with smartly dressed people, I suspect from Shadyside or the hospital, eating away.

The food here is a mixed bag. Some are unique, while others are completely bland. The Portabella Mushroom soup and the Shrimp Cakes are delicious, however, the Pasta with Beef Tips is a mass of mushy overcooked pasta drowning in a brown tasteless sauce.

I appreciate the samples that the staff brings around, but am very annoyed when interrupted by untrained wait-staff shoving a platter of hors de oeuvres into my face.

I would not recommend this restaurant because of poor service. The wait staff tries very hard, but it is obvious that they do not receive proper training from the management. Tongue and lip rings on a waitress belong in a coffee-shop, not here.

Finally, you can forget about splitting the check. The manager will tell you in no uncertain terms that they will not split the bill, period, instead telling you how fortunate you are to have the place to eat in and if you don't like it to go elsewhere.

(PS: The management responded cordially to this review. I am hopeful that a future visit will see an improvement in service.)

Pros: Some interesting cuisine

Cons: Rude Unprofessional Staff, Poor Service Training, Amateurish

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Cafe Sam is really Pittsburgh at its best, when it comes to local restaurant scene, in consideration of the overall value of the food, service, ambiance. We had dinner there last night with another couple, and after our entrees were served the topic of conversation turned to how true this restaurant stays to consistency and creativity with the food. Our entrees choices came mostly from the "specials," and included a roast leg of lamb with polenta, tilapia fillets picatta style, peking duck salad with peanut dressing, and pork cutlets with homemade apple sauce. The latter was one part of my four course dinner that also included cheeseburger soup, salad, and a brownie a la mode for $17.95!!! (I don't know how they are able to do this for that price). The service is always crisp, not overbearing, and friendly, and the same managers are always on the premises, often strolling by and offering a complimentary taste of something. Cafe Sam is lodged in one on the few remaining old residences that once lined Baum Blvd., so the atmosphere is warm and homey. When you think about the whole experience, and factor in the price of the dinner compared to what you get elsewhere, Cafe Sam is simply tops. We always leave this restaurant happy and relaxed, and feeling lucky about having it in the neighborhood.

2
★★★★★

Cafe Sam is really Pittsburgh at its best, when it comes to local restaurant scene, in consideration of the overall value of the food, service, ambiance. We had dinner there last night with another couple, and after our entrees were served the topic of conversation turned to how true this restaurant stays to consistency and creativity with the food. Our entrees choices came mostly from the "specials," and included a roast leg of lamb with polenta, tilapia fillets picatta style, peking duck salad with peanut dressing, and pork cutlets with homemade apple sauce. The latter was one part of my four course dinner that also included cheeseburger soup, salad, and a brownie a la mode for $17.95!!! (I don't know how they are able to do this for that price). The service is always crisp, not overbearing, and friendly, and the same managers are always on the premises, often strolling by and offering a complimentary taste of something. Cafe Sam is lodged in one on the few remaining old residences that once lined Baum Blvd., so the atmosphere is warm and homey. When you think about the whole experience, and factor in the price of the dinner compared to what you get elsewhere, Cafe Sam is simply tops. We always leave this restaurant happy and relaxed, and feeling lucky about having it in the neighborhood.

Pros: Overall Value

Cons: None

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I recently celebrated my birthday at Cafe Sam's. I have to admit that I was aprehensive after reading the reviews posted on the web site. My party of eight went anyway and had one of the best evenings ever. The food was excellent, the service was above board and the prices were reasonable. The event was on a very busy Friday night and I truly think that a crowded restaurant is testimony to the greatness of the restaurant. I plan to return as soon as possible.

2
★★★★★

I recently celebrated my birthday at Cafe Sam's. I have to admit that I was aprehensive after reading the reviews posted on the web site. My party of eight went anyway and had one of the best evenings ever. The food was excellent, the service was above board and the prices were reasonable. The event was on a very busy Friday night and I truly think that a crowded restaurant is testimony to the greatness of the restaurant. I plan to return as soon as possible.

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Side dishes with entrees included, not fries or anything like that, but, like two leaves of green lettuce and this glob of what appeared to be uncooked seeds wrapped in these brown, brittle strings that I initially thought were pieces of very old wheatgrass, but which turned out to be something I couldn't identify -- maybe very thin roots or something. No idea. When I ordered the Buffalo Turkey Burger, I assumed I would get a turkey burger -- ground turkey meat hand-formed into the shape of a burger, simmered in Buffalo wing sauce and then placed on a bun, with lettuce, tomato, and maybe an onion. Instead, I got this burnt slab of what tasted like very porous rubber -- the sole of a shoe, maybe -- or maybe a bunch of paper that had been cut into the shape of a shoe sole, then soaked in oil for a week, then cooked in a frying pan and then placed on a firm, twelve-inch bun. No identifiable spice at all. Just the taste of rubber or maybe paper. Damp dust perhaps. On a bun. I had to request a reservoir of barbecue sauce just to give the thing some flavor. The glob of seeds and string was also seemingly not seasoned with anything. My eating partner's meal was not much better. I had a bite of her meal and it tasted like they had gone to great lengths to make the food as uninteresting and characterless as possible. No spices at all. No hint of flavoring. The salmon was dry; the potato was slightly burnt and crumbly; the cranberry sauce -- her additional side -- was bland and not even slightly sweet. Which prompted us both to ask: How do you mess up cranberry sauce?

0
★☆☆☆☆

Side dishes with entrees included, not fries or anything like that, but, like two leaves of green lettuce and this glob of what appeared to be uncooked seeds wrapped in these brown, brittle strings that I initially thought were pieces of very old wheatgrass, but which turned out to be something I couldn't identify -- maybe very thin roots or something. No idea. When I ordered the Buffalo Turkey Burger, I assumed I would get a turkey burger -- ground turkey meat hand-formed into the shape of a burger, simmered in Buffalo wing sauce and then placed on a bun, with lettuce, tomato, and maybe an onion. Instead, I got this burnt slab of what tasted like very porous rubber -- the sole of a shoe, maybe -- or maybe a bunch of paper that had been cut into the shape of a shoe sole, then soaked in oil for a week, then cooked in a frying pan and then placed on a firm, twelve-inch bun. No identifiable spice at all. Just the taste of rubber or maybe paper. Damp dust perhaps. On a bun. I had to request a reservoir of barbecue sauce just to give the thing some flavor. The glob of seeds and string was also seemingly not seasoned with anything. My eating partner's meal was not much better. I had a bite of her meal and it tasted like they had gone to great lengths to make the food as uninteresting and characterless as possible. No spices at all. No hint of flavoring. The salmon was dry; the potato was slightly burnt and crumbly; the cranberry sauce -- her additional side -- was bland and not even slightly sweet. Which prompted us both to ask: How do you mess up cranberry sauce?

Pros: Good location, they serve alcohol

Cons: Very, very bad food. Offensively bad food. Ritter's across the street is exponentially better. And far cheaper.

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We are staying next door at the Marriot Hotel, and this restaurant is lovely and charming. The entire staff is warm and welcoming, and the food is outstanding. Last night we enjoyed the Jamaican Swordfish Steak with Tequila Lime Butter and the Mahi-Mahi with Fresh Mango Chutney. The prices are reasonable and the restaurant is very clean. There is an outdoor patio that most resembles a garden of eden - many flowers and homegrown tomatoes and basil. Worth returning to Pittsburgh just for this iconic place! Five stars.

2
★★★★★

We are staying next door at the Marriot Hotel, and this restaurant is lovely and charming. The entire staff is warm and welcoming, and the food is outstanding. Last night we enjoyed the Jamaican Swordfish Steak with Tequila Lime Butter and the Mahi-Mahi with Fresh Mango Chutney. The prices are reasonable and the restaurant is very clean. There is an outdoor patio that most resembles a garden of eden - many flowers and homegrown tomatoes and basil. Worth returning to Pittsburgh just for this iconic place! Five stars.

Pros: Warm and Inviting, Food

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One Star is already too much. This restaurant represent what is wrong with Pittsburgh taste. Anyone who says that food is good at Cafe Sam should be indicted of "crime against food". Is not surprising that they have been open for 21 years....looks like there is a lot of ignorant people out there that consider what is served at CS..FOOD!!. Please! I do not want to go in details about the preparation of the food, but I can tell you that the experience of my 3 course meal was simply HORRID, ABOMINABLE, PAINFUL, DISGRACEFUL and hopefully forgettable.

0
★☆☆☆☆

One Star is already too much. This restaurant represent what is wrong with Pittsburgh taste. Anyone who says that food is good at Cafe Sam should be indicted of "crime against food". Is not surprising that they have been open for 21 years....looks like there is a lot of ignorant people out there that consider what is served at CS..FOOD!!. Please! I do not want to go in details about the preparation of the food, but I can tell you that the experience of my 3 course meal was simply HORRID, ABOMINABLE, PAINFUL, DISGRACEFUL and hopefully forgettable.

Pros: none

Cons: what they serve is not food

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We've been going to Cafe Sam for over a decade at least six times a year, and highly recommend it. We've never had a bad meal there, and the vast majority have been fantastic. I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the outside dining or the pasta. At the top of the restaurant there is a deck you can eat on a beautiful evening, one of the best outdoor dining experiences in Allegheny county. The menu has a series of pasta dishes that are appetizer size, and you can order two of them for an entree. And no one mentioned the cookies!!!!!! Eat there, you'll be happy!

2
★★★★★

We've been going to Cafe Sam for over a decade at least six times a year, and highly recommend it. We've never had a bad meal there, and the vast majority have been fantastic. I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the outside dining or the pasta. At the top of the restaurant there is a deck you can eat on a beautiful evening, one of the best outdoor dining experiences in Allegheny county. The menu has a series of pasta dishes that are appetizer size, and you can order two of them for an entree. And no one mentioned the cookies!!!!!! Eat there, you'll be happy!

Pros: Outside deck, inventive menu, pasta combinations

Cons: The inside can be just a bit noisy

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C'mon! We just had dinner at Cafe Sam, and it is stll by far Pittsburgh's best restaurant. It's the place the competition loves to hate because the quality of the food, service, and atmosphere can't be touched. And that's why it's full every night. Cafe Sam is unpretentous, you don't need to be the king of cool to go there. And that's probably why there are so many cool people there! Because it's so affordable, the restaurant sports an unusually diverse crowd - artists, students, doctors, politicians, and plain neighborhood folks. No snots! We find it a place to go and relax, come as you are, and get greeted as you are in the friendly atmosphere of a locally owned spot. How they are able to produce homemade food for the price is the mystery. Last night's four course dinner included a greek salad, vidalia onion soup, a fresh chopped lamb steak, and almond cream cake for sixteen bucks. My wife ate calamari sushi, hand breaded fried mushrooms with horseradish sauce, and a grilled radichio salad - no entree. All superb. Add to that a choice from the extensive list of micro brews (I had a Dogfish Indain Pale Ale) and your good to go! This restaurant isn't formatted for the wannabees . It's always been the place that gets the job done for great food and drink, simple as that. Five stars - it's a no brainer. All the regulars at this place (and there is a ton of them) know the score.

2
★★★★★

C'mon! We just had dinner at Cafe Sam, and it is stll by far Pittsburgh's best restaurant. It's the place the competition loves to hate because the quality of the food, service, and atmosphere can't be touched. And that's why it's full every night. Cafe Sam is unpretentous, you don't need to be the king of cool to go there. And that's probably why there are so many cool people there! Because it's so affordable, the restaurant sports an unusually diverse crowd - artists, students, doctors, politicians, and plain neighborhood folks. No snots! We find it a place to go and relax, come as you are, and get greeted as you are in the friendly atmosphere of a locally owned spot. How they are able to produce homemade food for the price is the mystery. Last night's four course dinner included a greek salad, vidalia onion soup, a fresh chopped lamb steak, and almond cream cake for sixteen bucks. My wife ate calamari sushi, hand breaded fried mushrooms with horseradish sauce, and a grilled radichio salad - no entree. All superb. Add to that a choice from the extensive list of micro brews (I had a Dogfish Indain Pale Ale) and your good to go! This restaurant isn't formatted for the wannabees . It's always been the place that gets the job done for great food and drink, simple as that. Five stars - it's a no brainer. All the regulars at this place (and there is a ton of them) know the score.

Pros: You don't get robbed paying to be seen.

.

Cafe Sam's atmosphere is non-existent while its decor is totally uninspiring. From the pink feux-leather booth seating to its dingy drop ceilings and fake floral arrangements dominating the room, Cafe Sam misses the mark. The decor from the Ritter's 24 hr Diner across the street is probably more in style and up to date than Sam's. Sam offers "italian" food that is quite un-italian to say the least. The pastas are dredged in cheese and butter and over sauced, flavored, and spiced beyond belief. The Gnocchi with Tiger Prawn I sampled was swimming in butter, contained maybe 3 shrimp that were anything but Tiger prawns and the Gnocchi seemed to be fried due to their charred and tough outer sides. My date and I were served ?salads? consisting of browning wilted lettuce covered in cheese and bacon to disguise this fact. The calamari appeared to be Ms. Pauls from the nearby grocer?s freezer section, which the staff proceeded to singe beyond recognition and edibility. The wine list is about as uninspiring as the atmosphere, containing very few wines and even fewer good wines. The staff although enthusiastic appeared to step right from a high school musical. Mean while the majority of clientele appeared to have all experienced the great depression. So if you're under 80, looking for good italian cuisine and a romantic and hip atmosphere in Pittsburgh........steer clear of Cafe Sam's pink nightmare of a restaurant.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Cafe Sam's atmosphere is non-existent while its decor is totally uninspiring. From the pink feux-leather booth seating to its dingy drop ceilings and fake floral arrangements dominating the room, Cafe Sam misses the mark. The decor from the Ritter's 24 hr Diner across the street is probably more in style and up to date than Sam's. Sam offers "italian" food that is quite un-italian to say the least. The pastas are dredged in cheese and butter and over sauced, flavored, and spiced beyond belief. The Gnocchi with Tiger Prawn I sampled was swimming in butter, contained maybe 3 shrimp that were anything but Tiger prawns and the Gnocchi seemed to be fried due to their charred and tough outer sides. My date and I were served ?salads? consisting of browning wilted lettuce covered in cheese and bacon to disguise this fact. The calamari appeared to be Ms. Pauls from the nearby grocer?s freezer section, which the staff proceeded to singe beyond recognition and edibility. The wine list is about as uninspiring as the atmosphere, containing very few wines and even fewer good wines. The staff although enthusiastic appeared to step right from a high school musical. Mean while the majority of clientele appeared to have all experienced the great depression. So if you're under 80, looking for good italian cuisine and a romantic and hip atmosphere in Pittsburgh........steer clear of Cafe Sam's pink nightmare of a restaurant.

Pros: Non-existent ambiance with horrid decor

Cons: Service was acceptable

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What a wonderful time! My family has been visiting here for the last four years, but let me pick where to go for graduation. Wow, everyone was so happy when I said let's celebrate at Cafe Sam because it is number one with them, too! As usual, the specials all sounded so amazing that it was nearly impossible to choose. I don't know how the chefs came prepare so many dishes with so much diversity. I had the Indian Chicken Tikki Masala, and my brother had a Bison Shepard's Pie. My Dad picked the big Strip Steak, and my mother had Gnocci with Tiger Shrimp. There were eight of us all together, we had two servers, and it was quite the special occassion. We all got a free sample of slush margaritas, and I got a graduation toast with that! I am sorry to be leaving Pittsburgh, and will miss a lot of things, including Cafe Sam. I know the restaurant has been there for many years, and it's good to know I will be able to come back to it when I visit. How about a Cafe Sam for Philly!

2
★★★★★

What a wonderful time! My family has been visiting here for the last four years, but let me pick where to go for graduation. Wow, everyone was so happy when I said let's celebrate at Cafe Sam because it is number one with them, too! As usual, the specials all sounded so amazing that it was nearly impossible to choose. I don't know how the chefs came prepare so many dishes with so much diversity. I had the Indian Chicken Tikki Masala, and my brother had a Bison Shepard's Pie. My Dad picked the big Strip Steak, and my mother had Gnocci with Tiger Shrimp. There were eight of us all together, we had two servers, and it was quite the special occassion. We all got a free sample of slush margaritas, and I got a graduation toast with that! I am sorry to be leaving Pittsburgh, and will miss a lot of things, including Cafe Sam. I know the restaurant has been there for many years, and it's good to know I will be able to come back to it when I visit. How about a Cafe Sam for Philly!

.

Service was fair - it can be difficult to attract your wait-person's attention at times, especially when they are also manning the front desk, seating patrons and folding linens.

The Portabella mushroom soup was excellent.

The Steak Ceasar salad was lousy: since when does a Ceasar include beets and artichoke hearts? The salad was overwhelmed with shredded cheese and swimming in dressing. The so-called steak was cooked sometime during the past week, and appeared to have been either refrigerated or frozen during its more recent life. How they managed to wring every last bit of flavor out of it, I'll never know, but they did. It was dry and had all the flavor of cardboard.

1
★★☆☆☆

Service was fair - it can be difficult to attract your wait-person's attention at times, especially when they are also manning the front desk, seating patrons and folding linens.

The Portabella mushroom soup was excellent.

The Steak Ceasar salad was lousy: since when does a Ceasar include beets and artichoke hearts? The salad was overwhelmed with shredded cheese and swimming in dressing. The so-called steak was cooked sometime during the past week, and appeared to have been either refrigerated or frozen during its more recent life. How they managed to wring every last bit of flavor out of it, I'll never know, but they did. It was dry and had all the flavor of cardboard.

.

We moved to Pittsburgh two years ago from New York, and continue to enjoy the outstanding restaurant choices in the Shadyside/Squirrel Hill area. That said, Cafe Sam is the best of the best in consideration of price, quality, service, and atmosphere. Last time we were there, we both selected choices from the monthly four course "prix fix" menu that is amazingly priced at $16.95. We started with portobella mushroom soup, the then a hearts of romaine salad with french roquefort dressing. My wife had the lemon chicken entree and I had the 10.oz New York Strip steak. For dessert - cheesecake. Every dish was absolutely outstanding.
This restaurant is most noteable for its personal service. The same host and hostesses are always on the premises, and they have an uncanny ability to remember you. We are a fairly "low key" couple, and the last time we were in they remembered what we drink!
In this era of instituitional restaurants, it's nice to see the independents still thriving. I noticed a banner from the Culinary Insitute of America next to the piano we I left last time, and was told all the dressings, sauces, etc. are made from scratch.
Final note: we really like the variety of food choices and the consistency since we visit often. There is everything from large salads, burgers, and sandwiches, to fresh seafoods, steaks, and chops.
It's a great place!

2
★★★★★

We moved to Pittsburgh two years ago from New York, and continue to enjoy the outstanding restaurant choices in the Shadyside/Squirrel Hill area. That said, Cafe Sam is the best of the best in consideration of price, quality, service, and atmosphere. Last time we were there, we both selected choices from the monthly four course "prix fix" menu that is amazingly priced at $16.95. We started with portobella mushroom soup, the then a hearts of romaine salad with french roquefort dressing. My wife had the lemon chicken entree and I had the 10.oz New York Strip steak. For dessert - cheesecake. Every dish was absolutely outstanding.
This restaurant is most noteable for its personal service. The same host and hostesses are always on the premises, and they have an uncanny ability to remember you. We are a fairly "low key" couple, and the last time we were in they remembered what we drink!
In this era of instituitional restaurants, it's nice to see the independents still thriving. I noticed a banner from the Culinary Insitute of America next to the piano we I left last time, and was told all the dressings, sauces, etc. are made from scratch.
Final note: we really like the variety of food choices and the consistency since we visit often. There is everything from large salads, burgers, and sandwiches, to fresh seafoods, steaks, and chops.
It's a great place!

.

Cafe Sam is across from the Shadyside hospital and I've eaten there twice while visiting a sick relative. It has the trappings of a nice, fun restaurant and looks like it should be good. The first time I ate there I ordered the potato latkes and their chicken special. The latkes were nothing special and the chicken was dry and over cooked.

Figuring I had just come on a bad night, I went with a friend on my next trip to Pittsburgh. Sitting at the table, we had what seemed to be fruit flys flying around the table. The music was good ? Miles Davis was playing on the sound system. I ordered Tai Beef and my friend, a pasta appetizer. The Beef was fatty and stringy with ill prepared peanut sauce. My friends pasta dish was swimming in a tasteless sauce. I ordered the surf and turf mixed grill special. Again the lobster was tasteless, in a way I?ve never tasted lobster before and pieces of it were burnt. The steak was also just a bad piece of meat. My friends steak was ordered medium rare and came cold and very rare.

When the hostess came around and asked us how things were we told here we were unhappy. She offered to take things back to the kitchen but at this point we had no confidence that anything was going to be good so we finished up our meal and left. On the way out, we experienced a very defensive and rude hostess telling us that they had been in business for 21 years and everyone loved their food. We told her we were from New York and knew good food, and this wasn?t it. She made no apology and of course did not offer to comp any part of our meal. The bill came to $140 for the two of us and was without a doubt the worse meal I?ve ever eaten.

Buyer beware.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Cafe Sam is across from the Shadyside hospital and I've eaten there twice while visiting a sick relative. It has the trappings of a nice, fun restaurant and looks like it should be good. The first time I ate there I ordered the potato latkes and their chicken special. The latkes were nothing special and the chicken was dry and over cooked.

Figuring I had just come on a bad night, I went with a friend on my next trip to Pittsburgh. Sitting at the table, we had what seemed to be fruit flys flying around the table. The music was good ? Miles Davis was playing on the sound system. I ordered Tai Beef and my friend, a pasta appetizer. The Beef was fatty and stringy with ill prepared peanut sauce. My friends pasta dish was swimming in a tasteless sauce. I ordered the surf and turf mixed grill special. Again the lobster was tasteless, in a way I?ve never tasted lobster before and pieces of it were burnt. The steak was also just a bad piece of meat. My friends steak was ordered medium rare and came cold and very rare.

When the hostess came around and asked us how things were we told here we were unhappy. She offered to take things back to the kitchen but at this point we had no confidence that anything was going to be good so we finished up our meal and left. On the way out, we experienced a very defensive and rude hostess telling us that they had been in business for 21 years and everyone loved their food. We told her we were from New York and knew good food, and this wasn?t it. She made no apology and of course did not offer to comp any part of our meal. The bill came to $140 for the two of us and was without a doubt the worse meal I?ve ever eaten.

Buyer beware.

Pros: Only sit down restaurant near local hospital

Cons: terrible food, defensive and rude management

.

A clean, attractive white building with upstairs patio seating Cafe Sam looks out of place on a street of car dealers and fast food joints. More than once I drove past and wondered if the food matched the exterior appearence. I'm happy to say that it does. There is a nice bar when you enter, the inside seating is attractive and well spaced. I ate on the patio which was surprisingly quiet considering the volume of traffic on Baum Blvd. Appitizer was fresh tomato and mozzerella topped with a tangy 1000 island dressing. Very tasty. Entre was duck with orange/raspberry glaze. The duck was fork tender and the sauce complimented but did not overpower the duck. The potatoes were good, I wished there were more. Decided to have the double chocolate cake for dessert which was also good. Only minor negative was the bread which was non-descript. Service was attentive without being over bearing. All in all very good experience. Total tab with two glasses of wine and tip was $50 which is right in line. I will go back with my wife and try them for lunch. They also have sandwiches and burgers on the menu.

2
★★★★★

A clean, attractive white building with upstairs patio seating Cafe Sam looks out of place on a street of car dealers and fast food joints. More than once I drove past and wondered if the food matched the exterior appearence. I'm happy to say that it does. There is a nice bar when you enter, the inside seating is attractive and well spaced. I ate on the patio which was surprisingly quiet considering the volume of traffic on Baum Blvd. Appitizer was fresh tomato and mozzerella topped with a tangy 1000 island dressing. Very tasty. Entre was duck with orange/raspberry glaze. The duck was fork tender and the sauce complimented but did not overpower the duck. The potatoes were good, I wished there were more. Decided to have the double chocolate cake for dessert which was also good. Only minor negative was the bread which was non-descript. Service was attentive without being over bearing. All in all very good experience. Total tab with two glasses of wine and tip was $50 which is right in line. I will go back with my wife and try them for lunch. They also have sandwiches and burgers on the menu.

Pros: Good food, service and a wide menu

Cons: You have to go here on purpose.

.

After treating my mom to Mother's Day dinner at Cafe Sam and falling in love with the food, my husband and I decided to have our wedding rehearsal dinner here. It was a dream of an experience. The food was excellent, with options to suit everyone. The upstairs room provided the perfect atmosphere for our families and friends to meet and mingle -- many were meeting for the first time, and most importantly, Mary and the other staff handled several curveballs and all requests with a smile. Most brides are on pins and needles the night before the wedding, but I found myself so relaxed halfway through dinner, that I almost forgot what the occasion was. Excellent value for the price, too.

2
★★★★★

After treating my mom to Mother's Day dinner at Cafe Sam and falling in love with the food, my husband and I decided to have our wedding rehearsal dinner here. It was a dream of an experience. The food was excellent, with options to suit everyone. The upstairs room provided the perfect atmosphere for our families and friends to meet and mingle -- many were meeting for the first time, and most importantly, Mary and the other staff handled several curveballs and all requests with a smile. Most brides are on pins and needles the night before the wedding, but I found myself so relaxed halfway through dinner, that I almost forgot what the occasion was. Excellent value for the price, too.

Pros: Delicious Food, Great Prices, Service

Cons: Location is somewhat "hidden"

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My girlfriend and I just went to Cafe Sam's for our anniversary, and it was one of the top three restaurant experiences of my life. The ambiance was terrific, with a piano bar, nice decoration, and a good use of space. Our waitress was sensational. She knew the menu very well, never tried to push us to buy anything more expensive than we wanted, and always brought out the courses at the perfect time. The food was fantastic. I had angel hair with sun dried tomatoes and roasted almond garlic, my girlfriend had penne with blue crab. Both of the meals were prepared excellently, with fresh ingredients that outweighed the pasta. We shared a decadent chocolate cake for dessert that was very good, but almost a letdown after the near-perfect dinner. The final bill for everything came out to 24$, and was accompanied by fresh baked cookies. I wouldn't have felt cheated if I'd paid double for the menu (the owner also came around with samples of a new buffalo chicken salad which is also delicious). Honestly, there is nothing about Cafe Sam that I could even nitpick about. Highly, highly recommended

2
★★★★★

My girlfriend and I just went to Cafe Sam's for our anniversary, and it was one of the top three restaurant experiences of my life. The ambiance was terrific, with a piano bar, nice decoration, and a good use of space. Our waitress was sensational. She knew the menu very well, never tried to push us to buy anything more expensive than we wanted, and always brought out the courses at the perfect time. The food was fantastic. I had angel hair with sun dried tomatoes and roasted almond garlic, my girlfriend had penne with blue crab. Both of the meals were prepared excellently, with fresh ingredients that outweighed the pasta. We shared a decadent chocolate cake for dessert that was very good, but almost a letdown after the near-perfect dinner. The final bill for everything came out to 24$, and was accompanied by fresh baked cookies. I wouldn't have felt cheated if I'd paid double for the menu (the owner also came around with samples of a new buffalo chicken salad which is also delicious). Honestly, there is nothing about Cafe Sam that I could even nitpick about. Highly, highly recommended

.

Eating at this restaurant is like being on the inside of a diamond. Lovely mannequin. My grandpa was like "I don't like this one bit" and I had to prove it to him, and you know how I did that? I smiled through the whole thing. "It's gonna happen!" And it did.

2
★★★★★

Eating at this restaurant is like being on the inside of a diamond. Lovely mannequin. My grandpa was like "I don't like this one bit" and I had to prove it to him, and you know how I did that? I smiled through the whole thing. "It's gonna happen!" And it did.

.

My family and I went here when I first moved to Pittsburgh. While I found my meal to be good, other family members did not seem to think that their food was up to standard. The most striking example of this was my aunt, who ordered a fajita. The fajita was served cold, on a bed of lettuce. As you should know, one of the things that makes a fajita a fajita is that it is served warm. When this was pointed out to the server, they took it away, microwaved the fajita part, and put it back on the bed of lettuce. The result was a gooey mess sitting on mushy, wilted lettuce. Needless to say, I don't want to go back.

0
★☆☆☆☆

My family and I went here when I first moved to Pittsburgh. While I found my meal to be good, other family members did not seem to think that their food was up to standard. The most striking example of this was my aunt, who ordered a fajita. The fajita was served cold, on a bed of lettuce. As you should know, one of the things that makes a fajita a fajita is that it is served warm. When this was pointed out to the server, they took it away, microwaved the fajita part, and put it back on the bed of lettuce. The result was a gooey mess sitting on mushy, wilted lettuce. Needless to say, I don't want to go back.

.

Fun unpretentious eatery in what appears to be an old Pgh house. Simple and elegant atmosphere. Great price fix during the week. The food is good and plentiful, if traditional. Would like to try the roof dining.

2
★★★★☆

Fun unpretentious eatery in what appears to be an old Pgh house. Simple and elegant atmosphere. Great price fix during the week. The food is good and plentiful, if traditional. Would like to try the roof dining.

Pros: atmosphere, food , value

Cons: not real adventurous

.

My husband and I celebrated New Year's Eve here last year and it was an experience to remember! The menu was at a fixed price, and a very reasonable price at that! There were several choices for each course. The hardest part of the evening was deciding what to choose because everything looked amazing! We enjoyed a five-course meal that included to-die-for wild mushrooms in a French cream sauce, a seafood bisque, filet mignon cooked and seasoned to perfection, and fresh strawberry sorbet! The food was served at a leisurely pace and the service was excellent. One more charming aspect of the evening were the little hors d'oeuvres served throughout the course of the meal. Delicious! We will be back again this year!

2
★★★★★

My husband and I celebrated New Year's Eve here last year and it was an experience to remember! The menu was at a fixed price, and a very reasonable price at that! There were several choices for each course. The hardest part of the evening was deciding what to choose because everything looked amazing! We enjoyed a five-course meal that included to-die-for wild mushrooms in a French cream sauce, a seafood bisque, filet mignon cooked and seasoned to perfection, and fresh strawberry sorbet! The food was served at a leisurely pace and the service was excellent. One more charming aspect of the evening were the little hors d'oeuvres served throughout the course of the meal. Delicious! We will be back again this year!

Pros: Amazing Food, Great Service, Charming Location

Cons: NONE

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We had pasta and the best part was we were able to choose two pasta dishes and have them both as our entree. You dont have to choose one, you choose two appetizer size pastas and have them both split in the same bowl! It was absolutely delicious! I definitly say go there- we tend to be very choosey and we were very pleased. Also we dont have a very large budget but we were able to make it work. The main course was so big we didnt need an appetizer.

2
★★★★★

We had pasta and the best part was we were able to choose two pasta dishes and have them both as our entree. You dont have to choose one, you choose two appetizer size pastas and have them both split in the same bowl! It was absolutely delicious! I definitly say go there- we tend to be very choosey and we were very pleased. Also we dont have a very large budget but we were able to make it work. The main course was so big we didnt need an appetizer.

Pros: pasta, menu choices, waiter

Cons: decor a little

.

excellent service with a flare....the four course special a delight at a price one can't believe! The atmosphere charming.

2
★★★★★

excellent service with a flare....the four course special a delight at a price one can't believe! The atmosphere charming.

 

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