Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 16, 1998 · Page 108
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 108

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, October 16, 1998
Page:
Page 108
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on the WEEKEND MAG FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1998 Munch goes to "You wanna know what lunch is like in hell? "I'll tell you what it's like: "It's like having to eat lunch Downtown EVERY single DAY: The SAME old fi $ thing!" So your particularly grumpy gourmet was muttering at the office the other day, when a colleague from the newspaper's A&E department found himself in the wrathful Munch's path and blurted, "They're serving lunch at the Electric Banana." The Electric Banana! Not to date oneself (something with which Munch unfortunately has much experience), but Munch hadn't been in that Bigelow Boulevard dive since it was a go-go bar called the Spotlight. Great story: The current owner, Johnny "Banana" Zarra, went in there in 1966, met a dancer named Judy, and wound up marrying her and buying the lounge in 1970. Seven years later, they gave the place the great "Electric Banana" name and switched the theme to disco. The Banana went on to become the homey headquarters to Pittsburgh's punk scene bands with names like Carsickness and the Little Wretches. Now lunch? Can a club go from mosh to nosh? What the heck: It was daylight, and anything sounded better than an assembly-line bagel sandwich, which is what the netherworld makes you eat for every meal if you've been extremely bad. Munch entered tentatively, trying to adjust to the bar darkness, and despite being a stranger, was greeted like an old friend by Johnny, in pure Johnny Banana style. "EVERYTHING here is the BEST!" he shouted, explaining how Judy makes it all homemade, pi ttf i ' 1 TT F? riTTTI i It Carnegie Centra 412-429-7272 412-391-7272 Authentic Italian Papa does it all Private Parties, Rehearsal Dinners, Office Parties, - Catering. Call Papa J's Headquarters 412-279-7272 , . www papajs.com . r , n the Last week, Munch popped back and gorged on the special plate of lasagna, meatball, stuffed peppers and mushrooms, garnished with roasted red peppers, homegrown tomato salad and garlic toast, plus homemade poundcake with strawberries and whipped cream. Gawd, it was good. iust like she has for years for the bands. "What are ya hungry for?" From behind the bar, he did the menu as free-form spoken word, emphasizing the real steak on the steak sandwich ("No bull") and the sausage ("I grind it myself!) and Judy's peerless meatballs ("Meatballs that'll blow your mind!") (( Jiffside SWT Restaurant "For Food that Matches the View" 1208 Grandview Ave. ML Washington OPENS 5 PM 7 DAYS A WEEK (412) 431-6996 NO MSG VAddecT T&&mk tt&te J'Zfrl r v- A t une rear Anniversary uinner special i 4 PM to 10 PM 10 off DINNERS i All You Can Eat Crab Legs BBQ Spare Ribs I Jumbo Shrimp Soup and Salad Bar 1 Mussels & Squid Fresh Fruit and Appetizers I I K. ft I A I nung iong vim sum uessen ana ice tream . L. EXPIRES Oct. 23rd 1998 -J 1 Electric taana "Forget about it!" he added, pointing to a Social Distortion poster signed, "Judy, thanks for the meatballs." It all sounded good, but this was Friday and Pittsburgh, and so Munch asked for a fish sandwich like Johnny was munching. "Judy! JUDY! JUDE!" Johnny yelled upstairs, then he came back Valet Parking Banquet Facilities All Major Credit Cards Reservations suggested BUFFET EiEG v -i am M and kept on with his R-rated shtick talking about everything from sexual dysfunction to "I can't believe how big Gangrene got." It was delicious, and so was the sandwich: Typically too much fish in a nice crunchy batter, nice bun, real red tomato, real fries. Also eating it up with their pasta plates were a few other guys some undercover city cops and construction workers from the huge excavation across Bigelow. That's going to be a Marriott hotel and as Johnny noted, unrolling the architect's drawing an assisted-living center. The old folks, he figures, might be in bad shape, but "they can still walk across the street for a beer." Hey, when opportunity knocks down a hillside across from you, you go for it. That's why, in addition to lunch, the Zarras plan to start serving dinner, maybe by next month. They just have to decide how much renovating to do, and whether to keep all the posters, which are, as Johnny puts it, nothing less than "history." Senor Frog's 608 Washington Ave. Bridgeville, PA 41 2-221 -9785 OCTOBERFEST c&TT German Food Beer Entertainment - Entertainment 7 Nights A Week: - SUM.. I MON. I TUES. THURS,I FRI. I SAT. Karaoke Open Stage Live Band JSSBSi DJ DJ DJ Dance nite 'T'"!' Fr.. wmg. Grapevine! n i. Oldies Dance Plite .uhu. Ml IRM wmt I i1.'". c $2.007-9 p.m UIVwCMEal MretWns NoCovw I rrWVMgs $2.00 FoslefS AlyouC.n MltgslllLH Monday NnFootMli 50Tacoa t;-.... WTfTrT:' Iron City-IC Lite All Day in crab CwiLilttl.BWIHy BDowstiiPffitw $8.00 ImportsFli'f' ?! ff!! $1.75 Flih Spcllt 10 N ISJ A Perfect Evening atthe Point , Classic American Cuisine 1 '" with International Flavors i Extensive Wine by the Glass Service Featuring Pittsburgh's Finest Jazz Artists Nightly , 6:00-10;00pjft.l The lunch menu isn't even final yet, but in addition to a daily special lasagna, pork Romano, roast beef Judy cooks up a range of sandwiches (for about $6 each) and . Italian meals (for about $8). And what a meal: Last week, Munch popped back and gorged on the special plate of lasagna, meatball, stuffed peppers and mushrooms, garnished with roasted red peppers, homegrown tomato salad and garlic toast, plus homemade poundcake with strawberries and " whipped cream. Gawd, it was good. Munch was absolutely stuffed. Is there anything quite like lunch at the Electric Banana? As Johnny himself might say, "$! forget about it!" The Electric Banana, at 3887 Bigelow Blvd. in Oakland, serves lunch Monday through Friday. The phone is (412) 682-8296. M U i 2249 NOBLESTOWN RD. PITTSBURGH 412922-6822 FAX 412922-7233 Hilton Pittsburgh & Towers - 412.391.4600 fi'.v.i ihW!r.7.UE FIVE HOURS OF'iFAPEfSBlj-f) PARKING ;'

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