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Silvi's SouthSide Kitchen and Buddy's Brews on Carson now open; Cafe Retro opens in Allentown

Silvi's SouthSide Kitchen opened last month on East Carson Street, serving what owner Dimitri Ávilas calls a mix of Mexican and American comfort food.  The menu ranges from tacos and enchiladas, to hamburgers and fried shrimp po' boys.

"We hope you come here and feel like you're coming home to Mexican food," Ávilas says. 

The restaurant, named for Dimitri's wife and co-owner, Silvi, is located across from the Birmingham Bridge (2212 E. Carson), and is BYOB.

Silvi, who is originally from Mexico, is responsible for the homemade flour tortillas, and items like burritos and sopadillas, while a few of Dimitri’s offerings are influenced by his Texas upbringing, and include chicken-fried steak, cowboy beans, and a pork tenderloin sandwich.

On Friday and Saturday nights, Silvi's joins the party on Carson Street with its late-night Taco Time menu (tacos only; 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.) and fixings bar; tacos just $3 apiece.

Ávilas came to Pittsburgh three years ago, and had been manager of Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh in the South Side Works (and previously at Hofbräuhaus Newport) before opening Silvi's, the duo's first.

In addition to their storefront location, Ávilas hopes to bring Silvi's home-style Mexican comfort food throughout the city via a roaming food truck in the near future.

Also new to the South Side is Buddy's Brews on Carson (2112 E. Carson), a specialty beer store offering a wide selection of craft, import, and domestic beer and cider.  Buddy's occupies the first floor of a recently renovated, 4-story structure built in 1901.  The storefront space had previously been home to T&T Hardware for 74 years, before it closed in 2010. 

The second and third floors have been renovated as apartment units, with two on each level. 

The space occupied by Buddy's Brews (named after owner Jake Nickman's dog), has been completely remodeled, and includes refinished original floors.  Nickman has begun hosting beer and cider tastings on Fridays, something he hopes to continue as a regular event.

And just over the hill beyond the South Side Slopes, Cafe Retro has recently opened in the Allentown neighborhood.  The restaurant, located at 637 E. Warrington Avenue, is hard to miss for its lime-green storefront.

The cafe serves diner fare—omelets, burgers, and a variety of retro-themed sandwiches—along with smoothies, specialty coffee, and free Wi-Fi.  Owner Ray Meyers encourages patrons to bring laptops and stay awhile, or just come for the food. 

Meyers hopes Cafe Retro will can add to the reanimation of Allentown's business district, which already includes the established Italian restaurant Alla Famiglia. 

Café Retro, 412-709-6647.

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Dimitri Ávilas; Jake Hickman; Ray Meyers

Photo credit: Kristina Helen Schmidt
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