It’s another exciting night in our home and we have been so busy there was no time to cook. On this rare occasion where EVERYONE is actually home, we decided to head on over to Camp Horne Road to Family test out a restaurant. We had passed it before and never stopped because of a fear of not being able to feed our son with severe food allergies and because the restaurant/bar parking lot is always packed and I don’t do waiting very well. I have a certain ambiance expectation I am looking for when I head out, as we all do, which definitely influenced my thoughts on this local bar. This is the story of our adventure to Camp Horne Road and A Dining Experience In Pittsburgh.
We are headed to….
I love Instagram because it celebrates food, so do many other social media’s out there, but don’t go looking for any Instagram love for this restaurant/bar or photos posted cause you won’t find them, which is my first line of questioning? Hello PITTSBURGH, why are you not showing off that food? Sunny Jim’s I wanted to see what I was coming in to feast on, but you were not shining your sun on the food highlights! What about the drinks and the drink specials? Nothing here and I searched Hashtags!
My other source of frustration in making a determination if we should eat at Sunny Jim’s Restaurant was the online menu took forever to load, the site is a bit unresponsive and additionally just not the easiest site I have been on for checking out a dining place. Please make this site easier to use and show me some photos, & add Instagram, I wanted to see the food, but there is nothing to see. The facebook page has no food images from recent either, so it is kind of just a guess as to how the food will look.
There are 2 menus that show, ONE for Mother’s Day(almost in October now, don’t think that is relevant) and One for New Menu, but you have to download the PDF to get to them. Additionally there is no blogroll and no discussion of what is happening in your place, so you are not using the internet effectively and considering the amount of people at our place with their smartphones out, I would have to say… You are missing out!
I decided that a few Google reviews had complimented it so we should just go and we did! Why do I check online before we go somewhere? I like those unbiased reviews, and people who say it like it is. I want to know about the service, the food and if it is in fact Family Friendly, and all I found was about 10 Google reviews, which did not tell me much, but said enough.
Why Google It?
We have had a few bad dining experiences at a few locally run places one right on Rochester Road, and a few others I won’t even bother mentioning, so I was just a tad leery as to how this was going to be. Issues to me are with bad service, food, parking, larger parties(not really being taken care of) and getting food right, so enough said, that’s a whole other story that I am just not going to even go into detail worth #NotWorthy
Sunny Jim’s Inside View
The inside is ‘cute’ offering 2 bar areas, a large stage for live entertainment, which is definitely the draw here and plenty of seating and I can say that after eating there. The food you will eat is strictly bar food, meant to be consumed after drinking so you don’t notice how little, how much or if flavor lacked.
We watched a few people ‘drinking’ their dinners and being ummm for lack of a better word, overly-affectionate as the alcohol kicked on in. This one lady would just not stop cackling and the kids asked me why? How do you tell your kids that her best friend’s name is Cabernet Sauvignon and not the guy next to her?
My guess is the bar kicks and after a few drinks you don’t know if the food is good or bad, but the food is just basic. As I said there were a few other families there, but I would say, a bar is a bar, get there earlier and leave on a weekend night if you have a family. I would venture to guess the later it gets, the less families and the more the bar area takes over!
The bathrooms are clean, the staff is friendly and there were families, as well as couples and friends. There is a huge outside area that we did not go to(it was raining and I did not ask to see it) but that is where a lot of people hang out.
Sunny Jim’s is the perfect place to hang for bar food, for all the football games, hockey games, etc., and there are plenty of televisions to watch the games on. Sunny Jim’s is more of a bar experience than a dining experience, and that may be what has railroaded me from heralding this as an Epic, Must Eat At type of place.
Food At Sunny Jim’s
I am sure you are wondering about the food at this point, it is just average, I was starved, from a really long day, but without embellishing or saying anything was over-the-top I will be the first to say the food is seriously basic. What made the night cool were the guys playing keyboards and singing, they were good it was not the food.
We have dined in so many different establishments that sometimes my expectations are way too high so what I thought and what was were two different things.
I do want to state that they were most accommodating to my child with food allergies and they were very friendly, so you will find great service.
Here’s a look at the menu, and as you will see, there are burgers, pasta, chicken, salads, sandwiches and some appetizers.
Overall the menu is not huge, but you can find something for everyone on the menu. Which brings me to the next point: if you have food allergies and you notify the staff they will accommodate and while they can not GUARANTEE cross contamination WON’T occur they will do their best to work with you. We did take that chance because we explained his allergies and what we usually do and they explained they could not guarantee, but we knew what TO Order to keep him safe…. so we were seated.
My son, who has latex, shellfish, honey, and nut allergies(just to name a few) dined on a salad and a 3 Cheese Pizza. The pizza was definitely the BEST thing on our table. The cheese was yummy, they opened a fresh bag of cheese to avoid contamination and the flavor was delicious! Our server Gina was really attentive to my son and his allergies and she was a great server, without question.
Here’s the line-up of food tonight
My husband had the Philly Steak and Cheese, that should have been called, “Where’s the Philly, Hold the Bread!” You can see how much bread and hardly any filling….
Over-priced loaf of bread and a SMALL serving of really good fries, served with a dill pickle wedge.
The Beer was a real deal at only $2.50 a bottle and of course we enjoyed a few with our dinner.
My daughter got a Western Bacon Burger, and it was just a burger. You can see the cheese pretty much just smothered anything else out. The tomatoes according to her were ‘dry’, almost with no taste and the burger did not have a lot of flavor. There is only ONE Piece of BACON on this burger.
My daughter said the fries here are divine, perfectly crisp, and done to perfection. You can see how yummy the fries were.
Here’s is my Pittsburgh Shrimp. The Shrimp were perfectly cooked, not overly abundant maybe 5 on the salad and the lettuce was fresh. I had Ranch Dressing which is made right on the premises, it was good, seasoned perfectly and recommended by our server.
A few things I did not like on the salad: The Grape tomatoes were a bit squishy, and I feel bad wasting any veggie, but I did toss two out, cause seriously nothing worse than a squishy tomato! The shrimp had a great breading, crisp in every bit, but I will say they must be really small shrimp covered in MORE batter than shrimp itself(you know how small grape tomatoes are, well look in the photo above, see the tomato and see the shrimp? SMALL. The cost of the salad was $11.99 so it was quite fairly priced. I did not like the Green Peppers, that is just a me preference, but they are in there and you can’t avoid them. I believe that a little Hot Sauce on this would have made it more interesting.
I did not see a desert menu, and that was fine. One interesting thing I did find on the menu was Potato Cheddar Pierogies, BBQ Smoked Pulled Pork and Caramelized Onions, that was very different from most other places we have tried locally and the price again was fair at $11.99.
So, going in I was expecting something like the old Murray Street Cafe(for those of you who remember a real dive bar, with great food and great beverage prices) but I was not left with that impression once I got here. The music was really cool and lent itself well the ambiance that is there. I don’t think the food is spectacular by any means in fact it was definitely not what I had anticipated. Will we go back? I think it is pretty questionable. I believe the staff is great, but I’m just eh on the menu as is my family.
What happened? MY guess is seeing the way the parking lot is always jammed I kind of just figured that it would incredibly delicious with lots of fun choices, but by no means was I dazed and crazed, that is what BJ’S Bar and Grill and menu is for. You do want to know that the parking lot is awkward for SUV’s. The pull in is not amiable to parking straight and the spots are tight and the lot is DARK, especially when it is raining.
We know that we can dine there, but I think I will only go back in a pinch, as there are a lot of other places around that offer food that we love with fun family atmospheres and great prices like Primanti’s, Red Robin, BJ’S Bar & Grill, etc. I think this is more of a date night bar than a family-style restaurant. That’s my story of a Dining Experience In Pittsburgh on Camp Horne Rd.