Between gas prices and parking costs, driving into downtown Pittsburgh doesn’t appeal to me much, but the chance to Furry-watch makes me more excited than a puppy hearing a postman. What is a Furry? In the simplest terms, it is a person who dresses up as an animal. Their annual awwwwwe-some convention, Anthrocon, settles into the city each July. For about a week, you can frolic in the streets with felines and franken-creatures of all sorts, but while most are photo friendly you’ll be hard pressed to find a costumed critter that will speak to you…at least not in English.
Good thing I wasn’t looking for restaurant suggestions that day because I’d come up short, but word of human mouth did land me at Emporio: A Meatball Joint on Penn Avenue. Located on the same street as the David Lawrence Convention Center and their pre-furred hotel, the street level view was prime for spotting (I was also fortunate enough to land an open-window table!)
Aside from the undeniably ideal location, Emporio has a gluten free menu! While I gravitate towards beef meatballs, I had to make a shift in my usual preferences. Of their four types of meatballs, only their pork meatballs are gf. Ultimately, it was a good for me though as it expanded my horizons and I liked them! Win-win. You may not be thrilled that you a limited to one meatball type but rest assured, they offer a variety of gravies and sauces you can top your meatballs with that are safe, as well as numerous sides that they can sit atop such as tomato risotto, vegetable quinoa or gf pasta (among others). These balls won’t let you down. They are huge, closing in tennis ball sized. It is safe to say that my fur filled day ended with me needing a doggy bag.