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WQED TV producer and PITTSBURGH Magazine back-page writer writes about his current work and assorted other things.

Perfect poached eggs.

December 3rd, 2009 · No Comments

I think it was Thursday evening, October 8, at the Half-Price Books in North Fayette when I ran into Earl who used to tend bar at Cupka’s II on the South Side.  Earl was a great bartender, and he’s in my “South Side” show, and he tells me he works at Nadine’s now, and he’s wondering what I’m working on, and I tell him a program for PBS about breakfast.  cup of coffeeHe says I should definitely check out the Hot Metal Diner on Lebanon Road in West Mifflin.  “You remember Stephanie,” he says, “my niece who used to wait tables at Cupka’s.  She works at the Hot Metal, and it’s a great spot for breakfast.”

So I happen to be driving past there that next Sunday, and I stop in to check out this place.

Sunday exterior

The mood is good.  Lots of talk and noise.  I sit at the far end of the counter where you can see the Fiesta ware plates coming out of the kitchen loaded with food.

Stephanie at diner

The waitresses are spunky, including Stephanie who gives me the royal treatment.  She says the owner Wendy Bettan will be coming by to meet me, and I order two poached eggs with sausage.  Lots of places don’t do poached eggs, but Stephanie says Not a problem.


When my food comes, I’m impressed.  The eggs are done perfectly.

Wendy at counter

The Hot Metal isn’t exactly a traditional diner, but it feels like one in many ways.  It has a counter with stools.  And when Wendy comes and sits next to me to make my acquaintance, I ask if we could come and shoot here some day that next week.  We agree on Tuesday morning.

Pre-dawn exterior Hot Metal

So, October 13, before dawn, Bob Lubomski and Glenn Syska and I head back to the Hot Metal, we shoot, we watch, we do a few interviews.  It’s not a crowded morning, but we get lots of pictures.

Bob & Glenn in kitchen

Cook with pancake ready

Famous Breakfast Burrito

Waitress with pie

Slice of Hot Metal Steelers Country

Hot Metal carpet

And when we think we have enough video, about noontime, we stop and eat some breakfast.  I get my eggs sunnyside up.  Also nicely prepared.  A beautiful plate.

2 sunnyside up with toast in focus

Tags: "Breakfast Special"

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