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The Coraopolis Record

Robinson

Restaurants

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Those of us who grew up in the Coraopolis area in the mid 20th Century find Robinson Town Center disorienting. We remember Scott Farm (photo above). Mr. Scott allowed Boy Scout troops to hike and camp on his land. On our own, we kids would backpack out the Montour Railroad and camp at Scott Farm (as seen at left). When Mr. Scott died, a real estate developer turned his farm into the biggest commercial center in southwestern Pennsylvania. The west side now holds K Mart, Cabela's and several office complexes. The east side holds a dozen restaurants plus 50 stores. Robinson Town Center has become the new Main Street, pulling stores, restaurants and movie theatres from Coraopolis and every other area town. But it does have a great restaurant collection, including Mexican, Italian, Caribbean, Seafood, Ribs, Steak, Asian and Classic.

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Bahama Breeze is a Caribbean restaurant. Of their appetizers, we like the Crab Claws, Roast Cuban Bread, and Fire Roasted Jerked Shrimp. The Bahama Seafood Chowder and Cuban Black Bean Soup are both excellent. Among the entrees, we think their Paella is their finest creation. It's a heaping skillet of assorted seafood, chicken, sausage and vegetables on a bed of yellow rice. We've eaten this all over the U.S. and the Caribbean and this is a very good interpretation. However, the Calypso Shrimp Linguine, Salmon Pasta (in passion fruit sauce with spinach, basil, tomato and mushrooms), Chicken Santiago and Chicken Kebabs are all worth the drive to Robinson Centre. Crowded on weekends.
Buca di Beppo markets itself as Immigrant Italian. The walls are heavy with photos of Italian American families in New York, Boston, and Pittsburgh, celebrating weddings, baptisms, and other occasions. Meals are served family style in two sizes : small (for two or three) and large (for five or six). In addition to the usual booths and tables, there are The Pope's Room, and The Kitchen. You can sit around a large table with a statue of the Pope in the middle and Vatican photos all around, or you can sit in the kitchen and eat while all around you the staff prepares the meals. We're impressed with their Ravioli, Canneloni, Manicotti, Rigatoni, and Eggplant Parmigiana. If you want adventure, their menu is more extensive than other Pittsburgh Italian restaurants, and some items are quite creative. Keep in mind, however, that you cannot have each person order something different. You need two or three people to agree on one bowl of whatever. Several of their Italian wines are outdtanding, especially the Tuscany Chianti and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Citra. The desserts are very good. Try to save room. Robinson Town Centre, left at the T then at the top of the hill.
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  joe's crab shack pic
Mad Mex is Mexican food on steroids. The atmosphere is pretty zany, and the menu features some very creative Mexican dishes. They're not too concerned with Authentic. It starts with the traditional salsa. You get to pick your three. We're pretty impressed with the Avocado Tomatillo, Fire Roasted Tomato Chipotle and Pico de Gallo, but if you like heat, you'll want the Pineapple Habanero. They have great soups : Red Bean Turkey Chili, Black Bean, Chickpea Chili and Tortilla. There are five salads and 13 Burritos, of which we like the Veggie (pico de gallo, roast corn, zucchini, portabellos, grilled peppers and onions). If you're an Enchilada fan, try the Red Velvet (grilled chicken, spinach, pico de gallo, zucchini, cheese, red and green sauces on a corn tortilla). They take great pride in their $10 Chicken Chimichanga (marinated chicken, peppers, mushrooms, onions, Monterey Jack, red pepper sauce, rice, and black beans, all sealed in a corn tortilla and fried). Our Quesadilla expert high fives their concoction of black beans, pineapple, cheese and grilled steak. Across the parking lot from the old Robinson Town Centre Movieplex.
Olive Garden  
  Smoky Bones