The buzz: A new American diner that’s all about Penn State. Did you get that? Penn State.
The décor: It could have gone the way of many a sports bar with banner overload, but PiRO’s Penn State grad manager has exercised discretion with the décor. Aside from a couple of well-placed flags, the interior is more chic Americana than full-on, in-your-face Penn. There’s a mezzanine level with couches, a classy chandelier, and lived-in wooden floors throughout.
The food: Head down Coronary Highway with the Fat Bitch (88 RMB). This soccerball-sized behemoth is the ultimate in comfort food: a pitta encases layer upon layer of goodness, including Philly cheese steak, chicken, and fries. Fries! Inside a pitta! It’s a culinary sucker-punch from heaven. PiRO claims to serve the best burgers in Shanghai, made from imported American meat, and they’re pretty damn good. The Classic (48 RMB with fries) comes with a sweet onion jam which is a nice touch, and we opted to add avocado slices from the wide array of extras. Fries were standard straight-cut. We also tried the Texas Chili soup that was almost a meal in itself. With a menu stuffed with junky classics like pizzas and healthier choices like wraps, there’s something for most tastes.
The drinks: Vedett beer for 50 RMB a bottle, plus the regular range of whistle-whetters.
Why you’ll be back: If you have anything to do with Pennsylvania, you probably already know about it, but if it’s somehow slipped past your radar, you know you’ll end up there at some stage. For non-Penn folk, there’s a different deal every day of the week to keep you coming back. As well as a weekday two-for-one Happy Hour running from 6pm to 8 pm, there’s Burgers and Beer Monday (PiRO cheese burger and a pint of Stella for 50 kuai), and Toss Up Tuesday where you only pay for your meal if you lose a coin toss. Dress in blue and white on Wednesday and get 20 kuai “special” margaritas. Thirsty Thursday sees selected drinks at 10 kuai pop, and Saturday is Pitcher Party Special. Head over for Saturday and Sunday brunch at weekends. Oh, and if you bring an item of Penn State memorabilia, you get a free meal. Time to dig out that college scarf…
Love pancakes? Here's our favorite places in Shanghai for western breakfast staple, pancakes. PiRO's on there!