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Roland's Trattoria Compliment - Roland's Trattoria - 2800 West Chestnut Street, Washington, PA

Review by Motor Traveler on 2008-07-21
WASHINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA -- Since my husband and I abhor fast foods, we are always asking hotel staff for truly local restaurants and thus we came to Roland's.

Now, don't be put off by the exterior and don't let the interior get you down either. It's a combination local bar/pizza/bar stool table kind of place and is a bit world weary. And while there are smoking non-smoking areas, they are so close together that you could hardly tell the difference. Still, not many were smokers, so I don't think it would bother all but the most rabid of non-smokers.

We started off by ordering a drink. White Zin for me and a delicious beer, Iron City -- I think -- made in Pennsylvania-- for my husband. Reasonably priced, $4.50 for the wine and $2 for the bottled beer.

After ordering, the waitress soon brought us a loaf of freshly baked bread, which was delicious and served with dipping oil. The salad was cool and crisp, though unremarkable. I had ordered the artichoke chicken and my husband had angel hair pasta with Roland's sauce and we enjoyed them both. You get massive quantities of food, so unless you have a very hearty appetite, you might want to ask if you can get half orders.

Roland's also makes fresh baked pizza and what I saw going into the oven looked delicious. They also have 'specials' on certain days that are outside the "Italian" name of the restaurant. Prime Rib was one on the evening we were there, though I am always suspect of restaurants serving prime rib, since I have found way too many simply microwaving pre-packaged cuts. I'm not saying Roland's does this, but I cannot quite see this restaurant cooking prime rib. Stuffed pork chops was another, as well as Crab Cakes. Our bill, without tip, was $33.00.

The staff was very nice and friendly. So if you're looking for a place that is not fast food in Washington, PA, give Roland's a try. It's located off 70W at exit 15.
Comments:4 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-08-13
Posted by spiderman2 on 2008-07-21:
The beer you had was Iron City. It is made in Pittsburgh.
Posted by old fart on 2008-07-21:
Iron City beer was perhaps the WORST beer I have ever tasted....and trust me when I say this, I have sucked up a lot of beer in my life.... that stuff is booogily!
Posted by spiderman2 on 2008-07-30:
I totally agree with your review of Iron City. Gross beer!
Posted by CDUB on 2008-08-13:
I have a wonderful story about Roland's that will warm your heart. I was transfered to Washington Pa from Minneapolis Mn over Christmas in 2003. The town house I rented was a stones throw from Rolands Tratoria. Being single and not knowing anyone in the area I wondered in for a peak at the menu and a drink. I was amazed at the interior of this old mining social club building and its grand hall out back. Anyways I went to the bar and ordered a Sam Adams and asked to see a menu. Me being a pasta lover ordered the Rigatoni with the house "Rolands" sauce. The sauce was a spicy but bold and very good. But the food is not the story. After dinner a bearded fellow in a chef's apron came up and introduced himself as Roland and asked if I had been in before. I informed him of my recent trek from Minneapolois and he welcomed me to the area. Then he introduced me to his wife Sheryl who does a wonderful job on all the home made desserts they offer. We sat and talked for it seemed a half hour at least like we were old friends. Then it was time to leave and I went about my night.
Then came New Years eve and again being new to the area I figured I would go there for dinner. I walked in the door and was surprised by a group of 15 to 20 people just sitting down to dinner at a long table full of all sorts of Itialian masterpieces. One of the workers politely informed me that they were closed and that this was Rolands family private dinner. I excused myself and apologised for my intrusion and headed for the parking lot. I no sooner opened my car door and Roland emerged from the restaurant and remembered me from a few days before. He asked what my plans were for the evening and again being new to the area I had no plans. He insisted that I join he and his family for dinner and welcomed me as if I was one of the family.
After one of the best meals of my life, several glasses of wine and an after dinner cigar with Roland I asked what I owed him for his kindness. He said you owe me nothing at all and he was just glad thet I joined he and his family for a holliday meal that I know I will never forget.
I have since moved to Pittsburgh and left Washington behind but everytime I drive thru Washington County I make it a point to stop and see my friend Roland and his wife Sherl and I would encourage all of you to do the same.
The world would be a better place if it had more folks like Roland in it.

Chris Wood

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