It isn’t uncommon to daydream about a different career path. Working in a body shop for years, Tom Kazar longed to open his own bar. Last October, his dream became reality in Homestead, where he opened the Dorothy 6 Blast Furnace Cafe. Having attended school in the neighborhood, he recognized the area had a “good vibe” and planted roots for the bar and restaurant.
A large, glistening chandelier acts as a welcoming beacon inside the eclectic space of the Dorothy 6. The light hits a sizable bar emblazoned with logos of steel manufacturers and a large chalkboard with a craft beer list that would make a hops aficionado rejoice. A long line of 22 taps would make those aficionados’ hearts beat faster.
The restaurant’s namesake was the enormous sixth blast furnace at Duquesne Steel Works, “Dorothy Six.”
Just as the cafe interior nods to that steel heritage, the menu includes a lineup of hearty options that could have satisfied steelworkers after a day at the mill. Kazar’s goal is simply “good, home-cooked food.”
Without a freezer on-site, the kitchen works hard to prep these home-style meals. Meat and potatoes take a starring role, but the plates that stray from that territory are the flavor winners.
Actually, scratch that, the real champion here is the pierogie. Found as both a starter and as an entree on the menu, this potato-packed dumpling is easily one of the best, if not the best, pierogie in town. Made by Kazar’s sister, the pierogie comes as classic potato and cheese or a spicy jalapeno. An herb-infused sour cream acts as a welcome and delicious heat-reducing device for the latter. On my first visit to Dorothy 6, I couldn’t stop talking about these soft, and somehow crispy, dumplings. On the next visit, our table had to ration out the plump potato goodness. This dish is an absolute must-order.
Additional starters include a crab cake, mozzarella-stuffed meatballs and another standout: the spinach and artichoke bruschetta. The bruschetta combines goat cheese with a sun-dried tomato relish. A balsamic drizzle over this concoction makes a perfect bite. The appetizer features bacon crumbles, as well, but can also be prepared as vegetarian. It is a solid plate with either prep.
These first bites pair well with the late-summer air found with the outdoor dining option at Dorothy 6. High brick walls with climbing greenery reaching to the top surround a large patio. Strings of lights stretch building to building. It is a simple retreat for downing beers and indulging in apps in good weather. So act fast.
Entrees include the likes of meatloaf with mashed potatoes, strip steak with Brussels sprouts and a classic chicken parmesan. Noted as a Dorothy 6 specialty, I tried the flatiron steak. The meat came rested atop a mound of mashed potatoes — the desirable kind that still have some potato chunks — and accompanied by cauliflower and carrots. A red-wine reduction was not a noticeable feature of the dish. After a very flavorful beginning to the meal, the steak proved satisfying but unremarkable.
Sandwiches make up the final portion of the menu, with picks like a Reuben, chicken club, salmon and meatball. The meatballs, like the pierogies, are on the menu twice — once as a starter, then as this sandwich. Smoked mozzarella is stuffed inside the blend of veal, pork and beef. It is a tasty fusion.
A tasty fusion is, at the core, Dorothy 6. It incorporates steel city, neighborhood-bar nostalgia and embraces the modern sensibility of craft brews. It showcases classic meat-heavy plates alongside beet salads and crab cakes. Dorothy 6 is, all in all, a nice addition to Eighth Avenue.
“Maybe if you do something nice,” Kazar says, “then someone else will come in and do something nicer.”
Dorothy 6 Blast Furnace Cafe
Hours: 4 p.m.-midnight Wednesdays-Thursdays, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays
Entree price range: $16-$23
Notes: Credit cards accepted. Street parking. Takes reservations. Extensive craft-beer list. Outdoor seating. Sunday brunch.
Address: 224 E. Eighth Ave., Homestead
Details: 412-464-9023 or dorothysix.com
By Laura Zorch / Trib Live
Laura Zorch is one of the food-savvy ladies of eatPGH.com who contribute a weekly Dining Out column to Trib Total Media.
CAPTIONS for photos by: Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
1: Diners enjoy the outdoor dining area of Dorothy 6 in Homestead on Saturday Aug. 22, 2015. The restaurant and bar is located on E. Eighth Avenue in the Mon Valley community.
2: Nighttime customers eat and drink around the bar at Dorothy 6 on East Eighth Avenue in Homestead.
3: Spinach and Artichoke Bruschetta at Dorothy 6 in Homestead, Pennsylvania.
4: Flatiron Steak at Dorothy 6 in Homestead a local bourough of Pittsiburgh, PA.