Lucas Felak

There are a lot of great bartenders in Pittsburgh, but few know more about scotch or look more like a 12th-century Viking raider, than Acacia’s Lucas Felak. A native of rural Ephrata, PA, Luc loves spending time outside the city, even if it’s just for an afternoon.

I ate at Out of the Fire Café over in Donegal. It’s this fresh food spot that’s been there since 2007. I was on my way up to Fallingwater and it’s a great place to stop for lunch.

I had a hummus tasting tray for an appetizer, which included three different types of hummus and all kinds of homemade chips and flatbreads. There was a spicy black bean, a roasted corn and a house-made tzatziki. It was super well-done. I almost overate just the hummus. I kept the tzatziki for my main lunch so I could have more of it later.

Then we shared a smoked salmon salad with spinach, sautéed Portobello mushrooms and a dill dressing. I’m not a big fish guy, but smoking anything really makes it for me, and they do all of that in-house. It had all these beautiful hickory notes that complemented the fish nicely. For a salad, it was just beautifully tied together.

We also had a pulled pork sandwich, which they also smoked there. It came with an apple-cabbage slaw. And because this area between Seven Springs and Fallingwater tends to be kind of a tourist destination, the servers always ask if you mind getting the slaw on the sandwich. That came with sweet potato fries on the side, I wound up taking some of the tzatziki and drizzling it over the slaw. It was really moist, but it wasn’t falling apart, just enough so that you got juicy mouthfuls with every single bite.

It was fabulous, and just the right enough amount of food. We just drank iced tea. It’s a BYOB place and I’ve taken wine there before. There are a few little local wine shops on the same block, so they encourage you to check those out. It all plays into this very cool open-dining concept they have there.

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all of the editorial meetings light-hearted and interesting. His interests include sorting books, looking at old things and candles which smell like old-growth pine forests.