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4.3
14 votes

Conflict Kitchen

221 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 USA

$
$$$$
Budget
Closed Now
Opens Sat 11a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards not Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • No Public Restrooms
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“eat, engage, and educate”

Conflict Kitchen is a restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Each Conflict Kitchen iteration is augmented by events, performances, and discussions that seek to expand the engagement the public has with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the focus country. The restaurant rotates identities every few months in relation to current geopolitical events.

Our past Afghan version introduced our customers to the food, culture, and politics of Afghanistan. Developed in collaboration with Afghans in Pittsburgh and Afghanistan, our food comes packaged in wrappers that include interviews with Afghans on subjects ranging from culture to politics.  As is to be expected, the thoughts and opinions that come through the interviews and our programming are often contradictory and complicated by personal perspective and history. These natural contradictions reflect a nuanced range of thought within each country and serves to instigate questioning, conversation, and debate with our customers.

Operating seven days a week in the middle of the city, Conflict Kitchen uses the social relations of food and economic exchange to engage the general public in discussions about countries, cultures, and people that they might know little about outside of the polarizing rhetoric of governmental politics and the narrow lens of media headlines. In addition, the restaurant creates a constantly changing site for ethnic diversity in the post-industrial city of Pittsburgh, as it has presented the only Iranian, Afghan, and Venezuelan restaurants the city has ever seen. Upcoming iterations will focus on the U.S. involved boarder conflicts of North/South Korea and Palestine/Israel.

Conflict Kitchen raised $4,178 from 139 backers in Kickstarter. You can check it out here!

OUR CURRENT FOCUS IS ON THE FOOD, CULTURE AND POLITICS OF THE HAUDENOSAUNEE CONFEDERACY.

“The history of fry bread goes back to when Native people were put onto reservations and given rations of dried milk, dried sugar, flour, fat or oil. They made the best with what they had. I see it as a traditional food because it is something that I’ve always had. Whether you had corn soup or nontraditional foods, there was always fry bread for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. And anybody I know who’s Indigenous has some kind of recipe for fry bread.”

“I don’t consider fry bread a traditional food because it came from a time when the Indigenous Peoples were taken from their very resourceful lands, put on Indian Reservations and given rations. I’m going through a process of getting back in touch with the roots of our culture, giving up a little bit of those oppression foods. I think of those foods, too, as soul food: not particularly healthy for us, but ok as a once-in-a-while kind of thing.”

“On reservations, the U.S. government experimented on us with salt, sugar, bleached flour and stuff like that, which is why levels of obesity are so high on reservations. Fry bread may be a big thing with Natives, but it’s pretty much the worst thing you could ever eat.”

“Fry bread used to be called ghost bread, since it was served at funerals as a thick scone fried in lard.”

“Our people went out West and saw Indigenous people serving ‘Indian tacos’ (flat fry bread filled with taco meats and toppings). Now they’re at every pow wow. You gotta have that, or you don’t have Indian food.”

“At the center of the Akwesasne Reservation is Cornwall Island. The island sits in the St. Lawrence River, split between the U.S. and Canada. Just a year ago, you had to go through a customs check with Canadian officers just to enter Akwesasne – armed Canadian officers on Native land?! It’s not right. It’s colonial imperialism. It’s bullshit.”

“Sovereignty means we govern our own people separate from the U.S. government, but I think that those lines get blurry. If I were to register to vote for the U.S. president, then I would feel like I was giving up my sovereignty even though I can legally register to vote. My son just turned eighteen, and he registered to vote. But he also grew up off the reservation, so we have different ways of looking at things.”

“Each nation in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy has their own way of governing. In the Seneca Nation, we have an elected president system, which we adopted after colonization. The Onondaga Nation is governed by the traditional chief system, wherein their 14 chiefs represent the Nation’s interests within the Confederacy’s Grand Council. The clan mothers appoint the chiefs, and the chiefs are the voice of the people.”

“I’m from Akwesasne, and I have American and Canadian citizenship. We didn’t cross the border; the border crossed us.”

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Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,160 Reviews
  • 608 Helpful
August 31, 2014

The restaurant operates seven days a week, and the venue itself is frequently changed to reflect the ethnic diversity of the restaurant’s cuisine and the diversity of the city itself. Conflict Kitchen is also the only food establishment in the city of Pittsburgh to feature Iranian, Afghan and Venezuelan food. Bon Appétit!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
James Fisher

  • Road Warrior
  • 481 Reviews
  • 348 Helpful
August 16, 2013

Serving Cuban food at the moment - Cochina de Conflict

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
akhanna

  • 9 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 10, 2016

Great food and love the concept! We got stuck there with a ton of people in the middle of a thunder storm, but there was a big tent and seating so we just enjoyed our food haha
I really recommend the bastani nooni dessert from the Iranian cuisine - delicious
Nice food stop in our road trip 👍🏼

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Reviewed by
Anna Hider

  • Blogger
  • 1,231 Reviews
  • 360 Helpful
October 28, 2015

It's a walk-up window, but they do trivia, film festivals, and tons more. The food is authentic and supports a great cause!

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  • 15 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
July 20, 2015

We grabbed a couple of drinks and sweet treats here and it was delicious! Seems like the food fair changes from time to time. Currently it's Cuban based foods. They give you neat little info sheets on the country they're featuring and it's a good spot to sit outside and picnic. It's not visible from the road, but it's in between the carousel and the grass field in the heart of the University of Pittsburgh.

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Conflict Kitchen

221 Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
15213 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Is there a problem with this listing? Let us know.

  • Independent
  • Credit Cards not Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • No Public Restrooms
  • No Wifi
  • Street Parking

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