Zoe Rieder and Max Becerra are bringing a seasonal menu — inspired by Rieder’s love of baking and Becerra’s Mexican-Filipino heritage — to Lower Lawrenceville in September.
Patrons at Lola’s Eatery can expect twists on classic items, including breakfast egg rolls, chicken and waffles with ginger, sesame and bourbon syrup, and huevos rancheros. Located at 3337 Penn Ave., the 2,000-square-foot restaurant shares space with Engine House 25 Winery’s Tasting Room.
Lola’s will also serve the winery’s frozen vino slushies, as well as mimosas and beer.
Rieder’s parents own the winery, which operates Thursday through Saturday evenings. Lola’s will feed Pittsburgh’s need for breakfast and lunch on Wednesdays through Sundays in casual style: Customers will place their order in the 30-seat cafe, head to the pick-up window when their name is called and dine within modern farmhouse decor that’s designed as a tribute to both the neighborhood and family bonds.
“Lola stands for Lower Lawrenceville, a growing community that is near and dear to me,” Rieder says. “‘Lola’ translates to ‘grandmother’ in the Filipino language. Max’s childhood idol was his grandfather who fiercely loved his wife without abandon. Max and I hope to continue to spread that kind of love through their creations.”
The pair met as students in Penn State University’s hospitality management program. After graduating, they moved to Washington, D.C., where the brunch scene is booming, even on weekdays. They decided to bring this passion for mid-morning munching back home.
While they work on putting the finishing touches on their brick-and-mortar eatery, Rieder and Becerra are experimenting in the kitchen with traditional Filipino favorites such as bibingka (a coconut cake) and ube (a purple yam pastry). And they’ve been hosting pop-up brunches at Garbarino’s on Baum Boulevard to promote their brand and learn from owner Andrew Garbarino, who serves as their mentor.
Main dishes at the pop-ups have ranged from breakfast noodles served with sautéed mushrooms, crispy kale, bacon bits, nitamago egg and caramelized onions to beet hummus on sourdough bread topped with pickled onions, avocado, goat cheese and micro-greens.
“Pittsburgh has a big, diverse dining scene,” Rieder says. “People are always asking, ‘Where are we going for dinner?’ We want to bring quick, but good, breakfast items to help get your day started.”