Author Archive

In Brugge

March 3, 2008

On Friday, we were driving around in the snow, and I decided to head back to an old favorite, Point Brugge Café in Point Breeze.   It was the perfect getaway from the snow, a nice cosy house setting in a residential area for some good beer and Belgian fare.   Also I was hoping to beat the crowds.   The place gets pretty busy and there are no reservations!   We ended up getting there just at the right time, a little wait and we got the best spot in the house.    It’s on the second level that looks out onto the first floor.   The setting is really nice, the owners have sought to replicate a European neighborhood café – a very  unique setting for Pittsburgh.

 Point Brugge Cafe    Point Brugge Cafe    Point Brugge Cafe

We started off the meal with a couple appetizers: Brugge Frites (the best French fries around with basil mayonnaise dipping sauce) and delicious Mac and Cheese baked with Gruyere, Parmesan and Cheddar.    I had a couple Corsendonk winter ales then finished off the meal with a small order of Mussels (Moules Bowl) in white wine sauce with shallots, garlic and light cream.    Their mussels are great, large bites with juicy sauce for dipping baguettes in.    Lisa had the Brugge Winter Cobb salad with a side of grilled chicken.   They also have a lunch and a delicious brunch, so hopefully I will be back here again very soon! 

Brugge Frites   Mac and Cheese  Garden Salad
brugge frites               macaroni gratin           house salad

Moules Bowl    Soup   Winter Cobb Salad
moules bowl                curry bean soup          winter cobb salad

Point Brugge Café
401 Hastings St.
Pittsbrugh, PA 15206
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Fish Fry Frydays

February 29, 2008

Well it was snowing outside, and the lunch crew was down to just me and Dan.   Kristin wasn’t feeling up for a trip to Stinky’s + Rob and Ned were at a lunch meeting – so we were on our own.   On the way over, Dan was able to talk me into changing it into a trip to Nied’s Hotel.   I had never been there before, but was craving some comfort food possibly in a dive setting.    This fit the bill.… it’s kind of like a Kopecs on steroids.    They were definitely making a mint in the joint.

Nied’s Hotel   Nied’s Hotel   Neid’s Famous Fish

Nied’s has been in business for 60 years, and they have a huge fish sandwich, “Neid’s Famous”  –  8 ounces of hand-breaded, deep-fried fresh cod on a hoagie bun.   The sandwich was enormous, but delicious.    The place was bustling – lots of regulars – must have been the Catholics… plus if you’re interested in getting lottery tickets – you can buy them at the bar.   I ordered up an Iron + a Fish sandwich with cheese and onion rings.   Dan picked a regular fish Sammie with Mac & Cheese.    It was definitely a lot to take down.

 Fish Sandwich    Nied’s Fish Sandwich   Mac and Cheese

The place was the definition of old school.   It was grimy and old, like in your grandparents’ bar in the basement – no natural light – a place where a vampire could drink irons all day.    I loved it…. And it’s in my backyard.

Size Chart    
how big is it?

Nied’s Hotel
5438 Butler St
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
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Headwich Heaven

February 28, 2008

Today we managed to drive out to the Southside in order to preview a new potential office space.     Well most people already know about this restaurant, but this post is a eulogy to Fatheads, the mecca of beer and sandwich lovers.    I love this place!   It’s definitely a must-see for any visitor that wants to get an unique taste of the burgh.    The restaurant has a livin-it-large tap selection of micro-brew beers and their sandwiches are ginormous –  heavily packed with meat and cheeses.    Great names like the Artery Clogger.   Popularity does have its’ price, you will always have to wait for a table.      Even at lunch, it was packed – we had to wait about 10 mins – whereas at other establishments, it’s very easy to get seated during the lunch hr.

 tap list    guiness    sandwiches  
tap-istry                       interior shot          sandwich trunks

We had six people in our group so we ended up splitting to two tables.     In our table, Rob got the Beauty and the Beasty, which is a pulled pork sandwich covered with their Beast BBQ (Super Hot) sauce with slaw, pickles & onions.     Dan got The Southside Slopes which is one of their most popular and probably deadliest sandwiches with kielbasa topped with fried pierogies, American cheese, grilled onions, and horsey sauce.    Finally, I got the Fuddwich, which has corned beef, turkey, salami, provolone and Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, hot cherry pepper mayo.   You can get it hot or cold… I opted for the dish best served cold.

Beauty and the Beastie  Southside Slopes Sandwich   Fuddwich Sandwich
beauty & beastie       southside slopes          fuddwich

I may not be able to eat for a few days, but it was a lunch to remember!    Now back to the board room….

Crazy Karl      Gigantic Talking Turkey Sub
crazy karl says              put some mustard
meeeh                           on it!!!

1805 E Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 431-7433
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Amigos, it’s Taco Tuesday!

February 19, 2008

Today we headed to the Strip with cravings for Taco Tuesday.   It’s all-you-can eat fish tacos for $8.50.   Rob and Ned found out about it last week, and I had been craving the Penn Avenue Fish Company.     So the two forces had to collide on this day.  

It’s a nice joint – part fish market, part lunch place… with some great chowder, sushi, and especially their fish tacos!   They are delicious.   The tacos have an unorthodox mix of three different fishes: salmon, tuna, and mahi on a crispy shell with cabbage, tomato, and Sriracha hot sauce.   

pennave_bass.jpg   Tuna Melt   Fish Tacos
yes, i can talk tony      tuna melt                    keep em coming

Even though there wasn’t table service, you place your order at the front – they bring your meal plus come around to see if you wanted more fish tacos.   Now, if only they had a conveyor belt.   Conveyor belts aren’t used enough around here.      I was starving, so I picked up two more for a total of six.    The tacos are small, and even after six, I felt great afterwards.     Rob, Ned, and I got the Taco Tuesday special while Kristin opted for the Tuna Melt, which got a great review.     Dan was MIA for today.

If you love fish, this place is definitely the lunch joint to go to.   The fish is delicious!

Taco Town
this could be us – taco town baby!

Also I noticed they are doing some cooking classes with wine pairing every Wednesday from 7-8p.      The list sounded great.   Check by the shop for a schedule of classes.

Penn Ave Fish Company
2208 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 434-7200
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Must like Sushi and Long Walks on the Beach…

February 15, 2008

Our usual crew was down to three today.   Rob and Dan were out with the stomach flu again.   Time after time, I’ve told them to stop making out with each other.    Dan is the lunch dictator for only eating greasy comfort food.   You need to branch out a little!    Kristin is still grumbling about our trip down Kopec’s lane.   Since Dan was out of the picture, the group suddenly is enabled to try more challenging meals – which we relish in.   Did I mention that I love sushi!   It’s my favorite food out of everything – yes, even pizza.    It’s been about a month since we were there at Sushi Kim in the Strip…  so it felt about time.. usually sushi trips also revolve around paydays, because it can get a bit pricey.    Sushi had Ned’s vote so we were off to the races!

Sushi Kim     Sushi    Rainbow Sushi Roll   
so hungee                     uss enterprise            wasabi challenge      

There’s a method to ordering sushi.   Always go for the big boats.   Usually two hungry people can down a boat, then if there’s an odd person, we can add on a side platter like spicy tuna rolls.   We ordered the 38 piece “aircraft carrier”, which was too much for a boat… so it came on a round platter.   In addition, we added a spicy rainbow roll, which has a thin strip of fish along the outside of the roll.    We started off the meal with some yummy edamame and miso soup.    Delicious Friday meal to roll into the weekend!    Dan and Rob, wish you were here.

Sushi Kim
1241 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222   
(412) 281-9956
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Sushi Kim
just ate nemo

Italian Time Warp

February 10, 2008

This weekend experience brought me down to Wheeling again to celebrate Walt’s birthday.  That’s Lisa’s Dad. Her nephew Ethan was also along for the ride with his parents + Lisa’s sister Lara.  Ethan is typically the star of the show – so that’s all you really need.  He’s a very active and cute 1 yr old.  We were having fun with Ethan trying out olives for the first time and squirming at sucking on lemon slices.  He’s the next generation food critic.

We went to Bella Via, which is an old Italian restaurant – that is happily still stuck in a time warp.  It has a 60-70s décor, but still has a family friendly atmosphere that has been catering to the locals for over 55 years!  Usually we go to the other restaurant in the neighborhood, Figaretti’s, but this one is equally great in its own unique way.  One specialty is its pasta. Bella Via makes homemade noodles that are delicious.  I didn’t photo everyone’s meal, but I had shrimp sauce with homestyle noodles, which was awesome and filling.  It’s Walt’s favorite there.  It had lots of shrimp and green peppers.  Lisa had the manicotti noodles.

Bella Via Restaurant
1 Burkham Ct
Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 242-8181
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Bella Via    Shrimp Sauce Noodles    Bella Via

mama mia                    shrimp sauce               family table

Ethan    Bella Via Manicotti     Walt’s Cake

food critic             manicotti                        happy b-day!

Dark Lair of Kopecs

February 6, 2008

Yes, after weeks of joking around about it, I finally suggested we actually go to Kopecs.   This was one of our favorites back at Labwerks because it was right across from the street.    Also the walking was kept at a minimum for Dan’s non-exercise needs.   It is the quintessential scary, dive bar with good comfort food.   

Of course Dan didn’t need any further persuasion + I was surprised that Kristin very reluctantly agreed to go.   I thought I’d seen more sulking than Dan’s visit to Sushi Kim.   Uh, it was pretty scary.   There was no one around except one drunkie working the machines.   Also the dining room, didn’t even look remotely like what I remember and it was initially completely dark.   I was about ready to take a U-turn but we decided to stay.

Anyway the food was decent, we both got a double-decker hamburger w/fries that was delicious!  It had two large patties – one beef, the other hot sausage… just what the doctor ordered.    Probably my only complaint was the smell of cigarettes, but it was worth a good laugh and a walk down memory lane.   Kristin also is demanding two lunches at Picolo Forno to wash out the experience.  

It’s also been about an hour, and I’m still alive.

Kopecs Korner
3523 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 683-4190
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 Kopecs        Double Decker       Burger Double

 uh-oh                        double decks                  mmmeat stack

Food Flash in the WV Panhandle

February 4, 2008

For Super Bowl weekend, I went to visit my girlfriend in Wheeling, WV.    There are a couple places in the city that are worth a trek if you’re looking for an excursion outside of the city.    For lunch, we went to Salsa Cafe, a recent fav, which has fresh, delicious Mexican food in a small coffeeshop setting.   I had my usual, 2 chicken tacos with soft flour shells with a small side of rice with cheese on it.  

For dinner, we went to Later Alligator in the Centre Market district in Wheeling.   The restaurant features paninis and crepes with humorous names like “Crepes of Wrath” (mild Italian sausage, sauteed onions, roasted red peppers, fontina and mozzarella), Aesop’s Feta (cheddar, onions, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tomato and feta), Salsa the Border (cheddar, pico degallo, chicken, roasted red peppers and red onions) and even The Crepe Escape (chicken with rosemary, carmelized onion and fontina).    Afterwards, we finished the night off by watching the Wheeling Nailers on their Shred Rich Rodriguez night.

Salsa Cafe
56 Carmel Road
Edgewood, WV
(304) 242-1033
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Later Alligator
2145 Market Street
Wheeling, WV
(304) 233-1606
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West Virginia   gator_crepe2.jpg   Gators  
almost heaven           american in paris        later alligator         

Salsa Cafe   Nailers
salsa cafe tacos         wheeling nailers

Veggies in the Hood

January 31, 2008

Since over half the team were at an all-day client meeting, Rob and I decided to pick something out of the ordinary and blogable, The Quiet Storm out in Garfield on Penn.   This was another old favorite back in the day, but I haven’t gone there for about 3 years.   All I remember was they had awesome soups and it was primarily a coffeehouse with a vegetarian menu.   The venue is eclectic and vintage – with neat trinkets to check out.   They supposedly have a killer brunch on Sundays.

What a surprise!   The menu was immense, with lots of selections for vegetarians and those that like their veggies to taste like meat (ie: gardenburgers).   I got a cup of chili and a falafel with jalapeno slaw.   Then Rob ordered a potato soup with buttermilk and a gyro burrito.   The service was a little slow but we weren’t too much of a hurry.   The “drug dealer” or “sketchy dude” that kept coming in and out of the restaurant got to be a little annoying, but it was a meal to remember.   

 coffee_bar.jpg      falafel.jpg      gyro_burrito.jpg

 the place                        the falafel                      the burrito

The Quiet Storm
5430 penn avenue
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Back to the Grind or Will it Blend?

January 28, 2008

For Monday, the lunch group made a stop at W.g. Grinders in Bloomfield.   Our mission was to get a labcoat at the local Uniforms store.   We’re using it as a prop for this video we’re doing at the Addys.   Reluctantly, I am the star of this video. 😉    Anyway, I opt’ed for a soup and salad since I pretty much gorged over the weekend.    I had a tomato bisque and a small Southwestern Chicken Salad.    Both were delicious.    The salad was especially good – nice and spicy – normally I will buy a sandwich here since that’s their speciality.     But I’m a convert!    Here’s a link to their menu.

W.g.Grinders – 4765 Liberty Ave, 412-682-8000

 wg_salad1.jpg        wg_sammie.jpg

my soup and           rob’s sammie – buffalo chix