Monday, May 26, 2014

Pittsburgh PA – Day Three

Still more to see and more to eat around Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh was once the largest producers of Steel for the United states.  You can still see the way they integrated what they produced into the structures of the city.

It is a large and beautiful city, and I was only able to see a small portion.  I heard of a lift that takes you to different areas of the city, I did not get around to taking it but those that have said it was an amazing way to see the city.

I couldn't come to Pittsburgh without going to the famous Primani Brothers.

I went to the original location in the Strip District that opened in 1933.  They served the staff that worked in the warehouses all along the river.

I wanted to go with something classically Pittsburgh, so the cook served me up a Pitts-burger.

So much lighter then I expected.
Fresh Sourdough bread
Meat of Choice (about 3 oz)
Slaw (simple and good)
Fresh sliced tomato

I started losing steam in the afternoon with all the walking so I decided to stop into a cafe I had walked past a few times that looked really cute.  I nice European feel to it.

City Cafe on Liberty Street

I chose the Mexican Mocha and a seat to enjoy the view.

Keeping dinner close to the hotel I found a Meatball Joint!

It was all a build your own style of meatballs.  Since they had various sauces and gravy they also offered a build your own poutine, Fun!

It was a bit dark inside but the set up was nice.

Playful water glasses made from cut down bottles.

Keeping it on the lighter side I ordered a slider which is only one meatball, but they offered up to four in their designs.  I went on the lighter side with ground chicken and a pesto sauce, yummers.

I also couldn't pass up an order of poutine, which was a huge portion that I just couldn't finish.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pittsburgh PA – Day Two

Saturday... It's the Weekend!

 Their will be less traffic in the business district.  A good time to check out more buildings on my way to find food.

On a vacation the weekend means that some restaurants offer Brunch items that you would normally not see on their menu.

I found myself at Meat and Potatoes.
The name sounds familiar, I think I have heard about them on one of the food channels.

Finding a seat the the bar is a great way to talk more directly to the staff and find out what they recommend.

Since Ruthann said they run out of the Chicken & Waffles, I guess that is what I need to get.

I did Not disappoint!
Housemade syrup, not sticky or sweet.
The Waffle was made with cheddar and jalapeno.  Giving a nice bit of the cheddar on that first bit, following it with the smokiness of the pepper.
I am not one to put syrup on my protein, and this chicken did not need it.  This juicy chicken (there was about a half chicken on the waffle) was lightly breaded with flour and then fried.  They added a rub on the chicken that reminded me of the flavor you would have on a BBQ potato chip.

I was tempted to go back the next day for another helping.

Walking off the meal and took in some of the public art.  Found this fun.  The other side of the eyes are benches.

The Children's festival was going on so they had a section of town blocked for fun and games for the kiddos.

Went to August Henry's for dinner and got some Pierogies, trying to keep it on the lighter side after such a big lunch

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Pittsburgh PA – Day One – Part Two

Walking around the Business district I was surprised to see so many murals


As I headed to one of the rivers to see the bridge designs, I noticed the back of the Fulton Theater has a playful and fun mural on the back of the building.  Beautifully done...

I live inland surrounded by trees, and only smaller bodies of water so seeing wider rivers and the different bridge designs in quite interesting to me.  

They also designed paths along the river for walking and biking.

The Business district is kept very clean and very walk-able.  I was cautious about J-walking, I was not sure of the law, until I saw others walking against the light right in front of the Police… Guess it is ok.  

There are a lot of tall buildings in this area, with designs ranging from old to modern.  There is no effort to make a new one blend to existing buildings, just expressing their individual design.

Staying near the hotel for dinner, we found ourselves at tonic.
A simple place with cocktails, tacos, burgers, and various other modern pub fare.

I was craving a burger, but yet not wanting anything heavy during travel.  They give you the option to choose your meat, Yay!

Went with the Cowboy burger (turkey), it had BBQ sauce, bacon, and onion rings on a fresh bun.  Up'ed my fries to sweet potato, tasty!

Time to wind down and see what I want to do on Day Two.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Pittsburgh PA - Day One - Part One

Through various mini vacations I have taken over the last few years I have learned that if I want coffee that I am willing to drink while away from home, I have to bring it along myself.  I like making coffee with a French press so I brought mine and an electric kettle.

Taking a walk to The Strip District, not as bad as it sounds, it is a strip of shops that seems to be focused mostly on the locals.  It is an area near the dock warehouses with markets, restaurants, and a few places to draw in the tourists. 

First stop ... The Fabric Store of course  !!!

2124 Penn Ave

 A great collection of fabrics and accessories.

I found some playful Zombie inspire fabrics that called out for me to finally make a quilt for home.

Next stop that caught my attention was the Pittsburgh Popcorn Shop.... Yes Please.

I had to keep Irene calm and give her a few samples so she wouldn't jump right into the bins with all the tasty treats.

We made friends with the clerk and got some great lunch recommendations.  I love going to the places that locals recommend.

Since I was eyeing this place before I stopped into the Popcorn shop I was excited to hear the recommendation of Pho Van.

Pho Van is simply presented, with great customer service.

Went with the Pho Bowl with Beef Meatballs...
Excellent Broth!

They keep it simple and good.

Heading back to the hotel for a break Irene and I took in some architectural sights.

This area of the city is a lot of older buildings, history of the Steel Age are the secrets they hold.

Pittsburgh PA - Travel Day

I did a little research before leaving for Pittsburgh, to see where I wanted to eat and explore.  I have heard wonderful things about the food available in the city, I my choice was to eat my way through the days and walk around to see what Pittsburgh was made of. 

Irene decided to join me on this trip and is ready to go.

When we travel arriving a day early and leaving a day after an event really helps keep you relaxed and a way to enjoy your trip.  After a day of travel it is nice to check into the hotel, relax, and find a good Dinner.  Eating at the hotel restaurant is typically a safe bet, priced a little higher, but convenient and usually a Pub of some sort.

On this adventure I traveled with my friend Lynn. We took the Ohio Turnpike, it has been a long time since I traveled that route, such nice roads and service stations.  The service stations have a food court, I don't eat fast food but the posters were funny to me.


The guy looks like the burger is being shoved in his face.
The gal looks like she is seducing her burger.

Well, onward to PA....

The Westin has a breakfast restaurant and a Lunch/Dinner restaurant called The Original Fish Market.
We checked out the menu online then headed down to get a bite to eat for dinner.

BBQ Walleye with Bacon green beans and Polenta cakes.

The fish was tender and flaky with a wonderfully seasoned BBQ sauce.
Bacon Green Beans, only one word needed for that, delish.

The Polenta Cakes had onions and peppers mixed in, more of something calm on the palette.