after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Archive for the ‘in Pittsburgh’ Category

the ‘burgh says hello.

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t says:  lc took me to some hippy-dippy-lookin’ donut place in Pittsburgh for breakfast one morning.  Looking at the sign outside, which said “Peace Love and Little Donuts”, I wondered if I’d be required to don a woven pancho before entry.  Fortunately, they didn’t discriminate against non-hippies, and I was granted access.  And look what I found:

look at all those donuts!

This place has three tiers of donuts.  They are more silly-named than Coldstone Creamery’s sizing scheme (i.e. “like it vs. love it vs. gotta’ have it”).  <Uncontrollable aside: “what kind of crackhead terminology is that?  i gotta have it, man!  i’m tweakin’ i’m tweakin’!”  Ok, I feel better now that I got that out.>  Here, the donuts are “groovy”, “far out”, or “funkadelic”.  Refusing to acquiesce to such silly names, I began to assemble a dozen of “the really fancy ones” to bring in to some co-workers.  Unfortunately, lc chose some of the lamer “groovy” ones for the dozen as well, claiming that maybe some people would like a more “normal donut”.  (Blasphemy!)

It’s ok.  I made sure we got 2 of these babies:

maple bacon bacon bacon bacon!

Yes, I know that putting bacon on sweets is soooooo “two years ago”, but I don’t care.  I have never seen such a bacon-loaded sweet before, so I knew that 2 of the dozen were going to be this maple bacon concoction.  Funny thing – these were the last 2 of 3 remaining donuts after people attacked the dozen.  I guess the bacon scared people away.  I admit – it’s not for the faint of heart.

How’d it taste?  Pretty damn good.  I give the hippies big props for loading on the bacon.  I do wish it was a little crispier, but am really happy I went for it.  The donut was nicely textured and surprisingly not-too-sweet.  It was plusher/softer than FedNuts, and the glaze wasn’t too thick/syrupy at all.  Man, if these hippies opened up shop i Philly, they could give FedNuts a run for their money (FedNuts does better with “unique” flavors, but honestly, how can you say no to classic combos like strawberry shortcake or chocolate-peanut-butter?).

Regrets?  Well, after consuming the maple bacon donut, I was then over-full for a long time … but it was worth it … and I’d do it again … and maybe ask for a single swirl of chocolate …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

11 April 2012 at 10:29pm

i wanted some “eggs n’at “

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t says:  On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, g, lc, and I decided to get some breakfast.  lc suggested “Eggs N’At”, which is apparently some sort of Pittsburghian saying that translates to “Eggs And That”.  She described it as “like a diner”.  I like diners.  g likes diners.  So off we went!

March 2012, Saturday Brunch, Party of 3.  The place is pretty tiny.  I’d say it’d seat 25 comfortably, maybe 30 uncomfortably.  They were just cleaning off a table so we stood by the register and looked at the t-shirts they were selling with other sayings, like “jeet yet?” (my spelling might be off, but you get the idea).  Cute, very cute.

After taking our seats, we looked over the menus, where I was torn between several options.  It didn’t help that I was starving.  Banana chocolate chip pancakes?  Yummers.  Pancakes with bacon and blueberries?  Yes please.  And then the “special” corned beef hash?  Sign me up for that, too!  There were also sausage gravy and biscuits, huevos rancheros, items with chorizo – it just kept going and going!  Egad!

After much thought and consideration, I knew I just had to get the corned beef hash.  You see, corned beef hash [from a can] was one of the things that I fondly remember eating as a child.  We would eat it on Sundays when gathering with my dad’s side of the family, and although fairly gross-looking, something about it was just so delicious!  It was salty and savory.  Of course, it was probably super-extra-salty by virtue of being a canned meat, but I still liked it.  Naturally, I haven’t had it in years, as we now eat very few canned goods (perhaps the most frequently purchased canned good we use is Tuttoroso brand crushed tomatoes for gravy) … but this was my chance!  And the waitress said it was made with “homemade corned beef”.  So corned beef it was … but right when I ordered, the greedy little piggy in me made one additional request …

t’s pick:  corned beef hash and one “mama’s pancake”

Yea, I just had to have at least one pancake.  Knowing that Cochon and Honey’s have made some ridiculously delicious pancakes featuring chocolate and/or bananas in the past, I went with the “Mama Evans” pancake: bacon and blueberry put in the batter.  I cannot begin to express to you how awesome everything was.  All of it was so homey, but so good; it really hit the spot.  The corned beef and potatoes were perfect.  And that pancake … breath-taking.  As soon as blueberry season gets here (“bluebs”, right k?), I’ll be whipping up a batch of these bad boys fast.

lc’s pick: eggs, homefries, chorizo, marble rye

lc’s had a very diner-y feel, with the exception of some awesome chorizo, which I’m 100% sure I wouldn’t be able to find in any Jersey diner anywhere … but it’d be awesome if I could …  I think she also had an oatmeal raisin pancake, but I never got around to tasting it …

g’s pick:  mixed grill omelet (peppers, onion, potates, cheese)

g opted to go for an omelet, which was surprising because I thought for sure she was going with juevos rancheros.  g took one bite and said, “wow … you can tell that this was made with cheese and butter … in a good way!”  g certainly did a number on her omelet, which was an ooey-gooey concoction of heaven.

All-in-all, this was some wonderful homey food.  On one hand, it reminded me a lot of Jersey diner food, but with a bit more novelty, kind of like Honey’s, but not mobbed with hipsters and without a bajillion hour wait-time.  g said, “I feel like this place should be on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives – it’s just so good!”.  Consequently, if these guys were in Philly, they’d give a lot of brunch hot-spots a run for their money for sure.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

31 March 2012 at 9:21pm

SixPenn: Choco-taco on Steroids

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t says: After watching Young Frankenstein in Pittsburgh, we stopped in at SixPenn for some snacks and drinks.  We had some macaroni and cheese (that were “ok”) and some home-made pretzels (also “ok”).  BUT … let me tell you about their dessert …

In honor of Cinco de Mayo (even though it was May 6th when we went), the chefs whipped up a “chocolate taco”.  I figured “chocolate taco” – how could I go wrong?  Actually, in my mind, the only question was “just how right could they go?”.

When it came to the table, it looked so cool that I broke my I-don’t-take-photos-in-restaurants rule.

If this taco could talk, it'd say "I bet you couldn't stop yourself from eating me even if you wanted to."

The shell was like a freshly made waffle cone coated in chocolate.  The “inside” was super soft, super creamy ice cream with leaves of mind and finely diced strawberry (looks like tomato, right?).  Sure, the presentation is gimicky as hell, but my mouth was so pleased that I didn’t care.  I actually can’t recall what the dipping sauce was (I didn’t use it), and I think the ice cream might have had a little hint of orange flavor.  I have to find a reason to visit again next Cinco de Mayo.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

15 May 2010 at 12:35am

S & D Polish Deli: Real Polish Pierogi

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t says: While we were in the strip district, we happened to walk into this Polish deli which had red and white flags everywhere, a couple of aisles of Polish ingredients (or, in some cases, just some garlic powder) and a deli.  I knew I wasn’t leaving this place without putting something in my mouth.  As I perused the deli’s offerings, I spotted that they also had pierogi made to order (apparently pierogi is the plural, and pierog is singular)!

I asked the guy for a single order or pierogi .  He asked what kind?  I didn’t know there were “kinds” … silly me.  I asked for his suggestion and he recommend cheddar-and-potato, saying it was “classic”.  I went for it.

Holy crap they were good.  It was like gnocchi met ravioli met cheddar cheese.  The sauteed onions in the sauce were so sweet.  It was a perfectly simple dish – no super-complicated combination of flavors that evolved in your mouth – just plain ol’ goodness.  You know – I really don’t have much to compare these to, as I’ve only had pierogi sold in a super-market in the frozen food section.  Ok, so these are WAY better than those, but that’s not saying much.

Also, I can now inform g’s dad of the location of this pierogi treasure chest.  He’s quite the fan.  S & D better be ready, because the next time he visits Pittsburgh, he might show up with an empty cooler and ask them to fill ‘er up.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

15 May 2010 at 12:11am

My Ngoc: Banh Mi Pittsburgh-style

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t says: While we were in the ‘burgh, we had the opportunity to visit the strip district.  They have some cool places on that strip – a variety of foods that were all very tantalizing.  It was very convenient to have such a variety in one location.  What to choose, what to choose … ?  Well, given our obsession with the Vietnamese hoagie, the banh mi (we even did a Chifa and Sampan face-off), that was going to be one of the first things we tried.  We spotted this restaurant named My Ngoc (at least, we think that’s what it was – we had to use google to “remember” it) which had a little outdoor setup with an old Asian man making hoagies on the sidewalk.  And, because we were NOT in a restaurant, I didn’t feel bad whippin’ out the iPhone for a few shots.

This was posted on a nearby lamppost on the sidewalk.

Get ... in ... my ... belly!

5/2010, Noon, Party of 2 … on the sidewalk.  We ordered the pork hoagie.  We watched as the old man assembled the ingredients.  First he hand-split the roll, put on three different sauces, then the meat, veggies, herbs, and then more sauce.  It was almost a Subway-esque experience.  However, unlike Subway [we hope], there was very little regard for … ?hygiene?  ?cleanliness?  ?sanitation?  I don’t know the right word to use, but to sum it up, there was a period of at least 4 minutes that his keys (from his pocket) were ON the cutting board that the food was on – and at least 30 seconds when the roll that was being prepared was ON the keys.  Naturally, g and I raised our eyebrows and looked at each other.  Should we turn back?  We could, but we were impatient and didn’t want to make him start again (and I wondered if he’d even understand what our problem with the sandwich was).  So we chose two different paths.  She chose to mentally monitor which part touched the keys.  I chose to look the other way and forget which part touched the keys – or even that any part touched the keys.  When we finally got our sandwich, she went first … cuz she knew which part would be clean … and kindly handed over the remainder.  Whatever.  I’m sure that worse things are done in the preparation of the meat and veggies and herbs well before we arrived on the scene.  (And she did tell me that was what she was doing – she wasn’t trying to trick me or anything.)

Was it good?  Yea.  It was really good.  It’s far more savory than Sampan’s, which had more acid and more sweet.  The pork was just … porkier.  The bread was softer (i.e. not as crusty) which is good and bad (I like crusty).  The veggies and herbs reminded me of Chifa’s banh mi, as they weren’t really integrated with the meat, rather, distinct flavors on their own.

In conclusion … The sandwich is totally worth $5.50.  Furthermore, as this was our first taste of “legitimate” banh mi (i.e. made by real Asian people at at real Vietnamese restaurant, not white people pretending to be Asian), I’m ready to take on some more “real” banh mi’s in Philly.  Bring it.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

14 May 2010 at 11:45pm