Winter 2015 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Food Blogger Brunch at Verde

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Brunch Menu at Verde
Winter 2015 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Verde Brunch Menu

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Pittsburgh Restaurant Week nor Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina. I am just a Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie adventures with others. Pictures were captured with an iPhone 5s and edited with Instagram and Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended.

Brian McCollum (Founder/Director of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week) and Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina graciously hosted a FABULOUS Food Blogger Brunch on Sunday, January 11th, 2014. Verde offer most of it’s usual Sunday brunch dishes, but also introduced a “Pittsburgh Restaurant Week only dish” that I could not WAIT to taste!

I was glad to reconnect with fellow bloggers Lou of Pittsburgh Happy Hour fame and Tasha of The Food Tasters‘ blog. Also, I FINALLY had the opportunity to meet Terri, the woman behind the Parmesan Princess blog!

Bacon from Verde
BACON!!

Here is my delightful brunch side dish: bacon with coriander brown sugar. Let me tell you: some of THE best bacon I’ve EVER had! Wherever (or whomever) Verde acquires its bacon from, I can tell it’s good quality bacon! Pair that with brown sugar and coriander, and you have a winning combination!

Mexican French Toast from Verde
Mexican French Toast from Verde

My main dish for brunch: Caballeros Pobres– Mexcian French toast: egg-battered brioche, shaved blackberry gastrique, fresh berries, apple slices, whipped cream, granola and cumin-spiced maple syrup.  First of call, you can never go wrong with brioche french toast. I loved the savory-ness of the brioche and cumin, paired with the sweetness of the blackberry gastric and the maple syrup. This dish has my seal of approval!

Not pictured: fresh-squeezed orange juice (which was INCREDIBLE)! We also received complimentary shots of a coconut-nut flavored beverage. I don’t know what it was, but it was GOOD!

There you have it, folks!

Three Cheers to good food, fabulous art & cultural events,

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

Verde’s website

Verde’s Facebook page

Verde’s Twitter page

Verde’s Instagram page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s website

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Facebook page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Twitter page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Instagram page

Pittsburgh Happy Hour’s blog

Want to go to Happy Hour with Pittsburgh Happy Hour? Join the Facebook group!

Pittsburgh Happy Hour’s Twitter page

The Food Tasters’ blog

The Food Tasters’ Facebook page

The Food Tasters’ Twitter page

The Food Tasters’ Instagram page

Parmesan Princess’ blog

Parmesan Princess’ Facebook page

Parmesan Princess’ Twitter page

Parmesan Princess’ Instagram page

First Two Visits to Sirena Taco Joint & Bar

Pork and Beans and Yellow Rice
Pork & Beans with Yellow Rice from Sirena Taco Joint & Bar

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from Sirena Taco Joint & Bar. I am just a Pittsburgh foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie adventures! Photos were captured on an iPhone 5s and were edited with Instagram and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

I have been ANTICIPATING my first visit to Sirena Taco Joint & Bar, located in the Donaldson’s Crossroads shopping plaza in McMurray PA. Doreen Valentine, former owner of Dozen Bake Shop, has dived into a new restaurant venture, serving up a plethora of tacos, cocktails and beer. She recruited Chef John Bingham (formerly Executive Chef of Nine on Nine) to lead Sirena’s culinary staff. Dozen’s cupcakes were (in my opinion) THE best cupcakes in the ‘burgh. Pair that with Nine on Nine’s excellent reputation, I had high hopes for Sirena Taco Joint & Bar…

I’m happy to say, my hopes were met & EXCEEDED!  I LOVED the branding for the restaurant (down by Wall-to-Wall, my favorite advertising company in Pittsburgh. Wall-to-Wall does the branding for Burgatory as well.), the fun decor and colors. Especially in the winter season (with snow piles lol), it’s great to see bright turquoise and orange colors on the restaurant walls. That INSTANTLY brightens the mood! The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable; the first time I dined at the restaurant, the waiter, bartender and hostesses all thanked me for coming and said “hope to see you again soon”! Now THAT’S great hospitality (and good business)!

Onwards to the food! Picture above is one of my side dishes from the first visit- pork & beans with yellow rice! Absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS! The perfect side dish for tacos! There’s just something about rice at Mexican and Spanish restaurants. What can I say, I love it!

Yellow Rice
Yellow Rice from Sirena Taco Joint & Bar

Also, I ordered the yellow rice by itself and added on some of Sirena’s hot sauce! Let me tell you- this rice is INCREDIBLE! A little bit of hot sauce goes a long way, too! That’s a great spicy addition to the rice!

Pork Carnitas Tacos
Pork Carnitas Tacos from Sirena Taco Joint & Bar

The main event: Pork Carnitas tacos from my first visit! Bacon jam, queso fresco, avocado creama and arugula. Let me tell you- one of THE best tacos I’ve EVER had! Whomever thought of putting bacon in a taco is a GENIUS! All hail the pig, a glorious animal!

Beef Brisket Tacos
Beef Brisket Tacos from Sirena Taco Joint & Bar

Here’s the taco order I chose for my second visit: Adobado Beef Brisket, with grilled pineapple, picked jalapeño, roasted corn salsa and queso fresco. This was also INCREDIBLE! I loved the grill marks on the tacos, too (almost like a panini). The beef brisket was cooked to perfection. I enjoyed the savory-ness of the brisket paired with the sweetness of the pineapple and the spiciness of the pickled jalapeño. Also, the corn salsa was WONDERFUL! Also, you can never go wrong with queso fresco (so good!)

Sirena’s prices are decent, too! Two people can dine here for lunch for less than $30; that’s great! Reasonable prices, GOOD quality food, excellent service and ambiance! It doesn’t get much better than this, folks!

If you are in the South Hills area, I HIGHLY recommend a drive over to Donaldson’s Crossroads to Sirena Taco Joint & Bar!

Three Cheers to good good, fabulous art & cultural events,

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

Sirena Taco Joint & Bar’s website

Sirena Taco Joint & Bar’s Facebook page

Sirena Taco Joint & Bar’s Twitter page

Guest Post on The Food Tasters’ Blog

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts! Between the holidays wrapping up and acquiring the dreaded winter cough and cold, I just haven’t had the energy until now to write any posts. Towards the end of December, I did a Top Ten Pittsburgh Restaurant Dishes of 2014 guest post on my friend The Food Tasters‘ Blog! I encourage you to read this post! Scroll down the page and click on the image of the camera to read. Here is the link: http://www.thefoodtasters.com.

Thanks everyone! Stay tuned- I’m getting ready to work on some new posts, including: a review of Sirena Taco Joint & Bar, a review of the Winter 2015 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Blogger Brunch at Verde and my Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Dinner at Habitat.

Three Cheers to good food, fabulous art and cultural events,

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

The Food Tasters’ Facebook page

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