Oms in the Outfield 2015 (and brunch at Meat & Potatoes)

Yoga Day at PNC Park
Oms in the Outfield/”Yoga Day” at PNC Park!
*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither the Pittsburgh Pirates, Stacey Vespaziani, Sally Sherman, South Hills Power Yoga, nor Meat & Potatoes. I’m just a Friendly Foodie & Yogini, who enjoys sharing her yoga and foodie adventures!

Sunday, August 30th was the 2nd Annual Oms in the Outfield at PNC Park! Last year, I didn’t get the chance to attend; thus, this year, I knew I couldn’t miss out on the fun! The same teachers from last year (Stacey Vespaziani of South Hills Power Yoga, and Sally Sherman of the University of Pittsburgh) both taught an hour-long yoga class, right in the Outfield of PNC Park, to 1,600 ‘burgh yogis! Stacey & Sally taught a challenging class, but also workable enough, that a beginner yoga student could enjoy.

Before the yoga class, Chelsea Collective (an athletic clothing line for women, whom just opened up a store at the Ross Park Mall) provided yoga mats for everyone! Also, students had the option to buy a “HOPE” t-shirt for $25, benefitting breast cancer.

Yogis in the city!
Yogis in the city!
Yogis in the Outfield
Yogis in the Outfield!
After class, each participant was given a FREE official Pittsburgh Pirates baseball cap! Once I receive my baseball cap, my friend Steve and I walked over to brunch at Meat & Potatoes (reservations made at least three weeks in advance).

Chicken & Waffles at Meat & Potatoes
The main event: chicken & waffles (cheddar jalapeño waffles, no less), with bourbon maple syrup! Just out of shot: a French 76 cocktail
By the time Steve & I walked over to Meat & Potatoes for brunch, I was for some SERIOUS food! I went with some old stand-bys that never disappoint: Chicken & Waffles (fried chicken, cheddar jalapeño waffles, and bourbon maple syrup), with a wonderful brunch cocktail (French 76)! This was everything I hoped for, and more! ❤

After brunch, back to the field to be “honored” on the ball field before the game, & then onto our seats to watch the Buccos play ball! 😎👍🏻⚾️  

 My happy/blissed out, yet exhausted face, as I pass out on my bed (lol), once the day was done. 
Three cheers to health & fitness,

-Friendly Fitness Foodie

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Yoga Digs is re-rooting to the South Hills!

My friend Lindsey Grantz‘s yoga studio, Yoga Digs, is moving from the South Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh, to the Greentree suburb!

For Immediate Release  —  Yoga Digs Replanting Roots in Green Tree

Next month, Green Tree Borough will have its own yoga studio. Locally owned Yoga Digs will relocate to Green Tree along with a full class schedule, free parking, and the option for heated classes.

Yoga Digs began as a donation-based class in a community garden. Since then, the individuals behind Yoga Digs have encouraged students to “root, nurture, and grow” through their yoga practice and involvement with the community. The new location will allow the studio to grow with new students, classes, and partnerships.

Yoga Digs has already begun to cultivate this relationship with the Green Tree borough by hosting a booth at the community’s annual Octoberfest on September 19th. Classes at the Green Tree Farmers Market and in local parks are also in the works.

Currently located on the South Side of Pittsburgh and in a shared space with Adrenaline Barre, the studio’s new location will be 993 Greentree Rd., near Starbucks and Pittsburgh Kettlebell and Performance.

“This past year on East Carson St. has brought many opportunities and challenges as we shared a space with Adrenaline Barre,” owner, Lindsey Grantz said. “While we are grateful for the South Side studio, we are excited for our new home just a few miles away.”

Grantz and company kicked off the South Side Food, Art, and Sidewalk Festival earlier this summer. Yoga Digs also hosted weekly classes on the rooftop of SkyBar Pittsburgh and the terrace at Hyatt House Pittsburgh.

Students, old and new, are invited to the Grand Opening event at the Green Tree location (date and time TBD). Stay up-to-date with the move by following Yoga Digs on social media.

For more information, visit www.yogadigs.com or email info@yogadigs.com.

#BeerAndYogaBlowout at the Carrie Furnace, and The Brew Gentlemen

Second Breakfast and Brew Gentlemen
Second Breakfast Food Truck, parked in front of The Brew Gentlemen, in the Braddock neighborhood of Pittsburgh
*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither South Hills Power Yoga, The Brew Gentlemen, Lululemon, Fittsburgh, nor PGH Yoga Collective. I am just a Pittsburgh Foodie & Yogini, who enjoys sharing her food and fitness adventures with others. Pictures captured with an iPhone 5s, and edited with Instagram.

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015, I was lucky enough to attend the #BeerAndYogaBlowout event (the finale to the summer Beer + Yoga and Brunch series, hosted at The Brew Gentlemen every Sunday). Along with Becca Robertson,  my Yoga Teacher Training Mentor, Hallie Stotsky lead the yoga class at the LEGENDARY Carrie Furnace (in Rankin), assisted by Stacey Vespaziani of South Hills Power Yoga, and Eva Lin Douglass of Schoolhouse Yoga.

The event was SOLD OUT- 300 yogis signed up to attend yoga, beer & brunch! Before class, I spoke to a representative from PGH Yoga Collective, bought a shirt from Fittsburgh, and placed my order for a customized Beer + Yoga tank from Lululemon! 🙂

Hallie taught the first part of class- very energetic and athletic. This was my first class with Becca; thus, I didn’t know what to expect, but dropped all expectations, and trusted her expertise (after all, she trained with the same yoga teachers and studio as me). Becca lead a very gentle second half of class (which I LOVED)! I have been gravitating more and more to gentle, restorative and yin yoga classes lately; thus, I really appreciated this class.

Acro Yoga at Carrie Furnace
Playing around with Acro Yoga, at the end of class, with my friend Jeff as the base, and my friend Kelly as our fan club and moral support on-looker.
Acro Yoga at The Carrie Furnace
More Acro Yoga play at The Carrie Furnace!
Almost bow post in the air
Trying to do bow pose in the air!
Yoga Teacher Photoshoot
My yoga buddy Laura B. held an impromptu yoga photoshoot with me! ❤
Crow Pose variation
Doing a crow variation, that my teacher LA Finfinger taught me!
Crow Pose variation and a smile. Namaste Bitches
Namaste Bitches (and hi camera)! 😉
Once the Acro Yoga play and yoga photoshoot ended, we headed over to The Brew Gentlemen in Braddock, who hosted a beer tasting and brunch!

The Brew Gentlemen in Braddock
The Brew Gentlemen’s sign, in #BeautifulBraddock!
The Brew Gentlemen
Love this sign (also on the side of The Brew Gentlemen)!
Included with admission to #BeerAndYogaBlowout, was a 5 ounce taster (with I thoroughly enjoyed)! I must say: The Brew Gentlemen makes one of THE best local craft beers (perhaps even the best) I have ever tried! I look forward to sampling more from this lovely brewery!

Second Breakfast Pittsburgh
Second Breakfast (organic, local Belgian Liege Waffles, and other breakfast foods) Waffle Wagon!
The Brewery hosted two food institutions: Second Breakfast Waffle Wagon, and Driftwood Pizza. Although I wanted both Pizza AND waffles, sometimes, one must make tough decisions in life. Nevertheless, I went with Second Breakfast, as my Sunday Brunch choice.

Second Breakfast Brunch
Here’s my brunch: chicken and waffles, with a scoop of chocolate ice cream “a la mode” (as the adorable Eva Lin Douglass proclaimed)
OMG! This Second Breakfast experience was even better than my first (at the Spring Solstice Brunch at the Pittsburgh Public Market), probably since the waffle was made fresh on site! I loved Tom’s (the owner of Second Breakfast) fresh take on the dish: instead of fried chicken, almost like a shredded chicken. The Belgian Liege Waffle was prepared and cooked to perfection! Also, I could tell that Tom used good cream and chocolate for the scoop of chocolate ice cream- one of THE best chocolate ice creams I’ve EVER had!

Well there you have it, folks: yoga, beer and brunch, all in the lovely neighborhoods of Rankin & Braddock! Mark my words- Braddock is experiencing a re-birth! Thanks to establishments like The Brew Gentlemen, Free Store, and Kevin Sousa (stay tuned for Superior Motors, his newest restaurant), Braddock will become the next hot-spot in Pittsburgh! Just watch it happen- you can say that the Friendly Fitness Foodie predicted it! 😉

Cheers to good food & health,

-Friendly Fitness Foodie

South Hills Power Yoga’s website

The Brew Gentlemen’s website

Fittsburgh’s website

Lululemon Athletica Pittsburgh’s Facebook page

Second Breakfast’s Facebook page

Pittsburgh Yoga Collective’s website

Summer 2015 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Dinner #2: Tako

Octopus Mural
Did you know that Tako means Octopus in Japanese? Here is the namesake mural at Tako!
*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Tako, nor its owners, chefs and staff. I’m just a Pittsburgh foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie adventures! Pictures captured with an iPhone 5s, and edited with Instagram.

Thanks to Pittsburgh Restaurant Week, I FINALLY dined at Tako (the new restaurant from the owners of Meat & Potaotes, and Butcher & The Rye) on Thursday, August 13th, 2015.

The eatPGH ladies have been RAVING about this place in their reviews; thus, my anticipation had surely hit is peak. I made a reservation two months in advance, to ensure my opportunity to dine there.

Bike Chain Chandelier
I REALLY loved this chandelier, made from bike chains!

Second Floor of Tako
Chandelier + the second floor!

Tako's breath-taking bar, and wall of Mezcal and Tequila
The jaw-dropping bar at Tako!

Homemade Tortilla Chips
Homemade Tortilla Chips from Tako = INCREDIBLE!
My Mom and I did the full three course Pittsburgh Restaurant Week dinner. Course #1 included homemade tortilla chips, which were pretty addicting! X)

Salsa
House made salsa from Tako!
Of course, you have to have salsa for the chips! The salsa on the left was a green chile verde salsa, and the salsa on the right was your traditional tomato-based salsa (but I think there might’ve been a few peppers added to the salsa as well). Both salsa was exquisite- even better than the guacamole!

Speaking of guacamole: my Mom and I chose the Traditional Guacamole as our second courses. Let me tell you: both Tako and Round Corner Cantina make THE best Guacamole I’ve EVER had in my entire LIFE!  Both restaurants add a few slices of jalapeños, which really adds some nice heat to this cool dish!

My dinner at Tako
My whole meal: two Korean tacos, traditional guacamole, and a Desert Lily Cocktail (this cocktail won the “Taste of the Cocktail” Daiquiri Cocktail Competition).
As you can tell, my Mom and I wasted no time devouring the Guacamole!

Soon, it was time for the main course! I chose the Korean tacos, which was composed of: wagyu short rib, peanut, fermented cucumber, sesame, pickled carrot, and cilantro.

I thought no one could beat the PGH Taco Truck, as far as Pittsburgh tacos, but I dare say that Tako has (never fear! The PGH Taco Truck is still my favorite food truck)! The fattiness of the wagyu short rib paired well with the saltiness of the sesame oil; the cucumber and carrot both gave the taco a refreshing taste. These tacos made me so happy!

My beverage of choice: the award-winning Desert Lily Frozen Margarita, crafted by Maggie
My beverage of choice: the award-winning Desert Lily Frozen Margarita, crafted by Maggie
The very first time I dined at Butcher & The Rye, Maggie was one of my two servers (the other one being Wes Shonk, who now works at Wigle Whiskey); I had heard good things about her, since she used to work at Salt of the Earth (a LEGENDARY restaurant in the ‘burgh, formerly owned and founded by Kevin Sousa). Once Tako opened, she was recruited to manage Tako’s Tequila and Mezcal program. Thus, I HAD to try a cocktail from her!

Nevertheless, this cocktail lived up to its award-winning reputation; thank God I had two tacos, to help soak up this lovely margarita in my belly. Otherwise, my Mom might’ve had to have wheeled me home. X)

My dessert: churro funnel cake, with macerated strawberries, and vanilla ice cream
My dessert: churro funnel cake, with macerated strawberries, and vanilla ice cream
I loved the vanilla ice cream, but the funnel cake churro was less than stellar. Next time, I would either pass on dessert, or order something else for dessert.

Overall, I had a VERY positive experience at Tako! Meat & Potatoes is still my favorite Richard/Tolga restaurant, but Tako has now climbed up to the #2 spot! I look forward to returning here in two weeks for dinner!

Tequila sign
I really loved this Tequila sign (reminded me of the RYE sign at Butcher & The Rye)!

Cheers to good food & health,

 

 

-Friendly Fitness Foodie

 

Tako’s website

Tako’s Facebook page

Tako’s Twitter page

Tako’s Instagram page

 

Summer 2015 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Blogger Dinner

Framboise Cocktail
Framboise cocktail (courtesy of Brian) from The Grand Concourse- very refreshing!

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Brian McCollum, nor Pittsburgh Restaurant Week, and The Grand Concourse. I’m just a Pittsburgh foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie adventures! Pictures captured on an iPhone 5s,and edited with Instagram. 

Monday, August 10th, Brian McCollum (Founder of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week) hosted the Summer 2015 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Blogger Dinner at The Grand Concourse! I was particular excited to converse with the Pittsburgh Bloggers, and dine at a classic Pittsburgh restaurant!

Pictured above is my complimentary Framboise cocktail; this was heavenly!

Summer Chopped Salad
Summer Chopped Salad from The Grand Concourse

The salad was the highlight of the whole dinner! Besides mixed greens, it also contained: grilled peaches, walnuts, pecans, blackberries, and goat cheese. Talk about summer on a plate! 😀

Coconut Curried Vegetables
Coconut Curried Vegetables with Ginger Scented Bamboo Rice!

This dish reminded me of a vegetarian Pad Thai; it was sooooooo good!

Media Luna
Media Luna: chocolate-dipped croissant, filled with an almond pastry cream, with raspberry sauce drizzled on top

Do I really need to say much more? This was chocolate and pastry heaven on a plate!

 

*I chose all Pittsburgh Restaurant Week menu options. The only item that I did not see on the regular summer menu was the Summer Chopped Salad.

 

All in all, a sophisticated dinner, in an elegant restaurant, surrounded by friends = a good night!

 

Cheers to good food & health,

 

 

-Friendly Fitness Foodie

 

The Grand Concourse’s website

The Grand Concourse’s Facebook page

 

Summer 2015 Foodie Adventures

Cocktail from Butcher & The Rye
Summer Cocktail from Butcher & The Rye, in  downtown Pittsburgh. This was VERY tasty!
*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits, from any of these restaurants; I’m just a Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie adventures. Photos were captured on an iPhone 5s, and edited with Instagram & Adobe Photoshop CS4. 

Recently, I have gone on several Foodie adventures; since I have been a Social Butterfly, it’s been very hard to devote a whole post to each meal. So, why not combine several foodie adventures into one post?

The cocktail above was from one of my first Summer adventures, held at Butcher & The Rye (the second Restaurant by Richard DeShantz, & his business partner Tolga).

Focaccia Bread
Focaccia Bread, with ALL THE TOPPINGS, at Butcher & The Rye
Butcher & The Rye comes pretty close, to making focaccia bread as good as the LEGENDARY focaccia bread from The HyeHolde. Soooooo good!

Summer Salad
Butcher & The Rye‘s Summer salad, with: heirloom tomatoes, feta cheese, and artichoke hearts
One of THE best salads I’ve EVER had!

Pint Glass
After Butcher & The Rye, my friend and I attended PGH Happy Hour‘s & Beers of the Burgh Home Brewing event, at Bayardstown! Here is my souvenir glass! 🙂
Bar Marco
After Bayardstown, my friend and I had this HEAVENLY P.B & S’mores dessert at Bar Marco! Even better than munching on S’mores over a campfire!
Bar Marco Burger
Bar Marco burger at brunch- one of THE best burgers, I’ve EVER had in Pittsburgh!
As Anthony Bourdain would say: “please order your burger medium rare! It is, after all, your patriotic duty.”

Custom Cocktail
While at brunch, Bar Marco made this customized cocktail for me, featuring: lemon, orange & Prosecco!
During this brunch, I was lucky enough to meet former co-owner, and manager of Bar Marco, and new Event Coordinator of Studio A.M. & Swing Truck, Bobby Fry! He was such a hospitable host: from his warm welcome, to sharing a bottle of Riesling with us, and giving us a complimentary tour of The Wine Room, he really made this brunch experience at Bar Marco memorable! I’m so grateful to know him; Pittsburgh is lucky to have such a passionate person in the local restaurant industry!

Swing Truck- Jamilka Borges' Food Truck
I have been lucky enough to dine from the Swing truck (Jamilka’s food truck) this summer: the first time, I had a Mallorca (pastry bread with pork and cheese), and the second time, a rice bowl, with chicken.
Crispy Chicken Confit
Recently, I tried the Chicken Confit Dim Sum at Grit & Grace! Let me tell you- my new favorite Dim Sum at Grit & Grace (even better than the Pork Belly Dim Sum)!
Cubano Sandwich from the Steer & Wheel Food Truck
Steer & Wheel Food Truck makes a hell of a good Cubano sandwich!
Jerk Chicken Taco from the PGH Taco Truck
Of course, what summer foodie adventure would be complete without a trip to the PGH Taco Truck? I caught up with this legendary food truck, after a yoga workshop in Lawrenceville. I ordered a Jerk Chicken Taco; soon good! #tacoemojicomingsoon
Thai Iced Coffee
Recently, I tried a new restaurant in Mt. Lebanon, called Thai Touch Kitchen! I was so hungry (and loving the food), that I forgot to take pictures! I did remember to snap some photos of my after dinner treated: Thai Iced Coffee (Iced Coffee with coconut milk); sooooo good, and so much better than Thai Iced Tea!
Thai Iced Coffee
Another shot of the Thai Iced Coffee
Tomato Salad
My first brunch at The Commoner: fresh tomatoes from the Chef’s garden, with cucumbers and cheese! Life doesn’t get much better than this! 😉
Mom's brunch at The Commoner: The Norwegian- salmon lox, on top of cream cheese, and bagel, with capers, onions and a fried egg.
Mom’s brunch at The Commoner: The Norwegian salmon lox, on top of cream cheese, and bagel, with capers, onions and a fried egg.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
For Brunch dessert, my Mom and I shared The Commoner‘s LEGENDARY Sticky Toffee Pudding! Best Sticky Toffee Pudding that I’ve had, ANYWHERE!
Devils on Horseback
Devils on Horseback (dates stuffed with Chorizo) from Meat & Potatoes– they truly make the best!
Poutine
Poutine from Meat & Potatoes! I thought no one could beat Franktuary, but Meat & Potatoes is tied with them, for the best poutine in the city!
 

 

Three Cheers to Summer Foodie Adventures, and Fitness outside in the Summer Sun (whether it be either Yoga in the Square, or a 5k run or walk!)!

 

 

-Friendly Fitness Foodie