Since this brunch was hosted in celebration of two foodie friends’
birthday, I mindfully chose to have a cocktail with friends! 😉
*NOTE*: Neither Chef Derek Stevens nor Eleven Contemporary Kitchen asked me to write this blog post. I am just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie (and Yogini), who enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others. Photos were captured on an iPhone 5s, and were edited with Adoboe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.
Last month, a bunch of Pittsburgh Foodie friends and I gathered at Eleven Contemporary Kitchen in the Strip District to celebrate a few foodie friends’ birthdays! Since I haven’t been to Eleven in at least six years (and I have never brunched her), I was SUPER excited to check out the brunch menu (especially in the company of fellow foodies)!
I’m not quite all the way there yet, but I am slowly making a transition to (possibly) become a vegetarian. If you practice yoga, it’s definitely not a requirement, but something to think about. Some Buddhist philosophy is incorporated into the practice of yoga, and two of the concepts that have been incorporated are: easing the suffering of the world and non-violence. If you think about it, there is a lot of suffering that goes into killing animals for food (even when the chickens lay eggs). I’m very interested in where my food comes from, how it was prepared, and what kind of life the animals had on the farms. Luckily, there are a few farms in Pittsburgh (for example: Churchview Farm) that I know treat their animals with respect. I tend to gravitate towards chefs like Kevin Costa (formerly of the Crested Duck, now Chef de Cuisine of Root 174), whom specially work with farms whom do not use GMO and do not inject hormones into their animals. Also, I have recently re-read Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet book, which did cover the cruelty that animals have experienced on farms. Ever since then, I have been reducing the amount of meat and eggs I have been consuming. Personally, it feels good to help ease the suffering of the world (even if it’s just a little, that still matters); plus, I find myself choosing healthier choices, once I eliminate eggs and meat from the equation. Although, I haven’t yet been able to cut fish out of my diet, as you will see here in this brunch.
Hence, the reasoning behind the mindful choices of this brunch. Onwards to brunch!
Eleven offers a Prix Fixe brunch options for $29, which includes: your choice of an appetizer and entree, and either fresh juice or a brunch cocktail. Obviously, I went with the brunch cocktail route. ❤ I selected the Pomegranate Pop, which contained Brut Reserva Cava, Pama and Pomegranate juice. This was THE perfect fruity brunch cocktail; if you are driving home (and stop after this one), the brunch food will totally soak up the alcohol for a safe drive home (trust me on this).
A close up of my fun brunch cocktail!
Coconut Almond Granola, with vanilla yogurt, mini, berries and apples. I must say, this ranks right up there with some of THE best granola I’ve EVER had! The granola was very tasty and high-quality. I LOVED the airy-ness of the vanilla yogurt, and I always enjoy blackberries and raspberries.
Grilled Salmon Salad, with fennel, cucumber, pea shoots and lemon aioli. I’m not just saying this (I promise): this was THE best grilled salmon I’ve EVER had! Also, I really enjoyed the unique-ness of the salad. Instead of your typical mixed green salad, it was great to pair the salmon with the coolness of the cucumber, and the touch of bitterness of the fennel. Plus, lemon is always paired well with salmon, and who doesn’t like peas?
As far as the service: I really liked our main waiter, but honestly, the rest of the staff that interacted with us was very cold. There were very long pauses between courses (even the start of the courses), and the restaurant wasn’t that busy (considering the convention center had three different events going on that day).
Despite the lack-luster service (although waiter man, you rocked! I loved your quirky sense of humor), I did enjoy the food, and the company of my foodie friends.
Next post: Mardi Gras dinner at The Commoner
Afterwards: brunch at Montana Rib & Chophouse in Southpointe
Cheers to Food & Fitness,
-Friendly Fitness Foodie