Dinner at Smallman Galley


Ginger Peach Toast Pie from Jacqueline Wardle’s Josephine’s Toast (one of the four restaurants of the Smallman Galley)! 😀

*NOTE*: Neither the Smallman Galley nor its chefs asked me to write this blog post. I am a friendly Pittsburgh foodie & yogini, who enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others. Photos captured with an iPhone 5s, and edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.

The Smallman Galley opened in November 2015, and has already received praise from Zagat and The New York Times. This restaurant incubator (located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, what I call the ‘burgh’s international food hub) was founded by two U.S. Navy Lieutenants. The name Smallman Galley references both the street where the restaurant sits, and also the kitchen on a ship (a nod to the two owners’ days at sea). Having dined at food halls all over the world, these two gentlemen aimed to bring the food hall experience to Pittsburgh.

These two Navy Lieutenants also wanted to provide chefs with the opportunity to start up their own restaurants over the course of 18 months. After those 18 months are over, the goal is for each chef to have acquired investors for either his or her restaurant concept, and to open a brick-and-mortar space in Pittsburgh. Then, a new crop of chefs with be introduced to the Smallman Galley.

I visited the Smallman Galley for the first time on the last Wednesday in March, after an event at Wigle Whiskey. I wanted to try the food at the Smallman Galley for MONTHS; thus, my golden opportunity had FINALLY arrived!

How do you order food at the Smallman Galley? Walk up to the restaurant of your choice, place you order at the cash register, pay (and don’t forget to place a tip in the tip jar), and return to your seat. You will receive a text from the restaurant, informing you of when your food will be ready. The restaurant will call you, instructing you to pick up your food at the designated restaurant counter when it’s ready.

Since I aspired to dine from more than one restaurant in one night, I started the night with dessert. 😉 My dessert (pictured above) was a Ginger Peach Toast Pie with mascarpone whipped cream from Josephine’s Toast. WOW; this was INCREDIBLE! I really liked that I mainly tasted the peach and ginger within the pie; I didn’t feel like I was eating layers and layers of bread. The flaky layers of toast emulated layers of crust in a pie- PERFECTION! Of course, mascarpone is always a wonderful taste. ❤


I had to get a better shot of those BEAUTIFUL layers of peach and toast crust!

I’m excited to return to Jacqueline’s restaurant endeavor sometime soon (ESPECIALLY  for brunch)! I’m already debating whether I would order either the Brioche French Toast, Smashed Avocado Toast with Flax Seed, or the Almond Butter Toast with preserves. ❤

Of course, I also had to order dinner food for dinner! I was torn over so many delectable dishes, but I finally decided on the Squash Grilled Cheese from Jessica Lewis Carota Cafe.


My HANDSOME dinner for the evening- Squash Grilled Cheese, which contained: roasted squash, manchego cheese, oregano pesto, seedy bread with carrot “ketchup” and pickles. There’s also a small root salad on the side.


Closeup of the Squash Grilled Cheese sandwich! As Bourdain would say: “you know you want it”! 😉

I thought my Mom made the best grilled cheese in the world. Well, she has be demoted to second-best grilled cheese (love you, Mom), and Jessica’s Squash Grilled Cheese has earned the coveted #1 spot! The squash tasted a lot like butternut squash (I LOVE butternut squash soup); also, I love cheese (this was my first time trying manchego cheese. It was very good!). Even since I tried the Hyeholde’s pesto during childhood, I have been a pesto fan. Pair that with an artisanal bread and root vegetables, and I’m in heaven HONEY! This was one hell-of-a-good sandwich, and I REALLY liked the carrot ketchup!


One more money shot of the Squash Grilled Cheese (with the carrot ketchup and root salad)!

I also want to return to Chef Lewis’ restaurant! I really like her theme of the vegetables being the start, and meat (if used in the dishes) is presented more like a side dish. I can tell that Jessica is continuing what she learned at The Commoner, by sourcing as many local ingredients and proteins as possible. Carota Cafe works with several local farms, including Clarion River Organics and Churchview Farm (to name a few).

My biggest goal (regarding the Smallman Galley) is to also dine from Rafael Vencio‘s Aubergine Bistro and Stephen Eldridge‘s Provision PGH! Watch out, gentlemen; I’ll be dining at your restaurants soon (probably for brunch)!

Well there you have it, folks! Whether you’re either a yinzer or a tourist, I HIGHLY suggest dining at the Smallman Galley for either breakfast, lunch or dinner!


Next up on the blog: Mom’s birthday dinner at Wild Rosemary!


Cheers to good food and mindful eating in the ‘burgh,


-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie


Smallman Galley’s website

Smallman Galley’s Facebook page

Smallman Galley’s Twitter page

Smallman Galley’s Instagram page

Josephine’s Toast Facebook page

Josephine’s Toast Twitter page

Jacqueline Wardle’s Twitter page

Josephine’s Toast Instagram page

Jacqueline Wardle’s Instagram page

Carota Cafe’s Facebook page

Carota Cafe’s Twitter page

Carota Cafe’s Instagram page




Brunch with Foodie Friends at Sonoma Grille


My friend Robert’s first course: Breakfast Naan! This contained Naan bread, egg and arugula. The Breakfast Naan tasted a lot like a flatbread pizza; it was very good!

*NOTE*: Sonoma Grille did not ask me to write this review. I am just a friendly Pittsburgh Foodie & Yogini, who enjoys sharing her food and yoga adventures with others! Pictures captured on an iPhone 5s, and were edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.

Back in March, my friends Robert (Owner of Downtown Concierge Services. Also, he is the General Manager/Inn Keeper of the Allegheny Inn on Pittsburgh’s History North Side) and Tasha (Owner/ Lead Blogger of The Food Tasters. She is also the owner of Eat Local Shop Small PGH. Tasha is part of the YaJaoff! Podcast.) met up with me for brunch at Sonoma Grille in downtown Pittsburgh‘s Cultural District.

Sonoma Grille only does brunch on Sundays, and has a Prixe Fixe two-course option for $19; this Prixe-Fixe option includes a starter and a main course. When we dined at Sonoma Grille in March, the Prixe-Fixe option also included a beverage (either a Mimosa, Bloody Mary, Coffee or Fresh-Squeezed Juice) for $26.

Pictured above was Robert’s first course: Breakfast Naan!


Robert’s second course was a Chicken & Waffle dish! I passed on trying the chicken, but both the waffle and chipotle sauce were FANTASTIC!


Tasha’s first course was a Pumpkin Crepe with pumpkin cream cheese. Soooooo good! This dish was sweet (but not overly sweet) and savory at the same time. The perfect first course dish!


Tasha’s main course was this HANDSOME brunch burger with fries! This burger also came with pancetta and aged cheddar. Look at that fried egg- love at first sight! I tried a few bites of this burger and it was pretty damn tasty!

I purposely wanted to build up the anticipation for my dishes at this brunch experience. 😉


Here’s my starter course: Petite Avocado and Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Tian (tian means tower). Besides the obvious avocado and crab cake ingredients, this dish also included red onion, cucumber, sesame crouton, chili oil and pita bread. This was REALLY good! I was also proud of myself for choosing a healthy brunch option!


My Main course: braised greens with a poached egg!  I also chose to add grilled tofu for an extra $2. The poached egg was HEAVENLY and the grilled tofu was grilled to perfection. Ironically enough, the only part of this dish I didn’t like was the braised greens. The Greens were wet yet dry, and tasteless. I’m still proud of myself for (once again) choosing another healthy option for brunch!

As you can tell, I am still continuing my New Year’s goal of making more mindful food choices. Most days, I can say “so far, so good”! ❤

I definitely wish to return to Sonoma Grille soon, as they are preparing to unveil renovations and a new menu! Please click here to read about Sonoma Grille’s upcoming Grand Re-Opening Festivities from April 21st- 23rd!

Well there you have it, folks!


Stay tuned for my next review, which will include dinner at the Smallman Galley in the Strip District!


Cheers to Food & Fitness,


-Friendly Fitness Foodie


Sonoma Grille’s website

Sonoma Grille’s Facebook page

Sonoma Grille’s Twiter page

The Food Taster’s website

Eat Local Shop Small PGH’s website

Downtown Concierge Services’ website

The Food Taster’s Facebook page

Downtown Concierge Services’ Facebook page

Eat Local Shop Small PGH’s Facebook page

The Food Tasters’ Twitter page

Eat Local PGH’s Twitter page

Shop Small PGH’s Twitter page

YaJagoff Podcast’s Twitter page


Brunch at Montana Rib and Chop House Southpointe


My main course at brunch: coconut shrimp with fries and raspberry dipping sauce. SCRUMPTIOUS! 😀

*NOTE*: Montana Rip & Chop House Southpointe did not ask me to write   this review. I’m just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie and Yogini, who enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga experiences. Photos were captured with my iPhone 5s; photos were edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.

Towards the end of February, one of my best friends from high school and I went for brunch at Montana Rib and Chop House in the Southpointe neighborhood of Washington County. I had been DYING to go here for months, as both my blogger friends Tasha of The Food Tasters, and Terri of the Parmesan Princess & Between the Eats both RAVED about this place!

The atmosphere here is casual- I definitely got that “nice Sports Bar” type of vibe from Montana Rib & Chop House. Our waitress was extremely nice and funny! I swear, each dish came out 10 minutes after we ordered them! I was very impressed by the promptness of the dishes arriving at the table.

Pictured above was the main course of my brunch (which I actually ordered from the lunch menu). The coconut shrimp was VERY good! Pair that with the raspberry dipping sauce- oh baby, OH BABY! 😉


Another FABULOUS shot of my coconut shrimp dish- look at the crunchy-ness of that coconut-battered coating!


Building anticipation by posting a picture of a side salad. This salad was an average salad. I had to order a salad, so I could feel better about myself, before I consumed the next dish.


Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich = chocolate & ice cream HEAVEN!

The piece de resistance was this MASSIVE Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich! The two brownies were cooked and served to perfect. Pair that with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, tons of whipped cream and fudge sauce, and you have one happy lady! ❤


This shot gives you a better idea of this Godzilla-Sized dish! 

Well there you have it, folks! Whether you live either right in Southpointe or all the way on  the East End of the ‘burgh, I highly suggest stopping by Montana Rib & Chop House in Southpointe for either brunch, lunch or dinner!


Next blog post: brunch with foodie friends at Sonoma Grille!


Cheers to Food & Fitness,


-Friendly Fitness Foodie


Montana Rib & Chop House Southpointe’s website

Montana Rib & Chop House Southpointe’s Facebook page 

Montana Rib & Chop House Southpoine’s Twitter page

Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event

PghGBE Image

Today’s post comes from Lou of Pittsburgh Happy Hour, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Small Town Dad, where I review Bend, Brew & Brunch II at Spoonwood Brewing Company. I must thank Alex from Everybody Loves Alex, for coordinating this SUPERB blogger event!

In the last few months, Pittsburgh’s Justin Servino of Cure opened his second restaurant in Lawrenceville called Morcilla.

If you have not visited Cure, it is basically a rite of passage for all Pittsburgh foodies. Not only do they offer different private dining events throughout the year with a focus on butchering and food preparation, they offer some of the most high quality cuisine in all of Pittsburgh. I have enjoyed some truly memorable meals at Cure throughout the years.

Morcilla has a different vibe than Cure. Although the restaurant is new, the menu does not seem as neither carefully crafted nor well balanced. There are so many different dishes to try, that it is nearly impossible to sample everything. That didn’t stop me from giving it hell! I have listed each dish I tried for you, as well as my thoughts and an approximate calorie count below.


Mojama: dried tuna, chilli oil and pine nuts.

~300 calories. This was probably one of my least favorite dishes from Morcilla. Due to being a leaner meat, dried tuna is not always a crowd pleaser. We also wish the slices were thicker, so that we could have experienced more of the tuna flavor.


Surryano ham: (Edwards of Surry, VA) pecans and pecan oil. 

~370 calories. It is worth noting that this is the cheaper ham on Morcilla’s menu. (We still loved it.) For only $18 more you can try the Iberico ham – supposedly the finest in the world!


Cecina: cured dried beef, radicchio, cara cara orange and tarragon.

 ~270 calories. The dried beef was quite good, the other items were a little bitter through.

Chorizo: dates, Cabrales cheese, vanilla. ~450 calories. This dish was quite tasty, and we fought over it. It was odd to see vanilla paired with chorizo, but it worked very well.


Crab butter and Tarragon Churro: la fondue de idiazabal.

 ~600 calories. This was among our favorite dishes from the evening. Perhaps it was the novelty of a savory churro, or the warm embrace of crab flavored butter – but this is a must try.

Sobrasada: smoked spreadable salami, dehydrated apple, hazelnut. ~280 calories. I’ve heard of sopressata, but never sobrasada. It is a raw cured sausage made with pork, and it was fantastic.

Foie Gras:  membrillo and black pepper. ~400 calories. This was the only dish we had to order twice- it was a knockout. The mebrillo added a nice texture, and did a great job of balancing the wonderful flavor of the foie gras. This dish must be ordered at Morcilla at all costs, including offending any potential friends who may think foie gras is a faux pas.

Ox tail:  caramelized onion and Mahón cheese. ~250 calories. This dish was recommended by our good friend Sean from Allegheny Wine Mixer. Surprisingly, it was served warm, unlike many of the other small plates we tried. Also a must try.

Queso de Cabra: smoked goat cheese croquettes and spiced membrillo~300 calories. One of the more pedestrian dishes of the evening. I believe this one could be skipped. It just didn’t provide much in the way of excitement.


Sopa Blanca: leek and potato soup, smoked chorizo and fried egg.~650 calories. Also not to be missed, easily one of our favorite dishes of the night. Served in a flavorful broth and perfectly balanced by the fresh ingredients.


Pulpo Escabecheoctopus, new potato, potato espuma, pimenton, extra virgin olive oil. ~600 calories. My dinner guest said that on his previous visit this dish was probably about twice as big. It was still quite flavorful and delicious and should be ordered by all octopus fans.

Total calorie count:  approximately 4470 / 2 = 2235. Add in adjustments for wine consumed, my total calorie count for the evening came to about 2,585 calories. According to the My Fitness Pal calculator, I only need to walk about 35 miles in order to burn off my dinner! I have no regrets.


Pittsburgh Happy Hour’s website

Pittsburgh Fine Drinking Society’s Facebook page

Pittsburgh Happy Hour’s Twitter page


I encourage you to check out the other bloggers involved in the Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event, listed here:

Harvest + Bloom // Yes, Wear That! // jelly jars // Glam and Graffiti // To The Streets // In Pursuit // Pittsburgh & Pearls // Beezus Kiddo // Goodness Madness // Last Minute Panic // Steel City Intrigue // Crank Crank Revolution // Amanda Narcisi // Pittsburgh is Beautiful // From Cats to Cooking // Yum Yum PGH // Breelicious Bites // Parmesan Princess // Coffee & A Blonde // The Steel Trap // Wavy Alabaster // everybody loves you… // Eat with Emily // Don’t Forget to Eat // Sloping in the Sky // From Farm to Turntable // Secrets in the Wall // Red Pen Mama // Feedback Soup // The AP Collection // Blog Or Die PGH // Pittsburgh Happy Hour // Friendly Fitness Foodie // Small Town Dad // Josh’s World // Geeky Sweetie // Sean’s Ramblings // Lunges, Long Runs and Lattes // Try it and You May! // lil Burghers // Orange Chair Blog // Ya Jagoff // Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents // Melissa Firman