Brunch with Foodie Friends at Sonoma Grille

sonomabreakfastnaan

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!

sonomachickenandwaffles

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

sonomapumpkincrepe

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!

sonomabrunchburger

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. 😉

sonomaavocabojumplumptian

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!

sonomabraisedgreens01

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

 

Latest Brunch at Meat & Potatoes

Old Fashioned
Breakfast Old Fashioned from Meat & Potatoes

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from Meat & Potatoes. I am just a Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie adventures. All photos were captured with an iPhone 5s and edited with Instagram and Adobe Photoshop Extended CS4.

The second-to-last Sunday in February, my Mom & I went to see Phantom of the Opera at the Benedum Center in downtown Pittsburgh. We attended the matinees showtime; of COURSE, we had to go for brunch before the show. This time, we chose Meat & Potatoes (one of my favorite restaurants).

Pictured above is my LOVELY brunch drink, the Breakfast Old Fashioned, which contains: bacon bourbon, orange-vanilla infused maple syrup and barrel aged bitters. This cocktail was sooooo good, and it paired so well with my brunch dishes!

Cinnamon Bun
Cinnamon Bun from Meat & Potatoes!

Lately, Meat & Potatoes has been offering appetizers and special brunch dishes at brunch. One of the appetizers that was offered (and I HAPPILY accepted) was this cinnamon bun! This blew all of the other cinnamon buns I’ve ever had out of the WATER!  Hot, gooey, cinnamon-y. Just perfect! Also, this is big enough to share with someone else (trust me on this! I am so glad my Mom shared with me, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to finish this dish). This was the highlight of brunch!

Cinnamon Bun
Closeup of the cinnamon bun

Close-up of my BEAUTIFUL cinnamon bun!

Short Rib Hash
Short Rib Hash at Meat & Potatoes

My main dish: short rib hash! I have tasted this dish once before (at the Winter 2014 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Food Blogger Brunch) and it was soon good! That was my first time consuming a poached egg as well! This was my first time sampling this dish since that brunch. The poached egg was good and the potato hash was great, but for some reason, the hollandaise sauce and the short rib weren’t as nearly as good as the last time. I’m not sure if this was an off-moment or what, but I expected better.

Short Rib Hash
Second photo of the short rib hash
Red Velvet Cake Cup
Red Velvet Cake Cup from Meat & Potatoes

Luckily, dessert redeemed my disappointment over the previous dish. When I ordered the Red Velvet cake, I expected it to be served as a normal piece of cake.When the waiter handed me a spoon, I just thought to myself, “how in the world am I supposed to eat this cake with a spoon”? Once the dessert was presented to me, it all made sense. Meat & Potatoes loves mason jars (and other jars for their desserts and pates), and this dessert was PERFECT!LY composed and packed into this jar! I could tell the cream cheese icing was homemade (soooooo good) and I am a HUGE fan of anything red velvet. The cake was INCREDIBLE- moist, soft and delectable. I am officially in love with Meat & Potatoes’ pastry chef. ❤

Well, there you have it, folks! There’s my review!

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

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

Meat & Potatoes’ website

Meat & Potatoes’ Facebook page

Meat & Potatoes’ Twitter page

Meat & Potatoes’ Instagram page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Winter 2015

View of Downtown Pittsburgh
The INCREDIBLE view of Market Square from the dining table!

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

Three weeks ago, my Mom and I FINALLY dined at Habitat (located inside the GORGEOUS Fairmont Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh). I’ve heard nothing but good things about Habitat from former co-workers, friends and of course, the eatPGH ladies. I’ve been wanting to dine at this restaurant for a long time; thus, I decided that testing out the Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Winter 2015 dinner menu at Habitat would be the perfect option! 😀

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Soup
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Soup from Habitat

Dish #1: Salted Caramel Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Cream. Let me tell you- my picture does NOT do this dish justice (I tried my best for the photo)! This dish was the best dish of the night! Best soup dish I’ve ever had in my entire LIFE! What a clever concept to pair the savory taste of the pumpkin with the sweetness of the caramel. This was the PERFECT fall dish!

Beef Short Rib dish from Habitat
Beef Short Rib dish from Habitat

Dish #2: Beef Short Rib with Butternut Squash Puree, Blackberry Polvrade and Roasted Brusssel Sprouts! The beef short rib was so tender (and it looked beautiful on the plate)! The butternut squash puree was so tasty! The creaminess of the puree matched well with the crunchiness of the brussel sprouts (which were FANTASTIC).

Habitat's version of Sticky Toffee Pudding
Habitat’s version of Sticky Toffee Pudding

Dish #3: Winter Solsticesticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce, manchego cheese streusel and fig brandy ice cream. I can’t even compare this to the Sticky Toffee Pudding that I had at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill. This sticky toffee pudding was a SOPHISTICATED (and delectable) sticky toffee pudding!  It was not overly sweet (which I appreciated)! The streusel was nice and light, while the ice cream had a more decadent taste. The sticky toffee pudding was moist, and the toffee sauce was sooooooo good!

 

Needless to say, my first dinner at Habitat was a success! I will definitely return!

 

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

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

Habitat’s website

Habitat’s Facebook page

Habitat’s Twitter page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s website

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Facebook page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Twitter page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Instagram page

 

Downtown Pittsburgh Living’s Guest Post: Butcher & The Rye and The Gallery Crawl

*My friend Michael Pellas, the blogger behind the Downtown Pittsburgh Living blog, wrote this lovely guest post for the Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie blog. Enjoy!*

This year, I wanted to do something a little different for Jess’ birthday; so I made reservations for January 23rd at Butcher and the Rye (here is their website). I was excited due to all the accolades the establishment had already received…and I like whiskey.

It did not disappoint.

I was intent on documenting our experience...Jess was intent on getting inside :)
I was intent on documenting our experience…Jess was intent on getting inside 🙂

We got right in and immediately enjoyed the interior. The table created an intimate experience…we even started a conversation with our neighbors and got some recommendations. The interior design was awesome:

He closely watched over our second floor table
He closely watched over our second floor table

The food and drinks lived up to their reputation as one of the best new bars in the country:

We LOVED the varied Charcuterie appetizer
We LOVED the Homemade Charcuterie small plate appetizer like dish!
Flying Irishman drink Pittsburgh Butcher and the Rye
Jess had the Hazel-Rah Drink…and LOVED it!
I had the Flying Irishman. Check out the cool design on the table!
I had the Flying Irishman. Check out the cool design on the table!
Jess having some fun posing for me. Behind her was a wall of old books...a really cool design for the restaurant.
Jess having some fun posing for me. Behind her was a wall of old books…a really cool design for the restaurant.
This was AMAZING! A pork chop, shrimp, sweet sausage and an egg
This was AMAZING! A pork chop, shrimp, sweet sausage and an egg.
Jess had the Seared Scallops.
Jess had the Seared Scallops.
This explains itself. :) I love the look on her face.
This explains itself. 🙂 I love the look on her face.
The decor, food, drinks and overall experience was AMAZING! Thank you Butcher and the Rye!
The decor, food, drinks and overall experience was AMAZING! Thank you Butcher and the Rye!

We then enjoyed the Gallery Crawl festivities thanks to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. I bought a household membership at the Cultural Trust’s Liberty Ave building so we could see the festivities that were scheduled for the Pippin cast party. We had a blast!

These pictures were of the readings Jess had done and other events thanks to the Miracle Elixir Side Show (here is their website). The other is of the actual after party that had aerialists and face painting!

Jess stone reading miracle elixer side showJess and professor Styles PittsburghMiracle Elixer performance bed of nails PittsburghPittsburgh Fire Girl

Miracle Elixer Side Show Rune reading Pittsburgh

Here is a picture of the after party:

after party cultural trust pittsburgh

I want posts like this to show how many entertainment options there are in downtown Pittsburgh. There are still a lot of people out there that are skeptical about how family centered downtown can be. Everything we saw this Gallery Crawl – short of the cold weather – was totally family friendly and a blast!

 

Michael Pellas’ Downtown Pittsburgh Living blog

Michael Pellas’ Twitter page

Butcher & The Rye’s website

Bucher & The Rye’s Facebook page

Butcher & The Rye’s Twitter page

Butcher & The Rye’s Instagram page

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s website

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Facebook page

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Twitter page