My First Two Visits to Pork & Beans

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The front of Pork & Beans‘ menu.

*NOTE*: Neither Richard DeShantz, Keith Fuller, nor Pork & Beans asked me to write this post. I am just a friendly Pittsburgh foodie and yogini, who enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others. Photos captured on an iPhone 7s, and edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.

Pork & Beans (Richard DeShantz’s latest restaurant! This time, he has partnered up with his buddy [and former owner of Root 174] Keith Fuller) opened up in October 2016 in downtown Pittsburgh (not too far from the 6th Street/Roberto Clemente Bridge). Ever since then, I have been WAITING to dine at this restaurant! Luckily, my first opportunity presented itself in late December, when one of my best friends from high school returned home for the holidays. 🙂

First, I must say Richard and Keith created such a cool environment for Pork & Beans. Once you walk in and are seated at your table, you feel as if you have entered into THE best Southern-style picnic!

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Meal #1 at Pork & Beans (Clockwise from upper left-hand corner): Collard Greens, Vegan Pulled Pork, and Burnt End Beans (with grilled sourdough bread, picked onions, cabbage and pickles).

This was my first time I tried Collard Greens, and I absolutely LOVED them! I even brought the leftover Collard Greens home, and enjoyed them as part of my dinner the next day. 😉

The Vegan Pulled Pork was pretty darn good! It tasted very similar to regular Pulled Pork. Knowing Keith Fuller had a few Vegan dishes on the menu at Root 174, I had a hunch he added this to the menu (which this particular  night, the Vegan Pulled Pork was a special). I really enjoyed spreading the Vegan Pulled Pork on the Sourdough bread, with a few of the pickled vegetables on top.

Last (but certainly not least) THE glorious burnt end beans! Besides my Mom’s baked beans, these were THE best beans I’ve EVER had (and very hot)!

 

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A close-up of the VERY tasty Collard Greens!

In summary: the first visit to Pork & Beans was a MAJOR success! I left absolutely loving the atmosphere, customer service and food! I easily convinced my Mom to go to Pork & Beans in the beginning of May (before the Chris Botti concert).

 

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Meal #2 at Pork & Beans (left to right): Pickled Vegetables, Pulled Pork, and Broccoli Salad!

I absolutely LOVED the Pickled Vegetables (especially taking a fork-full of the Pulled Pork, and adding a few of the pickled vegetables to the bite)!

I must be honest: the Pulled Pork was okay, but I’ve had better Pulled Pork from Whole Foods.

The Broccoli salad was good, but not great (not as good as the broccoli salad my Mom used to buy from Giant Eagle).

So dinner #2 is complete, and I am feeling underwhelmed. Fear not, there’s still hope!

 

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Mom and I both ordered the new dessert: Bourbon Pecan Pie (from Piebird, and up-and-coming business that will be located in the Strip District), with a scoop of Leona‘s Vanilla Ice Cream on top!

Now THIS was really good! The Pecan Pie might just be better than my Mom’s Pecan Pie (sorry Mom), and how can you go wrong with Leona’s Ice Cream? I have enjoyed most of their Ice Cream sandwiches, and the few pint flavors I’ve tried thus far. This was the highlight of dinner!

I’m not sure if my Mom and I just caught the restaurant on an “off-night” or what, but I still have hope and confidence in Pork & Beans. As long as they keep that same quality they had during the first few months they were opened, I know Pork & Beans will be another successful Richard DeShantz restaurant.

 

Next up: Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Winter 2017 dinner at Avenue B.

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

Pork & Beans’ website

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Dinner at Poros

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The “dinner spread” that Mom & I enjoyed at Poros (one of the Big Y restaurants)!

*DISCLAIMER*: Neither Poros nor the Big Y Restaurant Group asked me to write this post.  I am just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie and Yogini, who enjoys sharing her food and yoga adventures with others. Photos captured with an iPhone 5s, and were edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Instagram.

Last year, I won a gift certificate from The Fearless Warrior Conference to the Big Y Restaurants! Since my Mother and I have never been to Poros, we decided to dine there before the Pittsburgh Symphony‘s Moonlight Serenade concert in September!

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Course #1 : Fingerling Potatoes! VERY tasty, and cooked to perfection! This was one of Poros’ Vegan options!

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Course #2: Roasted Cauliflower (also Vegan)! I enjoyed this course as well! Almost as good as the Cauliflower dish at Butcher & The Rye!

I forgot to take a photo, but I also had the Sokolatina Flourless Chocolate Tort (with orange yogurt sauce and candied orange) for dessert. This was one of THE best Flourless Chocolate Torts that I’ve EVER had!

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Mom’s Dessert: Bakalava Ice Cream, with walnut and filo! This was REALLY good!

 

Overall, great service and a wonderful dining ambiance! The food was good, but not great. I’m still deciding if I would ever go back, but I did enjoy my dining experience at Poros!

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Here’s another view of our dinner spread, with the Roasted Cauliflower front and center!

 

Next on the blog:  Birthday Dinner #1 at Morcilla!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

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Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Dinner #2: G&G Noodle Bar

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The front of G&G Noodle Bar’s menu!

*NOTE*: Neither G&G Noodle Bar nor S+P Restaurant Group asked me to write this post. I am just a friendly Pittsburgh Foodie an Yogini, who enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others! Photos captures with an iPhone 5s, and edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Instagram.

Tasha (The Food Tasters) and I were lucky enough to get a preview of the G&G Noodle Bar concept at the New Year’s day lunch at Grit & Grace! I knew I had to return to experience the menu in its glory! Thus, what better way to do so then the Summer 2016 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week?

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I LOVE the Dim Sum at G&G Noodle Bar! I wanted to try the Edamame dim sum! I have tried it before in Lean Cuisine dinners (lol), but I wanted the REALY experience!

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Dim Sum #2: General Tso’s Cauliflower! Originally, my favorite dim sum was the Pork Belly Bites, and then the Chicken Confit Wings. Thanks to the New Year’s day lunch, this is my new favorite dim sum! My date really enjoyed this dim sum as well!

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Course #1: Crispy Wonton Salad! Iceberg, orange, cucumber, sesame, and a ginger miso vinaigrette! This salad was nice and light! The perfect first course to hold me over until the next dishes arrived!

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Course #2: Vegetable Ramen! Daikon, Crispy Tofu, bok choy,  hot & sour mushroom broth, udon noodles. PERFECTION! The broth was MARVELOUS, and the crispy tofu balls were cooked PERFECTLY! I love all of the vegetables as well!

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My date’s Course #3: Green Tea Creme Brulee! Also including ginger pears and mint! This was surprisingly good and refreshing!

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My Course #3: Five Spice Sticky Buns with Coconut cream cheese! So good I felt like I was floating on a cloud! 😀

Well there you have it, folks! Whether you want to visit G&G Noodle bar either after a theater show for dinner, during the work week for a Power Hour lunch, or for a Sunday, I definitely suggest dining here!

 

Next post: Brunch at The Vandal (and a special-shout out to the Butterwood Bake Consortium)!

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

G&G Noodle Bar’s website

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Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s website

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Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Twitter page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Instagram page

 

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2016 Dinner #1: Revel and Roost

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First Course at Roost: Grilled Baby Romaine! Compressed Heirloom Tomato, house-made pancetta, cucumber relish, rosemary crouton, and garlic parmesan dressing.

Every summer brings Pittsburgh Restaurant Week‘s second series of the year (usually during either the second or third week of August).

A few of my foodie friends (Tasha of The Food Tasters, Terri of the Parmesan Princess and Robert of the Allegheny Inn) all raved about Revel and Roost! Thus, I decided Pittsburgh Restaurant Week would be the perfect opportunity to try it!

As you can see, I REALLY enjoyed course #1! High quality ingredients for a nice light salad!

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Second Course: Pan Roasted Grouper! Braised Leek, herbed vegetable relish, fried dauphine potato, crispy asparagus and carrot, shaved fennel salad, picked shallot, tomato and eggplant coulis.

I really liked this dish! This was my first time trying Grouper (I like that it was cooked in a “Tempura” style); plus,  I LOVED the presentation of this dish. Very elegant!

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Third Course: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! Bacardi Butter sauce, and a butterscotch crumble.

I’m very glad that I chose the Pineapple Upside Down-Cake for dessert! They also offered a New York Cheesecake, but I feel like you can get cheesecakes at most restaurants. I’ve only seen a small handful of restaurants offer a Pineapple upside-down cake! This was a great dessert choice, not overly sweet, but just sweet enough to still be a dessert. 😉

Well there you have it, folks! The time you’re in downtown Pittsburgh, I suggest checking out Revel and Roost, located inside the Hilton Garden Inn at Market Square!

Next post- Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2016 Dinner #2: G&G Noodle Bar!

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

Revel & Roost’s website

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Revel & Roost’s Twitter page

Revel & Roost’s Instagram page

Winter & Spring Foodie Adventures

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Elysian Pumpkin Beer, Miso Kale Salad and Vegan Chilli from Franktuary‘s new downtown Pittsburgh location!

*NOTE*: none of these restaurants asked me to do a mini-review of their food. I am just a humble Pittsburgh Foodie and Yogini, who enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga adventures! Photos captured with an iPhone 5s, and were edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Instagram.

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The Miso Kale Salad also had roasted root vegetables, pickled red onion, and crispy sage. VERY good! I’ve also had this salad at Franktuary‘s Lawrenceville location (with Falafel balls).

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Tasha of The Food Tasters and Ya Jagoff! Podcast and I were both lucky to attend G&G Noodle Bar’s New Year’s Day lunch! This was also back when the restaurant was called Grit  & Grace. Brian was testing out a few menu dishes to see if the conceptual transition at the restaurant would work. The dim sum (Starting clockwise, from the upper left hand corner): 1) kimchi, 2) sweet and sour cauliflower (my new favorite Dim Sum at G&G Noodle Bar), 3) Pork Belly, and 4) Potstickers (which premiered for this lunch)!

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I also enjoyed the Steamed Bun with chicken, kimchi and chill aioli. Very tasty!

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Tasha LOVED this Chicken Meatball Ramen dish (a special dish for New Year’s day)! I tried some of the broth and it was INCREDIBLE! Now, G&G Noodle Bar has Pork Ramen Noodles and Beef Shank Ramen Noodles.

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Fortuitea Cafe is an all-vegan (and made from scratch), quaint and friendly cafe, located in the Quail Acres Shoppes in Washington PA. During the winter time, I really loved this Almond Walnut Taco Salad (with taco meat made from almonds, walnuts, and sun-dried tomatoes), served with mixed greens, fresh salsa, sour cream, black beans and corns. I did the creamy cashew lime dressing and I chose a spinach taco shell. Sooooo good! You won’t even miss the meat in this dish, because the vegan taco meat tastes just like beef meat.

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This spring, I was pleasantly surprised by this Vegetarian Tikki Masala dish from The Commoner at Kimpton‘s Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh. Yummy!

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The bourbon & rye wall at Butcher & The Rye is a beautiful sight (no matter what time of year).

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My Mom and I both enjoyed this Potato Leek Soup at Butcher & The Rye before Alton Brown‘s show at the Benedum Center.

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Towards the end of May, my friend Erica and I went to this place in Dormont called Mekong. Mekong is know for its Pho (Anthony Bourdain’s “death row” meal). Thus, I had to try the Shrimp Pho with beef broth. Words can’t describe this dish’s beauty!

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I attended Bend, Brew and Brunch III (hosted by Spoonwood Brewing Company, Pure Power Yoga and Fitt City) in the beginning of June. Of the beer samplers I enjoyed after class was White Hot Rate! This was a Belgian Wit, with hints of orange, coriander, habanero and white pepper.

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The second beer taster of the morning was the Killer Diller IPA! This craft beer was lightly sweet, moderately bitter, with citrus, floral and fruity notes.

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My favorite of the morning was the Blackmore! This is a black ale with an iced coffee taste. YES!

 

There you have it, folks!

 

Next post: lunch at Smallman Galley!

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

Franktuary’s Twitter page

G&G Noodle Bar’s Twitter page

Fortuitea Cafe’s Twitter page

The Commoner’s Twitter page

Butcher & The Rye’s Twitter page

Spoonwood Brewing Company’s Twitter page

Fitt City’s Twitter page

 

Brunch with Foodie Friends at Sonoma Grille

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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!

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

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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!

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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. 😉

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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!

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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

 

Mardi Gras dinner at The Commoner

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Shrimp Étouffée with creole sauce and white rice! Soooooooo good!

*Note*: Neither Kimpton, Hotel Monaco nor The Commoner asked me to write this post. I am just a friendly Pittsburgh foodie and yogini, who loves sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others. Pictures captured on an iPhone 4s, and edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.

Tuesday, February 9th, one of my best friends and I dined at The Commoner (Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh’s restaurant) for her birthday. Ironically enough, it was also Mardi Gras; thus, she I and had the opportunity to consume special Mardi Gras dishes (reminiscent of New Orleans)!

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My side dish: Curry Roasted Carrots & Peanuts! This was THE best carrot restaurant dish I’ve EVER had (and vegetarian friendly)!

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My main dish (which was a special dish for Mardi Gras): Shrimp Étouffée with creole sauce and white rice. I loved to dip the shrimp in the creole sauce, along scoop up a bite of white rice. This dish was perfect!

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Of course, you know it’s a rare occasion when I pass up on dessert! 😉 For dessert, I ordered the Warm Apple Buttermilk Spice Cake with maple roasted walnuts, maple frosting and apple cider ice cream. Since I tried the Sticky Toffee Pudding (best I’ve ever had) the last few visits, I wished to sample a different dessert.

I loved the fruit-ness of the apple, with the savory-ness of the buttermilk & maple frosting, and the fatness of the walnuts. Pair that all with apple cider ice cream and you’ve got a match made in heaven! ❤

 

Next up on the blog: brunch at Montana Rib & Chophouse in Southpointe

 

Cheers to Food & Fitness,

 

-Friendly Fitness Foodie

The Commoner’s website

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