Brunch with Foodie Friends at Station

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The GORGEOUS Bloody Mary I enjoyed during brunch with foodie friends at Station!

*NOTE*: Neither Curtis Gamble nor Station 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 captures with an iPhone 5s, and edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.

The first Sunday of July (3rd), I gathered with a few foodie friends to celebrate a blogger’s birthday, brunch and life. My fearless brunch companions were Tasha of The Food Tasters, YaJagoff! Podcast, the Allegheny Inn and Eat Local Shop Small; Robert of Downtown Pittsburgh Concierge and the Allegheny Inn, and Amanda of Bold Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Podcamp. This particular Sunday, we were celebrating Amanda’s birthday! ๐Ÿ˜€

If you didn’t get a chance to read my review of Station’s Cocktail and Construction event, please do so by clicking here.

What better way to do so than with brunch at Station (Curtis Gamble‘s Modern American restaurant that opened last August in Bloomfield). I had been to Station once for its Cocktails and Construction Preview party last year, and have been DYING to return for brunch (especially after the eatPGH ladies and Heidi of The Steel Trap wrote raving review of Station’s brunch)!

So here we are during the 4th of July holiday weekend! I received a warm welcome from Justin (General Manager at Station)! Such a nice guy; he did a great job with helping to coordinate this blogger meet-up!

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Since I knew I would be having savory food at brunch, I ordered a Bloody Mary! During the month of July, all Bloody Marys and Mimosas were only $5 during Sunday brunch! Don’t mind if I do! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Hello lover!

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I had to take a picture of the $5 Bloody Marys and Mimosas deal in July! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The main courses offered during the month of July at Station’s Sunday brunch!

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An extended look at the menu for Sunday Brunch at Station!

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This was one of the dishes that Tasha order that everyone shared: Fried Brioche Pudding! This came with Creme Fraiche, Powdered Sugar, Pomegranate Curd and Honey. INCREDIBLE! One of the best dishes at brunch!

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Truly a sight of beauty!

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Another dish that we all shared: Olive Oil Poached Cobia (which is a type of fish)! Creme Fraiche, Country Seed Bread, Coriander Mustard and Pickles! I love this fresh take on toast at either brunch or breakfast!

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The Birthday Lady’s brunch: Farmer’s Breakfast! BBQ Lentils, Egg, Chicken Sausage, and Canadian Bacon. This looked FABULOUS (and Amanda said it was REALLY good)!

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Tasha’s main course: Crispy Fried Chicken Thigh! Grits, Chicken Jus, and an One hour Egg! Tasha said it was one of THE best chicken dishes she’s EVER had! I tried some of the chicken, and I must say that I agree!

I didn’t get a good picture of Robert‘s main course, but he ordered the Shaved Pork Shoulder on Brioche (fashioned like a burger)! This arrived with an Egg Patty, American Cheese Wiz, and Potato Chips! I tried some of the Potato Chips- best I’ve ever had!  I could tell they were made in-house! Robert said the Shaved Pork should was very tasty (especially on the Brioche bun)!

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My first course at brunch: Housemade Yogurt! This was paired with Sunflower seed granola, and dried plum. This dish is tied with The Vandal for the best yogurt and granola dish I’ve had at ANY restaurant!

I forgot to take a picture of my main course (which is sad because it was beautifully plated): Crispy Tofu! This dish came with Green Curry Coconut, Vegan Scramble, and Petite Greens! I love Vegan dishes that are so good that if you didn’t already know it was Vegan, you would think it’s just a “regular” dish. This was definitely the case, but nothing about this dish was ordinary! Elegantly plated- I loved dipping the perfectly cooked Crispy Tofu in the Green Coconut Curry, and also adding some of the Vegan Scramble to my fork for THE perfect bite! Great job, Curtis and crew!

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One of the dessert dishes all of us shared: Popcorn Panna Cotta! This was plated with Caramel Corn and Salted Caramel! Tasha and I had this dish at Station’s Cocktail and Construction party and absolutely LOVED it (so much so that we had a second one at the party)! Everyone at brunch loved it as well! This is tied with Meat & Potatoes’ Panna Cotta for THE best Panna Cotta in the city!

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Another dessert dish that we all shared: Lavender Pound Cake! This was paired with Coconut Pudding and Pineapple! This dish was truly exceptional! The Pound Cake was nice and moist, and the Lavender was not overpowering (which is great! It should be subtle). Dipping some of the pound cake in the coconut pudding made you feel like you were floating on a marshmallow cloud! So tasty! The pineapple was the perfect fruity punch to this dish!

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I love Station’s logo! Simple yet so effective! Right away, you know by looking at it that this is Contemporary American Restaurant!

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Thanks again to Curtis, Justin, Jesse (our waiter extraordinaire) and staff for a truly WONDERFUL brunch! Top-knotch hospitality, good vibes and incredible food! Plus, I was surrounded by lovely company! How could I ask for more?

Whether you either live in or near Pittsburgh or will be visiting soon, PLEASE make sure you get to Station for either dinner or brunch! Trust me when I say it’s one of THE best restaurants in Pittsburgh!

 

Next post: dinner at The Vandal!

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

Station’s website

Station’s Facebook page

Station’s Twitter page

Station’s Instagram page

Brunch and Lunch at Smallman Galley

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from Josephine’s Toast (one of the four restaurant incubators inside the Smallman Galley)!

*Note*: Neither Smallman Galley, Provision PGH, Aubergine Bistro, Carota Cafe nor Josephine’s Toast asked me to write this blog post. I am just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie (and Yogini), who enjoys sharing her Foodie adventures with others! Photos captures with an iPhone 5s, and edited with Instagram!

First: if you didn’t read my first article on Smallman Galley, please make sure you do: Dinner at Smallman Galley. This previous blog post goes in more depth about how the Smallman Galley came into being, and also Carota Cafe!

Either towards the end of May or early June, my Mom and I visited Smallman Galley in the Strip District for lunch. Since my Mom had not been to Smallman Galley yet, I had to make sure that she experienced this lovely establishment. The two of us mainly dined from Provision PGH and Josephine’s Toast!

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My first lunch course from Provision PGH: Simple Greens! Seasonal Lettuces, Snap Peas, and Roast Shallot Dressing! This was sooooo good (and so healthy)!

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Mom’s lunch (also from Provision PGH): Burger! Beef Pattie, Simple Greens, Parmesan Frica, Umami Aioli, Smoked Mushrooms, Cheddar and Challah! I tried a bite of this burger (and it was FANTASTIC)! These fries were INCREDIBLE! They might just be as good as the fries I had at Les Halles Park Avenue in New York!

The owner of Provision PGH (Stephen Eldridge) was very nice to us! He’s very engaged in Social Media as well. I thought it was nice that he even took the time to speak to my Mom about how he makes his fries (which we both loved- I probably consumed half of them lol) and his Umami Aioli sauce!

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My “in between” course: Cookie du Jour (Seeded Dark Chocolate Chip) from Carota Cafe! The owner of Carota Cafe (Jessica Lewis) is also very nice, and engaged in Social Media!

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While I enjoyed my Seeded Dark Chocolate Cookie from Carota Cafe, I also delighted in a lovely cup of coffee (with Almond Milk) provided by Commonplace Coffee! I’m so glad that the Smallman Galley sells and serves this coffee. It’s very close to being the best coffee I’ve EVER had in Pittsburgh!

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My Second Lunch Course: Smashed Avocado Toast! Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Toasted Flax Seed, and Fresh Cilantro! Ever since Jacqueline Wardle opened up Josephine’s Toast, I’ve been wanted to try this toast (and this lunch was my chance). I must say I liked this toast a LOT better than the Avocado Toast I had at B52! Nice work, Jacqueline!

The very last Sunday of July, I met Robert of Pittsburgh Concierge and the Allegheny Inn, and Tasha of The Food Tasters, Eat Local Shop Small, The Allegheny Inn and Ya Jagoff! Podcast for brunch at Smallman Galley! Both Tasha and Robert were dining at Smallman Galley for the first time! Thus,  I was excited to hear about their opinions!

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Robert’s Brunch dish: Two Eggs in a Whole with Cheddar and a Side of Bacon! This looked and smelled sooooo good! Robert really enjoyed it! Jacqueline (of Josephine’s Toast) was nice enough to bring this dish over to Robert and chatted with us for a while. She is so nice! Jacqueline also does a great with keeping in touch with restaurant patrons through Social Media!

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Tasha’s First Brunch Course (also from Josephine’s Toast): Cottage Cheese Toast with Peaches, Seeds and Honey! Tasha was really raving about how much she loved this dish! It looks so pretty!

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Tasha’s Second Brunch Course: Burger from Provision PGH! Robert and I DEVOURED the fries (too good to resist), and Tasha took the Burger home for dinner! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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My brunch dish of choice: Shrimp & Grits from Aubergine Bistro! I made it my personal mission to have a brunch dish from Aubergine Bistro, since that was the only restaurant from Smallman Galley that I still had to try. The owner (Rafael Vencio) is originally from the Philippines and moved here to the United States at age 19. He has worked as a chef all over the United States (in Pittsburgh, most prominently The Hyeholde and Legume). I must say his take on Shrimp & Grits was pretty wonderful! Good job, chef!

 

Well there you have it, folks! If you choose a restaurant (or restaurants) that uses good qualify (and local) ingredients and cooks from the heart, you can’t go wrong! Also make sure to bring a dining companion (or companions) along with you!

 

Next blog post: brunch with Foodie friends at Station!

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

Smallman Galley’s website

Smallman Galley’s Facebook page

Smallman Galley’s Twitter page

Smallman Galley’s Instagram page

 

Food Blogger Brunch at Cocothe in Sewickley

Homemade Biscuits
Homemade biscuits from Cocothe Chocolaterie, Bakery & Cafe in Sewickley

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Cocothe, nor its owners. I’m just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie adventures with others! Photos were captured with an iPhone 5s, and edited in Instagram.

A few weeks ago, Tasha of The Foodtasters, Heidi of The Steel Trap, and Terri of Parmesan Princess/Between the Eats and I were all invited to a mini Food Blogger Brunch at Cocothe in Sewickley! If you missed my introductory blog post about Cocothe, please click here:ย https://friendlypittsburghfoodie.com/2015/06/21/grand-opening-party-and-first-lunch-at-cocothe/.

Picture up above was the first dish: homemade biscuits, one of the highlights of brunch! These were particularly good, when paired with the next dish:

Honey, Butter, Cheese & Compote Jam
Honey, Compound Butter, Apple Butter and Rhubarb Jam

(My favorite things were the herb creme fresh spread, picture in the upper left-hand corner, and the rhubarb jam, photographed in the upper right-hand corner. Soooooooo good!)

Berry Basil Salad
Course #2: Berry Basil Salad, with mixed berry, fresh basil from Cocotte’s herb garden & honey

This was WONDERFUL! So refreshing, light & healthy- PERFECT for summer! I could tell that the berries & basil were both very fresh, and the honey tasted MARVELOUS, drizzled on the top!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
This particular Sunday, Cocothe was SLAMMED with customers. As a thank you for your patience, the two owners made us some double chocolate chip cookies! ๐Ÿ˜€
Double Chocolate Chip Cookie
Close up of one of the SCRUMPTIOUS double chocolate chip cookies!
Chilaquiles
Terri’s brunch: Chilaquiles! As the Parmesan Princess wisely advised: “when in doubt, I go Mexican (food-wise).”
Prosciutto with Figs Sandwich
Heidi’s “Figgy Wiggy” sandwich- Prosciutto with Figs! Now THAT sounds HEAVENLY!
Blueberry Pancakes
Mom’s brunch: blueberry pancakes! Some of THE best pancakes I’ve EVER had in the ‘burgh!
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Dish #3- two small chocolate chip pancakes! Some of THE best pancakes I’ve EVER had!

These pancakes totally transported me back to my childhood, when my Mom would take me to DeLuca’s in the Strip District, and I would get the chocolate chip pancakes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chef's Plate
Tasha and I both ordered the same thing for our main courses: The Chef’s Plate!

Eggs any way that you like it (I chose scrambled), avocado toast (“toast is back, baby”- Stacey Vespaziani & Amy C.), berry salad, sliced cherry tomatoes, chicken apple sausage, and hollandaise sauce. WOW! My favorite things were: the scrambled eggs, the avocado toast (a taste of California), and the chicken sausage (which I also tried once at The Square Cafe in Regent Square). I HIGHLY recommend this dish! (*thumbs up*)

Chef's Plate Close-up
Close up of my LOVELY brunch!

Pittsburgh: whether you live north west of the city, or if you live in the South Hills like I do, Cocothe is TOTALLY worth the tripย for brunch! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cheers for good food, fabulous art & cultural events,

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

Cocothe’s website

Cocothe’s Facebook page

Cocothe’s Twitter page

Good Company, Good Food & Good Drinks at Bar Marco

Menu Bar Marco
Friday, June 19th’s Bar Dinner Menu at Bar Marco

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Bar Marco, nor any of these Pittsburgh Bloggers. I’m just a Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her Foodie adventures! Pictures were taken with an iPhone 5s, and were edited with Instagram and Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended.

Last Friday, I had the WONDERFUL honor of dining with Tasha (of The Food Tasters), Terri (Parmesan Princess), Alberto (PR/Events Manager of Gaucho), Robert (Downtown Pittsburgh Concierge), Nadine (Pittsburgh Mommy Blog) and Michael Pellas and Jessica Fink (husband/wife team behind the Why We Live in Downtown Pittsburgh blog)!

We decided to meet for dinner and drinks at Bar Marco, located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District neighborhood. I had been there one time for brunch, but never for dinner. I was looking forward to spending a fabulous evening with good friends and good food!

*TIP*: every evening from 5-6pm, Bar Marco does a “Happy Hour”, where you can order all Bar Menu food and drinks at half price! The Pittsburgh Bloggers and I DEFINITELY utilized this strategy for our meet-up!

Menu Bar Marco
Close up of the Bar Menu at Bar Marco!
Bar Marco's Dessert Menu
Bar Marco’s Dessert Menu

The dessert menu looked REALLY good! Next time, I will have to get the chocolate and coffee flourless cake!

Drink Bar Marco
My first drink of the night at Bar Marco! This drink contained: sparkling wine, lemon and lavender!

This was DELICIOUS! The waitress brought an extra one of Terri’s drinks, and was kind enough to give it to me. ๐Ÿ˜›

The Food Tasters' Signature Cocktail
The Food Tasters’ signature drink of the night, which contained: orange liquer, lemons. ginger, and other ingredients that I do not remember lol. X)

The Food Tasters’ donated generously to Bar Marco’s Food Revolution Club in 2014. Thus, for the night, Bar Marco crafted a drink in her honor! This was INCREDIBLE! ๐Ÿ˜€

Shrimp Empanada from Bar Marco
Shrimp Empanada = HEAVEN

Alberto and I both shared shrimp empanadas, sitting on a bed of cilantro cream. Soooooooooo scrumptious! Loved this dish; heaven on a plate!

Confit Chicken Bar Marco
My main course: Confit Chicken, with rice grits, black beans and corn, and plantain. Best dish of the night!

Here’s my main dish: confit chicken! Let met tell you: one of the best chicken dishes I’ve EVER had in my entire LIFE! Also, one of the best dinners of my life! I also enjoyedย the rice grits, black beans and corn, and plantain (my first time trying plantain)!

The main aspects of these dishes that I really appreciated: I experience a glimpse into the Executive Chef’s (Jamilka Borges) upbringing and cuisine! She’s originally from Puerto Rico; thus, I really felt that I was tasting the dishes that her grandparents and parents made for her, the recipes conducted from Jamilka’s childhood memories. What a delight!

Whether you visit Bar Marco for brunch, dinner, the wine room experience, or just a few drinks, you will NOT be disappointed! There’s a reason why big foodie sites (such as Eater.com) have featured this revolutionary restaurant!

Speaking of revolution: Bar Marco no longer accepts gratuity, since all of its staff is now full time & salaried, with health care and paid vacations. In my opinion, every restaurant around the world should follow in Bar Marco’s footsteps; happy employees equals a happy restaurant!

Also: if you do leave any extra money on the table, all of the proceeds go towards Bar Marco’s Pittsburgh Food Revolution Club, which teaches children in East Liberty about farming, growing and cooking food. Make sure to leave some money behind for this AMAZING food club!

In short: Bar Marco, I love you!

Three Cheers to good food, fabulous art and cultural events,

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

Bar Marco’s website

Bar Marco’s Facebook page

Bar Marco’s Twitter page

Bar Marco’s Instagram page

The Food Tasters’s Twitter page

Parmesan Princess’ Twitter page

Downtown Pittsburgh Concierge’s Twitter page

Alberto from Gaucho’s Twitter page

Michael Pellas’s Twitter page

Jessica Fink’s Twitter page

Nadine’s Twitter page