Bar Marco‘s BEAUTIFUL Union Hall event space (located on the top floor of the building that houses Bar Marco)!
*NOTE*: Neither Justin Steel, Kevin Cox, nor Bar Marco asked me to write this post. I am just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie and Yogini, who enjoy sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others. Photos captured with an iPhone 7s, and were edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.
One Fateful Sunday, I was lucky enough to teach a one-hour Power Vinyasa Yoga class in Bar Marco‘s Union Hall space! One-Third of the ticket sales went to Food Revolution Pittsburgh Cooking Club (Bar Marco founded the Pittsburgh chapter! The original chapter was created by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver)! FRPCC works with the students at Obama Academy in East Liberty. The Club teaches them how to grow, harvest, and cook their food. They also bring in local chefs to help teach the students! I also co-hosted (along with Bar Marco) a cocktail-hour after class (where students had the choice between either a Mimosa or a Bloody Mary. The cocktail was included within the class price).
I was so lucky to teach in such a beautiful space! Thank you Andrew, Justin and Kevin for providing me with this opportunity!
Students enjoying Savasana before class ends! Stay tuned for Yoga + Cocktails II, which will be held at Bar Marco’s Union Hall once again! Details (as far as a date and time) TBA!
After yoga class and cocktail hour, I met my Mom and brother for brunch at Bar Marco! Here was the fall brunch menu:
Mom’s handsome brunch: Brioche French Toast, and fresh-squeezed orange juice! The Brioche French Toast had a pumpkin mousse, pecan and maple syrup. I tried a bit- INCREDIBLE!
My enjoyable brunch: Buckwheat Pancakes! Served with apple butter, granola, bacon, and maple syrup! Sooooooo good!
In my opinion, Bar Marco makes one of THE best brunches in the city! Whether you’re either just visiting Pittsburgh or live here, I highly encourage you to attend brunch at Bar Marco! Also: please stay tuned to either my Twitter (@lauraelizabethj) or Instagram account (@friendlypghfoodie) for upcoming yoga classes I am teaching!
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!
My first lunch course from Provision PGH: Simple Greens! Seasonal Lettuces, Snap Peas, and Roast Shallot Dressing! This was sooooo good (and so healthy)!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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! 😉
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!
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,
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
My lovely “Winter Sparkler” from Osteria 2350, made with: Absolut Citron, cranberry and Prosecco!
*NOTE*: Osteria 2350 did not ask me to review their restaurant. I am just a Friendly Fitness Foodie and Yogini, who enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others. Photos captured on an iPhone 4s, and edited with Instagram an Adobe Photoshop Cs4 Extended.
The Winter 2016 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week started on Monday, January 11th and ended on Sunday, January 17th. I was lucky enough to dine at Osteria 2350 (located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District neighborhood) on Thursday, January 14th. I had wanted to dine her for many years; I knew that the eatPGH ladies had already given their prestigious endorsement of this lovely restaurant. Thus, it was time for me to make a reservation, and formulate my own opinion.
Even though my Mom and I arrived thirty minutes before our reservation, the restaurant was still able to graciously accommodate us. I loved the atmosphere and the design of the restaurant immediately, and it didn’t hurt that the gentlemen assisting us throughout the night was a cutie. 😉
I started off with the Winter Sparkler cocktail (pictured above). This was the perfect way to enjoy the night, but not fall flat on my butt when the night ended. X) Here is another photo of my gorgeous cocktail:
Onwards to the food!
FYI: almost everything I ordered was from the special Pittsburgh Restaurant Week menu. Although, you’ll be able to find the last dish that I will mention on the restaurant’s regular dinner menu.
Dish #1- Wild Mushroom Tart: Wild Mushroom Duxelle, Puff Pastry, and a Calabrian Chilli Aioli.
Everything about this dish was INCREDIBLE! The Puff pastry added another dimension to the wild mushrooms, while the chill aioli REALLY “kicked it up another notch”, as Emeril would say. 😀
I absolutely LOVED this pasta dish! The pasta was so tasty and very unique; I’m wondering if it may’ve been homemade, since the website said that a majority of their pasta was homemade. I really appreciated all of the vegetables within this dish, as well as the grilled chicken. Such a healthy and light pasta dish!
Dish #3- Warm Apply Phyllo: Rum Soaked Raisins, Almonds, Caramel Sauce, Spiced Rum house-made ice cream.
Somehow, Osteria 2350 made me forget about chocolate for dessert (lol). X) If you give me apples, caramel, and ice cream, I am a happy lady. Plus phyllo dough? As Bourdain would say “oh yeah, baby; the good stuff”.
Another glamour shot of the Warm Apple Phyllo with the house-made ice cream!
Bonus dish- Greens & Beans: Parmesan broth, escarole and white beans
This is the dish I mentioned earlier, that can be located under the regular dinner menu (under Antipasti & Ensalada). This was a bonus dish, kindly given to us by our server before the wild mushroom tart arrived. I must say: this was my FAVORITE dish of the night! 😀
This dish was healthy, light, TASTY and super Italian! Sometimes, simple is best.
Well there you have it, folks! I hope you enjoyed my Pittsburgh Restaurant Week review of Osteria 2350! Whether you either live in Pittsburgh or plan to visit soon, I highly recommend this restaurant!
*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits, from any of these restaurants; I’m just a Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie adventures. Photos were captured on an iPhone 5s, and edited with Instagram & Adobe Photoshop CS4.
Recently, I have gone on several Foodie adventures; since I have been a Social Butterfly, it’s been very hard to devote a whole post to each meal. So, why not combine several foodie adventures into one post?
The cocktail above was from one of my first Summer adventures, held at Butcher & The Rye (the second Restaurant by Richard DeShantz, & his business partner Tolga).
Butcher & The Rye comes pretty close, to making focaccia bread as good as the LEGENDARY focaccia bread from The HyeHolde. Soooooo good!
One of THE best salads I’ve EVER had!
As Anthony Bourdain would say: “please order your burger medium rare! It is, after all, your patriotic duty.”
During this brunch, I was lucky enough to meet former co-owner, and manager of Bar Marco, and new Event Coordinator of Studio A.M. & Swing Truck, Bobby Fry! He was such a hospitable host: from his warm welcome, to sharing a bottle of Riesling with us, and giving us a complimentary tour of The Wine Room, he really made this brunch experience at Bar Marco memorable! I’m so grateful to know him; Pittsburgh is lucky to have such a passionate person in the local restaurant industry!
Three Cheers to Summer Foodie Adventures, and Fitness outside in the Summer Sun (whether it be either Yoga in the Square, or a 5k run or walk!)!
*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither I Made It! Market, Organically Social, Neighborhood Flea, nor any of their vendors. I am just a Pittsburgh Foodie and health enthusiast, who likes to share her foodie adventures and adventures in health! All photos were captures on my iPhone 4s; all photos were edited with Instagram and Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended.
Well, the year is almost half way over, and of course I’ve been busy attending events and being a Pittsburgh Foodie! Two of the most recent events that I have attended were: I Made It! Healthy and the Mother’s Day Neighborhood Flea!
Pictured above is one of my treasures from the I Made It! Healthy event, and one of the highlights: juice from Local Press Juice! Local Press is a local, organic, cold-pressed juice company, based in Pittsburgh. Local Press sells its juices, along with healthy lunch food items Monday through Friday, from 8:00am to 4:00pm EST in the Frick Building in downtown Pittsburgh. I LOVED both of these juices, particularly the #PGH Punch! Local Press is also a vendor at the Neighborhood Flea Market! The next time I attend Neighborhood Flea, I will have to buy a few juices from her!
Another highlight from the inaugural I Made It! Healthy event was a vender called Una Biologicals, run by a young lady named Jessica Graves. Jessica sells organic wellness and beauty products; I purchased a muscle pain reliever balm, with cayenne pepper as one of the ingredients! I have used more expense, non-organic muscle reliever products, but this product from Una Biologicals works the best for me! I highly recommend Jessica’s products!
The next great part of I Made It! Healthy was the Whole Foods Cooking Demonstration! The dietician of both the East Liberty and Wexford locations made sugar snap peas with radishes and a lemony asparagus salad for us (both delicious)! Both recipes were very healthy, and looked like they were easy to make!
Lastly, my Mom and I attended a meditation session (which was WONDERFUL)! I call myself a inconsistent, consistent meditator (lol). My Mom meditated for the first time and absolutely LOVED it! Such an enjoyable and helpful session!
Moving on to the first Neighborhood Flea event of the year! Neighborhood Flea fell on Mother’s Day; what better way to spend time with your Pittsburgh Mom then in the Strip District?
I began the day with a free power yoga session, led by Michelle Williamson of La Vida Yoga and Organically Social! This one-hour class was challenging, but so much fun! Michelle made the poses bearable with her great sense of humor and stories! Michelle’s studio will be opening up in September, in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh. If you live near there, I HIGHLY recommend attending class with Michelle! She is a gifted, well trained (she studied under Dominique Ponko, owner of Yoga Flow) yoga teacher!
Once the yoga class ended, I BOLTED for brunch at the Mac ‘n’ Gold (Mac ‘n’ Cheese) Food Truck! I’ve heard LOTS of good things about this food truck, and I was DYING to taste some Mac ‘n’ Cheese from the truck!
My weapon of choice: lobster lump mac ‘n’ cheese! This was INCREDIBLE; second best lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese I’ve ever had (my favorite is still the Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese at The Harris Grill in Shadyside)! Homemade mac ‘n’ cheese, delicious lobster, all topped with breadcrumbs and cheese. As Anthony Bourdain would say: “Oh yeah, baby; the good stuff”!
The lady running the food truck was SO nice; she gave my Mom a flower for Mother’s Day!
Afterwards, my Mom and I walked around the Flea Market and surveyed the vendors. I bought sourdough bread from Mediterra Bakery, and I stopped by my friend Dana Bell’s photography booth!
Once my Mom and I finished up at the Flea Market, we shopped at Marty’s Market, The Pittsburgh Popcorn Company,Mon Aimee Chocolate,Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, and the Pittsburgh Public Market (I had to visit Jeanette, owner of the Gluten Free Goat Bakery! Jeanette, I LOVED the lavender lemon donut that I bought from you)!
Here’s three cheers to good food, fabulous art and cultural events!