*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?
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!
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!
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!
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!
My date’s Course #3: Green Tea Creme Brulee! Also including ginger pears and mint! This was surprisingly good and refreshing!
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)!
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! 😀
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!
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! 😉
I had to take a picture of the $5 Bloody Marys and Mimosas deal in July! 😉
The main courses offered during the month of July at Station’s Sunday brunch!
An extended look at the menu for Sunday Brunch at Station!
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!
Truly a sight of beauty!
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!
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)!
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)!
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!
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!
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!
I love Station’s logo! Simple yet so effective! Right away, you know by looking at it that this is Contemporary American Restaurant!
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!
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!
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.
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).
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)!
I also enjoyed the Steamed Bun with chicken, kimchi and chill aioli. Very tasty!
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.
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.
This spring, I was pleasantly surprised by this Vegetarian Tikki Masala dish from The Commoner at Kimpton‘s Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh. Yummy!
The bourbon & rye wall at Butcher & The Rye is a beautiful sight (no matter what time of year).
My Mom and I both enjoyed this Potato Leek Soup at Butcher & The Rye before Alton Brown‘s show at the Benedum Center.
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!
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.
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.
My favorite of the morning was the Blackmore! This is a black ale with an iced coffee taste. YES!
*Note*: Neither Omar Abuhejleh nor B52 asked me to write this blog post. I am a Pittsburgh Foodie and Yogini, who enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others! Photos captured with an iPhone 5s, and were edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.
The first full day back from my vacation in April, I decided to take an additional day off from work to practice Ashtanga Yoga at The Shala of Pittsburgh Ashtanga Yoga and go to brunch at B52 in Lawrenceville! I first fell in love with the food of B52 at the Back of the House event last fall (which I was lucky enough to attend, thanks to winning tickets from The Food Tasters). Leah Lizarondo (a.k.a. The Brazen Kitchen) was kind enough to introduce me to Omar and his food. B52’s dish at Back of the House (a rice and salmon dish) was THE best dish I had at the whole event! Thus, when B52 finally opened up in Lawrenceville, I made it my mission to pay a visit for brunch!
B52 is a vegan cafe that combines its love for Palestinian and American cuisine to produce house-made baked good, chocolates, a full-service expresso bar, and all meals of the day (including brunch, which was my meal of choice on this Saturday)!
B52’s brunch menu!
Even though I didn’t take a picture of it, I REALLY enjoyed the “bottomless” coffee with almond milk!
Brunch dish #1: Thick Cut Toast with Avocado, Preserved Lemon, Tahini sauce and black Sesame Seeds.
This Avocado Toast was one of THE highlights of brunch! Since Omar also owns Allegro Hearth Bakery in Squirrel Hill, I knew the bread was going to be good! This bread reminded me of a Texas Toast. The avocado tasted INCREDIBLE, and I loved the addition of the Tahini Sauce and Black Sesame Seeds!
Brunch dish #2: Tofu Scramble with Latke, Shiitake Mushrooms and Greens!
I LOVED the Latke (this part of the dish very much reminded me of hash browns), and I appreciated the meaty taste of the Shiitake Mushrooms paired with the crunchiness of the greens. The only thing I didn’t love was (ironically enough) the main part of the dish: the Tofu Scramble. I’ve noticed throughout my journey of trying different types of tofu that I am be discerning towards tofu. I will say that once I brought my leftover tofu home and added some black pepper, sea salt and Sriracha sauce, the tofu tasted MUCH better! Thus, maybe that’s all that tofu needed.
Mom’s Brunch dish (and the second highlight of brunch): Thick Cut Toast with Almond Butter and Raspberry Preserves!
As you can probably tell, Mom was nice enough offer me a few bites of her toast. oh. My. GOSH! This toast was INCREDIBLE! You already know that I am in love with the thick cut toast at this point. The almond butter was EVEN better than the typical Almond Butter that I buy from the grocery store, and the raspberry preserves were absolutely PEFECT! So in love with this dish!
After brunch, I bought some chocolates, a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie (all vegan) to take home and enjoy! My Mom’s treasure of the day was this jar of preserved lemons! She’s still figuring out how will she will use her treasure, but luckily, these preserved lemons are good for MONTHS!
Thank you B52 for an enjoyable and healthy vegan brunch, as well as all of the treats that I brought home!
A shot of B52’s door (as well as a snapshot of my reflection in the doorway)!
Next post: Winter and Spring Foodie Adventures. Stay Tuned!
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!
*DISCLAIMER*:I do no see monetary benefits from neither the owner of Sirena Taco Joint & Bar, nor the chefs, wait-staff or restaurant. I am just a humble Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her Pittsburgh adventure. Photos captured with an iPhone 5s; photos were edited with Instagram and Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended.
If you haven’t read my first review of Sirena Taco Joint & Bar, please do: First Review. The first review contains one of my FAVORITE tacos from Sirena: the Pork Carnitas tacos! Plus, you will learn about the owner of Sirena (the former owner of Dozen, a LEGENDARY cupcake & bakeshop in Pittsburgh) and the Executive Chef (Former Executive Chef of Nine on Nine).
I visited Sirena Taco Joint & Bar for the third time in February 2015, with one of my college buddies. Since the weather was cold and snowy, we were one of the few customers in attendance, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the kindness of our waiter, the fun, vibrant atmosphere of the restaurant, and the wonderful food of the chefs!
Pictured above was my meal of the day: BBQ shrimp tacos; these were INCREDIBLE! I’m not usually one for fish tacos, but between the shrimp, BBQ sauce and the crunch fritos, I was in taco HEAVEN! My second favorite taco from Sirena Taco Joint!
Of course, I HAD to get dessert! Thus, I chose the Chocolate Lava Cake, with a academia nut crumble, strawberries, whipped cream and Nutella ice cream! 😀
I was in dessert HEAVEN! The Lava cake honestly tasted like you were eating fudge, and the Nutella ice cream really DID taste like you were eating Nutella! Soooooooooooo good; after this dinner, I was “head over heels” for this dessert!
The individual taco menu (plus starters, combos, sides and desserts), part one!
When I arrived for my third visit, I FINALLY decided to order a house margarita from Sirena Taco Joint & Bar! I must say, this was one of the best margaritas I’ve EVER had!
My friend and I decided to order chips and salsa as a starter. The chips were some of the best chips I’ve ever had (La Palapa still makes the best chips), and the salsa had a WONDERFUL heat to it!
Third Visit tacos: Jerk Chicken (left) and Roasted Lamb Chili Verde (right). Even though the Jerk Chicken taco was good, the Roasted Lamb taco TOTALLY rocked my world, and is now one of my top three favorite tacos at Sirena Taco Joint! I could tell that the lamb was grilled and roasted very well. Plus, I LOVE chili Verde!
I was luckily enough to have a “Girls’ Night Out” for my fourth visit, with Tasha of The Food Tasters, Terri of Parmesan Princess, and Amy of Running Om Green. A girls’ night out would not be complete without some Cosmopolitan (a little nod to one of my favorite T.V. shows, Sex & The City):
Amy’s meal looked sooooooooooo good! Next time I visit Sirena, I will have to order a Citrus Mahi Taco! Also, the Chipotle Sweet Potato sound smelled AMAZING!
I’m not sure how I missed Tasha’s meal, but there’s what she ordered: empanada, BBQ short rib taco (which looked REALLY good! I will also have to order this next time) and a citrus mahi taco!
The carne asada taco was great, but I particularly LOVED the pork bulgogi taco! I am a HUGE pork fan- add in apple fennel, cheese and mixed greens, and we have a winner! 😉
Of course, all of the food bloggers had to order dessert! 😉 Terri chose a lemon mascarpone cake! This was so good! Very lemon-y, and you could really taste the mascarpone (which I LOVE)!
Tasha ordered the Reese’s Pie! Terri, Amy and I all tried a bite- MAN, was this good! So much better than the first time I had this dessert in December!
I think I’m in love….here’s the dessert that Amy & I shared! ❤
Whether you live either in the South Hills, the East Side, or a different state, Sirena Taco Joint & Bar is DEFINITELY worth the trip!
Three Cheers to good food, fabulous art & cultural events,