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).

newyearsdimsum

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.

VegetarianTikkaMasala

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.

MekongShrimpPho

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 at B52 in Lawrenceville

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B52’s logo (pictured on the front of its menu)!

*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)!

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B52’s brunch menu!

Even though I didn’t take a picture of it, I REALLY enjoyed the “bottomless” coffee with almond milk!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

B52’s website

B52’s Facebook page

B52’s Twitter page

B52’s Instagram page

 

Brunch at Eden in Shadyside

French Pressed Coffee
The French Pressed Coffee at Eden = best. Coffee. EVER!

*DISCLAIMER*:  I do not seek monetary benefits from Eden; I am just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie and cultural events! Photos captures on an iPhone 5s, and edited with Instagram.

Sunday, July 19th, I decided to have brunch before attending a yoga workshop at Amazing Yoga in Shadyside. I haven’t been to this restaurant in over three years; in 2012, one of my best friends from college was in town visiting. She’s a vegan, and did her research on vegan restaurants in Pittsburgh; she suggested going to Eden for a Sunday brunch, since that would be a good central meeting location, for all of her friends spread throughout the ‘burgh.

Chef and co-owner Hilary Zozula has turned Eden into a vegan, raw and 100% gluten-free restaurant- I was eager to sample the re-invention of the restaurant.

Above was the French-Pressed coffee that I ordered; a necessity, considering I had been up since 7:30am EST that day (lol). The last time I was at Eden, I remember this being THE best coffee I had ever had! The first time, the coffee was so good, it didn’t even need cream. This time around, I did add a little bit of cream, since the coffee was very strong, but it was just as good as the first time!

"Muffin of the Day" and Almond Butter from Eden
“Muffin of the Day” and Almond Butter from Eden

For the first course, I could not resist the “muffin of the day”! Especially when the waitress said it was a peach muffin- be still my beating heart! Almond butter is pictured to the left of the muffin; I must admit, the almond butter wasn’t all that great, but I really enjoyed the peach muffin of the day!

Peach Muffin
Close-up of the peach muffin: tasty!
Butterbean Burger & Garden Salad
My main course: butterbean veggie burger with a garden side salad

OMG! Seriously one of THE best veggie burgers I’ve EVER had! I chose this burger after watching the chef of A Chef’s Life on PBS create this burger at her restaurant The Boiler Room in North Carolina. The Butterbean had a meaty texture to it, which really helped me forget that I was eating a veggie burger. I requested that some goat cheese be added to the burger; that helped with the taste as well. Surprisingly enough, I REALLY enjoyed the Gluten-Free bun, too!

Butterbean Burger
Close-up of the Butterbean Burger!
Garden Salad
My garden salad was so good & simple! Good greens, tomato, cucumber and a vinaigrette dressing! That’s all you need, folks, for a good salad!

Overall, I enjoyed this brunch, but could only consumer half of the burger, and a little bit of my salad. I guess that peach muffin really filled me up that morning!

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

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

Eden’s website

Eden’s Facebook page

Eden’s Twitter page