Tag Archives: restaurants

Dive Bar & Grille – Lawrenceville Neighborhood

Restaurant: Dive Bar & Grille

Location: The lower part of Upper Lawrenceville where Alchemy N’Ale used to be.

Atmosphere: The exposed brick, tin ceiling tiles and esoteric light fixtures added a nice touch of gastropub coolness to the otherwise casual “classic American diner” vibe.

dive2

Menu: Wings, quesadillas, tacos, sliders, salad bowls, sandwiches, burgers and just about anything else you might need*.

* Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at “tacos.”

Food: I’m a sucker for po’boys. Lobster po’boys, shrimp po’boys, oyster po’boys, hell, I even like the song “Po’Boy” by Bob Dylan. So when I saw that Dive had a shrimp po’boy with chipotle aioli*, which you could also add a crab cake to for an additional $2**, it quickly moved ahead of all the other mouthwatering options. #MalacostracaDoubleDown

The sandwich turned out to be a real winner. Big ol’ chunks of moist crab cake covered the bottom of the sizable roll, which along with the cornmeal-crusted shrimp provided an ocean’s worth of seafood goodness. The side of fries was a little lackluster, but I still ate every one so who am I to complain.

dive3

I paired my food with a Jibe Session IPA (American IPA, 4% ABV) from Green Flash Brewing. Its crisp texture and light-citrus taste made for a perfectly refreshing lunchtime libation. The beer rounded out a delicious meal of crustacean goodness that even Squidward Tentacles couldn’t complain about.

* Chip Aioli would make a great name for a contestant on The Next Food Network Star…

** Can you believe that!?? Only 2$?!?! I wish that everything came with the option of adding a crab cake for two bucks. And not just food either. Oil changes, haircuts, lap dances…what wouldn’t be improved with the addition of a two dollar crab cake?

Service: Good.

Final Call: The fact that Dive has a location in the North Hills suburbs and not the South hills suburbs near my house makes me angry. Other than that, everything’s awesome!

restaurant REVIEWS, , , , , ,


The Best of Summer 2016 Part III…Day Tripping

“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James

Whereas the cold winters of Pittsburgh are prefect for staying indoors and binge-watching Netflix, summer is all about getting ahht of the house to explore the great attractions that our lovely region has to offer. And who better to give us some suggestions on how to get the most out of these summer days than a school teacher? 

After spending the past nine months steadfastly preparing the young minds of Woodland Hills to lead us into the future, my buddy Heidi is now here with some daytrip ideas that are full of adventure and fun. I look forward to fitting them all into my schedule…between my mandatory hammock-naps of course!

Hey y’all! One of the best parts about living in Pittsburgh is the wide array of destinations and restaurants that are well within driving distance. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a little “daycation” from time to time? With brief travel time and minimal packing, daycations are an activity that Pittsburghers should embrace wholeheartedly. Thus, for this post, I would like to share with you some of my favorite spots in the Laurel Highlands that everyone in the area should visit this summer.* Now let’s go day tripping!

Food

The Stone House Restaurant & Inn (3023 National Pike | Farmington, PA | 15437) is a classic spot along Route 40, our National Road. With charm, character(s) and a fantastic menu, The Stone House has something for everyone. Special events are common, especially live music and bike nights. My advice? Try the wings ($5/5, $10/10, $14/15), the salads and anything that incorporates their house sauces and dressings; grab a bottle of Pittsburgh Winery wine while you are there too!

Out of the Fire Café (3784 State Route 31 |Donegal, Pennsylvania | 15628) is a casual BYOB restaurant. With an open kitchen, Out of the Fire offers an American menu that patrons can enjoy from inside of on their deck. The view is beautiful and the location is in close proximity to many mountain attractions. My advice? Try the Sea Scallops ($32, coconut and cilantro risotto, roasted red pepper, mango & arugula salad, Fuji apple vinaigrette) and/or the Charred Pineapple Salad ($13, field greens, kiwi, red grapes, cherry tomatoes, toasted cashews, blueberry balsamic vinaigrette).

Fun

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (1491 Mill Run Road | Mill Run, PA | 15464) and Kentuck Knob (723 Kentuck Road | Chalk Hill, PA | 15421) are architectural masterpieces tucked away in the Fayette County mountains. With a little planning, you can either visit one on its own, or arrange to see both in the same day. I happen to be an architecture fanatic, and I’ve seen both of these houses in many seasons both on their own and in the same day. The local history associated with the homes is fascinating, the grounds are picturesque, and the gift shops are quite marvelous. My advice? Don’t miss the opportunity to see something that thousands of people travel from all over the world to see every year. And get your tickets way in advance!

flw

Fort Necessity National Battlefield (1 Washington Parkway | Farmington, PA | 15437) is a worthy stop along Route 40. With the popularity of Hamilton: An American Musical on a steady rise, this is a great place for fans and history buffs who are interested in George Washington lore. See where Washington opened the action of the French and Indian War in 1754, ultimately setting the American Revolution in motion. Jumonville Glen and General Braddock’s Grave are also nearby, for a bonus round! My advice? Ask them if they remember the girl who won an art contest there in 1990; she created an epic rendition of Washington’s life called “The Cherry Tree of Life.” Ha! Kidding. No one needs to bring up my short-lived career in the visual arts.

*I left off Laurel Highlands juggernauts like Ohiopyle and Nemacolin Woodlands because of the likelihood that yinz have already been there. Not that I wouldn’t work stops at either of these into a daycation from Pittsburgh, but I wanted to bring to light some lesser known attractions.

Best of Summer

art, life, & CULTURE, restaurant REVIEWS, , , , , , ,


Butcher and the Rye – Downtown Pittsburgh

Butcher and the Rye is Pittsburgh’s bestest restaurant. Everything about it is par excellence – from the drinks to the décor to the cuisine. Their Brussels sprout are seriously one of the most delicious appetizers in the friggin’ world…and don’t even get me started on the scallops….or the pig candy…or the yuzu sour…or the hanger steak…etc.

Since all the superlatives in the world wouldn’t begin to explicate how awesome this place is, I decided that the only way to come close to conveying it’s greatness is to populate my review with semi-relevant quotes from the best movie of all time – Pulp Fiction. Please enjoy my review below, and remember, nobody kills anybody in my place of business except me or Zed.

Name

I’m American, honey. Our names don’t mean shit.” – Butch

Location

In your future… I see a cab ride. Move out of the sticks, gentlemen.” – The Wolf

Atmosphere

Warmer! Warmer! Disco!” – Mia Wallace

br3

Menu

Mmmm! Goddamn, Jimmie! This is some serious gourmet shit!” – Jules Winnfield

Food

That’s a pretty f*cking good milkshake. I don’t know if it’s worth five dollars but it’s pretty f*cking good.” – Vincent Vega

bur1

Service

Don’t you just love it when you come back from the bathroom and find your food waiting for you?” – Mia Wallace

Final Call

Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood.” – Vincent Vega

Butcher and the Rye Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

restaurant REVIEWS, , , , , , ,


The Village Melt – Sewickley Borough

Restaurant: The Village Melt

Location: The intersection of Beaver and Walnut Streets (aka Beav’nut Corner).

Atmosphere: The chalkboard menu, seat-yourself dining area and illuminated marquee created a relaxing space that promoted fun over formality.

Menu: A multitude of “melts” that covered everything from fancy grilled cheeses (w/ Fontina, Gruyere, etc.) to classic sammiches (Reuben, BLT) to custom hamburger creations.

Melt

Food: Though politically I consider myself “liberal af”, when it comes to grilled cheese, I’m less progressive than the Governor of North Carolina. Therefore I scanned over the surfeit of creative melts looking for the most basic one I could find. I settled on The Lola. It arrived ten minutes later, and it was definitely love at first sight.

The melt consisted of fresh mozzarella, tomato, arugula and pesto sandwiched between two huge slices of buttery bread. A generous helping of fries on the side guaranteed that my pants top button would be put to the test for the rest of the day.

Unsurprisingly, everything was mighty delicious. I mean, its grilled cheese and French fries so the bar is pretty low since it’s almost impossible to screw those two things up*., but regardless errthang was scrumptious!

* Unless you’re me. I once dumped an old bag of frozen French fries into a deep fryer and I almost ended up looking like Deadpool.

Service: It took me about two minutes to order and pay so there really wasn’t much time to build much of a relationship with the guy behind the counter. I guess he seemed ok enough.

Final Call: The only thing that could make The Village Melt a better lunchtime destination is if they were located in my neighboring cube. Highly recommended!

The Village Melt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

restaurant REVIEWS, , , , ,


Whitfield at Ace Hotel – East Liberty Neighborhood

As I get older, the title of Earl Sweatshirt’s solid sophomore album describes my life’s mantra more and more – “I Don’t Like Sh*t, I Don’t Go Outside.” I rarely get the opportunity to dine somewhere out of the south hills suburbs, and usually when I do, I just complain about how long it takes to drive into the city and how it’s ludicrous that a place can charge $16 for a hamburger when you can get a good one for half as much at Red Robin…along with bottomless fries.

Combine all that with the fact that a night on the town for my wife and I also necessitates a fifty dollar expenditure for babysitting, and you can see why I’ve become so dismissive of Pittsburgh’s surfeit of “cool” restaurants that seem to be nothing but a clichéd pastiche of Edison lights, exposed ductwork and seasonalocalartisanal comfort food.

Would a recent trip to the uber-trendy Ace Hotel’s tavern The Whitfield break my streak of underwhelment? Read ahead as I discuss my experience with my blogger-buddy HGB, who’s one of Pittsburgh’s most popular and discerning restaurant critics. Bon appetit!

AJF: Let me just start this off by patting myself on the back for making it to The Whitfield (120 S. Whitfield Street, 15206) before you. I mean, it was only by about sixteen hours, but it still counts. Now, upon first entry to the establishment, I was really surprised to find it to be so understated. I was expecting something vibrant like The Commoner at Hotel Monaco since it’s a similar endeavor, but The Whitfield stayed almost too-true to its roots as a former YMCA.

HGB: I was so concerned that I wasn’t going to be hip enough upon entering. I did wear my sunglasses that I got from the lost and found, which is hip and all pseudo-nonchalant, right? But yes, you beat me there and you are right in that it’s very much a former YMCA. After getting my bearings, I remember that I really liked the layout of The Whitfield and how it casually spilled into the hotel lobby. Also, since I went for brunch, the natural lighting was a striking feature of the interior.

AJF: I was there in the evening and also noticed how striking the lighting was, albeit it wasn’t natural since it was dark outside obvi. The bright bulbs and stark white walls just made it feel too glaringly chilling for my liking. As my age tiptoes further away from thirty and towards the big four-oh, I now greatly prefer dimly-lit spaces. That way I can use the shadows to maintain some semblance of a youthful appearance. I’m sure by the time I hit fifty, I’ll only leave my house at night like Dracula. In conclusion, I thought that the overall aesthetic was nice and trendy enough, though a little too white and austere in tone for my tastes… basically the same way I feel about Ed Sheeran music.

HGB: I have no coherent thoughts here as I am laughing about Ed Sheeran and wondering who came up with the term “strawberry blonde,” because he is that right?

AJF: I’m not sure about that, but I am sure that if we don’t start talking about the menu soon, our readers are just gonna head over to Yelp for their restaurant recommendation needs!

HGB: As much as I love Rachel (and all of her awesome Yelp parties), I highly doubt that people would leave us to go over there. Folks are invested in this post already. You and I are the Captain and Tennille of Pittsburgh bloggers (well, the ones who actually blog anyway). But go ahead. Tell us what you drank, since drinks are really an appetizer.

AJF: My group showed up right on time for our 7:30 p.m. reservations, and were seated right away so unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to hang out at the bar. After a quick glance of the impressive drink menu, I went straight to ordering a never-disappointing Fat Gary (English Brown Ale, 3.6% ABV) since I regrettably gave up hard liquor for Lent.

HGB: I didn’t give up anything for Lent. But anyway, because we were there for brunch, we were not drinking beer. We ordered Whitfield Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Almond Margaritas, and something with gin that was amazing but I cannot remember the name to save my soul. Two of the drinks were part of the brunch prix fixe menu, a concept of which I happened to enjoy very much. I know it’s a first world problem, but I sometimes struggle at brunch when trying to choose between breakfast-centric or lunch-centric items. A prix fixe menu eliminates that, especially one that includes a drink. All of our drinks were quite pleasing and refreshing; thus, all were an excellent precursor to our meal.

IMG_5461

AJF: Much like the revelers at Pittsburgh’s internationally renowned dance party Hot Mass, I showed up to The Whitfield with the singular goal of consuming as much meat as possible. I started off with the Butcher’s Plate ($18), which was comprised of a nice mix of charcuterie, patés and seductively sweet bacon jam. I followed that up with the hanger steak entrée (creatively titled “The Steak”, $21), which came along with fries and béarnaise sauce. Though I would have liked to seen a larger piece of meat (that’s what he said) than its 8 ounces, everything on my plate was delicious and met my high level of culinary expectations.

IMG_2183

HGB: I too, showed up with the goal of eating well. At age thirty-six, it’s one of the few joys that I have left in life. My group was a threesome (in numerical terms only); two of us ordered from the two course prix fixe menu for $26, including the aforementioned drinks. Our first course was Beef Tartare (grilled bread, romaine, capers, parmesan reggiano) and Bruléed Grapefruit (pomegranate), our second course was Frisee & Roasted Rapini (fried poached egg, lardons, duck fat hollandaise, pickled beets) and Ham & Jam (cranberry, egg, powdered sugar, and mixed greens).

The Beef Tartare was chilled, salty, and went well with the grilled bread and capers; the Bruléed Grapefruit is now the benchmark for how I want my grapefruit prepared for the rest of my life with it’s hardened, candy-like shell and tart, juicy core.

The Frisee & Roasted Rapini is a great option for those who want an egg, but not an omelet. The Ham & Jam is thick-cut ham sandwiched between two large pieces of french toast, with the cranberry and mixed greens providing some balance to the dominating overall sweetness; ideal for sharing, this option is worthy of being revisited on my next trip to The Whitfield for brunch.

The third person in our party went rogue and order the Three Egg Omelet ($11, smoked pepper, caramelized onion, cheddar, mixed greens); it turns out that it’s a great option for folks who want a traditional brunch dish with a hipster influence. I mean, don’t we all want a little hipster influence in our lives?

IMG_5462

AJF: First with the Captain and Tennille reference, now an admittance of your actual age?!?! I thought that we’re supposed to use the internet to lie about ourselves and pretend to be younger?!?! I mean, is it still alright if I falsely portray myself as a Millennial Asian Lumberjack?

HGB: (staring at the computer incredulously)

AJF: I got the Wigle Whiskey Bread Pudding ($8, candied pecans, vanilla ice cream) for dessert, and it was sublimely delicious.

HGB: We also ordered dessert because our favorite color is #YOLO; we chose the Lemon Mousse ($8, shortbread, toasted meringue). We’d order it again and again as it seemingly went along with our brunch theme of being refreshed in good company and in a good space.

IMG_5463

AJF: In conclusion, I’d say that The Whitfield is a fine addition to Pittsburgh’s nationally-lauded restaurant scene and a great place to check out even if you’re not a Millennial Asian Lumberjack.

HGB: Like I tell my students, AJF… using “In conclusion, is cliché!” However, The Whitfield is not.

Whitfield Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

restaurant REVIEWS, , , , , , ,


everybody loves…Naples

This travel blog post is unfortunately not about Naples, Italy. Though I hope to one day make a pilgrimage to the holy birthplace of pizza, we’re sticking stateside as I detail the highlights of a recent mini-vacation my wife and I took to the town named after the capital of Campania – Naples, Florida.

You’re probably thinking right now “Naples is full of nothing but super-rich octogenarians. Why would two hip thirty-somethings go there for a vacation?”. Well, let me tell you! My in-laws are snowbirds who nest in Fort Myers during the winter months, and we started making an annual vacation visit two years ago. It’s always been a good time, but the thought this year of spending eight days and seven nights in a two-bedroom condo with poor Wi-Fi and a potty-training toddler just didn’t sound like a relaxing time.

Thankfully my mother-in-law offered to babysit our son for a few days so that my wife and I could venture out of town on our own. Naples seemed to be the best option due to its surfeit of dining/shopping options and the fact that its overwhelmingly elderly populace meant that the beach wouldn’t be full of toddlers screaming for “ONE MORE PAW PATROL”.

Below are some of the highlights of our visit, which overall could best be summed up as the definition of “relaxing”. Though lacking in excitement and nightlife (most restaurants close at 8pm), the laidback lifestyle is hard to complain about when most of my life is spent either at work navigating quixotic Microsoft Project deadlines or at home being screamed at by my son for, you guessed it, “ONE MORE PAW PATROL”.

Naples Beach

It was windy during our stay so we didn’t get to hang out on the beach too much, but from what I saw it was quite beautiful. The sands along the Gulf of Mexico were as white and well-manicured as the second wives that walk upon it, and some old guy told me that the lovely turquoise waters are “chock full of snook and Spanish mackeral” which I’m assuming are fish so I guess that must be a good thing.

IMG_2505

7th Avenue Social & Bayside

Though the collective vibe of Naples is much more “hip-replacement” than “hipster”, we were able to find a trendy gastropub that more than satisfied my need for craft beer, rustic decor and seasonalocalartisanal comfort food. We also had a great (and great-ly expensive) meal at the upscale Bayside, which was nestled in a swanky shopping enclave entitled The Village on Venetian Bay and had a lovely waterside view.

IMG_2504

5th Avenue South

This posh shopping district has more than seventy retail stores and forty restaurants. Most of the clothiers cater to the Tommy Bahama/Chico’s crowd so I didn’t do much clothes shopping, but I did make it rain at many of their near-omnipresent gelato shops. Turns out old people really love their ice-cream, which makes sense since having teeth really isn’t required to enjoy a hot fudge sundae.

IMG_2506

art, life, & CULTURE, , , , , ,


Cafe IO – Mount Lebanon Suburb

Restaurant: Café IO…not to be confused with Captain EO, Michael Jackson’s 1986 sci-fi theme park attraction.

Atmosphere: Cozy and convivial.

Menu: Café IO is a rustic Italian ristorante that serves classic dishes like chicken marsala and orecchiette pasta. Um, wait a sec, there’s jambalaya and hummus also on the menu so maybe Mediterranean better describes the cuisine. Oops, just saw BBQ chicken and pulled pork so forget that. Now I see pork-fried rice? WTF, this place has everything!

io1

Food: I was dining with a group of four and we started off the evening by ordering two appetizers – the Crispy Parmesan Polenta and the Crispy Green Beans*. The shaved Parmesan added an imprescindible hit of saltiness to the rather sublime polenta and combined with the sweet tomato sauce to deliver a perfectly balanced bite. And unlike T.G.I. Fridays’ fried monstrosities, Café IO’s al dente green beans were lightly adorned with a tempura-like breading and still bore resemblance to a vegetable**.

One of my dining companions has a good friend who happens to be good friends with the owner of Café IO and she had them surprise us with a Iovino starter as well. This consisted of a plate full of Italian sweet sausage, tempura mozzarella***, tomatoes and mixed greens drizzled with balsamic. It was absolutely delicious, and I’m not just saying that since it was a gift. Though that certainly didn’t hurt…

Completing my crispy trifecta, I went with the Crispy Fish Tacos for my entrée. The flavorful hunks of crunchy flounder were lovingly wrapped in a tortilla embrace with red pepper, spicy mayo, Napa cabbage shreds, pickled jalapeños and French fries (for no good reason other than why the f*ck not). Unsurprisingly the tacos were great and are now tied with Round Corner Cantina’s pescado offering as my favorites in Da ‘Burgh.

* Or by the distributive rule of algebra: Crispy (Parmesan Polenta + Green Beans).

** Green beans are botanically fruits but are still routinely referred to as vegetables in the culinary arts because chefs don’t be giving a f*ck.

*** Tempura Mozzarella would make the perfect stage name for an Italian-Japanese drag queen.

Service: Despite it being a packed house, our waitress was very attentive and kept me replete with Pumking (Pumpkin Ale, 8.60% ABV) all night.

Final Call: Combining an intimate and welcoming environment and an eclectically well-executed menu, Café IO is one of the South Hills suburbs bestest culinary destinations. And I’m not just saying that since my wife is friends with a friend of a friend of the owner. #KeepIt100

io2
Cafe io Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

restaurant REVIEWS, , , , , , ,


The Best of Winter Part II…Pittsburgh Comfort Food

Between the inclement weather and packed shopping areas, I rarely look forward to leaving the house during the winter season. And since I can now purchase all of my Christmas gifts online, there’s really only one way to get my Snuggie-covered body off of the couch – GREAT FOOD!!!

Thankfully Pittsburgh’s got plenty of scrumptious food options that are well worth the hassle of dealing with slippy roads and jagoff drivers. In this second installment of the Best of Winter series, everyone’s favorite blogger bon vivant Heidi is here to highlight some the best comfort food dishes in Pittsburgh. Bon appétit n’at!

ebly-winter-draft01-02

Best of Pittsburgh Comfort Food by HGB (The Steel Trap)

I’m going to go ahead and disclose that I have a full blown self-diagnosed case of seasonal affective disorder; because of this affliction, throughout the winter months I seek out the most comforting food in Pittsburgh with little to no remorse or consideration for my waistline. So when AJF was kind enough to ask me to put something together for this post, I knew right away that it would feature five of my most favorite comfort food options in town… and they are all $11 or less!

Joe Mama’s Meatloaf from Fuel and Fuddle

This sandwich has been a favorite of mine since I moved to Pittsburgh seventeen years ago. It features a grilled housemade meatloaf, “smashed” potatoes, caramelized onions and sauteéd mushrooms on a thick bun. It comes with russet and sweet potato fries on the side, but you can also ask for all sweet potato if you prefer (like me). Don’t forget to ask for their barbeque sauce to complement this dish; you can thank me later.

Mac N Cheese from Butcher and The Rye

This dish can either be a side or a main event depending on your preference. I’ve gone into Butcher and the Rye many times and eaten this with an adult beverage at the bar and felt pretty good about my life. Comprised of a taleggio pasta with fontina, goat, cheddar, and parmesan cheeses, this version of an American classic is like a warm cheesy hug in your mouth. Yes, I said it.

Gourmet Cheeseburger from Tessaro’s

No matter how many burger spots pop up on our radar, this one remains my all-time favorite and has held that spot for twenty-one years. If that alone doesn’t convince you, one bite of this half-pound choice cut beef, hardwood grilled to order with bacon; grilled mushrooms, onions, and peppers; and melted cheese on a fresh bun will. Trust me. Oh, and add a glass of red wine for further warmth.

Donuts from e2

Whether you eat these as breakfast or as a sweet accompaniment to brunch, these donuts provide exponential comfort. Coming in four varieties (chocolate pistachio, lemon rosemary, berry white, and beignet), each portion is plentiful and exactly what you need to put yourself in a food coma, which is one way to combat seasonal affective disorder… or at least that’s what I’ve heard.

Rotisserie chicken from Giant Eagle

Ready to eat and available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., this option is perfect for a cold day when you don’t feel like cooking but don’t want to eat out. Hey! Don’t judge me. You’ve all considered doing this. I’m just giving you the green light!

art, life, & CULTURE, , , , , , ,


B Gourmet – Sewickley Borough

Restaurant: B Gourmet

Location: Lovely downtown Sewickley – where the boots are Hunter, the bags are Burberry, and the pants are yoga.

Atmosphere: B Gourmet’s large storefront windows overlook bustling Beaver Street and allow diners the opportunity to observe suburban housewives in their natural habitat. Past the seating area is a sprawling deli counter showcasing a bevy of prepared foods available for eat-in or take-out n’at.

Menu: Soups, salads and sandwiches adorned with foodie-approved ingredients like “organic greens”, “farm bread” and “onions”.

Food: On my most recent visit, I planned on ordering one of the delicious sounding homemade soups. However, my stomach overruled my brain and I went with my usual selection – the rosemary roast beef sandwich.

IMG_0498

Though not as massive as the mountainous meat piles served up by the Carnegie Deli, the sandwich still had a substantial amount of beef that was barely contained between the golden grilled bread slices. A light slathering of gorgonzola aioli served as a solid step-up from plain ol’ mayo, and the arugula and onion straws added a great crunch.

The side salad was a worthy accompaniment to the sammich, albeit a little overdressed and a little heavy on the onions. Thankfully I also grabbed a Leona’s ice cream sandwich from the freezer case for a lunch-dessert and its creamy goodness wiped away any remnant of onion breath.

F453087B-A9DE-4CE0-A24D-3F2CF7DC8550

Service: The guy working behind the counter certainly seemed really nice, but you can never really know what evil lurks in a person’s soul, amirite?

Final Call: I love this place. I’ve eaten-in and taken-out multiple times and everything has been wonderful. I really hope that they open another location closer to my home in the south hills suburbs. I would gladly trade all of the twenty-seven Mattress Firms that line Washington Road just for one B Gourmet!!

B Gourmet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

restaurant REVIEWS, , , , , ,


everybody loves…San Diego

San Diego is purported to be one of America’s most beautiful cities. Now that I’ve spent a week there, I can wholeheartedly agree. The perfect weather and beautiful coastline were as-advertised and I now understand why people head west and never come back. Below is my travelogue recap, along with a few of my wife’s photos showing the tourist attractions* that I unfortunately missed. Enjoy!

* I went to SD for a work conference. Wanting, nay, needing a vacation after not traveling sans child for nearly three years, my wife decided to procure the babysitting services of Grandma, Inc. and accompany me. Therefore, she got to explore the city all day long without having to listen to me or him whining for more Goldfish.

city

Seaport Village

Our hotel was nicely nestled next to this swanky enclave of seaside shops and restaurants. The view of the bay from the harbor pier was stunning, and a stroll down the boardwalk brought many interesting sights such as the Unconditional Surrender statue, musical pedi-cabs and only mildly-shady street performers. The overall vibe is “upscale touristy” so I’d imagine that a local could denounce the area as trite. Luckily I’m an upscale tourist so the village was perfect for me!

sta

Coronado

The island oasis of Coronado is just a quick ferry ride across the bay from downtown San Diego and is well-deserving of its ranking as the best beach in the United States. For starters, the sand is as well-groomed and white as the people that stroll across it. Another highlight is the charming Victorian architecture of the historic Hotel Del Coronado. It’s supposedly haunted by the ghost of turn of the century con-artist Kate Morgan, who’s not to be confused with adult film star Katie Morgan (who can haunt me anytime).

cor

Old Town San Diego

Old Town is appropriately named. It’s an 1800’s-style neighborhood full of old-timey shops and exhibits which range from actually historic to artificially touristy. After meandering around this area for an hour under the blazing hot sun, we sought respite (and authentic Mexican food) at El Agave Tequileria. My taquitos de pescado were delicious, and the thousands of tequila bottles lining the walls made for a nice decorative element that I hope to incorporate into my future man-cave.

om

La Jolla

Um…there really isn’t much to say about this area other than it is f*ckin’ beautiful. It made Ocean City, New Jersey look like Newark, New Jersey…

lajolla

Gaslamp Quarter

At 38 years old, the idea of spending a night barhopping sounds more like a punishment than a pleasure. Therefore, my wife and I really didn’t take advantage of the numerous bars and clubs that inhabit the Gaslamp Quarter.

gas

We did have a nice dinner at the chic gastropub Seersucker*, but I was still back in bed by the time the Victorian-era gas lamps started illuminating the night sky. If I was only ten years younger, I’m sure that I would have had a helluva time getting turnt up just like Brad and Robin from Real World San Diego!

* Here’s my quick Seersucker restaurant review. It possessed a rustic, maritime vibe that elevated it past the typical speakeasy milieu. The duck fat fries were to die for, and the companion chipotle ketchup added a nice touch of smokiness to the savory unctuousness of the fries. Highly recommended!

rest

USS Midway Museum & San Diego Zoo

I didn’t get a chance to visit any of these places, but my wife did. Please enjoy her pictures!

uss

zoo

art, life, & CULTURE, restaurant REVIEWS, , , , , , , , ,


next page »