Sunday, October 30, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

A couple weekends ago when fall was still in full swing, R. and I went to Soergels Orchards with his dad and stepmom during its Fall Festival.  (Sadly, there was no running into TomKat on this particular day!)  The place was packed even though the Steelers game was about to start.  We walked around the stores and the grounds a bit and tasted some wine from Arrowhead Wine Cellars, but one of the main goals of this visit was to get a pumpkin.  I can't say that pumpkin carving is part of my own family's tradition, but R. really wanted to do it, so I obliged.  After about 15 minutes of searching, we found the perfect pumpkin and brought it home.

R. cut out the top and I helped him remove the seeds and the goop.  And then I had the honor of designing the face.  Honestly, I can't remember the last time I carved a pumpkin.  In fact, I can't remember if I've ever done it before.  Crazy, I know.  So given my limited experience, I decided to go with a simple and safe design:

My first jack-o-lantern that I can remember!

It works, no? ;)

Now what to do with the seeds?  R. called up his mom for help, who suggested paprika, garlic powder, salt, and olive oil.  So we laid the pumpkin seeds out on a cookie sheet and sprinkled on the various ingredients until the seeds looked well-seasoned.  We then baked the seeds at 250 degrees, checking and turning every 10 minutes, until the seeds were crunchy.  In all, it took about 40 minutes of baking time.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

The pumpkin seeds were glorious!  How could I have missed the tradition of pumpkin carving/seed roasting all these years?  I have to say, I was skeptical that I would enjoy carving a pumpkin, but it ended being quite a lot fun.

We'll have to do it again next year. :)  I might even try a fancier design for our jack-o-lantern!

Happy Hallowe'en!

BRGR (Cranberry)

A few months ago I visited one of the new gourmet burger bars in Pittsburgh: BRGR in East Liberty.  Since then, BRGR has opened a second location up in Cranberry Township, where I visited twice recently.

The Cranberry location is in the back part of the Cranberry Mall, next to the Cranberry Cinemas, and is not visible from Route 19 so may be a little hard to find.  But it will be worth it. The restaurant in general is spacious and comfortable, with large-screen TVs everywhere guaranteeing that no one will miss the game regardless of where they sit.  Patio seating is also available in the warmer months.

Aside from beef burgers, BRGR has some intriguing non-beef options.  On my first visit here I tried the Kamikaze Burger: ahi tuna patty, avocado and wasabi puree, pickled cucumbers and diakon radish, chili aioli, sweet soy sauce, and tempura crumbs.  Our waiter assured me that it is sushi grade burger and that it would be fine to order it rare, so I figured, why not?  Rare it is.

Only it wasn't rare when it came out:

Kamikaze Burger
Kamikaze Burger

But you know what?  It was so delicious I didn't bother saying anything about it.

During my visit to the East Liberty BRGR, I had missed out on ordering an alcoholic shake, so this time I made sure I got the Salty Caramel...or what I call 3,000 calories in a glass:

Salty Caramel Spiked Shake
Salty Caramel Spiked Shake

OK, so I don't know if it's really 3,000 calories, but it sure tasted like it.  Spiked with bourbon, sea salt, and vanilla bean, the Salty Caramel is thick, rich, and served in a cocktail shaker cup that you pour into a pre-caramelized glass.  You get two glasses out of your order, so it's definitely a lot of shake.

Salty Caramel Spiked Shake
Salty Caramel Spiked Shake

It was 3,000 calories of awesomeness.

On my second visit, only a couple weeks since my first, BRGR had already changed some of the items on its menu.  The Kamikaze Burger is no longer available, though I hope they bring it back in the future.

I guess I was unconsciously going along with the Asian burger theme 'cause the one burger that caught my eye this time was the Thai Pork and Shrimp Burger.  The patty is made with pork and shrimp, and it is topped with a pickled cucumber and diakon radish salad (mmm...sound familiar?), chili aioli, cilantro, and mint.  I only realized later how similar this burger is to the Kamikaze, and not surprisingly, I liked it quite a lot.  The patty has an interesting-in-a-good-way, crisp, almost "bouncy" texture thanks to the shrimp, though I was a little confused at first when I bit into my burger and the patty is pink on the inside.  I thought perhaps the patty wasn't thoroughly cooked, but turns out it's just the pinkness from the shrimp.

Thai Pork and Shrimp Burger at BRGR Cranberry
Thai Pork and Shrimp Burger

I also tried some of this unique slaw:

Slaw at BRGR Cranberry

I washed down my meal with the Tomato Diablo, otherwise known as BRGR's own Bloody Mary.  It's definitely got a nice kick.

Tomato Diablo at BRGR Cranberry
Tomato Diablo

The Cranberry rendition of BRGR is a great addition to the North Hills!

Restaurant info:
20111 Route 19, Cranberry Twp, PA 16066
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BRGR on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Life has been rather busy for me in the past few months, and at times like these, I do less experimenting in the kitchen and stick with old standbys instead that are quick and easy.

A few weeks ago I had a particularly busy weekend and didn't have much time to make food for the week like I normally do.  So I skimmed my recipe collection for something super easy and quick, and came upon this Mexican-inspired dish that I have enjoyed before.  It requires very little preparation, and for the chicken I just get a whole rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, rip out the skin and the bones, as well as the legs for other use (typically immediate consumption :P), and the remaining meat is just about the right amount as specified in the recipe.

I have a feeling I'll be making this a regular rotation in the next few busy months!

Chicken Tamale Casserole
Chicken Tamale Casserole

Chicken Tamale Casserole
Chicken Tamale Casserole

Recipe courtesy of:
Cooking Light (get the recipe here)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

AJ's Peruvian Restaurant (Oakland)

Update (5/20/2013): AJ's Peruvian Restaurant is closed.

As someone who is interested in cultural diversity and world cuisine, I have found myself paying more attention to Latin American restaurants in the city ever since I learned of Señorita Cibulka's project.  To my surprise, there are actually quite a few of these restaurants in town, several of which are recent additions, with more to come soon.  So when my friend and I were looking for a place to do lunch the other day, I suggested AJ's Peruvian Restaurant.  It was a sunny and warm fall day, and we were also glad we could take advantage of it by hitting up a place with a decent amount of natural lighting.

The hostess, who I believe is the owner, sat us at the booth closest to the entrance.  The decor of the restaurant is casual yet inviting.  While American restaurants serve bread before a meal, at AJ's we got some yummy sweet potato chips:

Sweet Potato Chips at AJ's Peruvian Restaurant
Sweet Potato Chips

I decided to try their Ensalada Rusa with Rotisserie Chicken.  The salad is made of corn, beets (yum!), peas, and mayonnaise, served with Peruvian rice which is flavored with something (garlic?), and the customer's choice of 1/4 rotisserie chicken, grill chicken breast, or grilled pork chop.  I went with the 1/4 rotisserie chicken, with all its crispy skin and juicy meat glory, and rubbed with a flavorful seasoning.  It was delicious!

Ensalada Rusa with Rotisserie Chicken at AJ's Peruvian Restaurant
Ensalada Rusa with Rotisserie Chicken ($8.99)

My friend enjoyed her 1/4 rotisserie chicken with sides of sweet potato fries and sweet plantains, but not before we did a little switcheroo: I had been served with white meat and her dark meat, but I far preferred dark meat while she slightly preferred white meat, so we switched our chicken.

This being my first visit, I couldn't resist ordering some Fried Plantains for myself as a side, which turned out to be a  good choice.

Sweet Plantains at AJ's Peruvian Restaurant
Fried Plantains

I actually came back less than a week later when another friend and I decided to do dinner before a show at the Petersen Events Center.  I ordered the Ensalada Rusa with Rotisserie Chicken again (though I made sure to specify I wanted dark meat) and it was just as good the second time around.  My friend had gotten rotisserie chicken and loved it.  During this second visit, I ran into a colleague who is from Peru who verified that AJ's is as authentic as it gets.  He was so excited to see that we were enjoying his cuisine and generously let us try his ceviche and beef heart - both of which were awesome.  I think I might just have to go for some beef heart myself next time. In the meantime, it makes proud to have introduced two very happy friends to AJ's.

P.S. To be honest, I have no idea what this restaurant is officially called.  Urbanspoon calls it "AJ's Burgers Fries and Peruvian Rotisserie" and Yelp as well as the restaurant's Facebook page calls it "AJ's Burger & Peruvian Chicken," while the restaurant's website refers to itself as "AJ's Peruvian Restaurant."  So I guess I'm probably simultaneously right and wrong here, but I decided to just go with "AJ's Peruvian Restaurant" for simplicity's sake.

UPDATE 1/20/2012: Thanks to a tip from a reader, it appears that AJ's has a new website URL which I have updated.

Restaurant info:
AJ's Peruvian Restaurant
3608 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
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AJ's Burgers Fries and Peruvian Rotisserie on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Elements Contemporary Cuisine (Downtown)

Update 7/25/2012: Elements has closed.

My neighbor S. and I went to Elements Contemporary Cuisine at the Gateway Center in downtown Pittsburgh for dinner one night earlier this month.  From the outside, one might think that Elements is a casual lunch hotspot catering to the working crowd (well, the $5 pizza signs out front are a bit deceiving), but it is actually pretty upscale on the inside.  We were seated at one of the tables by the window overlooking the patio, which was very nice.  The atmosphere is great.

Elements' menu is interesting.  If there were a prize for "The Toughest Menu to Choose From," Elements would definitely win top honors because there were so many delicious-sounding choices and it took me a really long time to settle on a decision.  Aside from various seafood, chicken, red meat, and pasta dishes that all sound amazing, the back side of the menu is devoted to cured meats, cheeses, and "more."  I understand that meat curing is a specialty of former executive chef Justin Severino's, and I'm glad to see that Elements has continued to highlight charcuterie as part of their offerings after Chef Severinos' departure.

Both Neighbor S. and I decided to select our own six items on the "Meats, Cheese, More" menu for $22 as a meal.  But with eight meats, 11 cheeses, and 12 "mores" to choose from, it was not an easy task.  After much deliberation, I picked the following:
  1. Duck Speck - cured duck breasts cold smoked over peachwood chips
  2. Venison Prosciutto - whole hind leg of venison packed in salt for weeks and hung to dry for months
  3. Venison - mildly spicy & sweet venison salami with chocolate & port wine
  4. Pleasant Ridge Reserve Cheese - a raw cow's milk, wash-rind cheese; firm, nutty-sweet, similar to Swiss Guyere (from Wisconsin)
  5. Pierre Robert Triple Cream Cheese - 75% fat content, hyper-rich pasteurized cow's milk; very creamy and has a spicy kick, too! (from France)
  6. Apple Mostarda - mustard apple sauce

Meat and Cheese selection at Elements Contemporary Cuisine
Charcuterie plate ($22)

The six-item charcuterie plate doesn't look like much, but don't let it fool you.  Both Neighbor S. and I were quite full by the time we finished our plates.  Neighbor S. had also gotten one of the venison meats because she had never liked venison and wanted to see if she would like the cured version - and she did.  We both enjoyed our meals.

But despite being full, how could I resist dessert?  Especially one called Tempura Chocolate Cherries?

Tempura Chocolate Cherries at Elements Contemporary Cuisine
Tempura Chocolate Cherries ($8)

This decadent dessert consists of three deep fried balls filled with a super rich and soft chocolate and cherries, along with a scoop of chocolate bourbon ice cream.  The tempura was sinfully delicious, and made me wish I hadn't already been so full from all the meats and cheeses.  The ice cream was not bad as well.

Both Neighbor S. and I found our meal to be highly satisfying.  We found out as we were leaving that Elements offers validated parking at the building's garage - which is good to know for next time.  Because there WILL be a next time.

Restaurant info:
Elements Contemporary Cuisine
444 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
On the web:
On Facebook:
On twitter:!/ElementsPgh
Bonus: Validated parking at Gateway Center's garage

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Elements Contemporary Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Gypsy Cafe: Take Two (South Side)

UPDATE 7/15/2012: Gypsy Cafe is now closed.

I had been itching to go back to Gypsy Cafe in the South Side since my first visit there in the spring, and a friend and I finally paid a visit there a few weeks ago.

Gypsy Cafe's menu changes every season, so the savory Oxtail Borscht I had last time was no longer on their menu.  This time, I got the Szekely Goulash, partly because I have this odd penchant for trying food I can't pronounce.  The Szekely Goulash is a buttered egg noodle dish topped with pork, Hungarian paprika, bacon, onions, sauerkraut, and sour cream.  It was a huge serving, but it was so good I gobbled up the whole thing!

Szekely Goulash at Gypsy Cafe
Szekely Goulash

The Szekely Goulash came with a dinner salad as well.

Dinner Salad at Gypsy Cafe
Dinner Salad

My friend ordered two appetizers as her meal and let me share a bite of each.  On the left are the Gypsy Cevapcici Meatballs, and I forget what exactly was on the other thing she ordered (my memory gets fuzzy after a few weeks) but both were very good.

Appetizers at Gypsy Cafe

Unfortunately, due to a host of family health issues, Gypsy Cafe announced in August that it is up for sale.  I don't know what the current status is regarding the sale, and who knows if the restaurant will remain the same once a new owner takes over?  Should the restaurant close, it would be a huge loss to the South Side food scene, for sure.

Restaurant info:
Gypsy Café
1330 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 
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Gypsy Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Smoothie Tasting at Planet Smoothie (Shadyside)

I had called Shadyside home during my first month in Pittsburgh. Every morning, I would walk over to X Shadyside on Walnut Street and get my work out in before heading in to work.  Although only a year has passed, a lot has changed at X Shadyside. For one, the gym has acquired the space on the first floor that used to be a fancy furniture store and filled it with fancy new cardio equipment. Then, the space that used to be the cardio room on the first floor was converted to Planet Smoothie - the subject of this post.

While Planet Smoothie is a national chain with individual stores operating as franchises, the one at X Shadyside is the only Pittsburgh location. I had the opportunity to attend a blogger event at Planet Smoothie a few weeks ago during which we sampled six different smoothies:
  1. Acai - organic acai, apple, strawberries, and bananas (gluten-free, vegan)
  2. Last Mango - mangoes, peaches, bananas, orange sherbet (gluten-free, vegan)
  3. Frozen Goat - coffee, bananas, cocoa, nonfat milk, yogurt, energy blast (gluten-free)
  4. Chocolate Elvis - cocoa, peanut butter, bananas, yogurt, nonfat milk, energy blast (gluten-free)
  5. Leapin' Lizard - peaches, strawberries, fat burner blast (gluten-free)
  6. Planet Pro - strawberries and bananas blended with a full meal replacement packet
My personal favorite was Leapin' Lizard, followed by the Acai, but I liked most of these flavors quite a bit.  The Frozen Goat was the top choice among the two other bloggers I was with, and it would probably have topped my list too if I were a coffee person!  

Smoothie sample at Planet Smoothie

One thing to note is that Planet Smoothie uses stevia and organic agave as sweeteners in their smoothies.  Both stevia and agave are naturally sweet plants with a low to zero glycemic index.  Additionally, stevia is calorie-free.  However, because the smoothies are made fresh to order, it is entirely possible to customize the amount of sweetener used to your liking.  We found most of the samples we tried to be on the sweet side, and though not excessively so, it is certainly possible to lower the amount of sweetener used or even leave it out altogether and still end up with a naturally tasty drink.

Also, a number of their smoothie varieties are under 300 calories, which is fabulous bonus.  For example, a 22 oz. serving of the Frozen Goat is only 220 calories!

In addition to smoothies, Planet Smoothie also offers a self-serve frozen yogurt station.  I didn't try any, but took some photos to share:

Planet Smoothie

Planet Smoothie

Thanks, Planet Smoothie, for a fun event and great smoothies!

And, as of this writing, Planet Smoothie is giving away a free smoothie party!  Check out this link on Facebook for more details on how to enter.

Restaurant info:
Planet Smoothie
5608 Walnut St, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
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Planet Smoothie on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pho Van (Strip District)

Ever since I was in high school, I have been a fan of Vietnamese pho.

Which, by the way, is actually pronounced "fuh," but since everyone calls it "foe" people will just look at you funny if you say it right.  Kinda like bruschetta ("brusketta") or edamame ("e-DA-ma-meh").  Anyway, pho is such a simple and cheap yet fulfilling dish - rice noodles in a steamy light broth, topped with beef, green onions, cilantro, onions, and raw bean sprouts on the side.  I usually like my pho with raw, thin sliced beef, which I then "cook," along with the bean sprouts, by seeping them in the broth for a minute or two.  I like each bite served with a squish of Sriracha sauce.  Yum.

Pho is one of those things I always get when I'm in Toronto.  During my DC days I never managed to find a pho place that I found satisfying, so I didn't expect much in Pittsburgh.  But then I keep hearing about several good Vietnamese restaurants in town so I figured I'd give one of them a try.  I was craving pho anyway.

Pho Van is at the eastern end of the Strip District on Penn Avenue.  I was making a quick stop at the Strip for some groceries and thought I'd stop by Pho Van for an early dinner.

My first pho in Pittsburgh!

I didn't need much time to look through the menu.  Just like I always get curry at a Thai restaurant, I always get pho with rare beef at a Vietnamese restaurants.  I promptly ordered the Pho Tai:

Pho Tai at Pho Van
Pho Tai (Pho with slices of rare eye of round, $7)

The good:  It was tasty, and satisfied my craving.  The portion was plenty to fill me up.

The less good:  It was more expensive ($7) than what I'm used to in Toronto.  I know, I know, a $7 dinner is hardly something one should complain about,'s pho.  Not foie gras.  Also, the beef-to-noodle ratio definitely tipped a bit too heavily towards the noodles.

Still, it hit the spot.  And not having had pho at any other restaurant in Pittsburgh, it's hard to say if Pho Van's prices or portions are unreasonable compared to the "Pittsburgh standard."  For one of my pho cravings though, it will do in a pinch.  But I'm definitely curious to check out some of the other Vietnamese restaurants in town as well.

Restaurant info:
Pho Van
2120 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
On the web:

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Pho Van on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Alma Pan-Latin Kitchen (Regent Square)

Update: Alma will be closing as of November 3, 2013.

Since the summer when I had heard about its impending opening, I had been closely following the news (i.e., Twitter feed) about Alma Pan-Latin Kitchen.  After it opened, Señorita Cibulka and I had also talked about going there, and we both finally had the opportunity to check it it out a few weeks ago.

Alma sits at the corner of Forbes and S. Braddock Avenues, at the site of the former Calli's.  I had never been to Calli's (or to this part of Regent Square...or Swissvale or Point Breeze, whichever name you prefer to call the area), but it seems every time I mention Alma, I am told that it used to be Calli's, so I thought it would be worth mentioning.  I'm not sure what the space used to look like, but I like what Alma did to the decor, which is bright and comfortable.

I had browsed the menu online beforehand so knew exactly what I wanted for my entree:  the Arepa de Vegetales con Plátanos Maduros, or arepa (corn pastry) topped with cabbage, cilantro, beets, and avocado, along with sweet plantains.  Mostly because I recently discovered a love for beets.  What an awesome dish with a great combination of an awesome price, too!

Arepa de vegetales con plátanos maduros at Alma
Arepa de Vegetales con Plátanos Maduros ($11)

I also love that Alma's menu states the country where each dish is from.  For someone (like me) who enjoys learning about different cultures, this menu is a great tool.  My arepa entree is from Colombia.

And apparently, I like Colombian food, because for dessert I chose something from Colombia as well:  Flan de Coco con Caramelo, or coconut flan with caramel sauce.

Flan de coco con caramelo at Alma
Flan de Coco con Caramelo


I think it would be safe to say that everyone in the group I was with enjoyed their meal.  The service was also top-notch.  They were more than willing to accommodate our large group, and when they messed up one of the entrees at our table, they apologized profusely, corrected the problem promptly, and took the item off the bill.  It was, all in all, a great meal.  Alma is a nice addition to the Pittsburgh food scene, for sure.

Check out Señorita Cibulka's perspective on Alma on her blog post here.

Restaurant info:
Alma Pan-Latin Kitchen
7600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15221
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Alma Pan-Latin Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 8, 2011

'Burgh Bits & Bites Food Tour: Strip District

I remember the day the Groupon deal came through in my email for the 'Burgh Bits & Bites Food Tour in the Strip District.  Being fairly new to Pittsburgh and living nowhere near the Strip District, I had only been there a couple of times, but its reputation for great food markets is widely known.  A food tour of the Strip District was right up my alley!

I finally got a chance to use my Groupon to check out the tour a few weeks ago.  We met in front of the Old St. Patrick Church at the corner of 17th and Liberty.  It is such an inconspicuous church that most locals don't even know it is there.  There were 10 other "tourists" in our group, some from right here in Pittsburgh, others from as far away as Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  I didn't know this before hand, but our tour guide was none other than Culinary Cory whose blog and Twitter feed I've been following pretty much since I started this blog myself.

Here is a run-down of the two-hour tour, but understand that depending on the day and time, some of the stops and tastings vary.

Stop #1:  Wholey's

Wholey was our first stop though it was a quick one.  I had heard a lot about this place before but had never been inside.  Cory led us to the back and told us about all the amazing seafood and other produce at Wholey's.  I didn't get to try any of the famed fish sandwiches there, but I will have to come back someday for it.

Wholey's Fish Market
Stop #2: Mancini's

Then we went over to Mancini's Bread Company.  After a pepperoni roll tasting, Erin from the bakery took some time to explain Mancini's operations.

Mancini's Bakery
Erin explaining Mancini's operations.

Stop #3:  Labad's

Our next stop was Labad's, where we were led through the little Middle Eastern grocery store at the front to the small dining area in the back.  There, we tasted some delicious hummus, housemade by the elderly mother of the family, with Mediterranean chickpeas and no preservatives.  Labad's makes their hummus twice a day during the week and three times a day on weekends.  One tip I learned:  When making hummus, use sesame oil or tahini and Mediterranean chickpeas.  I had no idea this place was around, or that they're open for dine-in lunch and available for special parties of 15 or more for diner, so I'm really glad it was part of the tour.

Hummus at Labad's

Stop #4: Parma Sausage

We then crossed the street over to Parma Sausage, another famous store I had heard a lot about but never had the chance to visit until now.  This was probably my favorite stop on this tour.  Our tastings consisted of the Coppa Secca (aged pork shoulder butt), Lonzetta Cotta (pork loin seasoned with rosemary), and Hot Sopressata (my favorite!).  I can't say that cured meat products are a very regular part of my diet but I may just have to come up with an excuse to come back and get me some Parma Sausage - soon!

Parma Sausage
Parma Sausage

Parma Sausage

Stop #5: Pennsylvania Macaroni Company

I had been really excited about our stop at Penn Mac as well.  Ever since our Italy trip, I have been paying particular attention to Italian grocers in the city.  Unfortunately, because this was a Friday afternoon, Penn Mac was pretty crowded and we didn't get to stay long.  When I go back to Parma Sausage for some hot sopressata, I will have to make a stop at Penn Mac for some cheeses.  They looked real good!  Charcuterie plate, anyone? ;)

Penn Mac
Cheese counter at Penn Mac

And, did you know there used to be an incline that ran between the Hill District and the Strip District?  Yeah, me neither.  But you can find a picture of it hanging across from the cheese counter here at Penn Mac.

Stop #6: Enrico Biscotti

Enrico Biscotti was another stop I was super excited about because I have always wanted to check it out.  We each got a biscotti as part of our tour, and I opted for the Coconut Chocolate Chip Biscotti.  It was really tasty with a good consistency that was not too hard, unlike most biscottis I've had.  In other words, you won't break your teeth eating Enrico's biscottis!  We also made a quick stop to check out the restaurant space in the back - another place I've been longing to visit.  The quaint, small space reminded me of Italy.  Note to self: Must return for a meal sometime.

Enrico Biscotti
Enrico Biscotti

Enrico Biscotti
Coconut chocolate chip biscotti

Stop #7: Colangelo's

Continuing on with the Italian theme, we headed to Colangelo's for a northern Italian pastry tasting.  I was pretty full by this point, but decided to take an Almond Mele - a puff pastry with almond paste inside - to go.  And I enjoyed it a lot later that afternoon when I was finally hungry for a tasty snack!

Pastries at Colangelo's.

Stop #8: S&D Polish Deli

Our last stop was S&D Polish Deli, on the far eastern end of the Strip District.  I must say, I didn't even know this part of the Strip existed, let alone S&D Polish Deli, so I'm glad this tour introduced me to this place.  We sat at the tables and tried two varieties of pierogies:  Potato and Cheddar and Kraut and Mushroom.  Both were delightful, and I especially liked the Kraut and Mushroom pierogies because they were pretty unusual.

S&D Polish Deli

To sum up, this was a pretty awesome tour of the Strip District.  While the focus was on food, the tour also covered some interesting historical facts about the neighborhood.  I'm looking forward to attending a preview of their Dormont food tour in a couple of weeks, and I hope to check out some of their other tours as well.  I'm thinking the Bloomfield and the Lawrenceville tours are next on my list!

Check out the 'Burgh Bits & Bites Food Tour website here.  It is a fantastic way for locals and tourists alike to learn more about our fair city!