June 18, 2024
Alex at the Museum of Illusions Pittsburgh doing a hanging from a building illusion

December 2023 Restaurant and Event Roundup

December was a mostly low-key month for me. I feel like I got busy with other things a couple of times or didn’t feel like going out to dinner.

Dining Out

I finally ate at Anthos Bakery & Café in Castle Shannon. I only live like 7 minutes from this Greek bakery and café and yet I have not been here. Stacy AKA YinzHungry412 was in the neighborhood and we both wanted to go someplace we had not eaten yet. This was delicious. I got a Croque Madame, but it sounded so good with rosemary ham. It was delicious.

I finally went to Red’s Good News in Brookline after an event. I felt I wasn’t sufficiently fed after the event so I needed a little more. I’d heard Red’s has a great smash burger and everything I heard was true. This was a delicious burger and very inexpensive. They put what I think was a house made BBQ sauce on it that was very tasty. This was a damn good burger. I also used this post as an excuse to update my burger page on this website.

I was invited to try out the new brunch at Shorty’s Tap & Taco in The Waterfront. We tried so many different items. My favorite was the Chicken and Waffles. It had a nice breading and it was covered in hot honey. The Cereal Killer French Toast was also really good and different. The Smores Lil Jar of Happiness was also very tasty. This is a good brunch option if out in The Waterfront.

I needed some sustenance on an evening downtown and we went to one of my favorite places, The Warren Bar & Burrow. Sure my friends were trying to go someplace else and got the location wrong, but I wasn’t going to correct them. I love The Warren. The cocktails are the best. I got the Chicken Katsu sandwich for dinner. It was massive and delicious.

I found my new favorite pizza place in the Pittsburgh area at A Slice of New York in Export just past Murrysville on Rt. 22. I had been hearing about this place for a while as having the closest thing to a true NY style pizza out here. I took the day off from work and loaded my former New Yorker parents in the car to drive out. This was the closest thing we had to a true NY Style pizza out here and I’ve been living here 15 years. Sean, who owns A Slice of New York is also originally from the Bronx and everything he and his family is doing is to recreate that great pizza from NYC. It’s working and worth the drive. It was about 45 minutes for me from the South Hills, but worth it.

I met up with a friend at Meat & Potatoes before heading out to the pop up bars again. They were featuring items from the Butcher and the Rye menu. I got the Pig Candy roasted pork belly with apple & daikon kimchi, miso caramel sauce and cilantro. It was just as delicious as I remembered.

I experienced my first ever Feast of Seven Fishes at DiAnoia’s Eatery. Eating a meal of seven different types of fish is an Italian-American Christmas Eve tradition. I am neither Italian nor celebrate Christmas but this was a delicious meal I wanted to try. DiAnoia’s offered three courses. The first course was Fried Smelts, Ahi Tuna Crudo and Octopus Salad. The second course was Poached Swordfish, Spaghetti, Shrimp, Crab and Cherry Tomatoes. The final course was a Mediterranean Sea Bass Branzino with Potatoes and Tomatoes.

I did Jewish Christmas this year at Chengdu Gourmet in Squirrel Hill. They have a nice selection of authentic Chinese dishes. My favorites from the crazy amount of food we ordered were the Beef Triple & Tongue in Chili Oil and the Diced Chicken Chongqing Style.

One of my favorite phrases is All You Can Eat. I visited KuJira Suishi Bar in Shadyside to try their All You Can Eat sushi and it was fantastic. They have different levels of the All You Can Eat sushi experience you can purchase. The Pacific Experience is the starter level with basic appetizers, rolls, and sushi. We did the Tokyo Experience, which included higher end sushi, specialty rolls, and sashimi in addition to the basic appetizers, rolls, and sushi from the starter level. They also have an experience that includes a cocktail, wine or sake. All the sushi we ordered was nicely presented, very fresh and delicious. Our table really enjoyed the salmon sashimi, wagyu sushi, and grilled yuzu scallops. They can also do al a carte ordering if your party doesn’t want to do All You Can Eat. For special occasions, they can even do sushi boats. I think we got our money’s worth on the All You Can Eat.

I was at Chinatown Inn again. Still my favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh. I eat here at least once a month.

I ate at Everyday Noodles with Pamela @didyoueatyet. I hadn’t eaten at Everyday Noodles in a long time. The hand pulled noodles in my soup were great. I felt the flavor of the broth was a little lacking. The soup dumplings were good, but could have used a little more soup filling.

I got a late dinner at St. Clair Social. It’s my favorite Neighborhood Bar and Restaurant even though it’s not in my neighborhood. I got the chicken strips since I didn’t think I was that hungry. Five strips were pretty large with a thick breading and incredibly good.

I ended 2023 at Fogo De Chao. I haven’t eaten here since pre-pandemic. I wrote a blog post years ago about a crazy meal I ate at Fogo. I do love getting to try all the different meats.

Takeout and Food Trucks

I got Taqueria El Pastorcita at Grist House again. They are my favorite taco truck in Pittsburgh. I was there for the Penn State Peach Bowl game which they unfortunately lost.

After spending 6 hours at Grist House, I needed food again so I ordered an Iron Born pizza to take home. I got the Meat Pie and it was delicious.

Events

I went to a holiday event hosted by Made in PGH and Scene on the Blvd in Brookline. They had cocktails and vodka provided by Boyd & Blair. They had charcuterie provided by Kerry Out on Carson. There were pastries from Bethel Bakery. There was the option to make flower bouquets. We left with holiday candles from Rabbit Hill Candle Co.

I was invited to the grand opening of the Museum of Illusion Pittsburgh in the North Shore. This is the newest location of the museum chain in the world. It is a cool space for learning about illusions and also getting some cool photos.