Back to Pittsburgh – January 2020

Soon after the holidays were over, I was making my way back to Pittsburgh. There was snow in the forecast on the day I was leaving. It was not supposed to start until about 1PM where I live, and there was a slight dusting expected in Pittsburgh from 12PM – 1PM. So, I figured if I left around 9AM, I should miss the snow, except for a little when I got to Pittsburgh.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t think things all the way through. I was going to be driving through the mountains, and I didn’t factor in that detail. The snow started around 11AM in the mountains and continued until I was about 10 miles East of Pittsburgh. The higher elevation also brought some colder temperatures, so there were a couple of spots where it was a bit slick on the roads. But nothing too bad, or I wouldn’t be writing this.

My time in Pittsburgh was longer this trip. I was there for 4 1/2 days, so I was able to eat a lot more. Probably a lot more than I should have. I wasn’t able to get pictures of places I went with co-workers, but was still able to eat some good food and get some pictures.

When I first got to Pittsburgh, I decided to walk around town again. I walked through the Armstrong Tunnel. This was close to my hotel, and it ends up right by Duquesne University. The acoustics were great. During the stretch where I took this picture, there were no cars coming through the tunnel, but I could hear the cars that were driving above me. It was a nice experience.

During my walk, I made my way to Crazy Mocha, which is a local chain. I ordered their Mocha Frappe, and it was very good. Nice consistency and nice flavor, so it was a good treat to have while the temperatures were hovering in the low 30s.

When it came time to get dinner, I decided to take a walk along Carson Street. I had seen Tootie’s Famous Italian Beef the last time I was in town, and decided to stop in on this visit. I decided to go with the Beef Mac n’ Cheese. I watched as the sandwich was put together and thought the bread looked okay, the meat looked like it might be dry and the Mac n’ cheese looked okay. I brought it back with me to my hotel and didn’t have high expectations. But then, I bit into the sandwich. The bread had a nice crispness on the outside, and was very soft on the inside. The beef mixture was nice and juicy, and the Mac n’ Cheese was also really good. The combination of the flavors worked really well in the sandwich, but each individual component was good on its own. I was very happy with this meal, but even happier that they also had Grape Soda! It was a good start to my week.

The following day, a few of us went to Piper’s Pub. where we shared Scotch Eggs for an appetizer and I then had Bangers and Mash for lunch (really good). Needless to say, I wasn’t really hungry enough for dinner at the end of the day. There is always room for dessert, and I decided to go with a Chocolate Peanut Butter shake at the Fudge Farm. This milkshake was extremely good. They added melted milk and dark chocolate drizzle to the cup before pouring in the milkshake. This solidified once the cold milkshake made contact, and it broke apart nicely for some chocolate pieces. The shake was very thick. When I got to the end of the milkshake, there were a lot of chunks in the bottom of my drink. They looked like little mini buckeyes, which I was later able to confirm to be true. Delicious milk shake, and I’ll be going back there the next time I visit.

The next morning, I was ready for a long walk. I decided to make my way over to The Pretzel Shop. I got a sweet sausage and cheese Pretzel sandwich for breakfast. The pretzel had nice flavor and texture. The sausage was really good. This was a really good breakfast sandwich.

When it was time for dinner, I went with a recommendation of a co-worker and took a short walk from my hotel to Cilantro & Ajo, which is a Venezuelan Street Food restaurant. I asked the server for their recommendation, and they recommended that as a first timer, I should go with a Pabellon Arepas. This had shredded beef, black beans, plantain and queso fresco on a white corn meal patty. I’m not usually a fan of black beans, but they worked well here. There was a green sauce that came with this sandwich, and the green sauce was magic. I look forward to trying some of their other food when I’m back in town.

They had this soda, so I had to try it. It’s sort of a red cream soda, and I really enjoyed this.

I also got dessert from Cilantro & Ajo. I ordered a Tres Leches cake, and it was also very good. Super sweet, which I enjoy. The cake was not too soggy and not true dry. The icing added a nice flavor and consistency, and was a good way to round out the night’s food.

The next morning, I walked over to Just Good Donuts, which is inside the Pub Chip Shop (right next to Piper’s Pub). They had quite a few good looking options, but I decided to try the Yinz Cream Donut. The vanilla buttercream had nice flavor, the donut was perfect in terms of flavor and consistency. The chocolate glaze was outstanding. This was a really good donut and I wish that I had eaten more.

When it was time for my last night, I decided to try Hello Bistro. Although they have burgers, I went with a custom salad instead. You pick the ingredients, and then they chop it up for you (if you want) and toss in the salad dressing of your choice. This was a really good salad and I’m glad I tried it. They also have burgers which I’ve been told are really good, so I’ll have to try those next time.

A bonus for me was that they had a Boylan soda fountain, so I had some birch beer with my salad.

Since I had a salad for dinner, I figured it would be okay to have some Insomnia Cookies for dessert. I had the Deluxe Triple Chocolate Chunk and the Deluxe S’Mores cookies. They were both really good, but the Triple Chocolate Chunk was my favorite of the two.

I had a really nice visit in Pittsburgh. I met some good people, I ate some good food, and I got to do a lot of walking around. I am looking forward to my next time in town, and look forward to trying some new foods.


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