Harvest Fried Chicken – Woodbine, MD

Yesterday, I decided to go to Harvest Fried Chicken for lunch. I used to go to a dentist’s office that was in the same shopping center, so I saw the place, but I always had morning appointments, so I was done before it opened. Even if it had been open, I tend to not want to eat some food right after my teeth are feeling really clean. I kept thinking about going over there, but never made my way. It’s been about a year and a half since I last went to the dentist, and it was an out of sight, out of mind thing.

When I was visiting Pittsburgh for my new job, I was talking with one of my co-workers. He was also a co-worker when I had a job in Baltimore, but he left a few years ago to be back in Pittsburgh and to work with a good company (our current employer). I was talking about how I enjoy trying different foods and like finding places to do during my travels. He brought up Harvest Fried Chicken. It’s about 30 miles west of Baltimore, and he mentioned how he used to really enjoy going there. I knew the place, and so the thought was in my head of taking the time to go there. Yesterday was the right time.

This is in the middle of a sort of strip mall setting, and if you blink you might miss it. When you walk in, they definitely have a chicken theme. I think it’s pretty neat to see all the figurines and pictures all over the place. I could have taken another 10 pictures and still not captured everything. I think this makes it a fun setting.

They had some nice looking hot sides, but I already knew what I was going to be ordering. I had checked out the menu on-line and saw they had corn fritters, so I knew I would be getting those. I also wanted a drumstick for the dark meat and a breast for the white meat. They list a House Recipe Cole Slaw, so I figured I would round out my meal with that.

The corn fritters were little bite sized nuggets. I had the option of having powdered sugar, and I said yes. Not something that I’m used to, but if they offer it up, it must be something they usually do, so I wanted to try it that way. Having them as bite sized nuggets is perfect. They had a perfect crunch on the outside, and the inside had the nice sweet corn creaminess. A nice balance of textures and flavors. The powdered sugar on the outside gave it an extra boost of sweetness.

The Cole slaw was really good. The flavor was sweet and tangy at the same time. It was chopped very fine as well. The chicken was also very good. Nice and crispy on the outside, and the seasoning blend on the skin was really good. The inside was tender and juicy. It also had some really nice flavor to it. The seasoning was all the way through to the meat, so you could still get those nice flavors even if you only ate the meat.

I got a haircut, got my taxes squared away, and got some really good food for lunch. Definitely a great, positive day!

Twistedoughs – Falling Waters, WV – February 2020

When it was time to leave Pittsburgh and head back to Maryland, I knew where I would be making an extra stop along the way. I had been to Twistedoughs the last time I drove back from Pittsburgh, and really enjoyed it. I ordered the biscuits and gravy (and a pretzel), but had my eye on the cinnamon rolls.

When I got there, I was told it was going to be about a 25 minute wait, since they were in the oven. I decided to check out The Market House and I also walked around for a bit. When they were ready, I decided to sit outside to eat. It may have been in the 20s, but I had a warm cinnamon roll and that was all that I needed. The cinnamon roll was humungous. It almost took up an entire standard sized container. It was still hot, so they gave me the icing on the side.

I have a big hand, so I tried to take this picture to show how big this cinnamon roll was.

I put some icing on it, and then took this picture (before it started to get melty). I think this picture shows off the size better. If you look at the size of the fork in the background, that should give you some perspective as to the size of this cinnamon roll. I was not able to eat this all at once. This was a two and a half meal treat for me. So waiting almost 30 minutes for this – definitely worth it. I would do it again. I would wait an hour for this. From the outer portion to the filling to the icing, this was a truly delicious cinnamon roll. This is definitely something you can share with 1, 2, or 3 other people.

I brought a pretzel home with me and had it later on. While it was not as big as the cinnamon roll, it still was a big pretzel. This is sitting on one of my big plates. The pretzel is also really good. The outer crunch is good, but I really like the inside part of the pretzel. Perfectly baked, nice layers, and tremendous flavor.

Stopping by at Twistedoughs was definitely a perfect way to cap off my week of good eating. And it was an easy way to stay in a positive frame of mind.

The Colombian Spot – Pittsburgh, PA

I was thinking about going to The Colombian Spot on Wednesday when I was in Pittsburgh. I was drenched because I had been walking around in the rain, and I decided not to go into the restaurant, since I would have felt bad tracking all that water with all the patrons in there. The next day during a training I was talking with my co-workers and they mentioned that they had eaten there that night. So, I decided to go on Thursday instead. It would have been good to eat with my co-workers, but sometimes things just work out differently.

The place was packed. There were quite a few families there, so it was fun seeing all the smiling faces. I looked over the menu and decided to order two things from the Appetizers section. The entrees looked good, but I knew that I had to monitor my food intake, since it had been a busy week of eating.

The first thing I ordered was Pernil Con Tostones. This was slow cooked pork, black beans, and crispy plantains. The pork was delicious, juicy and very tender. I’m not usually a fan of black beans, but these had really good flavor and texture. The plantains were nice and crispy on the outside, with a slightly soft inside. When the three components were combined together, it was a truly wonderful flavor experience.

Since I was having the pork appetizer, I decided to go with a vegetarian empanada, which was stuffed with rice, black beans, and spinach. These were good empanadas. The filling had nice flavor, but it was the breading that stood out to me. It had a nicely fried texture, was not greasy, and had a nice corn meal consistency to it. And with the other food, it was the perfect portion for my dinner. This is definitely a “Spot” I can see myself visiting again.

Double Wide Grill – Pittsburgh, PA

Continuing with my week of eating in Pittsburgh, one night I decided to stop by the Double Wide Grill for dinner.

The decor was really cool. I felt like the only thing missing was a car on a rack and some drill sounds.

When it was time to order food, I had quite a few options to choose from. Some items on the menu sounded really good, but I had barbecue pork on my mind, so I ended up ordering the BBQ Pulled Porky with a side of Cole slaw. The Cole slaw was really good. I could have eaten two or three more portions of this and been a happy camper. The pulled pork sandwich was also really good. The bun was a nicely toasted brioche bun, so you got the soft bite with a little bit of a crunch from the toasting. The barbecue sauce was a very vinegary sauce, and it worked really well with the pork and with the sandwich.

If I worked there all the time, I would probably be visiting this place once every week or two. Good variety of food, and if it is all as good as this was, it would keep me coming back for more. A worthwhile, positive experience.

The Pita Pit – Pittsburgh, PA

During my visit to Pittsburgh last week, I had plenty of opportunities to eat some good food. On the first day of walking around, I noticed The Pita Pit, which was pretty close to my hotel. I made my way there on Wednesday night. The Pita Pit has locations all over the place, but this was the first time I had heard of it, so it was new to me.

While looking at the menu over and over again, I struggled with a decision. I finally decided on the Thai Chicken Pita. They had a double meat for $1 special, so I went with that.

This was a really big pita. You can’t really tell from the picture, but this was pretty much the size of an extra large burrito.

This was a really good sandwich. The double meat was probably too much food for me, but it was worth it. The Thai satay and veggies added some tremendous flavor. By the end of the pita, about half the meat was on the wrapper. I had a fork and ate it all up. There were some really good layers of flavor and the pita itself had nice flavor and texture. If I’m close by, I could see myself trying some of the other items on the menu, but I’d also be just as happy getting this one again!

Crazy Mocha Coffee Company – Pittsburgh, PA

On one of my previous visits to Pittsburgh, I tried Crazy Mocha Coffee Company and I liked it. When I was going to be there last week, I noticed that there was one really close to the hotel where I was staying, so I knew I would be there at least once.

I went there on a Wednesday morning after a long walk and decided to try a Peppermint Mocha Frappe. The consistency was perfect, and the flavor was great. The peppermint flavor went well with the mocha, and was a nice and refreshing treat.

I decided to go with a chocolate chip muffin for breakfast from there as well. This was a very good muffin. The sugar crystals on top added a nice burst of sweetness. The inside part was nice and light, and this accompanied the frappe nicely.

On Friday morning, the weather was really cold (20 degrees with a wind chill in the single digits), so I didn’t want to venture too far from my hotel. I went back to Crazy Mocha and decided to order a white chocolate mocha frappe. This also had good consistency and a nice flavor.

My original plan was to have two visits to Crazy Mocha, with the second one happening on the day I left (Saturday). Since it was so cold Friday morning, I ended up there. And Saturday morning was no better. The weather was in the teens and felt even colder. I wanted to limit how far I walked, so I stuck with Crazy Mocha for the third time. I got a Peppermint Bark Mocha Frappe this time. The consistency was great once again. The flavor was really good, too. This was different than the peppermint mocha because they had a peppermint bark syrup that they used, so there was the white chocolate base in there.

Three visits, three really good coffee drinks. Definitely has me looking forward to my next visit to the city!

Big Dog Coffee – Pittsburgh, PA

While I was in Pittsburgh last week, there was a need for me to have some coffee drinks (frappes). There were a couple that were in walking distance of my hotel, including Big Dog Coffee. I walked there the first morning I was there (I had arrived the previous evening).

I decided to go with a Mochaccino. This was a very good coffee drink. It had the perfect consistency, and it had a surprisingly sweet coffee flavor. It worked really well and I was happy to have gone there.

There are some pretty cool decorations all over the place, and there was even a working fireplace that first morning, when it was a bit cold. The atmosphere was very friendly, and it seemed like there were quite a few regulars who were there extra early in the morning.

They had these chocolate chip cookies. These cookies were fantastic. Nice and soft on the inside, not too crunchy on the outside. They were so good that I went back a couple of times just to get a cookie.

I went back on the Thursday morning for a coffee drink and possibly something for breakfast. I ordered a Caramel Mochaccino the second time. It was another good frappe. It had nice flavor and a good consistency. The mochaccino was my favorite, but the caramel mochaccino was also good. The banana bread was a good breakfast treat. It was a thickly sliced piece, so it was a perfect amount for breakfast. The banana flavor was nice. Not overbearing, and not something that you had to struggle to try and get the flavor. It had a heavier consistency, but that worked really well as a balance to the coffee drink.

This may have been a little off the main road, but they do have a big sign outside, just in case you need to find it. Good coffee, good cookies, good treats, and a really nice atmosphere made me happy to have been able to try this place last week.

Nadine’s Bar and Restaurant – Pittsburgh, PA

On the first day that I arrived in Pittsburgh last week, I asked for recommendations. Nadine’s was one of the places that was recommended. I was warned that it was not a fancy restaurant, and I was okay with that. The main road that I have been used to in Pittsburgh is Carson Street. Nadine’s is about a block and a half off the main road, and further East than most other places, so I think it’s one of the places that is more for the locals.

When I walked in, there was a very small area. It was pretty much a small diner/bar. This was apparently on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, which I think is pretty cool.

I was looking at the menu and trying to decide on what I would be eating for dinner. There was chicken fried steak, which sounded really good, but I decided to go with a fried bologna sandwich. It was not expensive at all, so I decided to also order some tater tots, which were also pretty cheap.

I got my money’s worth and then some! There were a lot of tater tots. I wasn’t going to be taking leftovers, and I wouldn’t want to be rude, so of course I ate them all. Every last one. It meant that I had to do a lot of walking the next day, but it was worth it.

The fried bologna comes on fresh sliced bread, with peppers, pepper jack cheese and mustard. The first thing that grabbed my attention when my dinner was being made was that a loaf of bread was taken out and then sliced. This was not just a plain old sliced bread, it was fresh sliced, which was not expected. I watched as the bread stayed on one part of the grill, the bologna was on one part and the peppers were on one part. Once the sandwich was completely built, I was more than ready to chomp down.

The bread was nice and soft, almost delicate. It had a nicely crisped outside due to sitting on the grill, but very soft and light on the inside. Biting into this sandwich, the flavors all came together really well. The part that really took this over the top was the mustard. It was not a standard yellow mustard, and it enhanced this sandwich.

I wanted to go back for a breakfast sandwich, but never made my way there. This is a place that I plan on heading back to when I’m on that side of town. Good price, great portions, great food!

Bartram House Bakery – Pittsburgh, PA

During my visit to Pittsburgh last week, my hotel was a about a three minute walk from Batram House Bakery. As a result, I ended up going there a few times throughout the week.

My first visit was on the night I arrived. I had a very big lunch/dinner at Hofbrauhaus, and waited a few hours before venturing out for dessert.

When I arrived, I started looking at the goodies. So many nice looking items to choose from, but I was leaning towards a cupcake. Then I saw a sign that indicated that the pastries were on sale (if you purchased two). So, I decided instead to go with the pastries.

I started with a chocolate croissant, which was my dessert for the night. This was a really good dessert. The bites that had the chocolate on the inside were truly delicious. The crust was nice and flaky. It was easy to bite into, and the soft bites of chocolate added a perfect amount of sweet. I was happy with this choice.

The other pastry I went with was the croissant. I saved this for the morning. Even though it sat overnight, it still had a really nice crunch to it. The inside was very flaky and had a really smooth flavor. This was a really good croissant and was a nice breakfast treat.

The next night, I went back to the bakery again for dessert. Fortunately, they still had the cupcakes, and I went with chocolate, although the vanilla was also looking quite good. The cake part had a nicely baked outside, and the inside part was very light and fluffy. The flavor was very good. The frosting was almost like a mousse and was also delicious. The bites with both the cake and the frosting were exactly what I would want from a cupcake. So I was a happy camper.

On my last night, I went back to Bartram House one last time. This time, I went with the S’Mores bar. It looked too good to turn down. There are three main components to a S’mores bar, and they did a great job on two of the three. The marshmallow topping was perfect. Nice and gooey, but not so much that was hard to bite through or would stick to part of your face. The chocolate layer was incredible. Probably the best chocolate layer I’ve had in any store bought S’mores bar. The graham cracker crust was the only part that missed the mark. Not on flavor. It had really good flavor. My only problem with it was that it broke apart too easily. There were some bites that the crust fell before I got it into my mouth, which was disappointing. It is a shame, because it had good flavor. And when all three were together in one bite, it was a great S’mores bar.

I would be happy to go back to Bartram House the next time I’m back in town. I would easily order any of these items again, or try something new. Knowing that there is a good place for some tasty sweet treats is an easy way for me to stay positive.

Hofbrauhaus – Pittsburgh, PA

On my first day back in Pittsburgh, I had to decide where I was going to eat. It was just after 2:00 PM, I hadn’t had lunch, and I was pretty hungry. I did a little walking around to see if there was anything that stood out, but I decided on Hofbrauhaus. I think it was already in my head, since I had checked it out online before I left, but at least I got some walking done first. This was right next to the hotel where I was staying, so the walk home wouldn’t be bad (even though I would walk around town even more after I had my lunch/dinner).

This is a beer hall, but I don’t drink beer. I think that this would be a really cool experience for people who enjoy beer and want to get a little taste of a German beer hall.

When I sat down, there was an accordion player making some music. Some people were getting into it more than others, clapping along to the music. I thought it added a really nice touch and gave the feeling of being in a different place.

There were long wooden tables with benches, so you could be seated next to complete strangers, depending on the time of day. I got there in between lunch and dinner, so I had some space to myself. As I was looking through the menu, the tough part was deciding on one thing. If I was there with other people, I probably would have been happy to get a couple of appetizers and maybe split one or two things. But since it was just me, I had to think about what I could eat without leftovers. I have a completely different mindset at home, but when I’m on the road, I am not thinking about leftovers. I didn’t order a beer, but did order a root beer. 🙂

When it came time to order my food, I decided on a Schnitzel sandwich, and I replaced the French fries with Potato soup. The soup was really good. It was a creamy soup with some really good flavor. There were chunks of potato and bits of bacon in there as well, so it was a good way to start the meal. The schnitzel sandwich had a fried pork cutlet on a brioche bun with lettuce, onions, and their signature Bier Cheese (I asked for it without tomatoes or pickles). The schnitzel itself was really good. Nice and crispy on the outside, and juicy and full of flavor on the inside. Easy to bite through as well. The brioche held up well, but there was a lot more schnitzel than bread, which made me quite happy. The bier cheese made this extra special. It had good flavor, and it worked really well with the schnitzel sandwich. It is probably really good with pretzels, but maybe I’ll get to try that some other time.

As far as a start to the week, it doesn’t get much better than this. Good food and a good environment make it easy to stay positive!