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!

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!

Training Week in Pittsburgh, PA

Last week was a week of training for me. That meant another trip to Pittsburgh, which I was looking forward to. I was able to go to some training sessions provided by my new employer, so I consider myself fortunate to have been provided that opportunity. Being in Pittsburgh for a week meant that there would be a lot of opportunities to eat, and I did just that. I’ll be writing quite a few short postings about the different food places in the next few days or so, so I will apologize in advance for all of the emails some of you will be getting.

My week started with me heading to the Wawa’s near me. I ordered a Salted Caramel Mocha Frozen Cappuccino. Try and say that five times fast. It was another good frappe from Wawa’s. The consistency was perfect. The flavor was really nice. The combination of the salted caramel and the mocha worked quite nicely. The fact that it was topped with chocolate whipped cream and chocolate chips made it even better. When I leave early on a Sunday for a 4+ hour drive, I need some sugar and caffeine to get my day started, and this helped kick-start my morning.

The trainings were going to be in the Hyatt House, so I decided to stay there this time instead of the Holiday Inn Express. The Hyatt House is a really nice hotel, and it is in a fancy part of town called SouthSide Works. I arrived around 2PM and hadn’t had any lunch, so I was hungry. I got a couple of recommendations, and decided on Hofbrauhaus, which I will write about separately. I did some walking around and picked up some treats from Bartram House Bakery afterward.

Since the trainings were running from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (plus extra time if needed), I knew that I would need to get some walking done in the mornings. Monday morning was a bit rainy, but I was able to get in a good 30 minutes of walking. I went to a place called Big Dog Coffee for my morning coffee drink. The first day of training was for Google Analytics 101. Very good training. I learned a lot of new things. A lot of information was going into my brain, but it was good and it was an enjoyable session. Lunch was catered, so we were able to have an hour break. I ate quickly and then took the stairs up to my room. This gave me an opportunity to get in some walking, including going up four flights of stairs. This was something I repeated every day that I had trainings, and it was good to get in the little bits of exercise. I decided to go to dinner at Nadine’s, which was one of the places that was recommended to me. I went back to Bartram House Bakery for dessert and called it a night.

Tuesday morning was a really nice one. I walked for about 45 minutes. Part of the reason I needed to do some more walking was because I ate a lot of food at Nadine’s, and felt like I needed the exercise. I got a coffee drink at Cup-Ka-Joe and then took a half slice of a breakfast loaf at the hotel. I wasn’t hungry, so it was a nice, light breakfast. Day two of training was Google Analytics 201. A lot more data going into my brain. All new things to me. The training was done really well and I felt good about learning so many new things. Some co-workers were going to be meeting up for dinner, but by the time they needed to set the reservations, I was still feeling full from my previous night of overeating. When the training was done, I decided to get in a lot of walking. I made my way to a Record/DVD/Video Game store and was able to procure a DVD that I had been trying to find for a long time. Needless to say, I was a very happy camper. I decided on trying another recommendation for dinner, the Double Wide Grill. I finished the evening with a chocolate chip cookie from Big Dog Coffee (I had gotten one the first time I went and really liked it).

Wednesday morning arrived and I was feeling pretty good. I went on a 50 minute walk. I went to Crazy Mocha Coffee Company for a coffee drink and a chocolate chip muffin. Training on that day was for Data Studio. That was a lot more data going into my brain and I was struggling to keep up in the beginning. Nothing to do with the training, just with my brain being on overload. But after I had time to clear my head after lunch, it all went smoothly. I was able to connect the dots from earlier in the day, so things really started to come together and it made a lot more sense. I learned a lot of cool things about Data Visualization that I never knew before. That night, the temperature dropped a little and there was some snow, and then some light rain. I walked quite a bit, trying to decide what to eat. I almost went to a place called The Columbian Spot, but I was drenched and didn’t want to walk in a restaurant like that. I ended up going to The Pita Pit, which turned out to be a very good meal.

Thursday morning came and there was a little rain, but I was still able to get in a 50 minute walk. I went back to Big Dog Coffee for a coffee drink and some banana bread. Training on that day was Search 101. My comfort zone is on the Display side with Campaign Manager and Display and Video 360, but Search is not something I’ve had much experience with regarding the platforms. It was nice to have this training, since this is part of the team I’m on. I was talking with the trainer and one of my co-workers, and they apparently went to The Colombian Spot the previous night. I might have seen them if I went in, instead of walking past because I was drenched. The training went really well and I was happy to learn and see the Google Ads interface. Much more of a hands on experience than I’ve had, so it was good to get a better understanding of how it all works. I decided to go to The Colombian Spot for dinner, and it was good. I got a milkshake at Fudge Farm to finish the night.

Friday morning was cold. And I mean COLD. There was no training that day, so I was going to be walking over to the office, which was about 1 mile away. I still wanted to get in some early morning walking, though. I only walked for about 20 minutes. It was just under 20 degrees outside, but the wind chill made it feel like the single digits. I can usually go without gloves once it’s 30 degrees and up, but my fingers were struggling even with gloves on. I went to Crazy Mocha Coffee for a coffee drink (it was the closest in proximity). and then had breakfast at Hyatt House.

They had an omelet bar, so I asked if they could make me a small one with ham and cheese. It went perfectly with the toasted English muffin, and then I added a side of potatoes. This was a really good breakfast. I was definitely happy with this, and I felt I needed something hearty since I would have to brave the cold for a one mile walk to work. Being in the office was great. I got to see my teammates in person, as well as the other people I interact with during a usual week. Lunch was catered by work, and there was a get together/new employee celebration at the end of the day. I made my way back, and decided to head over to Hello Bistro for dinner. I stopped at Bartram House Bakery for a final dessert and then called it a night (it was getting colder as it got dark).

Saturday, it was time for me to head back. Since I would be driving quite a bit, I knew I wanted to get a little walking in. When I got outside, it was only 10 degrees out and felt a lot colder. So I went to the closest place for a coffee drink, which was Crazy Mocha.

When I was heading back to the hotel, I saw the Planters Nut-mobile. This is not something that I have seen before, so I had to take a picture. I thought it was really cool. I made my way back to the hotel and picked up a couple of cinnamon mini-donuts for breakfast. I wanted something light, since I had plans for food on the way home. I made it over to Twistedoughs in West Virginia and wanted to have a cinnamon roll. They were still cooking, so I had to choose between waiting for 25 minutes, or picking something else. I decided to wait and it was worth it. I walked around the inside Market House for awhile, walked around the outside for awhile, and then got my food. It was a great way to round out my trip to Pittsburgh.

It was a busy week for me. I learned a lot, I walked a lot, I ate a lot. But I got to see a different part of town than the last time, so I had a lot of new experiences. This was a great week and I am happy that I had the opportunity. I hope that I will be able to lead some trainings of my own down the road, but time will tell. I also look forward to the next time I’ll be in town and will be able to try some new things. Definitely a positive stay in Pittsburgh!

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.

Visiting Pittsburgh, PA

This week, I had the opportunity to visit Pittsburgh. I drove about 4 1/2 hours to get to my destination. I had done a little research and had decided on a few things that I wanted to do and see while I was over there. I knew that I wanted to try a sandwich at Primanti Bros. I also wanted to visit Market Square and wanted to see the Fred Rogers Statue. I was able to accomplish all of those goals. The drive was nice and scenic. I had to make one stop along the way and it was pretty cold and there was a definite wind chill factor. When I arrived at my hotel, it was cold. Mid 20s with a wind chill in the upper teens to low 20s. There were a few flakes flying around, but nothing really sticking.

I made my way over to Market Square and started my afternoon with a sandwich at Primanti Bros. They are known for having French fries and Cole slaw in their sandwiches. The corned beef sandwich was recommended, so that is what I went with. I took a picture, but there was a green light that distorted the view, unfortunately. The sandwich itself was very good. I tried the fries on their own, and they were really good. But biting into the sandwich, the combination of flavors was great. The thing that stood out the most for me was the bread. I was expecting either toasted bread, or a bread that might have a tougher bite through to it. But the bread was nice and soft, with good flavor. It held together well, even though it was an overloaded sandwich. It didn’t get soggy from the Cole slaw and fall apart. It was definitely a good first experience with Primanti Bros. and I hope to have the opportunity to try them again (and again).

Market Square had a Christmas Village, so there were wooden houses everywhere. Right now, Market Square is an open public space, but it was apparently home to the first newspaper, first courthouse and first jail (all in the 1700s). So I was standing in the place of history, which is always pretty cool.

This is a picture that I took that cuts through the Market Square. It was overcast and mid-afternoon, so the picture is unfortunately a bit dark.

This was a few hundred yards away from the Market Square. There was an ice rink in the middle of these buildings and a nice looking tree (which you can barely see in the picture through the Market Square).

There is a lot of history in the city, so it was nice walking through and seeing some of them. Since the weather was so cold, I didn’t walk as far as I had originally intended. I was hoping to get in about 15 miles or so, but only ended up getting in 11 miles of walking around.

I was making my way across to cross the 6th Street Bridge, and PNC Park was right there for a nice photo opportunity.

Heinz Field

Pittsburgh used to have a sports stadium called Three Rivers Stadium. This picture isn’t the greatest, but I tried to get the point where the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers meet.

I made my way over to the Fred Rogers statue (Tribute to Children). The first shot is taken from behind, so you can see him looking out over the water. There is audio playing, so you can hear Mr. Rogers while you are sitting there. A really nice, touching moment to hear his voice.

The first two pictures are of the Fort Pitt Block House, which was built in 1764 and is the last remaining structure of Fort Pitt. The third picture is of the museum, which is a recreated bastion of Fort Pitt.

I took a bunch more pictures while walking around, but then made my way back to the Downtown area and walked by a Gloria Jean’s Coffee.

I had not been to Gloria Jean’s Coffee in a very long time, and it was good to go back. I ordered their Winter Wonderland Holiday Chiller. This is a frozen coffee drink that has flavors of sugar cookie, Madagascar vanilla, Hawaiian salted caramel and cinnamon. This had a good consistency and really nice flavor.

I made my way from Downtown to the South Side, and I was able to scope out a couple of places to go for dinner and for coffee in the morning.

I decided on The Pub Chip Shop for dinner. I was contemplating getting the Scotch Egg, but decided on getting a Scotch Pie instead. A Scotch Egg is a hard-boiled wrapped in sausage, breaded and fried. The Scotch Pie is lamb wrapped in a pastry shell with gravy on the side. This was very good. Not too heavy, the right amount of food for me. I would come back to this restaurant again if I had the opportunity.

I finished off my evening with a Peppermint Fudge Brownie Milk Shake from The Milk Shake Factory. This was a very heavy milk shake. Nice and thick with a good ice cream flavor, but there were also the bits of brownie and peppermint in there. I enjoyed the milk shake and would probably be getting at least one a week if I lived or worked close by.

I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express. They had an automatic pancake maker, which I had to try. The pancakes were good. You can’t see them being made. You push a button, wait about a minute, and then see them coming out and onto the plate.

Before I was going to head out, I decided to go to Delanie’s Coffee for a drink. I ordered the Turtle Blended Latte. It was a frozen coffee drink with peanut butter, caramel and chocolate. Triple yum!

Since it was a long drive home (more traffic than on the way in), I decided to make a stop for a late lunch/early dinner.

I stopped at the South Midway Travel Plaza and went to Steak ‘n Shake. I didn’t get a shake, but did get some food. I ordered The Original Double Cheese ‘n Fries. The burger had nice flavor and the skinny fries were also good. It was a nice finale to a couple of days of some good eating.

I thought I’d end this with a picture of the Clock in Market Square. You can see some of the buildings from the Christmas Market. This was my first visit to Pittsburgh. I was able to see some modern and some historical places. I was able to eat some good food. It was a great experience and I hope to have the opportunity to go back, do some more exploring, and eat some more great food!