Sunday, June 23, 2013

August Henry's City Saloon

Located right across from the Megabus stop in downtown Pittsburgh, this place is super convenient! it also didn't seem to have a separate bar room!! Amazing. Very peaceful during the day, and an extensive menu for both food and drinks. I would love to try their stromboli...and steak...and beer! a good beer selection! so nice.

Anyway, we got fried zuccinni as an appetizer - it was OK, pretty standard. HUGE portion though, like 5 giant slabs of zucc. Only managed to eat one, ha ha. Marinara sauce was good, didn't try the horseradish.

Ordered a Cobb Salad, and it was HUGE!! A whole egg, half an avocado, tonnes of chicken and bacon and corn and nacho strips...glad I didn't get bleu cheese on that sucker. Good TI dressing, but I could barely eat half of the thing. Ay yay yay!

Drinks were great, coffee included.

Overall:
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 7/10

Laura says: oh my god they make the biggest salads. in like not a great way? i guess if you were only eating here and then going straight home it would be nice but then you just have impossibly huge food to eat. it was alright food but i guess but i don't think i'd go back.

Round Corner Cantina

This place reminded me so much of this random resto in Ocean City(?) MD that I went to with Tim when Jane was at a wedding. Sprawling, loud, a little obnoxious...windy....

We wanted to sit outside, so we had to wait for a seat-yourself table for a long time, which is super awkward. What a bad system!! Also because it is loud and crowded, the servers seem distracted. They do have a fetch-your-own water station, which I liked. Anyway, the drinks are served in jars, which is cute, but they are also approx 9 dollars, which is not cute! >:(! The food consists mostly of 2tacos, although they had chips + guac which are v. good. I got the carnitas tacos...they were OK, but had corn tortillas (bleh) and a weird too-sweet-too-strong sauce. Good meat and cucumbers though. I bet a different taco would be better, but I don't think I have strong enough reason to come back...especially since it opens at 5 and seems all but impossible to get an isolated, peaceful table. Also it is smokey on the patio. I did note that they have a lot of vegetarian options!

Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 5/10

Laura says: maybe i just have decided that i love cantina, but i love cantina! it's very crowded on weeknights, apparently, but besides how busy it is (and how pricy it can be) the tacos are some of my favorite in pittsburgh and their cocktails do live up to the price.

G & M Dog'n Burger Shoppe

No picture for this elusive Bloomfield diner! It's great, though. Very cheap prices (like 2-3 dollars for everything hello) and the food is great (although terrible for you i'm sure!!). I got a breakfast, eggs, toast, sausage, bacon, juice, potatoes. It was tasty all, except the toast perhaps (the cooking oil was a bit stale, I think). All for like 5 bucks. They also have burgers and hot dogs and a few sandwiches. I would totally go back! With my parents, because they'd love it. Ha ha.


Overall
Cost: 9/10
Taste: 7/10

Laura says: i like this place a lot! it's so so cheap and the short menu for me is a plus. i'd like to go back once i know the protocol for ordering/seating, which was pretty much the only downside.

Kelly's Bar & Lounge

Apparently very popular (just check the reviews on yelp!) but I didn't see the appeal. A narrow chunnel with a long bar on one side and a bunch of small tables on the other. Not really a place for food, but they do have a lot of cool cocktails and a small selection of decent beers. The prices are OK, especially if you stick to the singular drink special of the night, but nothing outstanding. I didn't get any food there, but I hear it's decent bar fare. My dark and stormy was good, tom collins was eh.


Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 7/10

Laura says: i love kelly's! their cocktails are my (and mostly everyone's) primary reason for going but i also really like their appetizers and i don't think i've ever felt as comfortable in a bar as i do at kelly's. there are booths and a patio and it's not usually too crowded aside from friday or saturday nights.

Harris Grill

Apparently a very hip place to be for the young + beautiful of the 'burgh! Super crowded, but since we didn't sit outside or in the bar-room (seriously, what is this) we didn't have to wait long for a table upstairs. Still, nice interior.  Friendly service. I got great frozen sangrias for like 3$ each! Unexpected!

For an appetizer, we got the spinach dip with pita triangles, which was very good. Hard to mess up spinach dip, I know, but this is in the upper range!

I got the hanger steak (med rare), which was great. Had a scary-looking cilantro paste drizzle, but don't worry, it was safe. Potatoes, broccos. Very satisfying. Also I was so full afterwards holy crap.

I should note also that the menu is quirky and has funny names for everything! Great for "my kind" (people who like to order things with funny names) except they don't tell you exactly what's in everything so you have to ask awkwardly. YOU HAVE TO. :P I'd like to come back here, too!

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 8/10

Laura says: the jokey menu descriptions and silly names of things weird me out here. the place is really spacious and all the food i've ever had there is good, but it's always so busy and loud and is more expensive than i'd like. there's just nothing too noteworthy for me about harris grill.

Pleasure Bar

A nice little bar/resto on Liberty Ave in Bloomfield's Little Italy. The name makes it sound like there might be exotic delights inside, but mainly it was a lot of elderly women drinking soup. Either way, I found pleasure. A cozy, welcoming atmosphere in the dining room; a deadening, uncomfortable one at the bar. (Why are all of PGH's "hip" restos split into a bar room and an eating room? What is this, Pat's Pizza??)

We ordered the 'Italian Egg Rolls (4)' appetizer, which was some fried meats and zucchinis, and was pretty tasty!

I got the chicken marsala, which was good at the time, but then I saved my leftovers and saw the congealed fat in the sauce and it was just an offputting time. Soo I can't give an unbiased account, but I think it was pretty good fresh and pretty awful the next day. Like fried rice but worse!!

Anyway, I really liked this place on the whole and would return.

Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 8/10

Laura says: i didn't expect to like pleasure bar at all? but then i kind of did? it's more of a kitschy italian restaurant than how it looks from the street would suggest. i mean, we only ate in the restaurant part and didn't go to the bar, but the restaurant part was so family-friendly and looked like it had hotel art and nicknacks or something.

Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich - Sausage, Egg & Cheese

On road trips, I've always liked McDo's Sausage McMuffins, so I thought this might be a nice healthy at-home version of that treat. But alas. The bread is bad, the sausage is fine, the cheese is fine although it seems to be a small circle, and the egg is horrible!! horrible!! not that i've ever had a good frozen egg patty, but this is just a bad time. I put a lot of mustard on it and managed to eat all 4 after a few month's time, but I don't think I'll revisit this line of frozen delicacies :(

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 4/10

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Simply Lemonade with Blueberry


  Clearly this isn't "SIMPLY LEMONADE" anymore, because this one has blueberry flavor! Ha, ha. Anyway, I like it a lot -- tastes like the strawberry lemonade from a can my grandma used to whip up -- a special treat, in other words. It is very sweet, so I can only handle a half-glass at a time, but it's also very tasty. 

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 8/10

I have no idea what happened to the formatting in this post, btw. 

Knorr Chipotle Rosa Pasta Sides

Sigh. There used to be this amazing Lipton("knorr") pasta side called "nacho pasta". It was spicy and cheesy and beautiful, and I'm pretty sure I read at least 6 Harry Potter books the first time while eating it alone on the floor. weird food nostalgia. Anyway, those are gone now, and a few months ago, this came out -- and it looked super similar, so I was excited. Unfortunately it's nowhere near as good. It is still spicy, but maybe too spicy, or the flavor is a bit 'off' -- I can't put my finger on it, but it just isn't great. Eating a whole pot isn't even pleasant!! So that's the sad story. If I had never had nacho pasta, would I like this? I'm not sure. I think I would think it's "OK" every now and then, but nothing special. :(

Edit: somehow I'm drawn to this, especially with meat and asparagus or green beans. When cooking, smells kind of like a carnival, zoo, or fairground? Idk but I think it's a good thing.


Overall
Cost: 8/10
Taste: 7/10

Mad Macs/ Matilda's


This is where I come for Trivia #2 (stay tuned for trivia 3 at Mojos on Wednesday, if I'm lucky!) Anyway, it's usually crowded with, as they say, townies, but it's high-energy and the food is generally very good. The trivia is also good! Anyway, this is kind of a weird tacobell-kfc combo place: Mad Macs is a mac-and-cheese place, Matilda's an Australian-themed burger place -- I guess they merged!! It's confusing and weird. But worth it, as long as you aren't alone (don't come here alone unless you're very brave).



portabello mac: probably my least favorite mac so far, but still cheesy and calorie-satisfying. very mushroomy which i'm discovering i don't necessarily love.
the pizza one, i think, is good, or the spinachy one. burgers are also good, i think. beer sampler always fun.


american mac: has hot dogs and mustard in it. "What??" you say, but it actually isn't bad. In a small dose. (I got the sampler, you see).

buffalo chicken mac: at first, not bad, good chunks of chicken and very buffalo-y. But I can only enjoy a few bites and then it's just too much!

snooki mac: basically just regular mac and cheese with little sausage circles in it. So: good but boring!






Overall
Taste: 8/10
Cost: 5/10




Sunday, June 9, 2013

TGI Friday's

For some reason, I never really liked TGI Friday's, but now I do! They have an allergy menu (standard disclaimer: you may still die) which is nice. Here are foods I have enjoyed there:

Spinach Dip: always a fun app! good dip, strong chips, nice work.

Jack Daniel's Burger (w/ sweet potato fries): excellent burger, excellent fries, excellent.

Carmel Cake: A Safe Dessert!! Pretty standard cake slice, dollop of vanilla ice cream, but very enjoyable. yum.

Taste + Share plates: Sliders (good!), Bruschetta (decent!), hibachi skewers (meat+veg good, but the pita not so much...)

acai berry sour: solid drink
jackberry smash: grate!
ultimate sangria: nice!

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 8/10

Lean Pockets - Supreme Pizza

More like Supreme Disappointment, am I right? Only not really, because it's a well-known fact in my life that  hot/lean pockets really just aren't very good. Probably the same fats/calories as a delicious sandwich, but instead we have this soggy tube of  ~3 processed meat cubes and goopy sauce-laden cheese. It isn't bad, it just really is not good. I always make one and then the other one remains in the freezer for months until I'm desperate for a quick food (that isn't even filling!!!!!!). My advice: pass on the pockets.

Overall
Taste: 5/10
Cost: 7/10