Pittsburgh Eats: Pamela’s Diner

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If you’ve never been to Pamela’s Diner, then stop what you’re doing and pencil it into your schedule asap.

It’s not fancy, but it’s so good. There are several locations around the city to choose from so you likely won’t have to travel far to get there. I’ve been to the Shadyside, Strip District and Squirrel Hill locations and they are all great. They are only open for breakfast and brunch/lunch, so make sure you get there early.

Each location has old photos and a very vintage theme. The menu is simple, it’s affordable and the portions are huge.

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They have the best breakfast potatoes. I have no idea how they make them, but they are so flavorful and creamy. I usually end up getting the two egg breakfast which comes with two eggs, the potatoes, a breakfast meat and toast.

They also have pretty yummy pancakes. They aren’t super fluffy, though. They almost look like a crepe. The last time we were there Eric got the banana and walnut pancakes and they were awesome.

They don’t serve alcohol, so if you are after a boozy brunch this won’t be the place for it.

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It’s also a cash only restaurant, so make sure you have enough cash before you go because they don’t have ATMs inside. Eric and I made that mistake the first time we went there and had to walk down the street to an ATM.

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Have you ever been? If so, what’s your favorite thing to order?

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Pittsburgh Eats: Blaze Pizza

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This week I got to try out the new Blaze Pizza in Monroeville ahead of its grand opening today. It’s the first Pittsburgh location for the chain, which started in California. Tomorrow they are offering free pizzas all day, so definitely go check it out if you are interested in trying it.

It’s considered a fast-casual restaurant. Basically, the concept is a build-your-own personal pizza. For a flat price you can get all the toppings you want. It’s essentially set up like an assembly line similar to something like Subway or Chipotle. Then once you pick all your toppings it’s thrown into a wood-fired oven to bake. It only takes a couple minutes and then it’s ready. They also have some menu items to choose from if you don’t want to build your own. In addition to the pizzas, they also offer salads.

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I chose to try the white top pizza off of the menu. It comes with a white sauce, mozzarella cheese, arugula, garlic and oregano. I left off the bacon that normally comes on it and added roasted red peppers to it instead. It was really good. The wood-fired oven gives the crust a really good flavor and cooks it just right. I also tried their signature blood orange lemonade. It was good, but pretty sweet.

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They have indoor and outdoor seating as well as take-out. The patio actually looks really nice.

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Overall, it’s a neat concept for pizza that I don’t think you can find anywhere else in the city right now. I’ll definitely be back, especially since it’s only a few minutes away from my office!

Pittsburgh Eats: Pittsburgh Juice Company

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I love supporting local businesses.

When I sit around and day dream about what I’d like to be doing I envision myself and Eric running a small used bookstore and cafe. Buying a building and living in an apartment upstairs while running the business downstairs. So, all that to say I really, really admire people who take the huge leap of faith and open their own small business. Because I know it’s not easy and there’s a lot of cost and risk involved.

Pittsburgh Juice Company has been open for a couple years and I’m glad to see they are doing well. I actually wrote an article about them opening when I was in grad school and got to see the behind the scenes of how they  make the juice.

They offer all different types of fresh pressed juices from fruit and green juices to smoothies and almond milk. They also offer smaller elixirs and shots like wheat grass and immunity boosters. The prices range from a few dollars for some of the smaller shots up to around $10 for the larger juices.

One thing that I absolutely love is that the juices come in glass bottles that you can return to receive credit toward your next juice. It’s such a win-win because it’s better for the environment and it provides an incentive to come back.

I recently stopped in to pick up some juices to have as my breakfasts and lunches because I’m trying to get more nutrients and eat better. I thought having some juice on hand would still give me what I needed, but give my digestive system a bit of break from all of the deep fried stuff I’ve been eating lately.

I picked up the berry-watermelon, green juice, witch’s brew and the green goddess smoothie. The berry-watermelon is the easiest to drink. The green juice is really good, too. It’s made with cucumber, apple and baby spinach. The witch’s brew is a lot more intense because it has all the ingredients of the green juice with celery, kale, lemon and ginger added to it. I didn’t care for the smoothie. It was really, really thick and I just couldn’t get into it.

I definitely suggest checking them out if you are looking to try some fresh pressed juices.

Weekend in Pittsburgh

 

 

Top: Chicken shawarma sliders from Poros, left: my last red lip of winter right: yummy pina colada

Happy Friday, friends! This week actually went by kind of fast for me, which is a nice change of pace.

It goes without saying that I am extremely bummed the weather has been snowy this week. It doesn’t appear it will get much warmer over the weekend, but there are still some fun things going on around the city that might take your mind off the fact that there’s still snow on the ground.

If you want to pretend like it’s summer already, check out Phipp’s Party in the Tropics tonight. They will have cocktails, food and a DJ and the botanical gardens will be set up like a tropical rain forest with waterfalls and greenery.*

If you want to be transported back in time, maybe Divas Night on Saturday at Spirit in Lawrenceville will do the trick. You can dance to songs from Beyonce, Prince, Janet Jackson and TLC. Nothing lifts the spirits like dancing to old school music.*

If you aren’t feeling as wild, there’s the Knit and Crochet Festival going on at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. There will be speakers, classes and other exhibits all weekend.

If tea’s your thing, head to Arnold’s Tea in North Side for Winter Tea Fest all weekend and Self-Tea Teafest on Saturday. You will have a chance to make your own tea blends and compete in a contest to get it on the menu. This is a really fun tea cafe that does events all the time.

If you are looking for a fun movie experience there’s always Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville. If you want somewhere yummy to eat check out Smoke right next to the movie theater (get the queso dip, it will change your life).

What are you guys going to be doing this weekend?

*You must be 21 to go to these events.

Pittsburgh Eats: Park Bruges

Park Bruges was one of the first restaurants I visited when I decided to move to Pittsburgh. It was Mother’s Day and my mom had come with me to Pittsburgh to look at an apartment in Highland Park. We got there early, so we decided to pop around the corner from the apartment for lunch. We found Park Bruges on Bryant Street and loved it. (Side note: I ended up moving into that apartment and falling in love with Highland Park all together, but that’s a post for another day.)

Park Bruges, notesfromemilyblog
Park Bruges is a relatively small restaurant and it’s usually packed for dinner, so it’s best to come early or for lunch. They also fill up for brunch on the weekends. I’ve never been for brunch, but I’ve heard it really good.

Park Bruges, notesfromemilyblog
The menu is French inspired with things like poutine and mussels, but they also have more American foods like a gourmet grilled cheese and a hamburger.
They have the best Mediterranean platter on their appetizer menu. It comes with two kinds of hummus, veggies and different breads. They also have really good salads and the best champagne vinaigrette.

Park Bruges, notesfromemily
The prices aren’t super cheap, but not overly expensive either. It makes a nice spot for a lunch with friends or a date night with your significant other.