Local food: thing of the past in the burgh?
January 30, 2014, 12:50 pm
Filed under: food, food issues, pittsburgh | Tags: , , ,

Only a matter of time I suppose. Post Gazette article talks about some restaurants getting fed up with the whole local food thing. It’s too HARD. Yep I get that. We don’t live in California, so our local food options create a not so glamourous menu. The sad part is that I hear in this article as well as from some of my local farm friends, that some supplier lists on local menus include farmers with whom they haven’t done business in several years?!! They’ve just kept the purveyors on the list so they look like good responsible restauranteurs.

UGH! Now that’s just plain sad. And it reminds me of the big scandal we heard about in Tokyo–where many products on menus were not as described. Hankyu Hanshin Hotels admitted that 47 different ingredients were involved. Selling cheaper shrimp as more expensive ones, frozen juice as “fresh”, “Home-made” cakes were purchased, etc. They knew that customers were looking for a quality brand product, so they left the menu descriptions intact while they served different items. Pretty terrible!

We’ve all heard the fish swap stories, that we’re not actually getting that great tuna or whatever we might think we are. But now it apparently applies to veggies in PA, too. I’m curious to follow up on this story, but then, I don’t really eat out that often. And I sure HOPE our one favorite restaurant is not among the deceitful. But I feel ok about it because we actually went to a farm event and heard from the farmer that he is STILL supplying his fantastic salad greens to Eleven.

I am really glum about this story. Not that surprised I guess, but still sad to hear it. At least these local restauranteurs in this article are keeping it real and deciding to be public about it.


local restaurants we like–pittsburgh
May 17, 2010, 9:19 am
Filed under: restaurants | Tags: , , , ,

We always struggle to think of where to go out to eat. Does it have veggie options? Is it really good food? Is it super expensive? And we draw a blank. And then we go to one of our faves. Lately though we’ve been experimenting a bit more and have added some new stuff to our list.

The Pines Tavern in Gibsonia. So far we’ve been here about 5 times. Always in the bar area. We’ve taken best pal, as well as best japanese pal there. The food is good. There are some vegetarian options, and they have their own garden. Cool! Last visit we noticed a huge expansion to their garden, and we saw their beehive too. Good article about them here.

Of course Mad Mexx is a staple. They have a great draft selection, and good veggie options, including the chick pea chili, referenced here..

Eleven–where it all began. A favorite, with a great cheese plate, wines, and delicious bread.

Il Pizzaiolo (no website). A very long journey for us now that we moved north and it’s WAY south. But the pizza is so worth the drive. Really excellent pizza. We love it there. We had a really wonderful night there last summer with best pal on the patio. We’ve also had many nice dinners in the wine bar out behind the main restaurant.

A great lunch place–Five Guys burgers and fries. We’ve got the order figured out. Veggie cheese sandwich, all the way plus green peppers, with extra jalapeno for me. And a regular (small) order of fries. Best if we’re there in four, for two it’s a bit too many fries. The fries are great, the sandwich yum, and at 2.99 a real bargain sandwich. The kids have a funny song for this place.

Kelly’s (no website). We haven’t been there for awhile now, but they have a great summer patio! And fish tacos. Worth a trip. We’ll be heading over there soon I think now that we’re into the summer.

Whispers Pub. Good beers on tap and the closest restaurant to us. If only I liked the food more. They do make a good black bean burger for lunch, and we took the doode’s parents in for that. But the regular  menu. Meh. Hard to get me to want to go there. They do make a good pecan ball ice cream dessert.

Legume–been there a few times for work dinners. The food is good, but it’s far east, and they could do a better job with veggie options.

Quiet Storm–the tempeh reuben hello? Yum. In the old hood, a fun place. Don’t get over there anymore. But good food and veggie to boot!

If only they could get their act together, we’d love to patronize the Double Wide grill. They have great veggie burgers! And other good food, and great beer selection. But alas, on more than one occasion we’ve had problems getting served. Apparently their kitchen is too small for the restaurant and on our last visit–after an hour of waiting, they told us it’d be another hour before they’d take our order? This was at 5:30 on a Saturday. Hello? Are you a restaurant or not? Work it out people!! It’s worth doing!!!

Latest addition to the list: Cross Keys Inn. Close enough to be our local neighborhood joint, we tried the bar last weekend. It was pretty good food. A few veggie options, a tad expensive. BUT….the desserts!! 5.00 is a great price for the best tiramisu!! We’ll be back for that reason alone I think. We asked the guy about getting more veggie options on the menu, and he replied: you know, “we follow the market.” For me that meant great everyone likes more veggie options. For the doode, this meant, listen sister, we’re in a major republican neighborhood here and they like their MEAT! Sigh. He’s probably right.