Park Bruges Cafe, Photo by Jenny MacBeth

Park Bruges Café Pittsburgh


My fellow foodie and niece, Nicole, and I, are big brunch peeps. We love our cocktails, and food. We are definitely related. Nicole mentioned that we need to hit up Park Bruges Café located in Highland Park area of Pittsburgh.

Park Bruges Cafe, Photo by Jenny MacBeth

If you visit Pittsburgh, you need to get there. If you live in Pittsburgh, and haven’t tried it, you need to get there. It’s a popular place for brunch, and they do not take reservations. You may have to wait for a seat, or eat at the bar. Tip: Arrive early; before they open at 11:00 AM. You’ll be seated pretty quickly.

Nicole and I always try to order several things off the menu to split.  It gives us a wide variety of their flair. Their brunch menu is pretty big with lots of options. If you’re indecisive, you’re screwed. Another reason to share your food. They also have great brunch beverages.  We ordered from their Prix Fixe Brunch menu for $20-24 per person. You get a choice of entree, side dish and beverage. Nicole ordered their Omelet of the day.

Park Bruges Cafe, Photo by Jenny MacBeth

I had the baked eggs in chili verde; green chillies, pulled pork, chipotle crema topped with two poached eggs and fresh tortillas. I’m not a fan of poached eggs, but my mouth watered with every bite. We also munched on a few must-have side dishes that included potato gratin and smoked, apple bacon. The portions are large, so be prepared to take food home.

Park Bruges Cafe, Photo by Jenny MacBeth

To wash it down, we had the house mimosa and a Bloody Mary, both satisfying.

According to  Yelp reviews, the mussels are fantastic, and they have a long list of craft beers with some hard-to-find selections on draft. I will need to go back.

Overall, I’m a big fan. The food was delicious. The cocktails were refreshing. The customer service was exceptional. The atmosphere was contemporary and bright.  Pleasing all my senses. Park Bruges is making my Pittsburgh Favorites list.

Park Bruges and Point Brugge are owned and operated by the same people. I’ve never been to Point Brugge, but I will need to try it out in the near future. Nicole, when can you go?

Have you been there? What do you think? Shoot me a message.



Habitat at Fairmont Pittsburgh


Just because Cinco de Mayo is over, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some Mexican favorites. Besides, margaritas are best all year long.

On May 5, for my niece’s birthday, we took a cooking class at Habitat restaurant located at 510 Market Street, Pittsburgh, PA in the Fairmont Hotel. The hotel is only two years old, and absolutely lovely. I’ve never stayed here, but from the great attention we received for just an afternoon, I can tell it’s a fine venue to lay your head.

At the Habitat, the food is internationally inspired, but uses “locally sourced, organic and sustainable items wherever possible.” The atmosphere is contemporary and very relaxing.

Each month the Habitat hosts a different cooking class where you get an apron, a hat, recipes, and enjoy the meal you helped prepare. The class is a low-hands on approach. – They didn’t let us use knives. Thank goodness! Chef Luis Jimenez knife cut everything as though it were butter. Very. Sharp.

photo by Jenny MacBethThis is by far the best experience at a restaurant I ever had. I highly recommend other restaurants to do this. Not only do you get to enjoy a meal, you get to hangout with the chefs and help prepare it. How cool is that? As you will see in my photos, it is well worth $65 per person. We spend that much eating out at The Cheese Cake Factory with no fun times in the kitchen. Just so cool.

We were greeted by Sous Chef, Paula Smagacz, our host for the afternoon. She was super sweet, very talented and funny. Thanks Paula for an enjoyable day.

First things first…

photo by Jenny MacBethChef Paula, took us on a tour of their two-story kitchen filled with different types of chefs. The kitchen was immaculate. When eating out, do you ever wonder what the kitchen looks like? Pretty neat to see it, and know it’s spotless.

Here you see a statue made of chocolate. I’m not sure I could eat it. Hell! Who am I kidding. It took much discipline not to reach out and snap a piece off…

photo by Jenny MacBethEspecially, the bunny ears. Look how cute!

photo by Jenny MacBethAfter the kitchen tour, they made us Skinny Margaritas. Can I get a Hell Yeah?

Here is their recipe.

2 oz. Patron, or any tequila

1 oz. Cointreau

2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice

1 oz. agave nectar

Put rim of glass in lime juice, then roll in coarse salt. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Pour into glass and enjoy.

photo by Nicole AustinThis was spectacular. I think I asked, “May I have another?” about three times.

photo by Jenny MacBethLet’s get cooking…

Season whole chicken breasts with salt and black pepper. Coat a saute pan with oil and sear chicken on both sides over medium high heat. Chef Luis said it’s better if you use the grill.

Toss in one tablespoon of each of the dried spices of sweet paprika, smoked paprika, cumin seeds, and dried oregano. Cook in pan for a few seconds then add chicken stock enough to cover the meat. Lower the heat to medium low. Simmer mixture for about 20 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

photo by Jenny MacBethRemove chicken from broth and pull apart. If you are going to store it in the refrigerator, pure some broth over it to keep it moist.


Chicken breasts

Salt and Pepper


1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Chicken stock

photo by Jenny MacBethI did not know this, but using radishes in your steak marinade helps tenderize the meat. Chef Luis used Skirt Steak. He also said you could use Flank Steak. I always have a problem with it even using processed tenderizers. He simply poked the steak with his fork on both sides and used a radish in the marinade. He also said the best method is use a pizza docker and roll it over the meat to help tender it.

Marinade recipe for the steak tacos:

Skirt Steak

Salt and pepper

Oil (enough to cover the meat)

1 bunch parsley, chopped

2 sprigs thyme, chopped

2 springs rosemary, chopped

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 whole daikon radish, peeled and sliced

photo by Jenny MacBethNext up is Chimmichurri. Yum. Yum. I could make this and use it on my sandwiches. Just divine.

The recipe:

2 bunches parsley, rough chopped

1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped

1 garlic clove

Lemon, juiced to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

In a blender or food processor, pulse the fresh herbs and garlic. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend. Slowly drizzle in enough olive oil to create a sauce. Taste and season as needed.

photo by Jenny MacBethGuacamole. The recipe is simple. I didn’t get a recipe card for this one. However, it was pretty close to mine, but he added in red onion and green onions. For guac, you don’t need a recipe. Put whatever you want in it. It’s easy.

photo by Jenny MacBethGuess what I’m getting at the Mexican grocer this weekend? For the tortillas, simply follow the recipe on the back of the bag. Smoosh it together in a bowl with your hands. Fun! Create golf ball sized balls…

photo by Jenny MacBethAnd, smash it in this handy tortilla maker. You can use a rolling pin, but that’s no fun. I’m picking up this handy tool. It’s under $10. Why not?

photo by Jenny MacBethSpray your pan over medium heat and cook on both sides until slightly golden.

photo by Jenny MacBethRoasted Tomato Salsa. Best salsa EVER.

3 tomatoes

3 onions

3 jalapenos

3 red bell peppers


1 tablespoon orange juice

Salt and pepper

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Wash all vegetables and toss with a small portion of oil to coat. Place the vegetables in a roasting pan and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 45 minutes until everything is charred well. Allow to cool until able to handle. Remove seeds from both peppers. Blend vegetables and orange juice. Season with salt and pepper then fold in the chopped cilantro.

photo by Jenny MacBethAre you a sushi fan? Well, this is not sushi, but it’s raw fish cooked by juices. Ceviche.

White fish (bass, snapper, or yellow tail), sliced sashimi style

Jalapeno, brunoise

Shaved garlic




Green onions

Shaved red onions

Red pepper, brunoise

1 tablespoon each of fresh lemon, lime and orange juice

photo by Jenny MacBethMix in all ingredients and add the citrus juices a few minutes prior to serving.

photo by Jenny MacBethThe juices will start to cook the meat. You will see the pink fish turn white.

photo by Jenny MacBethSprinkle with fresh cilantro.

photo by Jenny MacBethFor dessert, Flan. As much as I love custard and caramel, I’m not a fan of flan. However, I have to say that this was good.

photo by Jenny MacBethSpanish Cinnamon Flan:

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 cups heavy cream

1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks

Pinch of salt

To make the caramel: Have ready a 2-quart round flan mold and a large roasting pan. Combine 1 cup of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a heavy-bottomed pot.

Place over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar begins to melt. Swirl the pan over the heat until the syrup darkens to a medium amber color, about 10 minutes. Do not stir with a spoon.

Remove from the heat and immediately add the lemon juice, swirl the pan again to combine, and then pour into the flan mold.

Tilt the mold so that the caramel evenly coats the bottom and a bit up the sides. Place mold in the roasting pan and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bring a kettle of water to boil for the water bath and keep it hot.

Combine the cream, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the cream to a brief simmer, stirring occasionally. Take care not to let the cream come to a full boil to prevent it from spilling over.

In a large bowl, cream together the whole eggs and yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and salt. Whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick.

Temper the egg mixture by gradually whisking in the hot cream mixture (don’t add it too quickly or the eggs will cook).

Pass the mixture through a strainer into a large measuring cup to ensure that the flan will be perfectly smooth. Pour the custard into the caramel-coated mold.

To create the water bath: Pour the hot (not boiling) water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the side of the mold; be careful not to get water into the custard.

Carefully transfer to the middle oven rack, and back for 30 to 45 minutes, until the custard is barely set and just jiggles slightly.

Let the flan cool in the water bath, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the inside of the mold to loosen the flan. Place a dessert plate on top of the flan and invert to pop it out. Done!

photo by Jenny MacBethMy finished plate.

Time to eat. In the center of the dining room, they have, what they call, a “communal table.” We all took a seat and started to enjoy our meal. May I have another Margarita?

photo by Jenny MacBethIn this picture from left to right: Nicole, Chef Luis, Chef Jenny <wink>, and Chef Paula.

We had a blast. Not only did we get to enjoy a delicious dinner, we met many wonderful people from the chefs to the lovely ladies at our table. How fun!

The Habitat is the second restaurant to make my Pittsburgh Favorite list. Outstanding. “The experience is one to share.”


dunkin donuts glazed donut breakfast sandwich

Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich at Dunkin Donuts


Girl Likes to Eat was invited to tryout Dunkin Donuts new breakfast sandwich. I wasn’t interested in trying it, but when asked, I said, “Food? I’m there!” I’m also a big fan of their coffee, and of course, the donuts. I’m definitely a DD girl. I’ll buy a dozen of their plain donuts, drizzle them with maple syrup, and sprinkle lots of chopped bacon on top. It’s the perfect mix of salt and sweet. I just wasn’t sure about adding an egg to the mix.

DD says,

We’ve gone and changed breakfast forever. Again. Bite into this smorgasbord of bacon slices and pepper fried egg, sandwiched by a Glazed Donut.

Smorgasbord means hearty, right? This sandwich is airy and light.  Nothing wrong with that, but it is deceiving. There are two thin slices of bacon and the egg isn’t fried, it’s microwaved. Again, a bit deceiving. You can choose your protein, and maybe that would be a heartier choice, say ham.

dunkin donuts glazed donut breakfast sandwich

A good breakfast sandwich, to me, has cheese. This does not. I’m not sure why? Perhaps it didn’t work well with the donut, but they make cheese filled donuts, right? Am I being gross by wanting cheese on this sandwich? Having no cheese, the donut sandwich only has 360 calories compared to their bagel sandwich at 460. The glazed donut sandwich is obviously the smarter choice.

I took the first bite. At first, it was sticky and weird. Tip: If you eat one, use the wrapper to hold it. I took the second bite. Not too bad, I thought. You would hope for that perfect balance of salt and sweet, but the glazed donut overruled the egg and bacon. I still like the sandwich, but would suggest more bacon, and why not cheese? I’m not letting the cheese thing go.

Overall, it is a decent sandwich. It’s even better with a DD coffee, which I love. Will I try it again? Probably, but I’m asking for double bacon, and cheese!

Have you tried it? What do you think?


salmon, tuna, white fish sushi

Jimmy Wan’s Pittsburgh


Jimmy Wan’s is a Pittsburgh favorite for a fusion of Chinese cuisine with a Japanese influence. Jimmy’s is a casual fine dining experience from their contemporary atmosphere to their mouth-watering dishes. We eat here often and always try new things. Jimmy has never disappointed us.

They have two locations in Pittsburgh. One in Cranberry and the other in Fox Chapel. They have been in the area since 1985. We frequent the Cranberry location, and have yet to try the one in Fox Chapel.

entrance to jimmy wan'sShall we go in…

cucumber saladCold Cucumber Salad with ginger and a hot spice of red chili peppers. Oooo so good.

tar tarTokyo Tar Tar. Salmon, Tuna, White Fish. The tuna was our favorite.

salmon, tuna, white fish sushiJimmy Wan’s sushi is like butter. It just melts in your mouth. Yummy!

filet mignonVietnamese Filet Mignon. Moan-worthy. This was the special, and we told the managers that they need to add this to the regular menu. By far our favorite EVER.

chocolate molten lava cakeMolten Ghirardelli Cake. I’m not be into sweets, but the darkest Ghirardelli chocolate gives this cake a perfect balance. Oooooo.


Not only is the food delicious and the atmosphere relaxing, the service is top notch exceptional.

I highly recommend you get there if you can. Enjoy!



photo by Glen Green

Soba – Pittsburgh


Fellow foodie and adult-beverage-drinking friends, Karla and Jess, invited Glen and I to Soba’s Farm Feast Tasting Menu. Soba is located at 5847 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, and is a part of Big Burrito Restaurant Group. They own several popular restaurants in the area, including Eleven. Having Soba on our Bucket List, we were excited to try it out.

photo by Glen GreenShall we go in?

photo by Glen Green


photo by Glen Green

We found Soba to be very unique and relaxing. We absolutely loved the smooth rock water feature expanding two floors and an entire side of one wall. Very peaceful.

photo by Glen GreenThe farm feast has a tasting menu of $35 per person, including four courses. You may also accompany the courses with a wine paring for $20, giving you four different types of wine with each serving. We thought the cost was a great value.

Soba featured products from McConnells’ Farm, Cunningham Meats, Heritage Farm, Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance, and Mose Miller’s Farm in Lawrence County.

The thing I love most about a tasting menu is that you don’t have to worry about decisions. The menu is already planned. I’m sure many people would have an issue with this, but as a foodie, there is nothing better than to experience new cuisines. If you are one of those picky people, you can order off Soba’s Japanese-fusion style menu.

Shall we eat?

photo by Glen GreenFirst Course:

Ahi tuna with sesame seed, gingered carrot sauce, and shiitake mushrooms.

Pork wraps with cucumber, sprouts, and rhubarb sweet and sour sauce.

Elysian fields lamb taco with radish, green chili, tomatillo sauce.

Soba paired this first course with a 2010 Trajarinho Vinho Verde.

All the flavors melt in your mouth with subtle hints of all the herbs and spices. A perfect balance and very pleasing to taste.

photo by Glen GreenSecond Course:

Summer vegetable paratha. It includes spicy mango pickle, sweet and sour eggplant salad, green bean mallum and spicy cucumber salad.

Soba paired this course with a 2007 Argyle Riesling.

Each salad had it’s own unique flair. I wanted more.

photo by Glen GreenThird Course:

Black sea bass. It includes asparagus, wild mushrooms, root spinach, Chinese ham, fermented black beans in a lemon ponzu sauce.

Soba paired this course with a 2007 Masciarelli Montepulciano.

Glen not being a mushroom fan, I got to benefit from his portion. It was beyond anything I’ve ever tasted. I ate it slowly to appreciate every bite.

photo by Glen GreenFourth Course and Glen’s favorite:

Berry shortcake with coconut cream, yuzu, and white chocolate.

Soba paired this course with a 2007 Chateau Loupiac Gaudiet.

Not being a white chocolate fan, I really enjoyed this. The pastry was perfect and the dessert as a whole was heavenly.


Soba will have a second Farmer Dinner during August 13 through August 16. I highly recommend you try and get there.

Because we were blown-away from the atmosphere, outstanding service, and talented chefs, Soba is making our Pittsburgh Favorite list. Exquisite dining.

Have you experienced Soba? What’s your thoughts?


Photo by Glen Green Photography

Eleven Pittsburgh


For Father’s Day Glen and I took his family to Eleven, located at 1150 Smallman Street Pittsburgh, PA. We’ve had many opportunities to dine here, but something always got in the way. We were very excited to finally get there.

The restaurant is a ‘contemporary kitchen.’ We were all smiles when we first walked in. Since we arrived a little early, we checked in and the hostess took us to the bar area for a very small wait.

With my eyes wide open, I’m impressed at first glance and found it to be very dark, relaxing and enjoyable. However, as we wait for our table, sitting in the big comfy chairs, our eyes narrowed to the stains and spots on the furniture. I was a little apprehensive to sit down.

Shall we order?

Photo by Jenny MacBethIt’s the little things that I love to experience. The brunch menu is small. Which I like. I hate needing to make food decisions. It’s hard for me <smirk>.

photo by Jenny MacBethBecause I had a wonderful time with Meat & Potatoes Brunch Bloody Mary Bar, I wanted to compare Eleven to one of my favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh. Eleven has different types of Bloody Mary’s. I opt for the Bloody Maria. – A jalapeno fused cocktail. A spicy drink, and I really enjoyed it.

Though the drink WOWED me, as you can see from the photo, the presentation did not. I really liked the creativity of Meat & Potatoes presentation. It was interactive and unique. At those prices, give the customer a little fun for their money. Sorry Eleven, M&Ps spoiled me.

Photo by Glen Green PhotographyJust looking at that breakfast basket is making my mouth water as I type this. Eleven gives you a basket filled with a moist variety of muffins, The butter was light and whipped, and the jam was a perfect addition. Love this.

Photo by Glen Green PhotographyWe ordered the cheese platter appetizer. It was good, but not extraordinary.

Photo by Jenny MacBethI ordered the Eggs Benedict Pittsburgh style. Served with pastrami and black truffles. A delicious choice, as so it would seem. – Enjoying my meal, and almost done, I had to excuse myself to the bathroom because I needed to spit out a big piece of chewy gristle.

Photo by Jenny MacBethHuevos Rancheros. This is a classic Mexican breakfast dish that mainly consists of fried eggs served upon lightly fried corn tortillas topped with a variety of greens and sauces. Sorry Eleven, it is good, but not satisfying. We were comparing it to Meat & Potatoes brunch version. M&Ps is bigger and better with lots of layers.

Photo by Jenny MacBethYour average omelet, potatoes and smoked cured bacon just for dad. We found all of it delicious. The potatoes were perfectly cooked. This would be my highest recommendation from the brunch menu.

Photo by Glen Green PhotographyOf course we ordered dessert. Mom and Glen are big dessert eaters. I can handle a bite or two, but I’m a salty kind of girl.

Here we have a Creme Brulee. One of Glen’s favorites. They can’t make a brulee dish big enough. However, not this time. The dessert was cold. They must prepare it then store it in the refrigerator. We did not like it as much as the other desserts.

Photo by Glen Green PhotographyThis is the Molten Lava Dark Chocolate Cake. Heaven. So divine and an artistic presentation. Definitely worth the calories.

Photo by Glen Green PhotographyWe’re told this is their most popular dessert. I’m blanking on the name, but it’s something to do with Peanut Butter. I preferred the molten cake, however, Mom and Glen devoured two of these.

Overall, it was finally nice to try it out, and we’ll probably go back for Eleven’s dinner menu. Not to mention, Eleven has excellent customer service. Our server was new, and you couldn’t even tell had he not told us. In the end, we found it to be a little pricy for not being blown-away.

Have you’ve eaten at Eleven? What are your thoughts? What would you recommend?


photo by Jenny MacBeth

Meat and Potatoes Pittsburgh


Our first pleasure of eating at Meat and Potatoes was when it first opened last year. It is one of our favorite places in the city of Pittsburgh. In fact, its made our Pittsburgh Favorite list.

About Meat and Potatoes

Owner, Chef Richard Deshantz also owns Nine on Nine in Pittsburgh. – On our Bucket List.

Chef Richards’ favorite type of food is simple and approachable; it is the type of food that a chef would eat after a busy day at work. Meat & Potatoes, Pittsburgh’s first gastropub, was born in the spring of 2011.

From About Meat and Potatoes


Meat and Potatoes is located at 649 Penn Avenue in the heart of the Cultural District, neighboring the Benedum Center and Heinz Hall. Make plans to visit before, or after, your show.

Let’s go in…

photo by Glen GreenThe atmosphere is country-contemporary.

photo by Glen GreenThe make-your-own Bloody Mary Bar. This is available during Brunch. You choose your vodka, and add whatever your heart desires. Mine was bacon fused vodka adding in horseradish, roasted red peppers, garlic and garnished with olives. Though, Glen and my sister ate my olives.

This is very cool and clever.

photo by Glen GreenBecause we had eight people in our reservation, they sat us in their very quaint, private room. You need to make reservations by calling 412.325.7007.

photo by Jenny MacBethThe Banana Foster. Perfect. I’m not a fan of bananas, but this dish just has a subtle taste of banana. It’s a perfect balance of flavors. Blown-away.

photo by Jenny MacBethFriend Chicken and Waffles seem to be a trend in Pittsburgh lately. This is the best in town! The waffles are fused with jalapenos. The chicken is a perfect mix from the crunchy breading to the mouthwatering juices. A must try.

photo by Jenny MacBethTheir version of Eggs Benedict is topped with corn beef. It is by far the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever tried.

photo by Jenny MacBethYour basic eggs and sausage with fried potatoes. I love the cured meats and the potatoes were perfectly cooked with light butter and onions.

photo by Jenny MacBethFrom the bun to the burger topped with an egg, it is a scrumptious burger indeed.

photo by Jenny MacBethHuevos Rancheros. All I can say about this is that you need to get there and try it. Moan-worthy.

Meat and Potatoes have four menus. Brunch, Lunch, Dinner and Libations. From the service and the experience, to the talented and creative chefs, this makes it one of my favorite places in Pittsburgh.

Get there!


The Porch at Schenley Pittsburgh


What can I say? The Porch is amazing. Before you even read my post, I recommend you get there and experience it for yourself.

The Porch was recommended by my niece, but I was a little apprehensive about it. I had heard that it is, “College student food.” So, I’m thinking burgers, noodle soup, and french fries.  – The Original Hot Dog Shop (aka The O) kind of food. It is centered in college town of Pittsburgh, but I would not call this student food. It is affordable, but I don’t think students eat that well. I consider this casual fine-dining.

The Porch opened in November 2011. When I first walked up to the newly constructed building, I was transported in by its open window design and contemporary style. The Porch is located at 221 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA. The building gives Schenley Plaza a facelift.

My niece and nephews Birthdays are all within a month of each other, so I decided to take them out to dinner to celebrate. And, mostly to spend much needed quality time with them. I hope you enjoy our celebration…

the-porch-at-schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethIt was about 6:30 on a Saturday, the beginning of prime-time dinner hour. I was a little concerned there might be a wait. The Porch does not take reservations, however, they promote on their web site a wait list. You give them your cell phone number and The Porch will text you when a table is ready. They also post on their site the average wait time, so you can use your smartphone to check before even getting there. We walked in the door and was greeted by our friendly hostess and was seated.

They also have outdoor seating, and the side walls (garage doors) open up to the plaza. Once the weather gets warmer, I’m going to have to plan a lunch outing with my co-workers. They are going to love this place.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethThe interior is very clean and environmentally green. The windows surround The Porch filling the room with warm natural lightening.

The kitchen is partially opened to the dining area. The sound does not interrupt your experience. From the outside you can gaze into the kitchen from the big picture window; lined with fresh baked bread and homegrown spices.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethI really appreciated the style. You are surrounded by cool elements that are soothing to your sense of sight.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethAbout the design:

The Porch at Schenley is a final piece of the plaza’s decade-long revitalization project. Created by Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, it is the first full-service restaurant in the area. Mark Broadhurst, director of concept development, wanted The Porch to have an “at-home” feel, so he called upon international design firm WD Partners, known for its environmental sensitivity, to create the building’s green design.

– By VALENTINA, Pittsburgh Magazine

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethHomemade farm bread ($4) served with homemade honey butter and jams. The butter and jams were just the perfect touch of sweetness, and the bread was better than Mancini’s. Shhhh.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethAlligator soup ($6). Odd for most, but it tastes like bacon. You thought I was going to say chicken, didn’t you? Little chunks of potatoes, alligator, and Nicole said, “It’s just like tortilla soup.” You can’t even tell you’re eating alligator.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethI of course had to have one of their specialty beverages. This bad boy is their Pineapple Sage Margarita ($8). The pineapple is so subtle, it tasted just like a regular margarita with sage. – Still very good, but I was expecting something different.

The Porch also has homemade seasonal soda; which was very tasty.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethThe menu has a lot of variety. It truly is hard to pick something. Thank goodness we had a party of four. We all tried to order something different. They have five different pies and we ended up with three.

This is the Verdure Al Forno ($11). Our tables favorite. The pizza has roasted mushrooms, roasted red pepper, oil cured olives and fresh oregano. By far the best fire cooked pizza I’ve had since my chef friend, Jess, cooked Glen and I a pie. Outstanding!

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethNicole and Brandon trying to decide what to get. We wanted it all. I think our waiter had to come back three times before we could decide.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethCalamari ($10) served with crispy zucchini and a spicy marinara sauce. Again, this was high on my list of bests.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethThe BBQ Chicken ($12). This is delicious if you like BBQ sauce, but I’m not a fan. The pizza is topped with roasted chicken, red onion, pineapple, cilantro and drizzled with BBQ sauce. I’d really love this pie if they put the BBQ sauce on the side. – I’m sure I can request that next time.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethWho wants to join me for happy hour? $3 drafts! I’m there! Since I had a margarita, I’m not sure of the beer selection.

What? 1/2 off pizzas. I still need to try the Bianca: Fig jam, goat cheese, mozzarella, arugula, and truffle oil ($13). I’m thinking that the Bianca is going to be my all-time favorite.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethDillon and me. I see a slight smile. He’s still a teenager, so he’s just learning.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethCan I do all caps here? THIS IS THE BEST DUCK. The best! Blown-away. We all agreed on this one. Duck Legs ($20) are charred ramps served on fava bean (a Hannibal Lecter favorite) salad, foie gras, and a blueberry-champagne sauce. All I needed was a nice Chianti. Demons sing.

the porch at schenley, photo by Jenny MacBethThis is the Piggie Pie ($14). The pizza is topped with house-cured meats, mozzarella and basil. It faired well with us, but not our favorite.

Hats off to The Porch. We were blown away. Dillon walked away saying, “Wow! This was really nice. Thank you.” I loved it so much that The Porch is the first restaurant making my “Pittsburgh Favorites” List. I will definitely be heading back again and again. – I want to try everything on the menu.



Del’s Bar & Ristorante DelPizzo

Del’s is located at 4428 Liberty Avenue in the Bloomfield section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Del’s Italian Restaurant is owned by third-generation Delpizzo family. They have been on Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible. Seems that Del’s is pretty famous, and I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it.

Del's exterior, photo by Jenny MacBethLast week, a few of us went for their lunch buffet. When you first walk in, you think it’s small, but it continues from one room to the next. Each area has a different look. We are greeted by our waiter, Rocco. Rocco ROCKS! Loved him. He pointed out a flyer on the table talking about Restaurant Impossible. The reruns are on April 28 and 29, 2012. My DVR is set.

photo by Jenny MacBethWhy is it when you eat at a buffet, you feel the need to pile it on?

Being a bit of a germ-a-phobe, buffet’s can make me quiver. However, I talked to my inner self and said, “Self. It’s $7.95 all you can eat Italian food.” – I got over it quick. You can order off the menu if you can’t handle it, but it’s $7.95. Unheard of.

The buffet had lasagne, meatballs, chicken parm, fish, hot sausage, a few different pastas, pizza, green bean Alfredo, and salad. I skipped right over the salad and went straight for the heavy. I tried a little of everything. If you’ve been reading my posts, then you know that Italian food using red sauces have to be really yummy for me to eat it. Well, I loved their lasagne. Delicious.

A big meatball fan – Del’s meatballs are pretty good. Still, my favorite meatball is Monroe Hotel in Butler.

Rocco told us to make sure we try their green bean Alfredo. I’m glad I did. Yummy!

The fish was nom nom too. It had a lemony taste in the breading. Perfect.

photo by Jenny MacBethOn their excellent customer service…

As I mentioned, each room has a different look. My friend Wiv, loved the butter-cream color of this room. She inquired with Rocco for the name of it. Rocco brought out the owner. The lady was super sweet. She said that she might still have some paint upstairs and would check on the name. A few minutes later…

photo by Jenny MacBethShe gave a can to Wiv to take home and use. Now that’s what I call a doggie bag.

I highly recommend trying Del’s. Great customer service. Fun staff. Good food.

We did not have an issue with parking, but I could see it being a problem during rush hours.





Since starting my food blog, I’ve decided once a month to choose a restaurant on our Bucket List, and invite friends to join in. – The Posh Dinner Club.

Party of six. Nicole, Carey, Hector, Karen, Glen and I visited Savoy located at 2623 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA in the Strip. As you’ll see throughout the photos, Savoy’s food has a rich Louisiana-style flare.

First things first…

They have free valet parking. A big plus in Pittsburgh.

savoy menu, photo by Glen GreenYou are greeted at the door by a gentleman who takes you to the hostesses. – Giving you that feeling, “I’ve arrived.”

Feeling like I just arrived, we had a small wait for our table; even with a reservation. However, Savoy has a lovely sitting area to talk with friends before dining.

savoy interior, photo by Glen GreenAs soon as the door opens, you are transformed into a small contemporary space. – Very pleasing. I really love the glass fireplace above the bar.

The staff are amazing. Excellent customer service. You go to the bathroom, they fold your napkin. Your water is empty, they pour it. – Even though a bottle of water is on your table, if you go to pour it yourself, they will apologize.

We experienced a three hour meal. There’s a loll between courses, however, the friendship made it enjoyable.

wine, photo by Glen GreenKaren and Carey shared a bottle of wine. Not much of a craft beer selection, so Nicole and I opted for…

jali-berry, photo by Glen GreenA Jali-Berry. A sweet berry martini fused with Jalapenos. Very good. Very strong. Quote of the night, “When you put it to your mouth, it smells like jalapeno.”

cheers, photo by Glen GreenCheers!

good friends, photo by Glen Green“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” – James Beard

Because it was our first visit to Savoy, we wanted to experience as much food as possible without bloating. No such luck. – Bloated. Portions are big.

Appetizers average $10…

chili, photo by Glen GreenThe chili has a hint of curry which I love. However, it was lukewarm, and looked as though it had been sitting for a bit of time. All-in-all, it was still a good chili.

crab chicken gumbo, photo by Glen GreenThe Crab and Chicken Andouille Gumbo is a smoked-flavor gumbo with pepper, onions, wine, and seasonings. I love a good gumbo, but thought the smokey flavor was over-powered by the numbing taste of salt.

corn bread, photo by Glen GreenThe Cornbread was served with the soups. It was light and fluffy, and just perfect.

fish tacos, photo by Glen GreenPan Seared Tilapia Tacos served with avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion and spicy mustard remoulade. I’ve only recently tried fish tacos, and find this taco to be an excellent appetizer, or even a meal; if you don’t want to share.

mushroom tart, photo by Glen GreenWild Mushroom Tart is assorted wild mushrooms sautéed in a flaky tart shell with Madeira wine demi sauce. It too, was a bit salty.

Entrees average $30…

lamb chops, photo by Glen GreenIf lamb chops are on the menu, it’s a must try. Savoy’s Lamb Chops is Elysian Fields Lamb served with a mint demi, accompanied by spinach risotto and baby carrots. The chops melted in your mouth.

chicken waffles, photo by Glen GreenA big trend it seems is Fried Chicken and Waffles. Rumor has it that chicken and waffles first gained popularity in 1930s Harlem, when the after-hours’ crowd was looking for something to eat that satisfied both their dinner and breakfast cravings. Whatever the truth, this southern comfort combo is exploding all over the Pittsburgh area, so I had to try it.

It’s simply that. Boneless breast, leg or thigh, with corn pudding and Pennsylvania maple syrup. This dish was delicious. I absolutely love the chicken breading. It was perfect. The corn pudding had a slight hint of something artificial to it. Not sure exactly what it was, but definitely not my favorite. A few friends tried it and thought it was okay.

beef two ways, photo by Glen GreenBeef Two Ways is a beef brisket cube and grilled bistro filet steak with compressed mushrooms, haricot verts and cauliflower silk. This dish was acceptable. The brisket cube was a bit fatty making it chewy, but the filet steak was perfect.

ny strip, photo by Glen GreenFilet Mignon is a center cut, Yukon whipped potatoes and haricot verts. An excellent choice. It was perfect, and melted in your mouth.

talapia, photo by Glen GreenTilapia Piccata with capers, shallots, fresh lemon, Italian parsley, pappardelle pasta and haricot verts. The dish was nothing spectacular, but all-in-all decent.

Desserts average $12…

dessert menu, photo by Glen GreenSavoy has a large selection of desserts. A good thing when this is Glen’s favorite part of the meal.

We were told that the dessert chef worked at Eleven, so we were excited to get a little taste of everything.

funnel cake, photo by Glen GreenApple Beignets and Funnel Cake with a choice of caramel or chocolate sauce. We opted for caramel. The beignets are fried fritters, filled with apples, and covered with a coco powdered sugar. Delicious!

fudge brownie, photo by Glen GreenFudge Brownie Sundae. Normally it’s served with butter pecan ice cream, but Nicole substituted it with dark chocolate ice cream. It has caramel, mini chocolate chip cookies, and a S’more-like whipped topping. Oh so yummy.

red velvet, photo by Glen GreenRed Velvet Lava Cake served with mini scoops of ice cream drizzled with chocolate and raspberry sauces. It not only had the best presentation, Carey is still talking about it today.

funny, photo by Glen GreenAnd, as you can see, it’s a must have.

A few idiosyncrasies I had were the salty foods, loll in time, and our waiter, at one point, smelled like smoke when I asked him about the desserts. A bit of a turnoff when you’re thinking of sweet-nothings.

For the price, we found the food adequate. I was more blown away with the atmosphere, the service, and our good friends. This doesn’t mean we won’t try again.

On another note: Feeling like a rock star, a lovely woman who was dining next to us inquired about our photo taking. After Glen explained that we were there for a food blog review, she came over to ask me about GLTE. Her and a friend pulled up my blog on their phones. How sweet. She made my night. She too loves food blogs and follows a few. I hope I’ve gained a new foodie fan. Thank you.