Simple is always beautiful. The way something can be so artfully crafted with minimal ingredients or other inputs is astounding as it is awe inspiring. Food is definitely no exception to this rule, and some of my favorite dishes at restaurants haven’t been dressed up in layers upon layers of sauces or spices but rather are raw and real. Bluebird Kitchen in Downtown Pittsburgh stays true to this raw and real feeling with a small selection of fresh and specially made breakfast and lunch dishes. I ventured into their Stanwix St. location with my mom, Judith Cassel, to start the day off with some simple but oh so tasty breakfast plates.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere was simple but got the job done. This is, after all, a takeout and catering eatery and so the decor did not consist of the same sit down restaurant amenities. The wooden walls and avian pictures matched well with the restaurant name, as if I was also a blue bird gathering my food and then flying away to start my day.
Service: The service was very accommodating, considering that the two of us just bickered over what we wanted without actually ordering anything for the longest time. Everything was prepared to our specifications too: if we ordered something hot, it came out piping hot. If we wanted extra cream cheese on the bagel, you can be sure that it was lathered on. The service, even with our limited exposure, was excellent and made us both feel right at home.
Quality: The high quality of the food at Bluebird is so easily understood after just one bite. I had the pastrami cured salmon bagel which was incredibly filling but I thoroughly enjoyed all the nuanced flavors between the sweet cream cheese and the sharp crunch of the cucumber. Our spinach frittata, while presented poorly, was light and fluffy and very tasty. There was also a cinnamon bun with crumpled bacon. Do I need to say anything else? Just ask for the whole thing to be heated up to put you at the very gates of baked goods heaven. As I said in my intro, each dish was very simple in its composition, a true testament to a chef’s skill when the dishes are this excellent.
Price: You really can’t find a breakfast with this level of quality for the price we paid, you just can’t.
Translation: For a place that primarily specializes in catering, Bluebird still knows how to create a special moment for guests of the “restaurant”. The Stanwix Street location, however, is not prime real estate and I only wish it was in a more central location so both I could visit Bluebird more frequently and more people knew what a great spot this is.
The best part of my experience at Bluebird was the interesting and unexpected mix of ingredients into a favorable experience. The cinnamon roll that was wrapped in bacon is a good example of the unusual mixture of ingredients. The atmosphere was more like a cafeteria than a quaint and cozy café, so for me, the setting was not inviting or conducive for intimate or professional conversations. I would take my fellow employees here for a coffee break because the food is good and our important conversations can be saved for the office. Also, the wait staff was extremely pleasant.
Judith Cassel is a partner at Hawke, Mckeon, and Sniscak, LLP, a law firm in Harrisburg, PA focusing on energy, environmental, and government regulation. She lives in Lititz, PA with her partner Ken and has two children, Madison and Samson.
Bluebird Kitchen is catering and cafe destination in Pittsburgh with a focus on fresh and exciting takeout cuisine. You can find their whole menu (they do lunch and catering too!) on their website: http://www.bluebirdkitchen.com/index.html