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Famished with Friends

Pittsburgh is one of the culinary capitals of the world.  Don’t believe me?  Let me direct you to Zagat, where the Steel City came in at number one on their list of the best food cities of 2015: https://www.zagat.com/b/the-top-17-food-cities-of-2015

Still not impressed?  Well that’s why I’m here.  As a lover of food and friendship, I figured what better way to discover how amazing the food here is in Pittsburgh than with some of my favorite people?  I will be dining at some of the city’s best restaurants and documenting that journey for all to see.  And I’ll always be doing it with friends, so that they may share in the experience.

Bon appétit!

fl. 2 with Camila Kauer Garcia

Fl. 2 with Camila Kaurer Garcia

January 31, 2018

Fl. 2: Where the Culinary Magic Happens When the Fairmont Pittsburgh decided to close their restaurant, Habitat, which opened at the time of the hotel’s opening in 2010, I was surprised but understanding.  I was told by the Fairmont’s director of operations, Meghan Earnshaw, that 7 years for a luxury hotel restaurant concept is a … Read more

or, The Whale with Lydia Grubic

Or, The Whale with Lydia Grubic

January 24, 2018

Moby Dick; or, The Whale?  Definitely The Whale. Restaurants have an important first step in choosing the name they give themselves.  To an extent, a restaurateur build’s his concept around the name: what food is going to be served, what furniture and fixtures are going to be utilized, even what the uniforms are going to … Read more

Sienna on the Square with Camila 2

Sienna on the Square with Camila Kauer Garcia

January 17, 2018

Mirroring the Italian Piazza with Sienna The Italian piazza is famous for bringing people together.  It combines the traditional safety and logistical aspects of a town square, protecting pedestrians from motor vehicles, with the comfort and refinement of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues surrounding the square.  The Piazza itself can make a beautiful atmosphere where … Read more

Pusadee's Garden Thai with Olivia Rauktis

Pusadee’s Garden Thai with Olivia Rauktis

January 3, 2018

Garden Thai but Without the Garden? Probably the most underrated attribute of any dining experience has to be the atmosphere where one is actually dining.  As a “hospitalitarian” and a customer service fanatic, service is obviously what I critique more rigorously than anyone else I’ve dined with, and the food itself is naturally an important … Read more

Burgatory with Jeremy Hopkins

Burgatory with Jeremy Hopkins

November 12, 2017

Sentenced to Burgatory?  Not a Bad Deal Where to burger lovers and birthday boys go to spend the remainder of their days?  In the case of yours truly, Burgatory is the only hamburger/eternal-resting-place-themed restaurant I would choose.  Maybe not for the rest of time, but definitely for a relaxed evening celebrating my birthday!  With several … Read more

Church Brew Works with Jared Sheinberg

July 20, 2017

The Holy Grail of Brewpubs When one enters Church Brew Works, the immediate impression is awe, followed by a sinking feeling that you’re somehow desecrating a house of worship by consuming alcoholic beverages on a holy site.  Of course, that doesn’t stop most people, myself included, from carrying on with their evening activities.  However, what … Read more

Pork and Beans with Rebecca Zhou

Pork and Beans with Rebecca Zhou

July 13, 2017

Two Lesser-known Classic Comfort Foods, One Great BBQ Joint We all know the classic adage of surviving off of “Meat and Potatoes” (which, capitalized as it is, is another great restaurant by the same owners as this one.)  However, for those of us tired of meat and potatoes but still married to the idea of … Read more

Red Oak Cafe with Casey Abramson

Red Oak Cafe with Casey Abramson

July 8, 2017

A Café That Does It All I’ve dined in quite a few cafes for someone my age.  Most have been coffee shop-esque, with little focus on food and its effect on guests.  Moreover, even fewer have tried to please all guests in terms of dietary restrictions.  Many times I have guests over at my house … Read more

BRGR with Mark Pavic

BRGR with Mark Pavic

June 23, 2017

How do you spell it? B-R-G-R… For a restaurant that removed all the vowels from its title dish, the same certainly doesn’t apply to any other aspect of the place.  If anything, BRGR (pronounced as you would say each individual letter), is a restaurant that only adds the flavorful, the unexpected, and the unique to … Read more

Smallman Galley with Amber Smith

Smallman Galley with Amber Smith

June 12, 2017

Smallman is Anything but Small Walking into a giant warehouse is not what you might expect when you hear you’ll be eating at a restaurant with some of the city’s most up and coming chefs.  However, in the case of Smallman Galley, a local restaurant and culinary incubator located on Smallman Street in the Strip … Read more

The Porch with Teresa Leatherow

The Porch at Schenley with Teresa Leatherow

May 28, 2017

It’s a Beautiful (Restaurant) in the Neighborhood… I go to school at the University of Pittsburgh, and for those who are not familiar with the area, the encompassing neighborhood of the school is Oakland.  The neighborhood is a cross between your traditional college town, with dive bars, cheap fast food restaurants, and university buildings, and … Read more

Girosole with Lilly and Marialice

Girasole with Lilly Mansmann and Marialice Skabardonis

May 21, 2017

Italian Intimacy on Copeland Street An Italian restaurant can take on a wide variety of identities: it can be relaxing and comforting, wild and zesty, or maybe a refined and modern elegance.  Any way you experience it, the food of an Italian restaurant should nevertheless be relatively consistent, with strong flavors and a slew of … Read more

Gaucho with Caroline Collopy

Gaucho Parrilla Argentina with Caroline Collopy

May 11, 2017

“Steaking” our claim in the Strip District When I think of a tender steak, I think of your traditional steakhouse.  I suppose that’s just the culture of America, where the steak as we know it was something born out west with the pioneers and brought to the four corners of our country in traditional consumerism … Read more

Talia with Amanda Deitch

Talia with Amanda Deitch

May 6, 2017

Mambo Italiano in Downtown Pittsburgh It’s amazing what you discover when you’re just walking around without a plan or any direction.  I had intended to meet a good friend downtown for dinner, but we really couldn’t decide on anywhere to go.  I decided to get down there a little early and just started to walk … Read more

Butcher and the Rye with Judith Cassel

April 11, 2017

Choice Matters The choice to go to a restaurant, to order a specific dish or drink, or to ask your wait staff a question can make or break an experience at even the fanciest and grandest restaurant.  If you go at the wrong time, order the wrong menu item, or ask the wrong question, your … Read more

Cure with Ken Morrison

Cure with Judith Cassel and Ken Morrison

March 25, 2017

Cured by Cure Food has a funny way of making things better.  At the time of eating at Cure, considered by many Pittsburghers and outsiders the best new restaurant in the city, I wasn’t feeling great.  Of course not much has changed since then, but I do distinctly remember sitting down comfortably in the center … Read more

Whitfield at the Ace Hotel

Whitfield at the Ace Hotel with Judith Cassel and Ken Morrison

March 17, 2017

Intro: The Best Restaurant in Pittsburgh? I suppose the overall goal of this blog is to find the best restaurant in Pittsburgh.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe I found it, and in no other place than the Ace Hotel Pittsburgh.  Not only is this one of the coolest hotels in the city (they converted an … Read more

Eden with Erin Fountaine

Eden with Erin Fountaine

March 10, 2017

Intro: Eden as a Dietary Haven I am acutely aware that not every one of my viewers will head over to Cure for a delicious charcuterie board or fawn over the pizzas at Fuel and Fuddle.  More and more people nowadays are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and/or lactose intolerant.  I believe that good food can be … Read more

täkō with Camila Kauer

täkō with Camila Kauer

February 25, 2017

Pittsburgh has a lot of great restaurants, indeed some of the best in the country.  However, one of the most under-represented types of restaurants, as far as I know, is the Mexican and Latin American eatery in the city.  The closest one can usually get, without paying a pretty penny, is Chipotle (which we also … Read more

Piada Italian Street Food with Lydia Grubic

February 19, 2017

Hospitality comes in many forms: it can be surprising and nuanced, or routine and masterful.  Any new venture has the potential to live up to these expectations and create a wonderful experience for its guests, even in the most unfamiliar places.  So when I heard that I had been selected as a VIP for the … Read more

Sienna Mercato - Emorio with Jill Sylvester

Sienna Mercato – Emporio with Jill Sylvester

February 7, 2017

Sienna Mercato is a restaurant with three distinct offerings for its guests: a meatball and Italian-inspired restaurant on the ground floor called Emporio, a wine and charcuterie restaurant on the second floor entitled Mezzo, and a roof top beer garden on the third floor aptly named Il Tetto (“roof” in Italian).  For Pittsburgh, the concept … Read more

Casbah with Mary Rostom

January 30, 2017

What always surprises me about Pittsburgh is just how much variety there is in the types of restaurants: you have so many choices, from Ethiopian to Thai and French to Argentinian that you don’t even know where to start!  I plan on hitting as many as I can and opening up my palate to a … Read more

Alexander's Italian Bistro

Alexander’s Italian Bistro with Mike Grott

January 27, 2017

Alexander’s Italian Bistro with Mike Grott Italian food at its best should make you feel like you’re in your grandmother’s house: you feel the warmth of friends and family around you, there is a distinct smell of garlic and oregano in the air, and a fine Italian wine is a must at the table.  One definitely gets … Read more

Urban Tap with Mark Pavic

January 22, 2017

Since turning 21, the gastropub has become one of my favorite types of restaurants for satisfying food and unique craft beers.  There is a type of culture surrounding gastropubs that is just so unique: you have groovy music, a friendly approachable group of guests in one place, and a bunch of greasy but delicious food … Read more

DiAnoia's Eatery with Brittany Schultz

DiAnoia’s Eatery with Brittany Schultz

January 13, 2017

What’s really great about going to a restaurant that’s brand new is that generally one receives an elevated level of customer service, in order to make sure that the restaurant is putting their best foo(“d” or “t”) forward.  What’s even better is if that restaurant is Italian and as someone who knows their home-style Italian … Read more

Bluebird Kitchen

Bluebird Kitchen with Judith Cassel

January 9, 2017

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 … Read more

James and Samson at the Hotel Monaco

The Commoner at the Hotel Monaco with James Mitchell

November 26, 2016

Any fan of my blog will know that I love hotels.  I love the atmosphere of boutique hotels, the world class service of luxury hotels, and even the economics and business models behind some of the world’s biggest hotel chains.  One of my first experiences with boutique hotels came with the opening of the Hotel … Read more

Pamela’s Diner with Nadine French

November 12, 2016

The classic American diner has a special place in my heart; I could walk into my local diner at 2:00 AM, order a plate of cheese fries with ranch, and leave without paying more than $7 for my meal.  How amazing is that!  In all seriousness, diners are great.  I love the food, I love … Read more

Stack’d with Tim Li

October 16, 2016

It seems as though now-a-days the customized burger is what is on everyone’s mind.  One walks into a fast casual chain or a sit-down bistro and in addition to a selection of tried and true hamburgers, there is also an option of choosing toppings, buns, sauces and other ingredients to really make the burger unique … Read more

Lydia and Samson at Streets on Carson

Streets on Carson with Lydia Grubic

September 5, 2016

When one thinks of street food, I dare say to ask what he is thinking about: it is usually either lukewarm hotdogs being dispatched from a metal cage on the streets of New York or some very suspicious nuts being moved around a large metallic bowl and disbursed via the smallest Styrofoam cups you’ve ever … Read more

The Yard with Olivia Rauktis and Amber Smith

August 24, 2016

Who would have thought that Mondays were actually the best night of the week?  Well, the best night if you’re going to The Yard for half-priced grilled cheeses.  However, no matter which day of the week you go, you will certainly not be disappointed by what you find.  The best way to describe The Yard … Read more

Primanti Bros. with Andrew Mackenzie

August 5, 2016

When you think of Pittsburgh, you may think of a hearty city, built with grit and practicality but today is filled with all the essentials of life.  That same description could also be used to describe the sandwich that put Pittsburgh on the map: the Primanti Bros. sandwich!  Beginning in the 1930’s with 3 brothers … Read more

Dibellas Subs with Rachael and Cassidy

July 15, 2016

I don’t usually like to review restaurants that are outside the Pittsburgh area, but when two friends offer to take you downtown to have “the best subs you’ve ever had”, one doesn’t simply say no to such an offer.  And I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious the subs were, a … Read more

Fuel & Fuddle with Roger SinClair

June 22, 2016

All hail the gastro pub!  America’s bastion of cheap but delicious cuisine and too many craft beers to try in one life time.  The gastro pub as we know it today originated in the early 1990’s in (you guessed it) the United Kingdom.  Once the reinvigorated idea of a pub serving hot food caught on … Read more

Grit and Grace with Lydia Grubic

June 15, 2016

  So you and your friends keep hearing the words “Asian Fusion” being tossed around like a hacky sac on a young tween’s foot and you finally decide to seek out for yourselves what type of place serves such a distinctive cuisine.  Where do you go?  Well if you’re in Pittsburgh, you head downtown to … Read more