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RTJR!

13 Jun

When we got to PNC Park last night, this was happening. 
PNC-Park-Tarped

DOH!  This wasn’t very surprising because all week it’s been rainy and stormy.  We kind of walked around a little bit and then decided to get in line at BRGR.  Like fools, we let a 5 minute drizzle chase us out of line and then we had to go BACK and stand in the line AGAIN later.  Only the second time it was like 100 times longer.  In my defense, I was wearing a thin white t-shirt and I had no interest in spending the next few hours looking like some overweight Miller Lite girl reject in a wet t-shirt contest.  Did I take that too far?  I can’t tell anymore.

Anyway, the extra wait was totes worth it .  I’m a sucker for a good burger on brioche!  I ordered the one called Fire In The Hole because I love spicy spicy spicy foods!!  And boy was it hotttt.  It had guacamole, jalapenos, pepper jack, and this really firey sauce on it.  Yummy!

BRGR-Fire-In-The-Hole-PNC-Park

They advertised “craft beer” on their menu and I was able to chose from the Rivertowne Brewery cooler.  I had never heard of Rivertowne before, but after a little research I discovered that they are located in Verona, PA and offer tours.  Added to my summer bucket list!

Rivertowne-IPA-PNC-Park

We went back to our seats and watched the game for awhile, but when we got up to stretch our legs/use the restroom we realized how crowded our section was and how empty the other sections were.  We noticed that there were a whole lot of empty seats further into the outfield, so we settled back down into some seats with some breathing room.  I generally think you’re not allowed to do this, but we moved to seats that were vacant and “worse” than the ones we paid for.  I think it evens out.  The best thing about PNC Park is that there isn’t a bad view of the game and no matter which direction you are facing, you get a beautiful panorama of downtown Pittsburgh.  This picture doesn’t indicate the gorgeous view at all because I was so worried about those storm clouds rolling back in!

PNC-Park-Pirates-Cubs-2014

During the 6th inning, the skies opened up so we walked around a bit and got some Rita’s.  I got mango, but forgot to take a picture!  When the rain slowed down, we made a break for the parking area.  I was checking Twitter later in the evening, and I think I read that the game was delayed until 11PM.  Thank goodness we didn’t stay and wait it out!  The Pirates ended up being the Cubs 4-0, so RTJR!  For you plebs that means “Raise the Jolly Roger!”  The game felt like it was moving incredibly slow and at no point did the Cubs show much life.  The night was fun and it was a relaxing way to spend a weeknight in the ‘burgh!

I just love my city. 🙂

Roberto-Clemente-Bridge-Pittsburgh-Night

 

5 Thing Friday

11 Apr

All week I’ve been reading about cool things and this is where I dump them:

1.  Beers Of The Burgh Festival – This weekend is the inaugural Beers of the Burgh Festival, which will be held in Lawrenceville and showcases over 30 local craft brewers.  General admission is sold out, but you can still purchase VIP tickets!

 

2.  40 Towns Create Land Bank – I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FOR A LONG TIME.  Finally.  Finally some action on blighted properties in my community.  If you aren’t aware of what happens when a region is dependent on a single industry (ahem, steel) and then all the industry packs up and leaves:  blight.  Empty, rotting houses and overgrown brush in abandoned lots, riddled with garbage.  An analysis done by local municipalities found that:

“20,077 vacant lots and 7,158 parcels with blighted structures that cost local governments more than $10.7 million a year in direct municipal services, such as police, fire and code enforcement. They also account for nearly $8.7 million in lost annual tax revenue. But the biggest drain was on neighboring non-blighted properties, which the report found suffered a total loss of between $218 million and $247 million in property values.”

Some Pittsburgh neighborhoods were hit harder than others, but the creation of this land bank is huge!  To me, it may mean that we are finally able to combat blight and attract a more stable tax base to effected areas.  Some people oppose these types of strategies because it gives government control over private property.  I, on the other hand, stare at abandoned buildings all day long.  In my opinion, if you aren’t able or willing to fix up your janky property then you shouldn’t have it to begin with.  The boroughs’ hands are tied because the properties ultimately belong to someone – and many times those people can’t be found or don’t want to be found.  The borough has to deal with the problems associated with the property but can’t actually do anything about it.  A land bank would allow municipalities to generate tax income, sell properties, attract new property developers, and to improve the overall aesthetic of a neighborhood.    That is HUGE for boroughs like Homestead and Braddock.

 

3.  16 Ways To Kick Plastic – This is a quick read but it’s got some great ideas on how to use less plastic.  My 2 favorite ones are: 1) Just say no to disposable straws, carry a few BPA-free reusable ones with you 2) Bring your own doggy-bag container when you go to a restaurant.

 

4.  Cyclocable Bike Lifts In Pittsburgh?! – This is basically exactly what I need to become an avid adequate let’s just go with cyclist.  If it’s good enough for Norway, it’s good enough for me.  DON’T JUDGE ME PEOPLE.  THOSE HILLS ARE NO JOKE.  Somehow I doubt that even Bill Peduto could make this one happen.

 

5.  Check out this list of 42 Flowers You Can Eat…I can’t see myself throwing chrysanthimums on my salad but hey the list also includes herbs and spices.  If I’m every stranded in the wilderness somewhere (LIKE FRICK PARK because my God I get all turned around on those trails), I will be able to survive.  Or maybe someday I will be go all rogue with my cooking and makes virgin tear soup with hibiscus garnish.  Ew.

 

Franktuary, finally.

20 Jan

Yes, I am a foodie.  Yes, I strive to be a locavore.  Yes, I want food produced as sustainably as possible.  Yes, I want hotdogs.

You heard me – hot dogs.

My favorite food in the world.

I can’t get enough.

And now that I’ve had Franktuary, my life may be complete.

If you’re involved in the Pittsburgh food scene, you are probably reading this post and wondering what took me so long to get over to Franktuary.  To be honest, we’ve been trying to consciously eat out less and when we do, we don’t travel far from the Waterfront.  But when she♥ and I decided to have an impromptu afternoon date, I jumped at the chance to try the place out.

We opted for the Lawrenceville location (there is a Franktuary downtown, and – how cool is this – they have a food truck).  It was hipster heaven, and I initially felt out of place in my paint-tattered yoga pants and naked face.  But, the menu was so much fun, the bartender was nice and snarky, and I mean, its Lawrenceville (home of hobo-chic).

Anyway, back to the dogs.  Franktuary’s mission is basically a farm-to-table wiener with foodie appeal.  You can see a copy of their menu here.  I was dying to try some of the awesome styles, especially the “Bangkok” which included Thai peanut sauce, carrot, and cilantro.  I have never seen hot dogs treated this way!

Despite the temptation, I’m ultimately a hot dog minimalist.

Here’s what we ended up with:

Image

From left: a standard with beer-cheese topping, a standard with sauerkraut, a locavore with Miller’s mustard, and in the middle – Pittsburgh-style pierogies.

She♥ loved her 2 standard dogs, which were all-beef.  The cheese sauce was tasty and the kraut was good.

I, however, had mixed feelings about my locavore.

Image

Something was off.  The locavore is made from local grass-fed beef, but as you can see is a strange color.  The texture was a little bit off, too.  Perhaps that’s why they added the excessive amount of the tangy Miller’s mustard?  I wouldn’t say I was disappointed, but next time I might opt for the “Underdog,” which is made from New Zealand grass-fed beef.

I will sacrifice local for sustainable & tasty if I have to.

Moving on, I believe Franktuary has the best pierogies I have ever eaten.

Image

Seriously, so good.  They had potato and farmer’s cheese in them.  (Farmer’s cheese seemed to imply some kind of local farm, but you can never really be sure.)

I will 100% go back to Franktuary and I will 100% order the garbanzo fries.  I didn’t even notice them on the menu until I was looking at it online to write this post!  Also,  I will be sure to go back once the weather gets nice, as the Lawrenceville location has garage door-style facade.  I’m sure those have a name, but I can’t think of it right now.

Image borrowed from Yelp

Quesadillas and Craft Beer

23 Apr

After the Great Cloth Diaper Change, Amanda and Lil’ Red came over to our house to hang out.

Pretty much adore this kid:

For dinner, Amanda made chicken quesadillas (something that I NEVER make, but they are so yummy and so easy!)

Amanda apparently loves cooking in other people’s kitchens, which I of course had no objection to AND cooking involves music AND dancing.  Three? thumbs up!

We started by poaching some boneless, skinless chicken breast in salsa, water and a can I had of diced tomatoes:

Using…

Then Amanda added the chicken…

Then you let it go at a rolling boil until the chicken is done!

Easy – peasy…

My job was to take care of the red beans and rice…haha

Instructions on the box? Well, yes thank you I think I will.

While my gourmet black beans and rice were cooking, the chicken finished up and Amanda started shredding it for the quesadillas:

Since Amanda is so amazing, she brought over whole wheat tortillas AND white ones for her♥.

Once things started rolling, it happened pretty quick! (Sorry for the lack of collages, Picnik really screwed my pooch.)

The whole wheat quesadillas came second (gotta feed the hangry♥ first), but were just as good:

I consider my first Great Cloth Diaper Change and my official initiation into Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week (PCBW) the same day!

Mine is the one with the fat guy, she♥ picked the pokery one, and of course Amanda picked the IPA.

So anyway, dinner was ready to be served!

Dinner was so amazing…I basically love anything Meixcan/Spanish/LatinAmerican/Spanglish/TexMex. ♥

Pretty sure they were a hit…

Don’t forget to check out Amanda’s Blog – Ventures in Green.  She does way more cool stuff than me having to do with sustainability, green living and natural parenting.

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