Christmas In A Cup

Welcome to Coffee Week in Pittsburgh.

It’s the first workday of the Christmas season and Simpatico Espresso in downtown Pittsburgh is offering up Christmas In A Cup. To kick off the season, they are offering “Naughty or Nice” Peppermint Mochas. I’ve decided to indulge myself in a Naughty Peppermint Mocha, with a pledge to have the Nice version (white chocolate).

Aside from coffee, other daily menu items are fresh fruit smoothies and a rotating lunch menu, which on any given day includes pasta option, deli sandwiches and pizza slices.

Also available for catering and special events, Simpatico offers downtown Pittsburgh personalized service that is hard to beat.

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How do you Monte Cristo?

At Stoke’s Grill in the north hills, they don’t make it like momma used to make. A monte cristo has the following key components: ham, turkey, cheese, and french toast – or bread and egg. At this north hills cafe-style, byob restaurant, they actually make the sandwich of meat and cheese on bread, dip the whole sandwich in an egg batter and quickly deep fry it. The sandwich doesn’t come out of the kitchen looking like a sandwich, but one bite and you know that you have found a very, unique Monte Cristo!

As a side, in the picture is one of @eatatstokes (on Twitter) newest creations. White macaroni and cheese with buffalo chicken. It’s available as a side or an entree. My side was actually a filling portion, much more than a soup or chili. The buffalo chicken had good buffalo flavor, but the mac n cheese was oily at the bottom. If they can hone in on this recipe, then it could be a hit. As of right now, I think it could use a little work.

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Warm Cranberry Sipper

A few years ago my cousin came across this recipe.  I don’t remember were she found it or who gave it to her so I am not saying that this is my recipe.  But it is something my family and I have grown to love!   Its the perfect drink to have right before dinner when everyone is coming into the house and getting settled for the big Thanksgiving or Christmas feast. 

Warm Cranberry Sipper
Serves 5

2 cups of Water
1/2 cup of sugar
2 Spice Island Cinnamon Sticks
10 Spice Island Whole Cloves
2 Cups of Cranberry Juice
1 Cup of Orange Juice

Bring water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and cloves to a boil
Add juices and reduce heat
Simmer for 10 mins

Make sure to take out cloves before serving.  We normally have 20-30 people at Thanksgiving and Christmas so I have to make a big pot of Sipper.  Just up the recipe to the amount of people you will serve.


Texas Tommy is from DC?

With a full weekend of sightseeing under our belt and some bowling as well, Sunday brunch was upon us and we wanted to try a local joint in Alexandria, VA close to the hotel. Table Talk was where my Urbanspoon Android app suggested, and at just 4 blocks away, we were game for it.

A little while ago, we were watching TV and found a special on diners. Table Talk happened to also offer a dish that was from the show. (On the show, it was a dish from PA). Anyway, I felt adventurous and went for THE TEXAS TOMMY (View another description here). It is a hot dog stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. (Bye bye diet).

The combination was interesting. I believe it was deep fried, which left the hot dog kid of tasteless. Overall, I’m glad I tried it, but not going to go out of my way to do it again. The fries that came with it were basically poorly made McDonald’s fries, so they didn’t win me over either.
Table Talk on Urbanspoon

One Year from where it all began

TasteBud A and I have been telling you of our quests since April, however we actually started sampling the Pittsburgh fare just one year ago. To commemorate the anniversary, we went to where we shared our first dinner, El Campesino on McKnight Road.

We shared a picture of margaritas and were able to relax from a very busy October. El Campesino remains as our favorite mexican in the city and for good reason!

El Campesino on Urbanspoon

Steelers Sunday – Our Backup Pizzeria

This Steelers season hasn’t just been a rollercoaster for the Steelers, but for the TasteBuds as well. Each 1pm game, we host a small group of people to watch the game and share some food. Last season, we had a reliable option of Pasta Too on Federal Street. However, this season they are not keeping consistent Sunday hours so we are forced to expand our horizons. Thanks to a trusty Pennysaver insert, Lillen’s has appeared into our line of sight.

When I called to place the order, I was told that they are known for their Chicken; self-proclaimed to be “Best Chicken on the Northside.” Since it was a Steelers game, we wanted to stay close to tradition and order a pizza. We were very impressed. The crust was cooked to a nice hand-tossed depth and it was topped with a generous amount of toppings.

Lillen's on UrbanspoonBased on our first experience, Lillen’s is our official backup plan when Pasta Too is not open.  I also foresee needing to experience the chicken, if indeed they are the best on the northside.