One of the most unique things I’ve had in a while has got to be the “Inside Out Chip and Dip” bites at Savory Hill in Moon Township. I ordered ordered the sampler which included 6 bites – a random collection of all four different bites.
The bites are essentially dips or spreads rolled into a ball and coated with a crunchy mixture – think Shake ‘n Bake. The combinations of flavors are very approachable, as you would likely see them as appetizers on regular restaurant menus. Serving these as Bites is just one way that Savory Hill is deserving of its Eclectic Bistro tagline.
The four different bites are as follows:
Chips and Dip – Creamy french onion dip with crushed potato chips.
Spinach Dip – Cream spinach dip crusted in pita chips
New BYOB restaurants aren’t always easy to come by these days, so when I suggested to TasteBudA that we check out Red Orchid in the North Hills and to pick a bottle of wine out to take, he was excited. Red Orchid is located in a small plaza of businesses on Babcock Boulevard near the juncture with 3 Degree Road. The restaurant boasts just 24 seats, so you feel as though you are getting a personal experience with the restaurant. Being small, it would also make for a nice date night, or private party restaurant (assuming you could rent the entire space).
Being new to Red Orchid, we started with a Red Orchid Combination Sampler of 2 steam dumplings, 2 fresh spring rolls chicken, 2 crab Rangoon, and Red Orchid style bread. The sampler came with a trio of sauces for dipping. As usual, the spring rolls were my favorite of the sampler.
For my entree I decided not get a Basil dish, because that would make me predictable. Instead I ordered Spicy Pad Ka Prao. It’s not too far a leap from my usual basil dish, but the fried egg was a welcome new texture and paired well with the spiciness of the dish. The dish tasted as great as the photo looks. The vegetables were super fresh and with a medium-level of spice, I was content to finish the plate – against my diet of course.
I’m glad we have a new North Hills BYOB gem, since Stoke’s Grill is no longer BYOB. We will certainly go back. It was interesting to see the bulk of people getting takeout. For anyone looking for at-home Thai, you will need to pick it up, because delivery isn’t available.
In the recent couple months I’ve finally found a spinning studio that I enjoy in the Pittsburgh area, Club Cycle in Dormont. Club Cycle is a locally owned business where spinning and club music collide. Live DJs spin music during a 45 or 60 minute cardio workout.
On Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 5:45 p.m. Club Cycle will be hosting its second Sip ‘n Spin session. This class is similar to our Pittsburgh TasteBuds Wine Exchanges, but instead of eating along with an exchange of wine, you are burning calories. Newbies can enjoy their first class for only $10 if they sign-up online.
Seating is limited to 20 people, but the registration system does keep track of a waiting list, so don’t hesitate to join it! Bring a bottle of wine valued around $15 and come exchange with the funnest spinning group in Pittsburgh.
Fingers crossed that DJ Kurve is the DJ because not only does he mix the music live for the class, but there are also videos to help distract the fact that you are working out.
Behind the Outfield Reserved seats at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, sits a “craft” food stand by Aramark. Last season, the stand offered a handful of custom-stuff sausages, but in 2014 their menu has adapted to include just two sausage favorites – Italian and Buffalo Chicken. “Craft” footlong hot dogs – Smokehouse Dog and Polish Hill Dog – are now offered for just $7.50 and may be the best value on the menu. (I believe them to be new this season).
The Buffalo Chicken Sausage is a chicken sausage – a la buffalo wing – topped with a slaw of carrot and celery. Pictured below, the sausage is served on a very large roll – too large in my opinion. The slaw was fairly tasteless. While I applaud Aramark for a craft creation and may be spectacular when served by the chef who created it, but I think the execution is lacking from the general concession stand employee. Employees, who seemingly hate their job, were slinging food yesterday as fast as they could with little to no concern on how the food looked as it left the window.
Pictured below is the Polish Hill Dog AFTER many of the pieces had been picked back up and placed on the bun. The dog is a simple footlong dog topped with fried pierogies and onion straws which according to TasteBudA was delicious. I don’t think it beats the pulled pierogi stacker sandwich sold at Manny’s BBQ. I was disppointed that TasteBudA had to effectively re-assemble his hot dog to be on his bun before he ate it. I was able to sneak a fresh onion straw and it was in fact delicious.
I think the hot dogs are a much better value than the sausages. Looking ahead, I’d highly encourage Aramark to consider working with Franktuary, like they do with BRGR, to open a quality craft sausage/dog stand. Getting more locally-owned restaurant menus into ball parks would be a great way to introduce Pittsburgh sports fans to restaurants they may not have had the change to adventure to around the city.
I can’t believe I’ve never eaten at Church Brew Works – until now. We met a couple friends for dinner on a Friday evening and it was packed. With great conversation and company, I enjoyed the CBW Beer Sampler, cheeseburger pierogies and the meatloaf. The meal was quite filling – as most beer meals are – and I had a great time.