Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Tin Front Cafe

A week or two ago, one of my co-workers kindly gave me her about-to-expire Groupon to a vegetarian restaurant near me called The Tin Front Cafe.  She moved to another area of the city and the place wasn't quite so convenient for her anymore so, score for me! It's located in Homestead, PA which is just a hop and skip from my house, and I was super excited to find a veggie restaurant so close to us! 

When you first walk in, it's a cute, cozy looking little place with an outdoor patio in the back. They also have a full bar in the front of the restaurant if you just want to chill and have a beer (also they had a great variety of bottled beer available which was nice). My husband and I tried to sit outside at first but it was so, so, so cold we immediately moved back indoors. They had a DJ set up playing music, he was nice and grabbed our drink order quickly. I have to admit, the menu was impressive, I wanted to literately order everything I saw on the menu and had -the- hardest time settling on an order. We decided on the baked brie for an appetizer, I ordered the ratatouille over polenta with sauteed spinach and Mike ordered their seasonal risotto stuffed into a portobella mushroom that also came with sauteed spinach. Both meals came with a side salad to start.  I was really jazzed about the restaurant thinking I'd love to come back since it's so near our home and they have great vegetarian offerings. 

Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way my husband or I will be setting foot back in that place. 
We were having pleasant conversation at first, but as time went on, and on, we began to wonder where in the heck our appetizer was!! Checking the time, 25 minutes had passed since we had placed our order, and no one had checked on us. Our server/DJ man was literately 10 feet from us and was too involved in his music to even ask if we were doing okay. 

Looking around, we noticed a really, really bizarre pattern to how food came out. It would go table by table and they would literately get all of their food within a matter of 20 minutes, like they'd get their appetizer and then the salad would come before they were done with the appetizer, entree showing up right after that so their table was laden with food. Who's idiotic idea was that? It would literately go table by table in this progression. 

I was pretty famished at this point and progressively becoming cranky, so it was also really irritating to see food come up at the window to the kitchen, and watch the waitresses ignore the food, moving to pick up the dishes maybe 5-10 minutes later.  I was also unhappy to see that when a family of 6 came in around 20 minutes after us and also ordered the baked brie, yet they were served theirs immediately. 

So anyways, we got our appetizer 30 minutes later (after it had hung out in the window for 5-10 minutes). The waitress offered a "sorry about that" and went off to go hide somewhere. 

It was baked brie with a scoop of cooked apples on top. I think this dish had the potential to be delicious, but it was so cold the brie had re-hardened in the dish. 

About 2-3 minutes into our appetizer our salads showed up. Which, to be fair, were absolutely delicious. The salad mix was leafy green, fresh, and the vinaigrette was wonderful! I was pretty hungry so I accidentally housed that down before taking a picture- whoops! 

Around 5-10 minutes into our salad, our entrees came! (Someone really needs to learn how to rotate food prep for tables) 

Mike said his risotto was pretty good, I tasted it and it was pretty darn good though it was lukewarm which was disappointing. 

I have to say, my ratatouille was epic. It was so flavorful, the perfect balance of veggies and garlic over a generous portion of polenta. The sauteed garlic was super yummy too, it was sauteed with garlic and had a spritz of lemon juice I think. Mine was nice and hot and I gobbled it right up! I actually couldn't even finish the dish because the portions were so big! 

So in a nutshell, the food was AWESOME! I was so pleased with the quality and quantity provided, but the service was absolutely atrocious. I'm in no way high maintenance but when I have to wait 30 minutes for food, I would like a server to at least come over and let me know the kitchen's behind and ask how I'm doing, not ignore me for half an hour. I would also like to not have to basically seek out the server to get my check, and again take it to the cash register and ask them to check me out so that I could get out of there in a decent amount of time. Oh and one more thing, when you have your restaurant patrons going to the DJ to ask them to turn their deafening music down, just ditch the DJ because it's ruining your ambiance. I would also like to point out that the DJ did not immediately comply and sat there giving the customer a ton of explanations over why the music was so loud!. 

I'm so disappointed because the food was truly amazing but there's no way I'm paying for such terrible service, it was, by a land slide, the worst restaurant experience I've ever had. I felt like I was on that show Kitchen Nightmares pre-Ramsay. 

Sorry for the let down review but I just want to forewarn others as to what to expect if they decide to go... 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

So... it was kindly brought to my attention by a dear (and encouraging) friend that I hadn't blogged in over a month!! Feeling sheepish, I posted a quick snippet of my review of October's Yumvelope, but that was weak in comparison to my typical posts. I.. am.. a slacker..

I do this, I do this and then I berate myself (clearly). I get in a good rhythm, do something diligently, then I take a break (such as vacation) and never get back on the wagon. I did it with flossing too! I flossed for like 6 months straight, went on vacation, and then forgot to start flossing again. Now now, I started back up so don't get all "ew" on me.. According to dentists, no one flosses anyways.

But, I digress, now back to the topic at hand. I'm back to wanting to blog again but I have some new things I need to add to my regime.

I recently saw some alarming pictures of myself on facebook and realized that I needed to drop some lbs post-haste before this got anymore out of control. So I joined (re-joined) my trusty weight loss plan- Weight Watchers!!

It is seriously the only commercial program I've found where people consistently and efficiently lost weight and I highly recommend it. They take the effort out of tracking your food intake and I have to admit- it's so fun adding the food and exercise to my list!*

One snafoo about this whole thing is, I swear that they penalize carbohydrate intake and reward lean proteins (ei. boneless skinless chicken breast). This makes for a tough, tough time for a vegan or vegetarian. Now some of you might think I'm crazy because the fruits and vegetables are free, but I swear that the nuts, beans, seeds etc. are higher points than their meat equivalents in protein (due to higher fat and carbohydrate I'm sure) so it's tricky meeting your protein needs.

So anyways, my point is, I'm going to valiantly search for WW friendly vegetarian/vegan products and also come up with some decent meals that don't blow your WW budget and are also vegan (or just about).

I'm sure some of you could argue that simply switching to a vegan diet helped you with weight loss instantly but, unfortunately for me, I'm a big snacker and I need to work on portion control- ergo, I use weight watchers.

Anyways.. wish me luck!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Yumvelope Review - September 2012

I have to say, there's nothing more exciting than getting stuff in the mail, and when it's food, I'm even happier... 

I love you Yumvelope, I'm here to stay.

Abuh?! Maple and Sea salt popcorn? How decadent!! 

Mike and I have a thing for gummy bears, and boy were we excited to realize one of the packets was sour, so basically like sour patch kids.  I have to say, the flavor in these surf sweets was way, way better than gummy bears or sour patch kids- it was berryful and delicious! Yummm... 

I didn't really dig the sweet potato leather thing but I liked the idea.. it was kind of bland though. The granola bar was really good though! I wish I had more of those! 

The whole food snack bar was meh.. I'm getting tired of all the cinnamon flavored stuff though- not that big of a fan! 

........This was epic. I want to buy this in bulk. I mixed the toasted coconut chips up with some steel cut oats and I was tap dancing all the rest of the day. A good breakfast will do that to a person, well at least this person. 

As with other chips, I had to share these with Mike but I didn't mind! They were decent, a whole grain tortilla chip. Nothing to write home to mom about. 

Yumvelope Review - August 2012

Awe crackers, this got lost in the shuffle of my unwritten posts list! Sorry Yumvelope, my darling, delicious, dependable Yumvelope.....

So in this bunch we had a yummy assortment, everything was a sweet, no salty unfortunately. 

I have to be quite frank and say that I wasn't in the mood for hot tea in August, so I put that in my cubbard for later.. and... I haven't used the baking mix or cashew butter yet.... 

Oh.. and I still have the biscotti... teehee

The fig bar tasted like a fig newton which was exciting though, and the bliss bar was surprisingly good even though it looked a bit weird.. 

I was just too busy in August to write a full review.. I'm a slacker.. but at least you can see what was included in the envelope eh?

Yumvelope - October 2012

Well today was a crap-tastic day at work. Pittsburgh kept with it's typical climate, which would be cloudy, rainy, and depressing. While nothing in particular happened at work today, people were just super annoying and I was just ready for the day to be over. So imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered my October Yumvelope had arrived today! It's like they knew..... 

Oh and they definitely knew.... that I needed chocolate. God love them. 

I saw the words chocolate and salty and I tore into this back immediately, ripping the top off with my bare teeth before pouring the contents into my mouth. Okay, it didn't actually go down like that, I used scissors like the classy broad that I am, and I ate a few pieces. It's.. so.. good... 

What? Another Cocomo product? Alright! Caramel Corn? I dig it! I'll letcha know how it is! 

I'll most likely be trying these before the nights over......

These too....

Another Cocomo product?!!?!? I'm super excited about this one! I've heard of quinoa being used as a breakfast grain but never bothered to try it out. Apparently now I won't have to, it's already been done for me! It's pretty high calorie though so it will most likely have to be my only breakfast item. 

Mmm... I have seriously been considering signing up for two yumvelopes because I want more of the items once I finish them- and this one only convinced me even more to do so! I can't get over how much stuff fits in one regular sized envelope! Wowzah! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TV Dinner Slummen'

I always look at various vegetarian/vegan TV dinners and want to get them for their convenience and how yummy they look, but I honestly balk at the price and can't justify buying them. Lucky for me, Giant Eagle likes to have Morningstar Farms products on sale (probably because I'm the only one who buys them in my neck of the woods). So buy them I did, and the first night I was too lazy to cook, into the microwave this puppy went. 

It reminded me of the enchilada dinners my brother used to eat by Banquet only sans re-fried beans (and all the other grody additives, I'm sure). It was super good, if a wee bit bland, I did add a good splash or two, or three of Franks red hot sauce. Now mind you, it is vegetarian and not vegan, but for someone looking for a healthier, meat-free option, this sure fits the bill. It was very filling too! The rice was generous and the enchilada was stuffed! ALSO- I forgot how realistic Morningstar Farms chicken is- I bite into a piece and panicked because I thought it was the real stuff. Youuuu sneaky TV dinner makers! 

So, whether you're transitioning to a vegetarian diet, trying out meat-free Mondays, or just reducing your meat intake in general, I definitely recommend these in a quick fix. It'll for sure save you from caving into eating something with meat in it if you're on the run and need something to eat ASAP. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Liven' in the Burgh

There's one thing that I was totally baffled by when I first moved to Pittsburgh.  These people love their pierogies, they are obsessed. They have an entire frozen aisle devoted to them!  They have pierogi races at all of their baseball games. My gosh. 

Well I thought it was high time I tried the madness and I have to say, I think the 'burghers are onto something. How could I have been so stubborn to try these? They're delicious! Potatoes and cheese stuffed inside a dough to form a delicious, carbo-load dumpling? I'M IN!! 

I sauteed onions with some olive oil and then browned the pierogies with them as per directions on box (and no they weren't Mrs. T's, they were local).  They were..phenominal... 

I'll definitely be having these again... and again... and again... 

I'm also going to try making these vegi-fied. I know I can do it! I KNOW I CAN! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm Going to Jersey Shore Beeetch!!

So on Saturday (Aug 4th at this point), Mike and I headed out to Philadelphia where we stayed over at his parents for the night.  We also ditched the dog at their place muaha!  My father-in-law is by far one of the best cooks I know and he makes some of the best dishes I've had the pleasure of eating.  It must be something genetic in Italians, you just are a fantastic foodie when you've got Italy running through your veins. 

That night we had a white ravioli lasagna dish with ricotta and deliciousness in it, so so good.  The next day for breakfast we had a kicken' veggie frittata that kept us full all the way to Jersey.  My mother-in-law is also super great at thinking ahead and packing stuff so she had a bag of groceries, a medicine bag, beach chairs, etc. for us to take with us! Score! 

When we got there, we did some major shopping, I just had to stop at Whole Foods for some goodies and lo and behold, I found this vegan sushi roll I always see the hungry, hungry hippie eating.  I gotta be honest though, I really didn't like it unfortunately.  I think I'd rather just eat a veggie roll and call it a day.  

The Red Stripe was exactly what I needed though... I had many more throughout the week.. 

For dinner we went to the Terrace Tavern and Crab Shack because I saw advertisements for seafood pots and I just had to try one.. 

We started dinner off with cocktails, I had a mojito which was really good.  Mike opted for a "Dark & Stormy" which is Groeslings dark rum and ginger beer.  It was spicy and sweet, I dug it. 

Then came the steam pot.... 

Crab legs, corn on the cob, potatoes, mussels, clams, shrimp..

Wow... I couldn't eat it all so I shared with Mikey. He panicked last minute when ordering and got a broiled seafood platter which was good but not as amazing as mine!! 

I'm Alive!!

So I am super, way, way way, extremely behind on posting.  I went on vacation and clearly still think I am! This post is actually from the Friday before I even went on vacation which was mmm... the 3rd.. Oopsie! 

Moving on.... 

That Friday I went to see my hubster perform at the Steel City Improv Theatre and afterwards we went out to Mallorca for a fancy dinner (okay, okay, we had an expiring Groupon..)  Seriously though, Mallorca is in my top 5 favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh, my only complaint is that their vegetarian options are weak and unexciting. Boo. 

Salad was standard greens, tomatoes, hearts of palm, and what I assumed to be a thousand island dressing. 

The wine was super yums, I had a Chardonnay (my fav) and Mike had a Cab Sav I think. 

We had an appetizer of crab stuffed mussels which was super tasty...

I had some seafood pot with garlic sauce in it.. I dug it. 

Mikey, who usually gets like a steak or side of boar, opted for a delectable entree of stuffed salmon, I was really jealous.. 

I think one of my favorite parts about Mallorca though are the sides!! Super yummy veggies, rice, and potato chips!  I think I ate more of the sides than I did the entree to be honest.

But no worries, I had the entree for breakfast the next day before heading out on vacation!! 

Sorry that was super short and weak but once I am finally caught up and you see how many posts are coming, you'll understand my brevity. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Liven' on the Veg

So by the way, if you're ever vacationing in Long Beach Island, NJ, they have the most amazing vegan restaurant right there. In fact, it's the only vegan restaurant on the island- good thing it's so good! 

It's called Living on the Veg which I have to say, being an Aerosmith fan, I totally dig the name! 

It's located on 2613 Long Beach Blvd in Beach Haven.  

It's kind of small, not much seating (especially if it's raining, then you might just want to get it to go). The menu is absolutely impressive however, they have fresh smoothies, fresh pressed juices, wraps, burritos, blue plate specials, salads, sammies, and other hearty entries to satisfy that raging appetite you'll have worked up after laying on the beach all day! 

The menu was a long board above the cash register so I did my best to take a picture of it in two parts... 

My mouth is watering reading over the menu again, I wish I had a place like this in Pittsburgh!!


Daily specials..

This sounded so delicious!! I wanted to get it, alas we went around lunchtime, no worries though I had tons and tons to pick from still! I wanted to eat it all!

Also- I would like to point out that any restaurant sporting Bragg's as a condiment is immediately a four star place to eat in my book. 

After much deliberation, Mike and I decided on the Smooth Operator smoothie to split. It was so fruity and sweet and the soy milk added gave it a delicious creaminess, we were sucking this down in minutes!

I ordered the Buffalo Caesar wrap which was in a word, divine. I have dreams about this dish sometimes. The tofu soaked up all the delicious hot sauce and the caesar dressing on it was just perfect. That, mixed with crunchy, fresh romaine lettuce this wrap was perfection in itself. 

And don't even get me started on the potato salad.... I'm broken-hearted that I can't have that everyday. I don't know what they use for dressing on it, but it is literately of the gods. I have half a mind to call them and beg them for the recipe. 

Mikey got the Southwest burrito with a side of coleslaw.  I really dug the coleslaw also but I think he liked my potato salad better, it just had that extra zing of flavor. 

The seitan was very flavorful and cut into bite size pieces so that it was evenly distributed throughout the burrito, and the rice on it was delicious. I took a bite or two but it was so spicy, I couldn't take anymore. Mike, who could eat a jalapeno whole without blinking an eye, thought it was perfect. I liked that it also had black beans in it- love me some beans. 

Take out items, I still kick myself for not grabbing a pint of that amazing potato salad. Sorry for the crappy photo, I was in a hurry.. boo! 

So if you're into healthy food, vegetarian/vegan food, or heck just freaken' good food and you're in the LBI area- you have to stop by Living on the Veg or you will forever regret it and I will put a voodoo hex on you. Don't think that I wont, I actually have a voodoo doll.. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bistro 14

One last vacation post... and then back to reality... 

Mike and I were enjoying the fact that we are childless so we decided to go somewhere more swanky for dinner one night.  We chose Bistro 14 which is located in the wharf area. It was BYOB so we brought a crisp white wine that we'd gotten at a local grocery store- they put it on ice or us which was nice.

They served some bread and butter to tide us over until the entrees came, it was really nice just being able to sit and chat, watch the sunset and drink wine with my boo. 

This is the bay of LBI, hard to get a good picture for some reason...

My dismal attempt at taking a photo of the sunset, also oopsie caught Mikey taking a sip of wine. 

Up first we ordered our appetizers from the raw bar, 6 raw oysters and 6 raw clams.  I was intrigued because I'd never even heard of raw clams as an option, and I was also super jazzed about the raw oysters because they're delicious. 

These. were. amazing. 

They came with lemons, cocktail sauce, horseradish, and this vinaigrette which was amazing on the clams. 

I'm a dumby and was too busy slurping up this deliciousness to remember to take a photo. Here... are the shells... haha

Mikey ordered crab cakes with green beans and fries, the fries were a-ma-zing for some reason. I'm not a fan of crab cakes anymore but he said they were delicious. 

I on the other hand ordered up a whopping dose of Omega-3's and got the grilled salmon. It was so buttery and melted in my mouth, it was served over an arugula salad with roasted tomatoes, drizzled with a vinaigrette. 

Alright- and that's a wrap kids!!! That only took me a month... I need to light a fire under my rear and get back to cooking!! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bad Blogger

I have been a super, super bad blogger recently. I've also been super, super busy so at least I have an excuse. We're heading out to the beach this weekend so I've been doing everything in my power and creativity to use all perishables currently in our fridge- I think I'm winning.

Dinners have been weird and random however- and definitely not picture worthy.

Breakfast this week consisted of PB & J's and coffee. Snacks were babybel cheeses and fresh, amazingly delicious peaches from my CSA box. Lunches were a mixture of leftovers and... things I found in the fridge (scary). Dinners... well those were.. also incredibly random. They've been chock-full of veggie and lean protein though, I remember eating uh... rainbow chard, corn on the cob, fresh green beans.. hmm..

But I did it! I have no guilt in wasting food before leaving for our trip!

In other news, I have finally reached the point in my stage of readiness to put in full throttle and lose some weight.  In my field, we learn that everyone is in some stage of readiness in regards to a change they must make.

  1. Pre-contemplation: Person has not seriously considered taking action, the need for change is not forefront in their mind. 
  2. Contemplation: Person is aware of issue and need for change, but has not made plans on actually making the change. 
  3. Preparation: Person has thought about taking action and is making plans on how to achieve this goal. 
  4. Action: Person is taking action and continues to take action. (It is very easy to slip from here back to an earlier stage) 
  5. Maintenance: Person has been taking action continuously for a length of time and has plan and habit set to continue current action. 
We identify what stage our client or patient is and then cater their plan of care and goals to help move them through the cycle. It's pretty darn helpful. I'm currently in stage 4 so carpe diem- let's keep it coming! 

.......Just in time for vacation. Bah.. 

I promise to take pictures of what I eat on vacation though for two reasons. One, because that's super fun and 2) I have to hold myself accountable. 

ALSO- If you're in the Pittsburgh area and love adventures, theater, or just want to try something truly creative and really cool - check out this event: STRATA

I went last night and it was crazy, the whole event was impressive and well done. I would love to tell you more, but then I'd have to kill you- and I think that would hinder my path to personal enlightenment! ;) 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ina Garten - Veggie Style

I've been trying recently to incorporate more protein into my diet (especially for breakfast) so I made a frittata to take to work last week.  Now, as my family is fully aware of, I am absolutely obsessed with Ina Garten.  I want to be her best friend, her neighbor, heck I want to be her.  She is such a classy lady, has fantastic taste, and has an impeccable talent for entertaining.  It's my life dream to one day meet her but I'm afraid if it happened, I would just stand there sobbing like the idiot that I am. 

Alas, moving on. 

I decided to "tweak" her Smoked Salmon Frittata recipe which is, by the way, to die for and I highly recommend it  for when you have family staying the night over.  But for everyday eating, I wanted to "healthify" it so I:

1. Omitted the salmon and added crumbled soy breakfast patties (if you are a meat-eater, leave the salmon in for a nice boost of omega-3 fatty acids) 
2. Added a brick of spinach (thawed and squeezed of water) 
3. Switched goat cheese for low-fat mozzarella shreds
4. Swapped a dozen eggs for egg beaters equivalent
5. Swapped cream for skim milk 
6. Swapped butter for Brummel & Brown 

Now you're probably thinking, "What the heck Lindsey? You dismantled her recipe!" Okay well fine so I did- gigantic tweakage. But it was Ina's technique of sauteing the onions, pouring the mixture over top, and baking the frittata for almost an hour that really makes this dish what it is.  Also the addition of a cup of fluid makes this dish fluffy and moist.. So, so good. 

Breakfast fit for a king (and queen)

Also- this frittata (made in a 10'' pan) made enough for me and my husband for a week! Yum! Not to mention- who isn't jazzed when they fit vegetables into their breakfast? 

Disclaimer: Please ignore that my foot is in the photo and that the photo is clearly cock-eyed, I was in a gigantic rush to eat it!! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Family Favorites

Garden vegetables are finally starting to ripen and my CSA boxes are bursting with summer deliciousness!  I was so stoked to get 4 ears of corn and some banana peppers in my box last week- summer staples from my childhood.  Back when I was younger, my family used to live for farm stands and tomatoes fresh from the garden.  My mom used to grow mainly cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and banana peppers, but I think now that my brother and I have moved out, she just sticks to tomatoes.  

I was feeling rather nostalgic today and craving something home style for dinner.  I didn't want anything elaborate, but I did want something familiar.  I think my dinner selection sums up pretty well what my family would eat every night July-August.

And ya know? We never, ever wanted anything else. 

Hot dog with banana peppers, corn on the cob, tomato salad, and cottage cheese. 

Followed by Grandma B's signature dish: green beans and potatoes with bacon, cooked in the pressure cooker. 

I have so many fond memories of eating dinner at my grandparent's house and having this dish.  I can remember it like it was yesterday, everyone sitting around her round wooden table and digging into fresh tomato salad, spooning out steaming green beans and potatoes, dolloping out cottage cheese, passing the bread and butter.  The kitchen is rather small, so whomever was sitting near the fridge could literately reach behind them, open the door, and grab some pop from the fridge without even getting up!  Not only was the food amazing but it was also so fun to share stories and laugh with my family.

The main point is, everything was so fresh, simple, and delicious and so, so comforting.  I could literately eat this exact meal every night for the rest of my life. 

My grandma is such a fantastic cook, her dishes are famous in the family and often requested at holiday get together's.  One time I tried to sit her down and get the recipes in writing only to find out she doesn't measure anything and just throws in "a handful of this, a dollop of that". Oye!  My mother is slowly mastering many of her dishes through trial and error, her oyster dressing, macaroni salad, potato salad.  Oh and my mom also brings some amazing summer dishes to the table!  I crave her fried zucchini this time of year, and her cucumbers and onions are so refreshing and can go on just about anything.  

So, so good. 

I think I'm going to fully embrace the fruits of summer by making and enjoying my family favorites more often- I think I'm hanging up my spatula for the summer so I can just nosh on fresh vegetables.

Family summer must-haves:

Tomato salad
Corn on the Cob
Cottage Cheese
Hot dogs with banana peppers
Green beans & potatoes with bacon 
Fried Zucchini 

Now I'm super curious to know, what is everyone else eating this summer? 

Monday, July 23, 2012


This shiz... is amazing....

You better pray your local Trader Joe's has this.. because it's the bomb..

It's literately the best non-dairy ice cream I have ever stumbled across and I will be indulging in this whenever I get the chance. 

Another Day at the Strip

Hello my lovelies.. sorry for going on a hiatus for a bit.  For some reason I was really dragging my knuckles last week and could barely muster the energy to put dinner on the table, let alone blog about it.  Luckily, nothing interesting was missed food-wise...  Something exciting however was that my brother and sister-in-law came to visit Friday-Sunday.  It's been so long since I've been able to see them and it was so nice to spend time with them. 

On Friday, we ate takeout from Curry Away (I ordered Vegetable Pad Kee Mao.. soooo good...) and went to see Mike's improv show at Steel City Improv.  Afterwards we went to a really fun bar called James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy.  I really dug the bar, it was very speakeasy-esque, there was jazz music, jazz musician's photos on the wall, old-fashioned cocktails, and just had a really fun vibe going on.  The beer list was amazing too!  We were still full from dinner so we just ordered an appetizer of cajun fried oysters.  I am obsessed with cajun fried oysters, but unfortunately these weren't very good... Too, too salty.

On Saturday, I woke up and made a decent brunch of coffee, toast, and a frittata that consisted of items I had available in my fridge.  I was a bad, bad hostess and didn't have time to go grocery shopping- I didn't even have conditioner in the shower!! D'oh!! 

The frittata included:  Eggs, mozzarella cheese, turkey sausage, spinach, onion, and soy cream.  Like I said, I was really.. really low on ingredients.. 

After brunch, we headed down to the Strip District and had an amazing time.  It's so fun taking new people to the Strip and watching them have fun and enjoy themselves.  It really is a sight to see! My sister-in-law Tricia is a major foodie like me, so she was in seventh heaven!  Actually Brian (my brother) is a pretty big foodie too so they both loved it. And while not in the foodie club, Mike loves showing newcomers Pittsburgh, so he enjoyed showing them Mancini's Bakery, Wholey's, and Penn Mac

I have to say Penn Mac is my favorite place in the Strip (well, that and the public market). 

We also stopped at Penzey's for some spices- I scored some hot curry and some schmancy cocoa powder... 

T bought their hot chocolate mix, some Zatar seasoning, Aleppo pepper mix, and my personal favorite, Sunny Paris blend.  If you are ever at Penzey's you have to buy the Sunny Paris or I won't be your friend any longer. 

I mean it... 

We also picked up some Mancini's bread, vinegar from Olio Fresca, and olive oil from Penn Mac.. 

Some veggies!! (and some pepperoni for T) 

A little antipasta... The olives were a-ma-zing!

For dinner we had grilled seafood (the rest of the family also had steak) 

And for a side, we had this gorgeous, gorgeous heirloom tomato salad... So incredibly good... 

Oh.. and for dessert...