almost friday

almost friday: pittsburgh recap

If you watched any of our stories last week/weekend on Instagram you will have noticed we were away for a friend’s wedding in Pittsburgh. We’ve never been and was surprised that it was only a six hour drive for us, which meant it was on the border of being a bearable road trip. Anything past that and I am itching to get out of the car!

Pittsburgh is a really neat city. If you haven’t been I would suggest going – even just for a long weekend. Like most large cities, no two areas were the same and we found ourselves saying, “well this area reminds of Chicago, this area reminds me London” and so on. I was surprised by the elevation (certain parts are VERY hilly) and also surprised at how many sharp turns you had to take to get on another road! Watching the routes on the GPS was quite amusing. I will have to say though it was one city I could never get my bearings in. The three rivers and all of the bridges constantly had me confused so I was VERY grateful for navigation to get me everywhere! But with that said, we had a great time and I’m really jealous of their restaurants!

Here is where we went, what we did and what/where we ate:

Schoolhouse

We arrived late in the afternoon on our first day and our first stop was Schoolhouse. With only two storefronts in the nation, I HAD to go! And HAD to make it our first stop. The Pittsburgh store is located about 15 minutes out of the city center and is located in an old Detective Building. The store is only one floor (we were hoping it was the entire building) and of course the set up was amazing and I wanted to move in right away. We walked around the store at least three times making sure we didn’t miss anything. I wanted to buy everything, but settled on this blanket, this spoon rest and this cute tablespoon measuring cup.

Gaucho Parrilla Argentina

We later checked into our room at the Sheraton at Station Square (yay for wedding rates!) and headed out to dinner. We are foodies and before we go anywhere we seriously research where to eat. We look at blogs, local publications and sites like Eater to know where the hot spots are. We landed on Gaucho. It’s an Argentinian restaurant where steak and chimichurri is life. It’s not your typical sit down restaurant. Here you stand in line, order your food, sit at table they tell you and they bring it to you. I love that! There is often a line out the door, but that’s usually a good sign in my opinion. We ordered a flank steak, roasted carrots with goat cheese and honey, grilled summer squash and roasted potatoes. They have four chimichurri’s to dip everything and its also BYOB. The food was amazing. The atmosphere was fun and everything was worth the 30 minutes we stood in line.

Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette

We ate brunch here the next day and all I have to say is RUN TO PLACE first if you are in Pittsburgh. Seriously though, we had the best meal and I really regret not getting one of everything on the menu just to try everything. We shared three things: the tomato toast, the breakfast salad and the goat cheese and honey toast. The tomato toast was marinated/pickled cherry tomatoes, red onion and dill on a BIG piece of crusty wheat-sour dough like bread . It was so good and a nice start to brunch. Then we ate the breakfast salad which was a mix of greens, fried potatoes, lentils, tomatoes, a fried egg and some delicious vinaigrette. I inhaled that salad and will definitely try to recreate it at home. Speaking of… my new favorite thing to make (and eat now) is goat cheese toast with local honey drizzled over it because of what we had here. I wanted to end our meal on something sweet and – YUP, that was the perfect thing. Again, go here. You will not regret it.

Prantl’s Bakery

When anyone tells me that someone is famous for something- I’m there! And that’s exactly how I found Prantl’s. They have this Brunt Almond Torte which has been voted Best Cake in America, and I just happen to agree. If you have a chance to try, do!

Andy Warhol Museum

We spent an afternoon wandering around Andy Warhol’s most famous pieces. It was fun way to spend an afternoon and of course there was a lot to learn about his life. The gift shop is also really fun. If you’re not into art I would still go to the gift shop, because there was such a fun variety of things to buy.

Pamela’s Diner

When Obama was campaigning for president the first time around he stopped here. And in the middle of talking, he stopped and said, “These are the best pancakes I’ve ever had, those crispy edges!” So clearly we had to go try the pancakes. This place it also one of those that has a long line, but it was relatively fast and just as an FYI – it’s cash only. The pancakes were thin and those crispy edges did not disappoint.

Who new? Retro Mod Decor

This is a vintage store on steroids. There is so much to look at you almost have to spend a good hour just walking around to make sure you didn’t miss anything (and it’s not that big of store!) I bought a pair of pretty wood candlesticks for our mantle. The store owner could not be nicer and even talked about his 40 year career as a clown. He very much was a real life Cam from Modern Family – too sweet!

Thank you, Pittsburgh for a great weekend!

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