Month: June 2012

The Porch at Schenley – June 15, 2012

The Porch at Schenley on Urbanspoon

The thing I like most about blogging about food is the different varieties of food and restaurants that I go to. I’m sure everyone who loves to experience different varieties can agree when I say when you find something unique you notice it right away. This past Friday after work I went with some friends to The Porch at Schenley. The Porch has been at the top of my list for a couple weeks and when I heard of some people going I jumped at the opportunity to join in. When I walked into The Porch the first thing I noticed is how clean the place looks. Everything helped give it that look from the modern furniture inside and outside, to the paint, the big windows that bring it so much natural light, the lighting fixtures, the bar, just about everything in this restaurant jumps out to give you a light and warm atmosphere during your entire meal. An interesting thing I learned while there is that there is a garden on the roof where the Chef grows the freshest ingredients to use at the restaurant.

After we sit down to take a look at the menu our waitress, Julie, comes to the table and goes over the specials. We order drinks and the first thing that caught my eye was the “Almost Arnie” The Porch’s own Limoncello, Fresh Brewed Iced Tea and Mint. The limoncello was delicious and paired very well with the fresh brewed iced tea and the fresh mint just gave it that little bit of extra that not many places give. They also had a special on Sam Adam’s Porch Rocker buckets which they described as a lemonade beer, and was very good as well, I plan on getting a case of that for the summer real soon!

My main attraction that I ordered was the Grilled Ribeye which comes with Crispy Taters and Salsa Verde. The Grilled Ribeye was excellent, the little bit of seasoning and char on the outside paired with the salsa verde was an unbelievable taste experience. The Crispy Taters which are Tuscan Style with Curried Ketchup for dipping are something different that brought an extra level of flavor to this dish. The Grilled Ribeye was definitely one of the best steaks I have had in Pittsburgh.

Ever since I started checking out other blogs about The Porch I kept seeing Pizza everywhere and I knew I just had to try it as well. I ordered the BBQ Chicken Pizza which has Roasted Chicken, Red Onion, Pineapple, Cilantro and BBQ Sauce. The presentation is pretty awesome which is a tray with parchment paper and Parmesan cheese, red pepper and herbs on the side. The BBQ chicken flavors again worked very well and that little bit of char from the oven really helps give an authentic taste. I will be back to The Porch for many other items, but I can guarantee I will be back for the pizza many times! If you like Blue Cheese it was recommended to me to get blue cheese dressing on the side of this pizza and because of trying it The Porch may have my favorite Blue Cheese dressing.

By the point I was so full… still am lol. However, after our meal we tried the Cast Iron Cornbread… oh my god… I love cornbread and The Porch makes it so good. The cast iron skillet it comes in really does make a difference (as I’ve heard many times in the past). Everything from the warm cornbread, to the crumb topping, the sweet taste with the butter, just everything made the cornbread so good. Again, I was completely full by the time the cornbread came out but I am so glad I was able to try it and won’t regret that decision at all! Next time I will eat much lighter and see what they have for dessert.

If you can’t tell I was very impressed with my dinner at The Porch at Schenley. If you didn’t know, The Porch at Schenley is owned by the Eat’n Park Hospitality Group. I am even more excited for the Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s next restaurant venture “Hello Bistro” that is opening in Oakland in less than 2 weeks. The following description of “Hello Bistro” comes from their website and I can’t wait for them to open: “Existing at the crossroads of classic and cutting-edge, Hello Bistro combines Eat’n Park’s most-loved favorites and fresh, new flavors in an urban setting. Built on a foundation of juicy burgers and an outrageously diverse salad bar – 55 toppings and counting – Hello Bistro serves up a creative new twist on everything from breakfast to sandwiches (or, as we say, sam’iches) to shakes, floats and more. Throw in a dash (or maybe a heaping spoonful) of attitude, and that just about sums up what Hello Bistro is all about.”


Tutti Frutti – June 7, 2012

Tutti Frutti on Urbanspoon

While in Squirrel Hill checking out Taza 21 my cousin and I decided to get some FroYo. We have been to Razzy Fresh in the past and considered going there. I talked him into trying Tutti Frutti instead because I had never been yet. What a mistake! Going into Tutti Frutti the yogurt machines are hidden in the back. The decorating was modern but I felt like I it was decorated for a teenage girl more than a frozen yogurt shop. I fill my bowl with Death By Chocolate, Peanut Butter and TF Original. The Death by Chocolate & Peanut Butter were alright, but TF Original was AWFUL! If you want something that actually fights against your taste buds that would be it. My cousin thought it might be better by itself with fruit, I’m thinking probably not but it could be like tofu and take flavors away from whatever its paired with. By the time I got halfway through the yogurt I was highly disappointed because now TF Original contaminated the peanut butter and death by chocolate. If you are looking for something sweet in Squirrel Hill a few doors down is Rita’s or walk further down the street to Razzy Fresh, either would be a better choice than Tutti Frutti.

Taza 21 – June 7, 2012

Taza 21 on Urbanspoon

If you would’ve asked me a month ago “what is shawarma and where can I find some?” I wouldn’t have had a clue. Luckily (like most people I’m noticing) after watching “The Avengers” and the mention of shawarma in the movie I became inquisitive. I did a few searches for shawarma and found Taza 21 not too far away. Earlier this week I had a checkup at my dentist and to my surprise Taza 21 was located right next door! So my cousin and I decided to give it a try.

Walking in there isn’t a lot of space in Taza 21 only about 5 tables and the kitchen area with a counter to separate them. Taza 21 is brightly decorated which makes the small spot look better. Walking in for the first time we noticed the menu on the left wall and began deciding what to order. I went with the lamb shawarma while my cousin went with the chicken shawarma rolled pizza. Taza 21 describes the lamb shawarma as: “Strips of marinated lamb, stacked and roasted on a rotating fire spit. Juicy strips are shaved and wrapped w/ parsley, onion, pickles, tomatoes, and tahini sauce… rolled to go, in a crispy, pressed wheat wrap.”. The lamb was excellent! I wasn’t sure if I should expect the meal to be like a gyro but it was different, unique and depending on your taste possibly better. The flavors of the lamb, parsley, onion, pickles, tomatoes and tahini sauce all worked together and I could taste each individual flavor while they worked together. I loved that the whole wrap was pressed together on I’m guessing a panini press because the little bit of crunch to the wrap was a great addition. A wish I would’ve learned about shawarma years ago because I feel like I’ve been missing out on something special. Now that I know about shawarma and it is so close to home I plan on frequenting Taza 21 more often!