The Porch at Schenley – June 15, 2012

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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.”

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