Let’s get right to the getting in this issue. Until recently I really hadn’t heard much about Salt of the Earth, but what I have been hearing has been great. So a friend of mine and I decided to take a trip and see what Salt of the Earth is all about. When you walk in it’s kind of cool that the hostess stand has a curtain and they invite you in, something I have never experienced before. Walking in you see a huge chalk board which has the menu on it, modern community seating, seating at the bar or even in front of the kitchen. We decided to sit in front of the kitchen and I was glad we did.
It was kind of different to have to read the menu off of a chalk board especially since a lot of the stuff I was unaware of. Our waitress, Cathy, was awesome and was happy to walk us through anything we had questions about. We asked her some questions about the drink menu and what some of the items in the drinks were, on the stuff she didn’t know she informed us that the bartenders were magicians and everything came out great. I got the recommended gin drink to start and it packed a punch with great flavor, I may not know what was in it but it was tasty.
The appetizer that stood out to us the most was the sweetbreads. I had never had sweetbreads before and really wanted to try them. The sweetbreads come with bacon, succotash, tomato, grits. The grits were different because they were cubed and fried but plated with the sweetbreads so you could get everything in one bite. Again, I have never had sweetbreads before, but after trying salt of the earths I would definitely have them again.
One of the nice things about sitting in front of the kitchen was that we could see what dishes were being made and what they looked like. I could tell scallops were popular and so was the ribeye. So it was no surprise when we asked what Cathy recommended she went with the scallops and ribeye. I went with the ribeye which comes with mushroom, squash and sauce charcuterie. It was strange that I was not asked how I wanted my ribeye cooked, but I figured they were just going to cook it the way it should be. I can say that my steak experience just keeps getting better and better in Pittsburgh. A few weeks ago I had a ribeye at The Porch and loved it, I think I can say that Salt of the Earth even topped that. The basic salt and pepper seasoning along with the charcuterie sauce mixed with the mushrooms and squash was unbelievable. The ribeye came out around medium and was perfectly OK with me because the flavors of this dish hit every salivary gland I have. The ribeye was also a pretty impressive portion that I wasn’t expecting, I could barely finish it.
I really like zucchini bread and when I saw it on the menu I really wanted to try it. I barely had room but figured what the hell. Where I was seated was actually right in front of the dessert station of the kitchen, so during my meal I had already watched the zucchini bread being plated and really liked what I had been seeing. The kitchen toasts the zucchini bread on the stove for a few minutes and then it gets plated with a brown butter powder, currant sauce, sunflower seed brittle and I believe I was told a corn ice cream. I don’t like brittle so that didn’t interest me and the brown butter powder didn’t really do anything for me either. The ice cream was good and mixed well with the currant sauce and zucchini bread. I felt the zucchini bread had too many overpowering spices and I got the feeling I was eating a pumpkin bread more than zucchini bread.
Outside of the dessert I had I really enjoyed my trip to Salt of the Earth and will be back. For sitting in front of the kitchen my entire meal, the kitchen was very quiet. I give all the kitchen workers credit for being so organized. I would actually like to try Kevin Sousa’s other restaurants like Union Pig & Chicken and Station Street Hot Dogs first. If you haven’t heard Kevin Sousa is planning on opening a new restaurant in Braddock in the future, I’m looking forward to seeing what concept he brings next.