Cuzamil Restaurante Mexicano

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I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and enjoyed a lot of great food too! This month I checked out Cuzamil twice, once on Cinco de Mayo and also last week. On Cino de Mayo the place was PACKED! My friend and I were lucky when we got to Cuzamil because we didn’t have to wait for a table even though the restaurant was busy, but that soon changed for most people who came after us, as we were leaving the wait was an hour. I know I was impressed with the food at Cuzamil along with the margaritas. A few weeks back I noticed Cuzamil for the first time and knew I had to check them out ASAP, what better day to do that then on Cinco de Mayo?!

On both trips I ordered Taco Dinners, the first was the Al Pastor (Pineapple Pork) and the second time was Ground Beef. The Al Pastor taco’s were delicious! The taco comes with rice and beans, if you have ever been to a Mexican restaurant I believe the rice and beans are pretty universal and can’t really say too much about them. Getting back to the taco’s, the pork was perfect and every bite had a nice hint of pineapple. The ground beef taco’s were good too, I find it very hard to mess those up.

The first trip I ordered a Chile Relleno and never received it, the second trip I ordered it and had some confusion on what I actually got. According to their menu a Chile Relleno is a ground beef and cheese ball, with a piece of bell pepper, battered and deep fried. That is exactly what I have seen on TV shows and other restaurants and that is what I wanted. When I ordered it, the waitress asked if I wanted the Chile Relleno or Chile Pablano? I asked what the difference was, I was told the Pablano was either chicken or pork with cheese in a pepper and that the relleno was just the pepper and cheese cut up. I ordered the Pablano with chicken. It was good, but I really wanted what the description said and was let down by that.

My main issues with Cuzamil was the Chile Relleno and the staff telling me the dish was something and the menu was something different. Also on Cinco de Mayo the place was packed and I really don’t think the staff was prepared to handle such a crowd. That was the main reason a second trip was necessary to see what the place is like on a normal day. The food was great both trips, but what will really bring me back is the margaritas! The first trip we ordered a pitcher of Mango margaritas and WOW did the tequila hit quickly! That pitcher went down real smooth! On my second trip we tried kiwi margaritas first, they were alright, but not as good as the mango and I couldn’t taste the tequila as much in the kiwi. I have a feeling for how close Cuzamil is to my house I might have to go back after work one day when I need a good margarita to chase the worries away!

Not sure what I will order next time I go back, a few friends have ordered the Cuzamil Platter which has a mix of everything and is really meant for at least 2 people to share. I may not know what food I will get, but I know there will be a pitcher of margaritas to wash it down for sure!

2109 Murray Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Phone – 412-521-3250
Web – http://www.cuzamilpgh.com/

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Burgatory Bar – April 28, 2011

This past Thursday some friends and I went to Burgatory, I haven’t ventured out onto the new Pittsburgh burger scene lately and was really excited to do so. Especially because I have heard some great things about Burgatory. How did Burgatory hold up? Let’s dig in…

I started the night out with one of their “Hard Shakes” and the one that caught my eye was the “Apple Pancakes & Bacon” – Gala Apple & Caramel Vodka with Caramelized Apple Pancakes & Bacon. As the menu says “If you’re scratching your head right now, you’re not ready for this one but trust us – it’s oh so good!”. No, no it is not! They had my interest because of the flavors in there and I thought maybe they would work well together because of the salty and sweet combo. I can say that outside of the bacon in the shake I thought it was good, because I would take a sip and the sweetness was really good, but then I would get hit with the bacon and it would just ruin everything for me, and then I would have to chew the bacon and other bits in the shake. I know I usually say bacon makes everything better, today we are going to add an asterisk to that line *NOT IN MILKSHAKES!

We then moved to the appetizer of “Six Napkin Nachos”! Menu reads “Tony’s Chicken Chili, Fire Roasted Poblano Peppers, Jack & Cheddar, Smoked Jalapeno Sour Cream and fresh Guacamole.” Another disappointment at Burgatory, I felt that everything that was on the nachos just didn’t give anything a great flavor experience. I think there was too much working against each other as I didn’t get any real taste from the nachos, and it tasted mushier than anything. 0 for 2.

Since this is a burger joint and not a nacho bar, hopefully the burger will save the day! A really nice feature is that you can build your own burger at Burgatory but they also have a selection of burgers that they recommend. I tried the Morty’s Steakhouse – “Peppercorn Crusted Beef Burger with Horseradish Cheddar, Haystack Onions and Cabernet Sauce.” Their tagline for the burger is “Like the greatest steak dinner you’ve ever had reincarnated as a burger”. Let me tell you, I had the greatest steak dinner of my life last summer at Chef Robert Irvine’s restaurant in Hilton Head, and this burger doesn’t even come close to that! I ordered the burger medium well and the burger was cooked perfectly and juicy, I especially love when there are little juice pockets in a burger for a flavor experience unlike any other. That is about all I can say great about the burger. The peppercorn crust was WAY too over powerful on this burger because that was all I could really taste as I ate the burger. Bite after bite, peppercorn seasoning upon more peppercorn seasoning. The thing that sold me on this burger even more was when reading the menu it has Horseradish Cheddar cheese, where? While it was on the burger, it was scarce and the flavor was minimal as the peppercorn was still battling my taste buds in each bite. I was also interested in the cabernet sauce, but that was just there version of A1. If you have ever had an A1 steakhouse burger from Burger King that is pretty much what I had here except the burger patty was better quality. If you are in the mood for a steakhouse burger, save some money and just go to Burger King. Along with the burger you have a choice of fries or chips, the waitress was selling us on ordering the fries which are homemade and are $1 more. Don’t waste the extra dollar and stick with the chips because they are far better tasting and already come with the meal.

The rest of the table created their own burgers and seemed pleased, on my next trip I will make sure to avoid the hard shakes and recommended burgers (along with the seasoning) and create a flavorful burger which is what I should’ve done in the first place. Overall table rating for the trip was a 7, so the overall Burgatory food experience was just average. Who else has been to Burgatory? Have you had the same experience or has it been for the better?

932 Freeport Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
Phone- 412-781-1456
Web- http://www.burgatorybar.com/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Burgatory-Bar/172102409486384
Twitter – http://twitter.com/BurgatoryBar

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BRGR – April 13, 2011 (Guest Blog by Blake Tarr)


Oh the burger revolution, with the ongoing advent of Foodie culture, there has been a movement to the appreciation of food to degrees unseen before; your typical hot dog can becomes a work of art which belongs in an art gallery instead of your large intestine. Thus you can purchase a gourmet burger, I repeat gourmet burgers, the concept really boggles my mind! Burgers are meant to be delicious, simple and delicious. An unhealthy guilty pleasure where a man can relive his prehistoric roots and engulf an animal that has roamed the purple mountain majesties above the fruited plains!  Taking a burger to fine dining just strikes me as generally wrong; if a chain smoking waitress named sue with a blue apron isn’t asking me “Would you like fries sugar?” I feel I am missing something!

With that being said back to BRGR, I went into the establishment after work and the first think I noticed looking at the decor was I felt underdressed!  Again, I just came from work so when business casual is underdressed for a burger joint let’s just say it gave me pause. The inside of the establishment resembled an apartment of a hipster and yuppie cohabiting a new york loft. If this seems like the location that you want to ingest grade A angus beef go right ahead, I was still looking for Sue to come around. The inside: trendy, elegant, refined (everything a burger should not be)  We got offered to sit on the rooftop which the host said was beautiful, again when I am attempting to ingest butchered cow, beautiful isn’t exactly what I am intending.

When reaching upstairs, they had a nice rooftop enclosure which was heated, since the day was slightly chilly. There was no dedicated bartender upstairs so if you wanted a beer on draft you could only order one downstairs (Alcoholic Milkshakes, and Beer Bottles were offered upstairs). Burger with no draft beer, I was about to throw a shoe at the wonderful waitress. Sitting down and calming myself I noticed this seemed like a comfortable place to eat a burger, not as stuffy and metro as downstairs.  I ordered a chocolate covered cherry spiked milkshake, which had cherry vodka, cherries and grated dark chocolate, I gotta say not bad! You tasted every flavor present, and definitely tasted the vodka. It was a nice novelty, maybe this place would start to grow on me.  We ordered fries, which had Parmesan cheese and herbs on top and they were quite tasty, we added the truffle cheese whiz which was a delicious dipping sauce!  (Warning: As you know I am lactose intolerant, so after ingesting the milkshake and cheese fries I began to second guess my dining options, but the food was so tasty, it was something I was willing to pay for!)

Now what you are curious about, the burger. first and foremost, my expectations were a place that you could build your own burger, this was not the case. For a place that specializes in burgers the options are relatively limited.  6 angus beef burgers, 1 salmon burger, 1 turkey burger, 1 veggie burger, 1 pork burger, 1 kobe beef burger, and a few other options. No substitutions is written in big bold letters! Even at Wendy’s I can have it my way! A burger place where I can’t customize my order, oh no BRGR we have a problem ( and where are the vowels in the name, I understand the general rules of the English language!)

I orderd the Shroomz Angus Burger cooked medium, that is what I received! The burger itself was cooked perfectly, the flavors were sadly one note, a tasty burger yes, was I transported to anywhere other than a rooftop in East Liberty, no! No flavor really came out at me, the brie cheese, the mushrooms, the carmelized onions, the mustard aioli. Not bad, flavors were muddled, you could say harmonized if you want, I will say it was just a good burger. The only criticism with the burger was the bun. Soft and delicious but my bun started to fall apart a bit upon tooth destruction of my burger. I would have liked a more hearty bun.

BRGR (where are the freaking vowels!) service was nice and quick, we had a nice conversation with one of our waitresses, but alas, I don’t think I will be returning, while it was a ok time, paying for gourmet prices for an OK time is simply not ok. In Pittsburgh there are a plethora of gourmet burger joints (Burgatory, The Pittsburgh Burger Company, Fat Heads) sadly BRGR you don’t cut the mustard….

5997 Penn Circle South
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Phone- 412-362-BEEF(2333)
Web- http://www.brgrpgh.com/
Facebook –

BRGR on Urbanspoon

Tilted Kilt – April 6, 2011

The Tilted Kilt on the North Shore opened up last Monday April 4, where Calico Jack’s used to be (so glad that place is gone). Some friends and I stopped down last Wednesday to give the place a try after work. The tag line of the Titled Kilt is “a cold beer never looked so good” and is definitely sports bar/restaurant. The bar is a decent size with a lot of seating around it along with tons of seating in the front of the restaurant and in back by the pool table and darts. I will try to refrain myself from discussing any of the … ahem… sights, and focus on the food and drinks.


I have to start off with what I didn’t like the most and that was the drinks. If you are going to the Titled Kilt for a beer, good call, but I thought that $5 was a little much for a draft. I then ordered a “Montgomery Tea” that has fresh brewed Tea, Lemonade and Seagram’s Sweet Tea Vodka. By far the Montgomery Tea was one of the worst alcoholic drinks I have ever had, the tea was good, but I couldn’t even taste any alcohol in it (if they even made it properly). That was by far my biggest disappointment with the Titled Kilt, I will probably never order a mixed drink again there.


Now onto the food…


Started with a signature appetizer, TK Irish Nachos “fresh-cooked crispy potato chips covered with cheese sauce, seasoned ground beef and tomatoes”. The potato chips were a cut thicker than an average potato chip, but they were pretty decent. If you read that description of the food, that is exactly what you got. I didn’t think the Irish Nachos were anything special and probably wouldn’t get them again, but it was worth trying out. Our waitress hyped the classic nachos with chicken, I plan on getting them next time. My friend got an order of the “Five Quid Squid” or calamari, and that was some of the worst calamari I have ever had it was fried too hard and was dry, the marinara sauce on the side couldn’t save it. Another friend got some wings to start with and ordered the TK Signature Sauce which is Sweet & Spicy, and also the most mild sauce on the menu. That was pretty tasty, it was sweet and had a great kick to it as well. I’m not sure if I could handle the hottest “Kilt Burner Sauce” but might try in the middle of just the “Titled Sauce”.


Now onto what saved the night for me…Fat Bastard’s Meatloaf Sandwich – “a generous portion of our made-from-scratch meatloaf served open faced on a hoagie, drizzled with our delicious Guinness BBQ Sauce and topped with shoestring onions. The meatloaf was alright, by itself it’s nothing to write home about, but the Guinness BBQ Sauce… that right there… saved the whole entire trip for me! I’m having a Homer Simpson right now just thinking about it! The Guinness BBQ Sauce was sweet with a kick and you could really taste the Guinness in it compared to some places that add stuff and is rare to taste. I would go back to the Tilted Kilt just for the Guinness BBQ Sauce (among a few other things, but I digress).


The night was ended with the Tilted Guilt – a partially baked Chocolate Chip or White Chocolate Macadamia Nut (I went with the White Chocolate) cookie served hot from the oven, topped with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Syrup. This dessert was on point, I usually don’t eat dessert out but this sounded too good to pass up and I was really glad I didn’t. They might as well call in diabetes in a bowl!


Overall I wasn’t really impressed with the food at the Titled Kilt, would I go back to try some other stuff? Probably. Would I make it a regular spot? No. I might wait a few weeks to go back and see if some of the problems I had with the drinks and food were just early growing pains or if it seems to be recurring. I’m sure guys out there will def check it out ASAP just cause. If anyone does go, let me know what you think of the food and or anything else there…



353 Northshore Dr

Pittsburgh, PA, 15212

Phone – 412-235-7823

Web- http://northshore.tiltedkilt.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tilted-Kilt-Pittsburgh/187799301264631

Twitter – http://twitter.com/TiltedKiltPub

The Tilted Kilt on Urbanspoon

Local Bar + Kitchen – March 24, 2011

Local just opened a few weeks ago on March 12, and last week was my boy Vic’s bday and since he works on the South Side we figured we would check out the new place for lunch. We sat at the bar, the downside was it being a work day and couldn’t have a liquid lunch, but the bar was fully stocked and it is def on my list to drink at soon to get the full effect. The whole atmosphere in the restaurant was cool, it had a loft apartment feel to it and I can really see this place being popular with the college crowd.


Onto the real reason we are here…THE FOOD!


I have to start with my favorite first, “Beat-the-Buffalo Bills Chicken Pizza” awesome name! Mild buffalo tossed chicken, banana pepper, mozzarella, provolone & fries with ranch on the side. Yea your taste buds are going into overdrive right now just reading that! First bite was flavor town, especially with the parmesan seasoning that was on the crust and pan just helped the flavors explode. The first few bites not bad, everything was flavorful and not a ton of heat, fries gave something unique to a pizza. Then BAM! I have had a lot of buffalo chicken items over the years; by far this was one of the best/spiciest I have ever had. I like to think I can take heat, and let me say the pizza wasn’t overkill, just every so often kick to the throat. I guess I have to give the warning that if you just like buffalo chicken where it has weak flavor, this pizza probably isn’t for you, but if you like some bite in your buffalo chicken, THIS IS A MUST TRY! If I do a Pizza Challenge again for this blog, Local is going to be on the list for sure.


A couple appetizers we tried were the Vegetable Spring Rolls & honey hot BBQ wings. The wings had a good hard fry on them which is the way I like them and the sauce was really good too. The Spring Rolls were nice, only downside is that they are supposed to come with a hot mustard or duck sauce and they were out of the hot mustard that day, no worries I understand early growing pains. I’m not a big fan of duck sauce, don’t really think it adds anything so I feel like I didn’t get the full affect of the spring rolls but I’ll make sure I try them again on the next visit. Vic got a “Big Fat Chubby Burgher” and it looked really good, gotta add that to the list too.


Local Bar + Kitchen opens daily at 11am and I recommend that you try them out in person and on the web:


16th and East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA

Phone – 412-431-8800

Web- http://localpgh.com/

Twitter – http://twitter.com/localpgh

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/localpgh

Local Bar and Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Bocktown – January 4, 2011

beer belly challenge

Alright, before I get started I need to say that if I do another food challenge somebody needs to step in and stop me! Last year I did the “Irish Challenge” and that did some damage, but its the ones that you think will be simple that destroy you!


Some friends and I went to bocktown because we checked out their menu a while back and really wanted to see what the place was like. The menu is ridiculous and I recommend you follow the link below and check it out. If you can’t find something on the menu here that you like, then you just don’t like food. As we walked towards Bocktown we noticed a sign called the “Beer Belly Challenge”. The Beer Belly Challenge consists of 2lbs of fries, 3 toppings and 30 minutes (timed) to finish (thanks to Bocktown for reminding me of the details). So I figured, that doesn’t sound so tough… I swear I am still feeling the effects of that challenge… I got fries with Beer Cheese, Bacon & Sausage. I did a decent job to start but about half way through each bite just didn’t have flavor any more because all I could taste was salt. I had a beer but couldn’t even drink that I just had to wash each bite with water. Let me say that the toppings and the fries were delicious, each by themself and together, but after nonstop eating of these they just began to overload my taste buds. In the end, I finished with time remaining, I think it was like 2 or 3 minutes, and I got my free t-shirt!

Well that night I also ordered a Hot Sausage Meatball Sandwich, figuring the beer belly challenge wouldn’t harm me, I was wrong. The sandwich is listed as- Our spicy hot sausage meatballs made with Ricci’s sausage simmered in a robust tomato sauce, served on a toasted roll with Monterey jack cheese. Now the sandwich sounds tasty, and could’ve been, but after eating all of those fries there is no way I would be able to answer if it was or not.

I look forward to another trip to Bocktown, one that will not involve a beer belly challenge, so I can try a few other items on the menu that have caught my eye!

Have you been to Bocktown? Let me know what you like so I can try it the next time I go!

690 Chauvet Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
(412) 788-2333
Web- http://www.bocktown.com/

Bocktown Beer and Grill on Urbanspoon

The Pizza Challenge : Mineo’s vs. Aiello’s (January 30, 2011)

My buddy JJ has been wanting to do some pizza challenges since last March when I did the March Madness Tournament on here. So recently we picked a night and did 2 legendary Sq Hill Pizza Shops: Mineo’s vs. Aiello’s! I think it’s pretty tough to live in or around Pittsburgh without knowing either of these places, and to have never had is just a shame! I have had Mineo’s for years, but couldn’t ever remember trying Aiello’s and generally people prefer one or the other.

Mineo’s: Sausage, Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza- As far as I can remember I can’t get a Mineo’s pie without Sausage because I think they have the best around and what else makes a mineo’s pie? THE CHEESE! So much cheese! It’s 10am and I’m drooling just thinking about how delicious it is! The only problem I ever have with a Mineo’s pie is that because of the cheese and toppings the crust can fall apart easily, its more of a knife and fork pizza. The crust is always crispy around the edges at the end.


Aiello’s: T-REX Pepperoni, Sausage, Ham, Bacon, Capicolla and Provolone Cheese – The crust was the first thing I noticed on this pie, because it was similar to Mineo’s in taste and texture but Aiello’s I noticed stayed a little more firm underneath the toppings so it was easier to eat as a slice. The toppings were great, I’ve never ordered a combination like that before so it was unique and wasn’t overpowering at all either.

WINNER – Mineo’s Pizza. Aiello’s was a great pie, and wouldn’t turn another one down from them, but if I have my choice I will order Mineo’s again and again. JJ, Vic & myself all agreed Mineo’s was the winner. Mineo’s had the better toppings (the CHEESE man, THE CHEESE!) that just made the pizza quality better.

So now it’s your turn, go out and try both Mineo’s & Aiello’s and let us know what you thought and who you think the winner is…

Also, let me know if there are any other pizza shops that should get used in future Pizza Challenges!

Mineo’s Pizza Sq. Hill
2128 Murray Avenue # 1
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Phone- (412) 521-2053
Web- http://www.mineospizza.com/

Mineo's Pizza House (Squirrel Hill) on Urbanspoon

Aiello’s Pizza
2112 Murray Avenue # 1
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Phone- (412) 521-9973
Web- http://www.aiellospizza.com/

Aiello's Pizza on Urbanspoon