Happy July, I hope you all had a stellar holiday!
It must have seemed like I fell off of the pie planet but in fact I was scoping out potential pie cities, starting with Pittsburgh. And it was lovely! Pittsburgh is fantastically gritty, full of city pride and delicious food. We started our city visit in Lawrenceville, which seems to be coming up pretty quickly. As we wound our way down Butler Street we encountered effortlessly cool tattoo parlors, the diveiest dive bars, coffee filled cafes, adorable shops and fun sounding food. We ended up BYOBing our very own twelve pack (because you can’t buy cold six packs…) and having a fantastic meal at Pusadee’s Garden. Other neighborhood favorites included Umami, Franktuary, Round Corner Cantina, Constellation Coffee and Arsenal Park, where Ladybird had her daily romps.
The city was a great size, by the end of the trip we felt like we already knew our way around. It seems like a fun combination of history and friends in food making a name for themselves. In addition to staying in Lawrenceville we checked out Garfield and East Liberty for potential neighborhoods. We also swung down to the Strip District to wander around for an afternoon. I loved all of the open air fruit stands and the incredible number of awesome looking asian markets, not to mention the crepe pancakes at Pamela’s and the unbelievable steak sandwiches at Gaucho Parilla Argentina. Other notable moments were any and all of the homemade perogies I consumed and going to banjo night at the Elk’s Lodge where the whiskey was $4.00 a glass and the banjo tunes were on point!
I also had an opportunity to do a little Pittsburgh baking as well! I went back to the Strip District to snag the freshest fruits and went to work in my tiny Air B and B kitchen. I soon realized that other than an outstanding oven the kitchen had very little to offer by way of pie baking. I had been smart enough to bring my own rolling pin so rolling out my crusts was a breeze, but from then on things got a bit weird. I had no cutting board and only a butter knife with which to do any cutting. I fashioned a cutting board out of the bottom of my fruit box and thankfully the peaches and the strawberries were ripe enough to yield easily to my butter knife of doom. The trickiest bit was sawing open a can of sweetened condensed milk with the smallest serrated knife found on the end of a corkscrew bottle opener. Despite the strange kitchen the pies came out great and it made me think that I’d do really well on that cooking show where they make you use absurd utensils and with only one hand or whatever. I am a lady baker, hear me roar!
Pittsburgh was a success and it was wonderful to visit a city with the express purpose of envisioning a life there. We’ve not made a choice yet because we haven’t visited all of our cities but Pittsburgh is still on the list! I’ve a few meetings to take in Cincinnati and we’re headed to Denver mid August so if you all have any advice, city tips, or people I could meet with in either of those places, please let me know. The pie adventure continues.