Category Archives: Pittsburgh

Korea Garden

The Korean food scene in Pittsburgh tends to be very pricey, and I believe Korea Garden is one of the cheaper places. However, they recently remodeled (sometime during March?) and they’ve raised the prices since then. It doesn’t deter me from coming back because I think they have the best soon dubu I’ve ever had.

Soon dubu

Soon dubu

I really like this dish because of the depth of flavor they put into the broth. Its just incredibly… brothy. It tastes like lots of different seafood has been cooked with the broth, which makes the flavor very complex. The egg comes precooked inside the soup, which is not typical, but I don’t mind. The rice they serve is also very delicious, and a little soup with some rice is amazing.

Spicy cold soba noodles

Spicy cold soba noodles

Non-spicy cold soba noodles

Non-spicy cold soba noodles

 

My roommates ordered a cold stringy soba noodle dish, one with the spicy Korean pepper sauce and one without. The dish comes with Asian pear, an egg, and various vegetables. Supposedly the cold broth is supposed to be a beef based broth, but it tasted more like a seafood based broth (perhaps seaweed?). My Korean roommate commented that the flavors of the dish were not typical. I thought it was pretty good, but I was completely weirded out by a cold broth soup. I guess, its an interesting dish.

Typical side dishes

Typical side dishes

So this post concludes my last post (for a while) in Pittsburgh. I am leaving for Toronto, and then I will settle in Chicago for culinary school. I’m not sure how often I will be posting in Toronto (since I am poor and lack equipment to bake), but during August in Chicago I will definitely try to update!

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Park Bruges Cafe

I’ve been to Point Brugge, its sister restaurant many, many times. In fact, it is one of my first blog posts! I never really had a reason to come to Park Bruges Cafe over Point Brugge, but they do have poutine which is very exciting. A couple of weeks ago we decided to eat here because it was on the way to my driver’s test, and the instant I saw the breakfast poutine I knew I had to get it.

Brunch Style Poutine - Fried egg, Amish cheese curds, Parma sausage gravy

Brunch Style Poutine – Fried egg, Amish cheese curds, Parma
sausage gravy

I had really high expectations for this poutine because Point Brugge makes amazing fries, and Point Brugge makes good food in general. I was disappointed though, because the fries were mediocre and the gravy was also just mediocre. I do think the idea of a brunch poutine is genius, but the end product just didn’t live up to the hype. The fries didn’t seem freshly fried, so not incredibly crispy nor did it have the potato flavor that I wanted. The gravy wasn’t very flavorful, and perhaps a little too salty. Overall the combination of average parts created an average dish. Its not worth coming back for, but I would like to try some of their other items on the menu.

Have you been here before? If so, what did you think about it?

Park Bruges Cafe
5801 Bryant St, Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 661-3334

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OTB Bicycle Café

South Side isn’t a place I go very often because its not easy to get to, and parking is usually a pain in the ass. Both my current roommates work in South Side, and one of them knows the restaurants here very well. He told me that OTB Bicycle Cafe had the best fries he’s ever had, and a peanut butter jelly burger. A what? Yes, peanut butter jelly burger. Think your normal lunch sandwich, but with a delicious burger patty in it. Their menu had 3 different burgers that contained peanut butter in it (not all burgers had jelly with it). We happened to ordered all three of them.

The Fixie - Topped with relish, blackberry preserves, and Wholey's homemade peanut butter. Its our PB&J burger and you'll be craving it once you try it!

The Fixie – Topped with relish, blackberry preserves, and Wholey’s homemade peanut butter

As you can see, the peanut butter comes on top, lathered on thick. The blackberry preserves are beneath the burger, and I don’t remember any relish on my burger. The peanut butter itself was delicious – thick, gooey, and incredibly peanut-y. The peanut butter was also a lot sweeter than what I expected on a burger, not that it was too sweet, but its that I expected them to try to bring out the savory side of peanut butter. The blackberry preserves went really well with the burger, kind of like some sort of chutney. However, I didn’t find the whole peanut butter jelly burger very… transformative. It was like I was eating, well, a burger with peanut butter on it. I’m not so sure if this burger was as successful as I would have liked.

The Banana Seat - topped with peanut butter and sliced bananas wrapped in crispy bacon

The Banana Seat – Topped with peanut butter and sliced bananas wrapped in crispy bacon

I didn’t get to try this one, but I feel like it has a higher chance of success because of the bacon and peanut butter combination. The banana I’m not so sure about…

The Dirt Rag Delight - topped with American cheese, dill pickle, and Wholey's peanut butter

The Dirt Rag Delight – topped with American cheese, dill pickle, and Wholey’s peanut butter

My roommate added bacon ($1 extra) to this burger, and I felt like this one was more cohesive than my burger. Although I’m not fond of pickles, the savory component brought the peanut butter and burger together more. Plus, bacon and peanut butter is amazing.

Our meals came with fries, which are tossed in herbs and possibly Parmesan cheese. We agreed that it tasted like sour cream and onion chips, so maybe some sort of  dried onion seasoning?

Full meal with fries plus an extra helping of peanut butter

Full meal with fries plus an extra helping of peanut butter (extra)

I wouldn’t say I fell in love with this place, but it certainly served up some interesting burgers. I would love to have one of the other peanut butter burgers to myself for another try though!

OTB Bicycle Café
2518 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 381-3698
Have you been here and tried their interesting peanut butter burgers? What do you think? Please let me know!
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Bar Marco

Hey guys, its been a long time! I dropped off mostly because 1) it was close to the end of my college career, which made me incredibly busy, mostly due to 2) post-college plans, 3) I got lazy, and 4) I wanted to focus my time on my friends since I won’t be seeing a lot of them in the near future. Anyway, its summer vacation for me so I will try to post more often.

Last weekend my roommates and I went to Bar Marco to try out their brunch menu. They seem like a classy tapa kind of place, so I was pretty excited to try their food. They had a soft-shell crab sandwich special that day, which I ordered, and both my roommates ordered the pork belly eggs benedict.

Soft Shell Crab Sandwich with some sort of aoili and fries

Soft Shell Crab Sandwich with some sort of aoili and fries

The crab was deep fried and between a soft dinner roll and salad. The (mustard?) aioli is on top, as you can see. The crab itself was juicy and delicious, and the flavors of the salad and aoili went really well together. The fries were good and crispy. However, the salad was a bit salty (more so than the fried crab, which is confusing), and by the end of the meal it was a little too much. It seemed like problem because my roommates also pointed it out for their pork belly benedict. Also, I was disappointed that  they didn’t make their own ketchup. It seemed like Heinz ketchup to me.

Pork Belly Benedict

Pork Belly Benedict

This dish also came with a salad. The pork belly was also deep fried. The poached eggs were also a little over cooked. The egg yolk did not run free like typical poached eggs are. I did not get to taste this dish, but they complained that the salad was too salty, even more so than the pork belly (again, surprising), and so that part of the meal was not quite as enjoyable.

Overall, Bar Marco was decent, but not spectacular. Even without the overly-salted salad, the meal wasn’t particularly memorable. I won’t be in a rush to come back again, but neither will I be against coming back.

Have you been to Bar Marco? What do you think about it?

Bar Marco
2216 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15222
(412) 471-1900

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Restaurant Week Winter 2013 Meat and Potatoes

The final post to conclude my restaurant week winter 2013 at Pittsburgh: Meat and Potatoes! I was disappointed that we weren’t able to go to Bar Marco for our final stop, but since I had never been to Meat and Potatoes, this place was also quite high on my list. The restaurant is also a little on the expensive side, so restaurant week was the perfect time for me to try. We went with their restaurant week menu, and then ordered an appetizer – the bone marrow. This dish has been highly recommended by everyone that has been here, so why not make a 4 course dinner into a 5 course one?

Before I start commenting on the dish however, as strange as it might seem, I have had bone marrow many, many times in my life and I had very high expectations for this dish. Bone marrow is essentially fat, but the stuff is juicy and tender. I’ve had bone marrow on my hamburger before (see Ray’s Hell Burger under DC Area), and that is possibly the best burger I’ve ever had in my life. Ever. I love this stuff, and so I was really excited to give it a try.

Bone Marrow - grilled bread / gremolata / onion relish / sea salt

Bone Marrow – grilled bread / gremolata / onion relish / sea salt

However, I must say I’m a little disappointed. I don’t know how they could have gone wrong, but it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. Maybe it needed to come pre-seasoned, or the bread wasn’t flavorful enough. Its good, but I expected it to be amazing, which it wasn’t.

Pot pie - oyster/potatoes/onions/puff pastry

Pot pie – oyster/potatoes/onions/puff pastry

The first course of the 4-course menu is was a pot pie soup. Again, it was good but not amazing. The oysters didn’t really stand out, and the pastry was quite flat and soggy by the time it came out. I wanted a puffy, flaky pastry, but it was flat and a little gummy. I felt like this was a major filler course, and I would have been happier if they got rid of it altogether and made the other ones better.

Frisée salad - house cured lamb bacon/potatoes/smoked egg

Frisée salad – house cured lamb bacon/potatoes/smoked egg

The next course, a salad, had more potatoes than salad. I was totally cool with it, but again, good but not amazing. The lamb bacon was a little sweet, which went well with the saltiness of the rest of the dish, but I thought the potatoes were over-seasoned. It was incredibly hard to eat it by itself. Fortunately, the smoked egg was not really seasoned, so a bite of potatoes with a bite of egg made the dish edible. The frisee was a nice refreshing touch to the dish as well.

Hanger steak - lobster tater tots/chorizo bernaise

Hanger steak – lobster tater tots/chorizo bernaise

For our entree, I was expecting amazing things from the lobster tater tots. I don’t think they tasted like lobster, and I don’t think it really pulled through as a good side dish. However, the steak was good, and chorizo bernaise sauce was very, very good. Out of the 4 dishes so far, I think the steak was the best.

Bread pudding - bourbon creme anglaise

Bread pudding – bourbon creme anglaise

Finally, dessert: bread pudding. I was very excited about this dish, and I think it really delivered its true potential. Instead of the traditional bread pudding that is thick and heavy, this bread pudding is more like a cake slice, but the consistency and texture is amazing. Its smooth and moist, but at the same time a little chewy with nice texture. It really was bread and pudding.  I loved how they redefined what bread pudding could be. The creme anglaise with bourbon was delicious, and the pecans were a very nice touch.

Overall, I think only the entree and dessert are worth coming here for. I would love to try their normal menu because I felt like the other courses were just fillers, especially the ones on the restaurant week menu.

Have you been here before? What did you think?

Meat and Potatoes
649 Penn Ave  Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 325-7007

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