We tried our first ever pierogies, dumplings filled with cheese, chased with a Pipe Organ Pale Ale for Scott and a Pious Monk Dunkel for myself. We didn't linger too long, as we had to rise early to get in line for the.....
All-Clad Factory Sale! This was the line when we arrived - it doubled back twice in front of us and took us about 45 minutes to make it into the warehouse. The organizers work very hard to ensure this event doesn't turn into madness - only 30-40 people are allowed in every 10 minutes or so for crowd control.
We made it in, and armed with a list and some smarty pants research of the difference between the Stainless Steel, Copper Core, MC2, and other lines, we hit the aisles to fill the large cardboard box provided (which has a string handle attached for dragging the box when it gets too heavy...I kid you not!) to us. Below, Scott ponders if we really need the 12 inch skillet or if we can get by with the 10. Ultimately, we walked out of there minus a couple hundred dollars, but it was so worth it. Who in their right mind would pay $275 retail for a damn stock pot?
After the sale, we decided to explore Pittsburgh, despite the blustery weather. Right away I determined if I would walk around, I needed warm beverages. Luckily, Nicholas Coffee Company in Market Place served them right up in a shop that smelled of sugar and spice and everything WONDERFUL. Check out their antique coffee bins below:
Somehow we blazed through the afternoon without eating lunch, though we were certainly tempted by all the offerings of The Strip, which in the 19th century was the wholesale produce district. Today, it houses art galleries, produce markets, coffee shops, and lots of Italian produce, bakery, and grocery shops like the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company. Anything you could want to remind you of the tastes of the Old Country - cheese, breads, meats, pasta, and as below, olive oil - they have it.
We worked up a hunger toodling around The Strip and up to Mount Washington for a nice evening view, so we hightailed it to Squirrel Hill's Bangkok Balcony for some delicious Thai food recommended by our lovely friends at Peaches & Curry. Eggplant tempura ribbons to start, then a chicken and steamed spinach with spicy peanut sauce for me and Lemongrass Beef for Scott. Wonderful, but we learned Scott doesn't like spicy peanut sauce - it was the first time he took food from my plate, only to return it!
We ended the night at OTB (Over The Bar) Bicycle Cafe, which had a fun decor going with lots of bikes suspended - yes, over the bar - but there was an obnoxious loud singer who thought she could turn "Paint It Black" into a folk song. Yikes - we consumed our brews quickly and departed.
Scott was, of course, a Super Grandpa.
We spent the rest of the snowy morning tinkering around the river....
And then capped our visit off with a lunch at Primanti Bros. Restaurant on The Strip. I only ate half of my Pastrami and Cheese sandwich...the fries they're known for piling on the sandwich were kind of cold and limp and well, it was a bit much. But fun to check out a Pittsburgh institution, nonetheless.
I can't say enough good things about Pittsburgh - friendly, clean, a diverse ethnic history, pride and culture that shines through in their architecture and food, and fantastic topography of hills that rival San Francisco's. Give it a visit sometime - and yinz be sure to pull for the Stillers!