Chengdu Gourmet Review – Authentic Sichuan Cuisine

When it comes to Chinese food, and I'm talking real Chinese food (not the Americanized versions most of us enjoy), I am a pretty big critic.  My travels around China left me disappointed in the country's cuisine as a whole, and only one region, Sichuan province, had any redeeming factors thanks to its strong flavors and intense heat.

So when we heard about Chengdu Gourmet in Squirrel Hill gaining in popularity thanks to its authentic Sichuan food, we knew we had to visit.

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Penn Avenue Fish Co. Review – Delicious Seafood in the Strip

Penn Avenue Fish Company is my idea of a perfect brunch spot in the Strip District. We love to skip right past the mile-long lines outside of restaurants like Pamela's and head straight here for a relaxing weekend brunch. (Don't get us wrong, there is a time and a place for Pamela's, but sometimes you're just too hungry to wait in line!)

Not only is Penn Ave Fish Co. a beautiful fish market with very trained and knowledgeable staff, it's got a surprisingly delicious casual seafood menu, too.

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Casbah Pittsburgh Review – Upscale Dining in Shadyside

Casbah is one of the more upscale restaurants of the Big Burrito group, billing itself as a Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar. Our overall impression from several visits is that the food is perfectly fine- if you're into straightforward meat, veggie, and starch dishes you'll fit right in here.

If you're looking for dishes that are a little more outside the box and have nontraditional flavor profiles, you might have a bit more trouble finding something here that tickles your fancy.

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Taking in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall

Pittsburgh is very fortunate to have a thriving arts scene. For those who are looking to take in a show or performance, odds are good you'll be heading to one of the many halls and theaters in Cultural District right in the heart of downtown to make it happen.

For a recent show we made our way to the historic Heinz Hall to check out the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as they put on yet another incredible performance worthy of their 100-year history.

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Harrison Hills Park – Easy River View Hike Near Pittsburgh

Harrison Hills Park is a 500 acre park on the edge of the Allegheny River in Natrona Heights. Thanks to its relatively close proximity to the city it is the perfect spot for those looking for a half-day out to explore nature.

On our recent visit we hiked the out-and-back Rachel Carson trail (one of approximately eight trails within the park) which is known for having stunning overlooks of the river and surrounding region.

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Oishii Bento Review – Japanese Takeaway in Oakland

One of the things I love about traveling around Japan is the odd assortment of restaurants and food vendors you can visit.   From the famed sushi masters, teppanyaki stalls, izakaya bars, to conveyor belt restaurants and vending machines galore, Japan really does have it all.

But in Pittsburgh, as is the case in most cities in the USA, we only have the opportunity to visit a small selection of these incredible establishments- most of which only focus on the sushi and noodle dishes that Japan is famous for. While these are delicious, they often completely ignore the other amazing meals the country offers.

One of the unique meals that Japan is known for is the bento box, and Oishii Bento in Oakland is working hard to bring this style out for all of Pittsburgh to enjoy.

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Pizzaiolo Primo Review – Authentic Italian Experience Downtown

I remember when Market Square consisted of not much more than Chipotle, Starbucks, and PPG Place. Luckily things have dramatically changed for the better with the gradual addition of great restaurants.

On a recent visit we decided to visit Pizzaiolo Primo to check out their Neapolitan style pizzas made with an authentic wood-fired oven, as well as their incredible pastas that ended up being the biggest surprise of the night.

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The Montour Trail – Where You Can Explore for Miles

Most hiking trails we visit around the city of Pittsburgh are often out-and-back loops that can be completed in just a few hours.  For those who want to see all of the Montour Trail, you may need to pack your bags and plan for an extended journey, as this 40-mile trail connects to the roughly 300-mile Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Trails which connects Pittsburgh to Washington DC!

Although we are planning on biking this trail in the future to see it all, in this one we wanted to discuss the sections of the Montour Trail from Coraopolis to Bethel Park (a roughly 30 mile stretch).

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Christmas in Pittsburgh – The City Comes Alive for Holidays

If you're looking to experience some holiday cheer this year, you should definitely plan a visit to downtown Pittsburgh where you'll find an incredible collection of Christmas displays, a European winter market, and so much more!

So what all can you expect to enjoy when heading downtown for the holidays?  The following are some of our favorites from our latest visit!

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Peppi’s Review – The Roethlisburger is a Must Try Sandwich

The 7, aka the Roethlisburger at Peppi's

If you've spent some time working your way through our meal and restaurant reviews on this site, you'll know that my general pattern for ordering items is if it sounds weird or is a flagship/namesake menu item, I must try it. At Peppi's Old Tyme Sandwich Shop, this came in the form of The 7, also known as the Roethlisburger.

With a sandwich named after Big Ben himself, there is no other that I would rather try- and now I can't order anything else from their menu.

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