Diners 2+1 Review – Japanese Staples in Squirrel Hill

Diners 2+1 in Squirrel Hill is the kind of Japanese restaurant that has something for everyone. Not only do they have a large sushi menu (which brought us to visit), they also have a wide array of starters, rice bowls, and full entrees as well.

But as we were in the mood for sushi, during our first visit we stuck heavily to this side of the menu with some appetizers for good measure.

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Harvie Review – Local Foods Delivered to Your Door

You may be familiar with local CSAs (community supported agriculture), where farms offer what is effectively a crop share typically for a set seasonal fee. In these situations, you receive a box of produce each week based on whatever the farm is harvesting and, in many cases, they are delivered to drop sites near your house for easy pickup. 

We've been avid CSA supporters for years and absolutely love getting fresh produce grown locally in the summer months. So when the folks at Harvie reached out to see if we would be interested in trying their service, we were intrigued.

This one is a little bit different than a conventional CSA, however. Rather than focusing solely on produce, Harvie broadened the scope and focuses on local food as a whole. This can range from produce to dairy, snacks to non-perishables, seafood to meats, flowers even, and many other items all produced within the greater Pittsburgh metro (or in the case of select tropical fruit, imported locally and via fair trade sources). Instead of paying a set fee per box, you simply are buying items a la carte to craft your own box with the only real requirement being a $100 minimum order value.

As such, Harvie Farms boxes are designed to be a weekly supplement to your shopping where (almost) everything is procured locally and delivered straight to your door. So, what was our experience like? Read on!

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tako Torta Review – A Fast Casual Adaptation in Bakery Square

In the past, we've raved about the high-end taco restaurant, aptly named tako (Japanese for octopus), in Pittsburgh's Cultural District. This restaurant features artisan tacos, a stellar tequila bar, and an ambiance that perfectly fits its location downtown.

One thing the restaurant is not, however, is approachable. Prime reservation slots are often booked up weeks in advance, and an order of their namesake tako tacos (yes- an octopus taco) clocks well over $20. A decent price for octopus, but an extreme one for tacos all the same.

So when we heard that the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group was opening another tako in Bakery Square, we had a moment of pause. “A high-end restaurant there?!” was our immediate gut reaction. Thankfully, the restaurant, called tako Torta, takes a fast-casual approach to this restaurant's delicious menu with tacos, torta sandwiches, and more!

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Fujiya Ramen Review – Go for a Japanese Feast in Shadyside

Fujiya Ramen in Shadyside is a Japanese restaurant serving up not only ramen but also other traditional dishes like rice bowls and yakitori. While we love sushi, we also love other Japanese foods and are happy that there are more and more restaurants in Pittsburgh showcasing the breadth of Japanese cuisine.

Naturally, we had to make our first visit a feast!

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Girasole Review – Flawless Italian Dining in Shadyside

There are some Pittsburgh restaurants that are straight-up classics. Places that execute their menus with a level of perfection where you want to go back over and over again while also having survived the test of time.

Girasole in Shadyside is one such restaurant.

While it took us many years to finally make our way into this Italian restaurant for a meal, we certainly won't be waiting that long for our 2nd, 3rd, or 4th visit. 

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13 Reasons to Visit Pittsburgh in February – Outdoor and Indoors in Winter

On the surface it seems like February is the month where things quiet down in Pittsburgh. Winter is at its coldest, the month is short, and overall life moves at a slower pace than months in the more vibrant seasons of the year.

That being said, there are a number of things to enjoy in Pittsburgh throughout the month, and whether you want to get outdoors or stay warm inside we've got you covered in this one!

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Los Mayas Review – A Wonderful Mexican Spread in Harmony

When it comes to drinking and dining north of Pittsburgh, Harmony and Zelienople are standing out with a wealth of options. These unassuming boroughs have become a bit of a hub in recent years for new breweries, restaurants, cafes, and more- with spots opening up all the time.

Los Mayas opened up in Harmony to fill the void of delicious Mexican cuisine and rocks it with their robust menu that will have you going back again and again just to get through it all.

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Mandy’s Pizza Review – An Allergy Conscious Pizza Joint in West View

Mandy's Pizza in West View is a popular pizza joint that has a robust menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, pizza, and more.

But where most pizza shops would simply thrive on a vast menu alone, Mandy's goes one step further with being incredibly flexible with customer requests- especially around dietary restrictions. Gluten-free? You got it. Allergies? They can handle it. Vegan? That too. 

In fact, Mandy's is probably the most vocal business we've seen in Pittsburgh when it comes to catering to dietary restrictions, so if you fall into this category but still crave pizza, this should be great news to you (but as always, pending the severity of restriction it is always best to call and talk with them about their practices).

But during our first visit, we stuck with a fairly traditional order of pizza and fries. So let's share what it was like!

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