Behind the Scenes at ScareHouse – A Unique Halloween Tour

Note: ScareHouse is now located in the Pittsburgh Mills shopping mall. We were invited by ScareHouse for a behind-the-scenes tour in 2021 to update this article, but have paid for the tour in the past as well.

If you're looking to get scared silly during Halloween in Pittsburgh, the city has a number of options for you.

But we have to be honest in saying that we're not ones to get excited about haunted attractions. We can appreciate the work and attention to detail that goes into making a haunt, but we're not rushing to get in line to get spooked, either.

So when we found that ScareHouse offers behind the scenes, lights on tours on select days during their operating season, we were in.

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Customized Helicopter Tours of Pittsburgh With Vortex Helicopter Services

It really is hard to beat any view you can get of the Pittsburgh skyline. We've found views of our gorgeous city from just about every angle you can think of from on the hills, along the river trails, on the water, and more.

But there is one view that is hard to get without some extra assistance, and that is seeing the skyline from the air. When we fly in and out of Pittsburgh International Airport, we always hope for a quick flyby of the city to capture some photos, but the quality of which is often hit-or-miss from our cell phones (and of course, a flyby is never guaranteed, either).

Thankfully, in 2021 a new tour company opened offering customized helicopter flights over Pittsburgh- Vortex Helicopter Services operating out of Finleyville Airport. If you are looking to capture a unique vantage point over the city, this tour is a must.

Note: I was invited to fly as a guest of Vortex Helicopter Services as part of a 30-minute media tour over the city. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Touring Birch Creek Farmery Gives an Appreciation for Ethical Farming

As supporters of all things local, it should not be a surprise that we buy our meats and vegetables from area farms as best we can. This includes CSA subscriptions in the summer months, weekly visits to farmer's markets throughout the city, and buying bulk meat orders to fill our deep freezer from time to time as well.

While we are not writing this post to get into the ethical debate on meat-eating outright, we do believe that it is important to know where your meat comes from and that the animals are treated as humanely as possible along the way. By shopping at local farms, we are often able to see all of this first hand!

Naturally, when we started shopping for local meats, Birch Creek Farmery in Burgettstown, PA, quickly came on our radar. It didn't take long after looking at their website to realize that the family who runs the farm have values similar to ours in this regard, and we've become devoted customers ever since (including even visiting the farm for a wine dinner in the past as well).

Cut to a few years later, and the team (now friends) at Birch Creek Farmery invited us out for a proper farm tour to see how they raise their animals. As these tours are open to the public as well, we thought it'd be fun to share a bit more about what the experience is like!

Note: Birch Creek Farmery said that tours can be customized a bit for your interests. Want to spend more time petting and feeding animals? They can do that. Want to learn more of the technical details that go into farming? They can do that too. We opted for a general tour which involved a long walk around the property to see as many animals as possible. Be sure to dress accordingly in long pants and shoes you don't mind getting muddy!

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Lorelei Review – Bringing Alpine Cocktails and Beer to East Liberty

Lorelei is another stellar bar concept operated by the team behind Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor in Squirrel Hill.

But rather than adding into their collection of bars at the corner of Forbes and Shady Avenue, this one is located in the heart of East Liberty– bringing a much welcomed addition to the neighborhood's drinking scene.

We were recently invited out by the team at Lorelei to check out the new space, and share our thoughts in this full review! (Note that this review has been updated to reflect additional visits that we made on our own as well.)

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Quantum Spirits Review – Delicious Libations and Food in Carnegie

With the liquor laws easing in Pennyslvania, many brewers, distillers, and alcohol aficionados have been looking at getting into the business of helping appease a thirsty population.

In Carnegie, Quantum Spirits has been improving the libations game one spirit and cocktail at a time.

While this one is still young by distillery standards, with each passing year they are getting better and better with their spirits, bar program, and now even a full kitchen with a stellar food menu as well!

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Kabab & Curry Review – A Feast of Indian and Pakistani Fare

Is there anything better than home-cooked family recipes from around the world? We can think of no greater joy than finding an international restaurant in the city with homemade dishes using traditional recipes.

As far as Pakistani and northern Indian cuisine is concerned, you'll get just that at Kabab & Curry on Banksville Road. And apart from feasting on their massive menu, you'll do well to talk to the owners here to get to know a bit of their family history as well!

But before diving into the food, we have one word of warning here- the menu is massive. You're going to need several visits to this one to try it all.

Note: I visited Kabab & Curry as a guest of the restaurant with a few fellow food bloggers/Instagrammers in the city. As part of this, we were able to taste our way around a good cross-section of the menu with far more dishes sampled than in our normal restaurant outings. As such, this one is oriented a little differently than our traditional reviews as we have about three or four meals' worth of food to discuss here.

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Over Eden and Brick Shop Review – A Multi-Stop at the Tryp Hotel

The Tryp Hotel opened in Lawrenceville in 2019 and had a few unique features about it. First, it is found in a former school. Second, it is the first hotel to open in Lawrenceville (something that was much needed). Finally, it is home to not one, but two on-site restaurants and bars with one having an incredible rooftop patio looking out over the city!

We were fortunate enough to be able to stay at the Tryp Hotel as guests of the property, and during the course of our stay got a chance to try out the rooftop bar (Over Eden) as well as the first-floor restaurant (Brick Shop).

In this one, we wanted to share a bit about what you could expect with these as they can truly be paired up for a one-two punch.

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TRYP Hotel Review – Affordable Rooms in the Heart of Lawrenceville

When you think of popular Pittsburgh neighborhoods, you may instantly assume that any given one is home to several hotels for visitors. For a few, you'd be right. But there are many neighborhoods in the city that do not have hotels at all, and up until mid-2019 Lawrenceville was one that sorely needed a property.

It wasn't until the TRYP Hotel opened that Lawrenceville got its first proper hotel, and this one fits right into the trendy neighborhood perfectly thanks to its beautiful restoration of a former school building right on 40th Street.

Throw in a rooftop bar with a stellar city view, a nice restaurant on the first floor, and some modern amenities and you have enough to make us happy.

We got the chance to check this one out as guests of the hotel and share more in this full review!

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Phipps Conservatory’s Summer Flower Show – Hidden Life of Trolls

There are good shows at Phipps Conservatory and then there are great shows at Phipps Conservatory.

Before checking out the 2021 Summer Flower Show, I wasn't quite sure where it would fall on the spectrum. But “The Hidden Life of Trolls” is not only one of the best summer shows that we can remember but one of the best they have ever done of any season!

Be prepared for some amazing animatronics, interactive experiences, and of course gorgeous flowers in this one!

Note: As with all of our museum posts, we do not like to give away every exhibit. In this one, we're only going to share a few of our favorite rooms and encourage you to visit to see the rest! We were guests of Phipps for this review.

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The Eagle Pittsburgh Review – Fried Chicken and a Relaxing Vibe

Whenever we think of dining in the Cultural District of downtown Pittsburgh, our thoughts tend to go to the high-end restaurants that have a reservation waitlist on the order of weeks or months. 

While there are restaurants in the area where you can walk in and get a seat with ease, these are becoming less and less common as higher-end restaurants open in the area. As such, we always think this part of downtown could use more approachable spots to balance out the options for those who do not want to plan that far in advance or pay an arm and a leg in the process.

Thankfully, the Cincinnati-based fried chicken restaurant known as The Eagle opened up in the heart of the Cultural District and checks a lot of boxes for us- most notably that, at the time of their grand opening at least, 50% of their seats are kept open for walk-ins!

We had the chance to check this one out at their soft open for friends & family night (thanks to our friends Bold Pittsburgh) and share more in this review!

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