The Original Hot Dog Shop Review – Visiting an Oakland Institution

The Original Hot Dog Shop closed in March 2020.

The Original Hot Dog Shop is an institution in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood as it has been serving up hamburgers, hot dogs, and late-night weekend eats to hungry college students since 1960.

While hot dogs are never my go-to choice of food when eating out, at this one you know it is exactly what I had to get.

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Salty Pork Bits Review – Charcuterie of the Month by Justin Severino

Salty Pork Bits is now operating as a brick and mortar store in the Strip District at 2108 Smallman Street and is open on weekends. The following article is about our experience ordering this one in their previous subscription service. The quality of the charcuterie has not changed for the store as many favorites outlined below are now available regularly!

When Justin Severino's acclaimed restaurant, Cure, closed in 2019, we were pretty heartbroken. So heartbroken, in fact, that we would tag the chef in sad updates every time we walked past the now-closed Lawrenceville storefront.

We do this because, in all honesty, Cure was perhaps the best restaurant in Pittsburgh during its run and we were sad to see it go.

Thankfully, Justin Severino had a plan to offer his charcuterie to the world and opened up Salty Pork Bits- a subscription service where you can get a box of charcuterie every month.

Naturally, Angie got it for me as a birthday present, and it was like having Cure's stellar charcuterie board at home as much as I wanted.

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City Oven Review – A Prime Lunch Spot in Downtown Pittsburgh

City Oven closed in 2019.

It took me years to get to City Oven in downtown Pittsburgh. This is not an exaggeration.

The reason for this is because this popular pizza and sandwich shop is only open from 7am to 3pm, Monday to Friday- the exact time I was never able to be downtown despite my best efforts.

With getting frequent pushes by those in the know about Pittsburgh's pizza scene, I finally made it happen. It was worth the wait.

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Auld Lang Syne Bar – Celebrating the Holidays with Libation in Hand

Auld Lang Syne was a holiday pop-up bar in 2018. We are not sure if it will return in future seasons.

Auld Lang Syne is another holiday pop-up bar to make its way to downtown Pittsburgh. Managed by the team behind the Halloween pop-up, Zombie Den, the bar calls the Original Oyster House in Market Square home for the 2018 holiday season.

Throw in a number of Its a Wonderful Life references, a celebration of the upcoming new year, and numerous libations and you have the makings of a holiday celebration!

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Cocothe Review – Fine Dining French-American Fare in Sewickley

Cocothe closed in early 2019.

Cocothe in Sewickley is a modern French-American restaurant located in a small, cozy space. With white tables and sleek black and white decor, this spot is classy for sure, but the well-worn hardwood floors and intimate size of the space keep it from feeling stuffy. The seasonally-changing menus with classic upscale fare are sure to have us coming back for more.

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Going for a Land and Water Tour of Pittsburgh on Just Ducky Tours

Just Ducky closed in the 2019 season.

Visitors and locals alike have always been attracted to Pittsburgh's three rivers, and with good reason- they have influenced the city's growth ever since the first settlers arrived!

Today we may not be using the rivers for a strategic advantage against the French or to start expeditions to the wild west. No, our use includes more recreational and tourism purposes (as well as a robust shipping channel for industry, of course)- as it should be.

We're never ones to turn down the ability to get out on the water, and when our friends at Just Ducky Tours in Pittsburgh invited us out to check out one of their tours, we were in.

In this one, we share what the 60 minute city tour is like!

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Kouskous Express Review – Fast-Casual Moroccan Food

Kouskous Express closed in November 2018.

Kouskous Express in Mt Lebanon serves up delicious fast-casual Moroccan food. It's the kind of place where you go through the line and point to things you want in your bowl – and it's all so good you will want it all in your bowl.

With authentic Moroccan flavors and decor, this is a unique and fun restaurant that should be on your radar.

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Bar Frenchman Review – French Food and Unique Cocktails

Note: In July 2018 Bar Frenchman changed its name to La Riviera and closed in early 2019.

Bar Frenchman (now La Riviera) in East Liberty is a fine dining restaurant serving up French dishes in a modern, non-stuffy atmosphere. On our recent visit the cocktails were whimsical and impressive, the food was delicious and nearly perfect, and the service was on point.

The restaurant's supremely tall ceilings, tiled floors, and suspended lights all give off a more casual vibe than the Twisted Frenchman, Bar Frenchman's sister that offers a multi-course tasting menu experience on the second floor of the building. The relaxed atmosphere may seem at first a little incongruous with the menu style and pricing, but we think it keeps the restaurant from being too staid.

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Legume Pittsburgh Review – New American Cuisine in Oakland

Legume closed in 2020 to merge with the sister restaurant Butterjoint next door. We are waiting on further details to see what new concept comes about from this and will update accordingly if/when this happens.

Legume is one of those restaurants that has been around for many years and has always been on our list to try, but somehow we'd never made it in for dinner.

The recent James Beard Award semi-finalist nomination for Outstanding Restaurant was just the motivation we needed to finally check out this highly regarded spot – and we're so glad we did.

With a refined yet relaxed atmosphere, and dishes that are simple yet intriguing, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Legume.

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