Pizza Lupo Review – Giant Pies in the Heart of Lawrenceville

Although Pittsburgh is home to one of the highest number of pizza shops per capita in the country, we could always use more.

When we heard that Pizza Lupo opened up in Lawrenceville in December 2020, we knew we had to get in as fast as possible to try it out. This was especially true after we saw photos of the pies as they seemed right up our alley.

We quickly placed an order and were not let down with what we got.

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WSET Level 2 Wine Class Review with Palate Partners

If you've spent any amount of time on this site, you're likely well aware that we like wine. Not only do we have a quest to check out the best Pittsburgh wineries, but we're also visiting all the best wine bars in Pittsburgh too.

But perhaps one of our favorite experiences in Pittsburgh comes from the wine education company Palate Partners with their informal First and Third Friday feature which includes several wine samples, education about the grape and region, all at a fairly attractive price point. 

We knew that Palate Partners offered many wine classes beyond these, and their offering of the multi-week Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses caught our eye. This is an international, standardized wine program (with four levels) and the folks at Palate Partners are certified to teach the first two levels (plus bringing in a guest instructor for Level 3).

Our favorite wine instructors teaching an international wine course that is highly regarded the world over? Sign us up. 

But in being ones who always like to go big, we skipped Level 1 and jumped straight into the eight-week Level 2 course. While challenging, we also had a rather great time in this one.

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Pita My Shawarma Review – Food Truck Turned Restaurant

Although we love our Pittsburgh food truck scene, we always enjoy hearing that our favorite trucks open up brick-and-mortar restaurants in the city. Why? So we can get their food all the time!

It is always a treat to find a favorite food truck at a brewery or event, but sometimes we cannot drive far across town to grab an order from a favorite. When they open a dedicated storefront, that problem is solved as we know where to get them all the time.

Pita My Shawarma was one such food truck that moved to a dedicated location, and now that they're in the heart of Lawrenceville, we see placing many orders from this one in the future.

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Smoke Review – Once a Taqueria, Now a Sandwich Shop

As of early 2021, Smoke has once again become a taco shop. We visited this one many times prior to it changing to a burger joint in 2020, and will return for an updated review of the taqueria shortly.

Prior to 2020, if you had heard of Smoke in Lawrenceville, odds are good it was in context of being a barbecue taqueria with some pretty flavorful offerings including what was arguably the region's best chips and queso.

Over time, Smoke would do a weekly sandwich night where they sold their products on a bun instead of in a tortilla. In early 2020, Smoke changed concepts altogether to be a burger and barbecue sandwich shop and left its taqueria menu behind.

Naturally, we had to check this one out as soon as we heard about it, and sadly, we kind of miss the tacos.

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Mi Empanada Review – Empanadas and Sandwiches in Lawrenceville

Mi Empanada has been on the Pittsburgh food scene for a few years now slinging their Argentinian empanadas at local events and brewery pop-ups. Now they have their own storefront in Lawrenceville where you can order takeout empanadas, sandwiches, and sides.

We were well-acquainted with Mi Empanada having tried them at several of their pop-ups around town over the past few years. At events they always had long lines and it's no secret why – their empanadas have a rich, tender dough and the fillings are a mix of traditional and creative options, including a lot of vegetarian options as well.

Needless to say, we were ecstatic to learn they were opening up a storefront in Lawrenceville. The spot is takeout only, but they offer ready-to-eat empanadas or a “take and bake” option which we haven't tried but also sounds delicious. Sandwich options include a steak or chicken milanesa, and they also offer sides like salads, rice, and polenta.

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Provision Review – A Great Food Menu Comes to Hop Farm Brewing

We always love it when breweries have a full food menu on-site, and in late 2019, Hop Farm Brewing in Lawrenceville introduced a food menu from Provision!

If that name sounds familiar, you are right. Provision is the same restaurant concept that was found in the inaugural class of chefs at Smallman Galley (now closed) and later at Federal Galley for a long stint as well. We were quite big fans of this one at both galleys, and are happy to report that their menu at Hop Farm features many of the favorites available at the stalls!

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Lola’s Eatery Review – Affordable Brunch at Engine House 25

We'll never say no to more options for brunch in Pittsburgh, and in late 2019 Lola's Eatery opened in the stunning Engine House 25 in Lawrenceville (home to the winery of the same name as well as the Clemente Museum) to help satisfy that need.

Naturally, I had to check this one out as soon as possible and was joined with a friend for a rather affordable, and delicious, dining experience.     

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Salty Pork Bits Review – Charcuterie by Justin Severino

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. (I'm not sure he appreciated it, granted, we also never asked.)

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.

Even better? Shortly thereafter Salty Pork Bits opened up a brick and mortar store in Lawrenceville (just feet from the former restaurant) for local pickups of one-off orders too!

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