My handsome boyfriend has recently moved to Regent Square. He is really enjoying his new space. Parking is much better than Shadyside, Frick Park is your backyard, and S Braddock Ave has a lively and varied assortment of restaurants at his disposal. Over the last few weeks, we have dined at two pretty solid establishments – The Green Mango and Root 174.
The Green Mango
Located at 1109 S Braddock, this is a BYO Thai spot I have heard good things about for some time. (According to their website, they also have a Waterfront and Monroeville location – however, I believe the Waterfront location closed and I have not been to the Monroeville location). We popped in around 8PM on a Friday night and easily grabbed a table. The place hovered between kind-of empty and semi-full for the next hour. Our wine was quickly opened and served in tumbler style glasses – not a big deal but just an FYI.
The menu was extensive and I Urbanspoon-ed away, trying to find out what others thought the very best thing on the menu might be. Results were inconclusive so I ended up going with the Pad Se Eu with tofu, a fairly mild noodle dish dressed in a brown sauce and tossed with steamed cabbage, egg, the aforementioned tofu, and other veggies. Ben went with the Pineapple Curry with pork.
The food was out quickly, nicely plated and in reasonable portions. Although Thai food may be the one type of cuisine where I actually expect and am OK with leftovers (reheat-ability is high), I still generally want a reasonable portion when I go out to eat. To me, a reasonable portion means you can probably finish everything on your plate and will be more than satisfied. But not ‘get me to a horizontal position as soon as possible’ bloated. Anyone with me?
Anyways, back to noodles and curry. The food was good – probably edged out both Thai Me Up and Thai Cuisine in my book. We happily slurped up everything, enjoying that addictive sweet, salty, spicy, chewy quality all Thai food has. Our bill was right around $20, pre-tip. I believe that included a corkage fee, although the exact amount escapes me.
We will be back – too many more delicious/interesting sounding things to try on the menu.
Ben’s parents were recently in town and to celebrate the occasion, we had dinner at Root 174 (1113 S Braddock). This is a recently (July-ish?) opened restaurant located in the former Legume space. We secured a Friday night 8:30PM reservation easily but I suspect the place may be growing in popularity, so plan accordingly. Root 174 is a unique, food focused, locally sourced, rotating menu type place – exactly the genre of restaurant that seems to be growing in popularity here in the ‘burgh. Quite exciting.
Ro0t 174 is also BYO – again, my favorite. Wine was quickly opened on our visit and we settled in to study the small menu. There were four or five (each) appetizers/salads and entrees on the printed menu. There were also specials listed on a chalkboard hung over the doorway to the kitchen. Our table ordered the hangar steak, the gnocchi, the falafel, and the wahoo (fish). I believe these were all regular menu items and ranged from $16-$26. We also had an order of mussels as an appetizer.
I was the order-er of the falafel and majorly enjoyed my meal. The falafel were served atop thinly sliced fresh tomatoes (like legit, bright, its the end of summer tomatoes), and topped with pickled cucumbers and a yogurt sauce. I happily consumed everything on the plate, getting a bit of every component in each bite. I am still thinking about the fresh tasting and perfect combination of the fried falafel, tomato, and other accompaniments - surely a sign of a successful meal.
To be truthful, the main focus of this meal was catching up and visiting and chatting and telling stories. Therefore, I have no solid memory of the feelings of the others toward their meals. However, I believe all plates were cleaned and a lovely chocolate cake/tart was devoured after the main course. I most definitely want to return to Root174. These guys are super active on Facebook and Twitter, which I love. The chef also stopped by our table and chatted for a good five minutes after our meal, discussing his sources for various goods and the excitement of incorporating seasonal ingredients into each meal. Makes you feel good about what you are eating.
Also, I read this tidbit in the Post-Gazette:
Root174 is offering a smartly designed neighborhood discount. Residents of the 15218 and 15221 ZIP codes (diners will have to show proof of residence) will be given a 10 percent discount Tuesdays through Thursdays. If they sit down at 8 p.m. or later, the discount will go up to 15 percent.
Given Ben’s new residence, this is all the more reason to return ASAP!