Have you ever been so busy at work that you exist solely on Clif bars and coffee, perhaps with a turkey sandwich thrown in now and again for good measure?
It’s been one of those weeks.
Add hours of snowy commuting into that mix and life is kind of sucky. You are overworked, malnourished, cabin feverish, and really starting to hate winter. You are looking pale, tired and kind of wiry.
What can cure this madness?
Operation Fatten Up.
This “operation” was one weekend long and consisted of the following activities:
Friday: Dinner at Brgr (East Liberty/Shadyside)
Minor side note: I cannot look at the name of this restaurant and see “burger”. I want to pronounce all the letters, something like bee-arr-gee-arr.
Brgr is the sister restaurant/lounge to Spoon. Both spots are located in East Liberty near the corner of S Highland and Centre. Brgr bills itself as a burger joint/gastropub. The menu is somewhat limited – you will find several burgers (one veg option – falafel), sides, a few salads, and spiked milkshakes.
Maybe I was starving, maybe I was buzzed up on the glass of Zinfandel I had while waiting to be seated, but I really enjoyed Brgr. I had the salmon burger, my date had the lamb burger, and we split the fries. After reading the Brgr Yelp reviews, I agree that serving the burgers in a little basket makes it tough to cut the burger in half – I kind of demolished mine trying to do just that. However, we had no service issues, waited about 30 minutes for a table on a Friday night at 8PM, and both cleared our plates (baskets?). Our bill (two burgers, fries, two beers, and one glass of wine) came out around $50.
Saturday: Dinner at Sababa (Squirrel Hill)
During Operation Fatten Up, cravings must be addressed immediately.
My partner in crime for this weekend operation suggested Sababa, a newer Mediterranean spot located on Murray Ave in Squirrel Hill. I recognized the name from Mike’s Foodburgh review and we decided to give it a go. We set off in the frigid temps and eventually settled into the brightly lit Sababa dining room. It was mostly full at 7PM-ish but we got a table and our friendly waitress opened our bottle of wine. BYO!
We decided on the babaganush for an appetizer and were surprised when a chunky concoction landed on our table. I was under the impression babaganush was typically roasted eggplant pureed into a hummus like consistency. This dip was super chunky and SUPER garlicky. Like I think I was eating whole cloves of roasted garlic. This was a little much for me and we didn’t finish our babaganush. Luckily, we had a chicken schwarma and a falafel platter (on the appetizer menu) on the way. I think the schwarma was the standout item. Way better than Kassab’s. Tender chicken, tahini sauce, diced cukes and tomatoes, all tucked into a fluffy pita. Yum.
The falafel was crispy and tasty and came with creamy hummus. Craving satisfied. I thought the falafel was a little mild on the spice but overall enjoyable. Some of the better falafel I have had in the ‘burgh.
Sababa is definitely worth a try if you are craving some hummus. I think maybe they could tone down the lights in the dining room but I still liked this place. The manager/owner visited every table (nice touch) and our waitress was cheerful and attentive.
In the spirit of fattening up, we followed up the Sababa dinner with brownies made from Ghirardelli mix at home. Yessssssss.
Sunday: Munchkins at DD and a walk in Frick Park
Whew. Easing back into moderate activity.