Archive for March, 2011

Last Friday night I made my way to the Farm to Table Conference Tasting at the Convention Center.

I was offered complimentary tickets to attend. I tend to not pass up free food so I grabbed my Ben and headed to the event after work.

pittsburgh farm to table

pittsburgh farm to table

The space was packed with local farmers, local businesses, local breweries, etc, etc. Most tables had something for you to taste – samples of cheese, tastes of wine, mini prepared plates of duck or salad, bites of chocolate.

pittsburgh farm to table conference

Some highlights:

Jamison Farms – Lamb sausage. While I was unsure if lamb was my favorite meat to have in sausage form, Ben was quite smitten by this taste. I think he went back for seconds. You have likely seen Jamison Farms lamb listed on a menu around Pittsburgh. It is apparently the best stuff around.

jamison farms

jamison farms

Cherry Valley Organics – Herbal teas. This little farm is located in Washington County and had a lovely table set up showcasing their teas and other products (soaps, etc).  I ended up taking home a container of their Tulsi tea – made with sacred basil. Fragrant and slighly sweet.

Great Lakes Brewery – Beer (of course). This brewery is actually located in Cleveland but I guess that is close enough to count as local. We sampled the Burning River ale and grabbed up packages of wildflower seeds set out for the taking. I am not sure I have ever ordered a Great Lakes beer while out – may have to change that soon.

Elements – Cheeses and Meats. Elements is the newer restaurant with a local bent that replaced the old Palomino downtown. They were sampling some of their amazing cheddars and goudas as well as a ham pate. Yum. They do most (all?) of their charcuterie in house. I have been to Elements for dinner and you could definitely just make a meal of one of their meat and cheese plates. Mmm. Cheese.

Pittsburgh’s Original Sports Sauce – Hot sauce. We had previously seen this hot pepper based sauce in the Strip District but never tasted it. While briefly chatting with the owner (I think?) at the tasting, she informed us the picture on the bottle’s label was actually of her two sons dressed in their finest black and gold attire. This one gets a mention for it’s black and gold spirit alone. The sauce was also pretty tasty and quite spicy!

pittsburgh's original sports sauce


It was a nice evening and I left full of food and contemplating a CSA. It was nice to be reminded how many quality products and great small businesses exist in Western PA. I thought the tasting itself could have had a few more tables to sit down at but overall it was informative and a good time.

Can’t wait until all the farmer’s markets are open!

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I have two tickets to the Pittsburgh Farm to Table Conference happening this Friday and Saturday (March 25 and 26th) at the Convention Center, downtown.  Anyone want them? Check out the Farm to Table website for a full rundown of the speakers, demonstrations, and children’s events happening at the conference.

I am attending the Friday night tasting (a separate event/ticket) but am unable to use the tickets for the day-time portions of the conference. The first interested person to e-mail me (heypgh@gmail.com) can have them! Since this is a bit last minute, hopefully we can arrange pick up of the tickets somewhere downtown on Friday or Saturday as you head to the conference.

Additionally, I believe there are still tickets available for purchase for the event. Sounds like an awesome way to start thinking even more about spring and summer.

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Seasonal Hope

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March is a funny month. I always have high expectations – Spring! Sun! No more snow!

But it is still grey. And cold.

And halfway over. Crazy.

Here is how I spent my Sunday.


buying flowers


making chili


Find the chili recipe here.

This is my second go round with this chili recipe and I still like it. Just make sure you let it simmer for a bit – the beef needs some time to get tender. I did not have ancho chili powder so just increased my regular chili powder.

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Green with Envy

St Patrick’s Day parade from way up high.

AKA my office.

Where I am working.

Sad face.

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Andys (Fairmont): Downtown

A few weeks ago, I found an invite in my inbox to a happy hour event at Andys at the Fairmont. Every once in awhile someone actually reads my blog and thinks it is worthwhile to invite my to foodie-type P-burgh events.  Crazy.

Anyways, Andys is the bar/lounge in the Fairmont hotel, downtown. The Fairmont is fairly new, having opened about a year ago.  I had only passed the hotel on foot a few times since its opening, gazing longingly at the sleek  fireplace that stretches the length of the lobby.

I was invited to Andys to taste some of the Fairmont signature cocktails. The Fairmont is rolling out an international program that includes standardizing the recipes for some of their most classic concoctions.

singapore sling at Andys

Interestingly, Andys is named after Pittsburgh’s famous ‘Andys’ – that being Warhol, Carnegie, and Mellon (didn’t know there was an Andrew Mellon).  Seems the Pittsburgh Fairmont has quite a local bent throughout the hotel – local art and artifacts throughout the space. A nice touch.

The drinks and snacks I had were tasty, the bartenders knowledgeable. I have always had a thing for hotel bars – they make you feel like a visitor in your own city or perhaps just generally in a vacation-like mood. Andys could be a nice stop for a drink before a show or other event downtown. A cocktail is going to run you $12 or so but that is pretty standard for a hotel.

And while I was there, I got to peek into Habitat..

open kitchen at habitat

Again, the Habitat space felt like an escape from the ‘burgh and I probably need to get there soon.

Not a bad way to spend a rainy Pittsburgh evening.

Andys on Urbanspoon

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