|Headquarters of Heinz (click for museum)|
Given a rare synchrony of our work schedules, a few of us single lady physicians decided to head out to the big city…Pittsburgh, to be exact (sarcasm is all mine) on a day off.
We arrived into town just at the end of the work week and commented first on the traffic of people in cars going home for the day and then on the tall buildings surrounding us. There weren’t that many street pedestrians and in fact it seemed quite bare. No, it’s not New York City but seeing how we wouldn’t be able to drive there in a reasonable time Pittsburgh is what we have to appreciate.
We had dinner at Eleven (Contemporary Kitchen), an American restaurant in the Strip district. The decor was nice and the food quite good.I mean, far better than the Outback Steakhouses, TGIFs, and the same local family run restaurants we have to contend ourselves with normally when we want to get together for an eating-out experience during our work week. I won’t admit to how frequently that sometimes is. Let’s just say that my waistline continues to struggle to remain in an acceptable range.
After our several course three hour meal, we headed to Olive or Twist for drinks. You have to understand our normal state of affairs when one of us, upon entering exclaimed excitedly, “there are people here!” We tried several, I mean several drinks, but none that we would repeat. All far too strong on the alcohol for us but we enjoyed the ambiance….and slept very well that night.
The next morning we headed out to explore The Strip, Pittsburgh’s historic market district. I actually had a fun morning popping in and out of stores and checking out the wares of the street sellers.I was surprised though by the number of Asian grocers, including one that carried Ghanaian goods like Ga kenkey and shito. I bought several mangoes here and though I haven’t eaten any yet I just know deep down in my heart that they will be delicious.
But before all of that we had a hearty breakfast at (P&G) Pamela’s Diner. Their crepe style pancakes were good but had me wondering how many calories I was consuming. I tried the Lyonnaise potatoes that another was having…yeah, I’ll stay away from those. Don’t get me wrong, they were good. But this is just your average diner, no fresh squeezed orange juice, the usual runny table syrup etc. I didn’t have to eat again for the rest of the day though but I did for by evening, one of us was STARVING. Mind you, these are little itty bitty ladies. Where does all that food go?
|The bounty! The unique packaging is all so beautiful.|
There was a chocolate store that I think I was going to walk on by (why tempt oneself?) but the ladies suggested we go in and I did not need further prompting. Mon Aimee Chocolat was a cute find. We probably spent 45 minutes or so here and more money than you think should be spent on chocolate bars at any given time. But, hold on, these weren’t your usual Hershey’s and not even your usual Cadbury’s (je l’aime tous jours) though they did have imported Maltesers and the like. No these were for perceptive taste buds. Even then, I think their prices are higher than they should be. They had hot chocolate and I’m willing to come back when it’s much colder (assuming I’m still around these parts) to try it out. After all, I’m already flying back to Boston for a Burdick’s fix, so this, if it’s any good, would be cheaper and faster to get to.
We also stopped at the Pittsburgh Popcorn Company and spent another 30 minutes or so here, this time mostly waiting in a line that was out the door. Honestly! I’m not a big popcorn fan, but they actually had an interesting selection of flavours that you could sample prior to buying.
|Half of a Black Angus Primanti sandwich|
The dining experience ended with a legendary Primanti Bros sandwich – a true taste of Pittsburgh supposedly. Look at this gastronomic monstrosity. They’ve been eating like this since 1933! Fries, coleslaw inside the sandwich with the meats (of your choice), cheese, and tomatoes. No way! I did not (and will not) have one of these. I had one slice of a personal pizza and took the rest home!
Overall, we had fun and you know what, I can actually see ourselves headed back this way for another quick escape.