Monday, August 12, 2013

Road trip: Pittsburgh

We didn't go there for the dining but to visit friends. And we didn't make too many plans in advance or really check out the restaurant scene.
But here's a quick tip: the most interesting part of the town is an area within walking distance of the central business district called The Strip. It's about a 10-block area mostly on Penn Avenue, between about 15th Street and 25th Street, full of shops and ethnic grocery stores. On weekends, the parking lots fill up with local farmers and other vendors selling home grown and hand-made goodies.
The coolest thing about this area, in our opinion, is the ethnic variety of the grocery stores and bakeries. There are a couple of terrific Italian markets, along with a few Italian eateries. You'll also find a large Asian grocery store and -- my favorite -- a Spanish/Mexican/Latin market on the corner of Penn and 21st Street that makes fresh tortillas daily. You can't get that in Cincinnati, to my knowledge, so we stocked up on a few dozen corn tortillas (supposedly they will freeze well) and a couple of other Latin treats.
Here are a couple of photos from our dinner at Vallozzi's -- a salad featuring grilled artichokes and ravioli with short ribs and truffle oil. Both were yummy!

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