Sunday, October 21, 2012

Birthday Blog

Hello blog,
It's been a dreadfully long time! I have been so busy eating that I have neglected you. It has been birthday season and the Magnificent SA arranged several birthday dinners for me (HM). Who knew turning thirty-four would be so delicious?

For the first of the birthday dinners seven of us had dinner at Aji Picante in Squirrel hill. The waitstaff did not fail in either proficiency or quirkiness (which seems to be an endearing Pittsburgh trait) and the apps stole the spotlight. We were one of only about four tables on a Tuesday night so we pretty much had the place to ourselves and were encouraged several times to stay as long as we liked, which proved to be quite awhile with the friendly banter flowing as freely as the byob wine.

The waitress introduced the specials, an appetizer of scallops with avocado and yucca was described and being that I am allergic to shellfish, I asked if the kitchen could do it without and her response was, "I wouldn't because the scallops are most of the dish, but you could try the plantains if you are in the mood for something ah.... circular and fried? We did not order the plantains even with several seconds of shared laughter.  The poor waitress happened upon several inappropriate conversations including one about the past year's birthday dinner before we were able to decide our order and put the poor girl out of her misery of asking "Are you ready?" They spaced our apps beautifully, almost serving them as courses as to not overcrowd the table.  This meant that we all got to savor, taste and talk about each dish in turn.  The empanadas and fritters were both a hit, to say the least, and everything from the scallops (not for me :)) to the beef heart were enjoyed. Paella, steak, chicken, pork and a seafood bouillabaisse all came as mains and whether we had filled up on apps or gotten just plain spoiled by them, the mains seemed quite boring in comparison.  The dishes were all prepared with both beautiful ingredients and love, but the wow factor of the starters could not be matched.

The deserts were a bit on the sweet side but still delicious and from somewhere they found a candle. Thank you Aji for a birthday dinner to remember.

Aji Picante on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Best Thai?

With all of the wonderful things that have been happening lately, we kinda fell off the blog earth....
But we are back!
I’ve(HM) been racking my brain for the perfect food adventure to write about and decided that just writing one any ONE would be better than nothing so here goes....a few nights ago we hit the 17th street cafe and that would be an appropriate topic, but in light if the top 25 restaurants poll that just came out I thought it would be nice to give a shout out to a place a little closer to home, that has made it onto the list. Nicky's Thai Kitchen  is just down the street on Western Ave and consistently delivers hot, fresh, steaming plates of wonderful. It happens to also be one of the only places in town that does not come with a side of grumblings from SA when suggested as a take out spot. (She has ideas that take out containers either ruin or poison their inhabitants I’m frankly confused on the topic).
The notable dishes list may be a long one considering how delicious everything is! I love the drunken noodles (they are listed as just spicy noodles) and at spice level of 10 they are one of my favorite comfort foods. The spicy Thai basil fried rice is our go-to take out option although it can be a bit greasy at times. Gadprow lad kao is yummy and it comes with a fried egg on top.  Who doesn’t love a gratuitous fried egg every now and again?  SA does not however enjoy their green curry, which is her test of a good Thai restaurant, but Nicky’s eventually won her heart over with its other delectable dishes.  The spring rolls and dumplings are of note as appetizers.  There is a dish I would like to warn about.  The Lhad Nah can be so over powering with fish sauce that it knocks you out.  This is not a joke.  I was sitting outside in the garden with a pregnant friend and I thought she was gonna squid puke when her dish was put in front of her.  Needless to say I had to take the dish home for fear it would stink up not only her fridge but her entire apartment and the battle with morning sickness would be over before it began for the day.  So I took it home and packed it for SA's lunch the next day.  I am not sure she will ever totally forgive me for all the attention she got during lunch at her office.  That being said, if you are not pregnant and are a fan of fish sauce by all means Lhad Nah is for you, but please don't eat the leftovers at work. 
I would like to congratulate Nicky's on making the top 25 list. We are very proud to have you in our neighborhood and thanks for the wonderful eats!

Check out top 25 poll:

Nicky's website:

Nicky's Thai Kitchen (North Side) on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The W's

Who: We are not food aficionados and we don't pretend to be.  I'm a computer nerd for a corporate bank (Call me SA) and my girlfriend is a therapist helping those in need (Call her HM)  Two people with very different backgrounds brought together by a passion to wow our taste buds and please our palates. 
What: Basically a diary of all things food and maybe some ramblings on the side. New restaurants, old restaurants, exceptional service, service that makes us swear off a joint forever, recipes that end up on our 'must eat again list' get the point.
Why: We aren't going to presume you care about our ramblings and why should you? We are just two average citizens. This is mostly for us, to track our explorations.  Help us to remember the things our brains don't seem to want to hold on to.
Where: Anywhere we find food or an experience centered around food worth talking about. Great, good, bad, or ugly.
When: We'll try to update once a week.  Key word is try. ;)