Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Heart Meat and Potatoes

I think it's hilarious to reminisce upon the fact that I used to be a semi-vegetarian before I met Van, meaning I did not eat very much meat, and when I did it was mainly sushi and occasionally chicken. After five years- my how things have changed.  Don't get me wrong, no one forces me to eat anything, because I do what I want and obviously eat what I want.  I like to think that Van opened my eyes to the wonders that are pork and veal and lamb and on and on and on. Am I making any veg-heads sick yet? Who knows, maybe one day I will come to my ethical/philosophical senses again- but right now I am enjoying my meat! Also, if you know me- you know that Van is a phenomenal chef- and cooks/prepares a lot of meat that I get to enjoy.
Last weekend was Van's 29th birthday- last year in his 20's, so I took him out to a relatively new restaurant here in Pittsburgh that we've been wanting to try, Meat and Potatoes. The gastropub is located in downtown Pittsburgh, and parking was down the street in a neighboring lot.
I made reservations, so we were seated right away- and the place was packed.  We started with drinks of course. An IPA for Van, and a stout for me.  I'm not a fan of hoppy beers.

Then on to appetizers...pate (my favorite) and mushroom arugula flatbread. The pate was better than the flatbread, but both were good. Btw, the portions are huge.

Next up were the entrees.  Even though I never really order pasta as a main course, I wanted to try the gnocci pasta, which is basically potato-dumplings deliciousness.

As you can see the gnocci also had bits of pork in the sauce, everything from pulled pork to pork belly.  Really. Tasty.
Van went with the pastrami burger(burger plus pastrami-style pork belly) and fries.  He liked the burger, (so big he couldn't even finish it) and the fries were average.
 Yes, that is a fried egg on top.
I would give the overall experience as well as the food a solid 4 out of 5 stars.  The portions were extremely large, which in my opinion isn't always the best. The atmosphere had a cool vibe, and the bar was packed and loud.  We will definitely be back, maybe even for my bachelorette party here- and I'm loving that several new restaurants are opening up in Pittsburgh.  Keep it coming PGH!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Over 3 weeks late...Happy New Year!

My poor little neglected blog. :( Le sigh. What can I say- I was traveling until the 3rd of the year, and then just busy with work, etc. Also, without getting too descriptive, because I don't deal with loss very well- I've had a lot of it in my life recently.
Anyways, I truly hope that you had a fabulous holiday- however you celebrated it.  I hope that you were able to spend some time with loved ones, and do something for yourself.  It's so important to remember that.  I spent my last holiday with my family as a single person. Ha. I'm so dramatic, but seriously- the countdown to my wedding is upon us. >5 months!  Van and I still have not spent a Christmas together- 2012 is going to include many firsts. Also, I have the best birthday in the world- 12.12.12.
But yeah, spent the holidays in lovely Orange, and then met Van and some friends in Tahoe. Yeahhh!
Below are some of my favorite photos from LA/OC. Check out this delicious pizza from Pace

And some Xmas Eve photos with the whole fam-damily:

 Did you notice my cousin Rebecca's amazing ugly sweater?!
Ha! Then on Dec. 28th I flew into Reno to head up to beautiful snowless Tahoe.  Tahoe was literally sans snow- none. I didn't even go snowboarding because the snow on Heavenly was all man-made and nothing too exciting, so I didn't want to spend the money on the lift ticket.  However, we did have an amazing group of friends and spent most of our time hiking, cooking and playing lots and lots of boardgames.  I am officially obsessed with Dominion.  Holy crap- it's addictive.  I also finished books 2 and 3 of The Hunger Games.
It was a really relaxing and fun trip-reminded me of Summer. 
The beautiful cabin view:
 Here are some of our hiking photos:

Heather and I decided it would be fun to try to replicate our senior photos. Ha!

On to NYE '11- my fiance and his bestie Ted have this strange love of being twinsies- whenever possible.  I don't think that I will ever get it. 
Yes, those are matching sweaters as well.
The girls, Us and the group.

Happy. New. Year.  I don't really do/like New Year's resolutions- but I truly think that 2012 is going to be glorious, and I hope that yours is too.  Lots of changes, new adventures and excitement.  Cheers!