What's dishing on the blogs: Gluten-free and comforting

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

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This week, we have gluten-free desserts and comforting entrees. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

Since life is short I'll dive straight into desserts. Culinary Cory posted a juicy Gluten-free Blueberry Cobbler. The Brown Eyed Baker shared her recipe for nicely spiced Hermit Cookies. And who doesn't love lemons? Meyer lemons, that is. If you do, make sure you try Haute Pepper Bites' amazing Meyer Lemon Bars. Now, if you want more gluten-free tips, check out Sincerely Caroline's!

For something green, head over to The Hungry Hounds for a leafy Kale Cobb Salad with Avocado Green Goddess, and then wash it all down with the spiked Kiwi Margaritas from How Sweet It Is. If you're looking for comforting food, get grilling at Three Dogs BBQ to make an unbelievable Grilled Shrimp Stir Fry with Brussels Sprouts, then sink your teeth in the Cheesy Crunchy Crispy Chickpea Burgers at How Sweet It Is, and finish up with a plate of Yum Yum's creamy Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas.

On the local scene, the girls from eatPGH announced that Market St. Grocery has opened in Market Square; Good Food Pittsburgh dished about Sinful Sweets' new location at the Pittsburgh Public Market; Pittsburgh Maganize indulged in Indonesian food at Kusuka Indonesian Cuisine in North Huntingdon; Yum Yum dined at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto on Mount Washington; and according to Dan from Pizza Walk with Me Pittsburgh is still bursting with pizza news.

See you here next week!

Culinary Cory photo

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Eat, drink, dance at Urbanist release party

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Events

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There is a TON going on this weekend, but one hot ticket is the one above -- for the release party for the third issue of the Urbanist, a printed guide to independent attractions across the city in the areas of food, drink, art, shopping and more.

So Saturday's PGH Spring Thing party, which runs from 6 p.m. to almost 2 a.m., has a lot going on, too.

The former CJ's at 2911 Smallman St. in the Strip District will be a music venue and bazaar of food and drink from current and forthcoming hot spots. The menu for the latter: 

Station: Pork belly with green garbanzo bean, egg custard, chili and bread crumb

The Ballroom (opening on the second floor of Round Corner Cantina): Green, eggs and ham: Fish sauce-glazed pork belly, egg-white puree, egg-yolk sauce, green onion; or grilled Japanese eggplant with lemon, miso, gomashio

Cure: Lardo and radish crostini or nduja and pickled pepper crostini

Bread & Salt: Bread with butter and anchovy

The Vandal: Vanilla chia pudding, rhubarb butter, rosemary-nutmeg granola and lamb sausage, pickled red cabbage, dill aioli

tako: tako punch of blanco tequila, pamplemousse, ruby red grapefruit juice, lime, sage, agave, hopped grapefruit bitters; spicy cucumber margarita of blanco tequila, cucumber/pepper juice, cointreau, lime​

Round Corner Cantina -- Tiki drinks by Will Groves, Sofia Sparkling cans, Tecate

Hop Farm Brewing -- two brews

You get samples of all the food and two drinks for your $25 admission, and you can buy additional food and drink (bars open at 6, food starts serving at 7).

It's $15 if you just want to come, starting at 10 p.m., for the music, by VIA, Obvious and DME with headliner Lunice. 

Get your real tickets here

Check out Urbanist Pittsburgh here















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This is your chance to taste hop shoots

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Cool Food

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Most people have never had a chance to taste hop shoots. 

They are the newest spring growth on the bines of the hop plants, which need to be thinned. The shoots are a pricey delicacy at some restaurants in Europe and elsewhere. (One Maine farm is selling them to Portland-area restaurants for $35 a pound.)

Lawrenceville's Hop Farm Brewing Co. has harvested some from its own farm and other growers and is going to share them with local adventurous eaters for a pop-up Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week event this Friday night, April 24.

For $11, you'll be able to try hop shoots three ways, the first savory and the second sweet: 

1. Hop shoots sauteed with sea salt and olive oil, further seasoned with cacao nibs from Mon Aimee Chocolat.

2. Chocolate-dipped hop shoots, with chocolate from Mon Aimee (it sells Lithuanian dark chocolate flavored with hops) and Lux Artisan Chocolates.

3. Hop-shoot truffle made by Lux Artisan Chocolates.

Hop Farm's Matt Gouwens says he expects the shoots will go fast and that will be the end of them "as the window for harvesting them Is quite narrow. I have some larger plans for them next year, when there is more available." 

That's a plate of them, above, that he sauteed. 

How would he describe the taste? 

"Most people expect them to be bitter," he says, "however, they have very little bitterness when young." It's the lupulin in the hop cones that give beer its bitterness. 

He says the sauteed shoots taste like asparagus, only milder, and "minty, piney, and a little bit grassy."

Below, on the Hop Farm bar, are the raw ones, which, he points out, are not only local but also organic.

AFTERNOON UPDATE: Homebrewer Jack Smith points out that Chip Walton recently posted a video on hop shoots on his blog/webshow Chop & Brew

If you're into the idea of pairing your beer with chocolate, you might want to hit another #PCBW event in the same neighborhood that night: 

Industry Public House is presenting pairings of chocolate with brews from Yards from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. The cost is $10.

Out near Oakdale, Cafe Chocolade is selling craft-beer cupcakes, including, Friday, one made with Southern Tier Mokah topped with chocolate covered coffee beans. 

Find those and other events of the closing weekend of Craft Beer Week at http://pittsburghcraftbeerweek.com/events-calendar/


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Matt Gouwens photos

 

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Get a free pretzel on National Pretzel Day

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Free Stuff

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Sunday is National Pretzel Day, which means that Philly Pretzel Factory locations around the country -- including Bridgeville, Cranberry and Monroeville -- will give customers a free soft pretzel.

Philly Pretzel Factory photo

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Market St. Grocery opens today

Written by Gretchen McKay on . Openings

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For all you folks who have to pick up something on your way home from work for dinner, here’s a reminder: Market St. Grocery opens today.

Be it a box of pasta, sauce, a block of imported parmesan to grate on top of it or a bottle of Italian vino to wash the meal down — or maybe all of the above — you can get it at this one-stop shop.

marketcheeseTwo years in the making, the European-style market at 435 Market St. is Downtown’s first grocery in five years. It’s located in the space of the former Ciao Baby restaurant, nestled between Nettleton (shoe) Shop and Camera Repair Service.marketshelves

The small market won’t offer as many items as a soup-to-nuts suburban grocery store, but it still features an impressive array of food and drink. Along with fresh meats and fresh and frozen seafood, customers will find a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, deli meats, prepared foods and cheese — more than 50 varieties, both domestic and imported.

The store also sells wine by the bottle or the case, or if you can’t wait until you get home to sample it, by the glass at a table at the back.

Looking for a mid-morning or afternoon pick-me-up? The 2,400-square-foot grocery, which offered an advance peek to invited guests last Wednesday, boasts a coffee and liquor bar. And Squirrel Hill French bakery Gaby et Jules is leasing space at the front of the store in which to sell its fresh-baked macarons, French breads and pastries.

marketfishExpect slightly higher prices that what you’d find in a suburban grocery store, but remember — you’re paying for the convenience of not having to stand in a long line with dozens of grumpy people after a long day on the job.

Market St. Grocery is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. The wine bar is open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m. to midnight Sat. and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sun.

Lake Fong/Post-Gazette (top) and Gretchen McKay photos

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Eat pierogies for a good cause

Written by Rebecca Sodergren on . Pierogies

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Prepare to put away some pierogies.

Brandon McCarthy, brewmaster at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Homestead, is behind a fundraiser there tomorrow night (6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22) where he’ll serve halushki with noodles he made from scratch, more than 40 dozen pierogies from Forgotten Taste in Wexford, 50 pounds of kielbasa, and sauerkraut.

Proceeds will benefit Pittonkatonk, a free potluck picnic and brass music festival that will be held May 2 at the Vietnam Veterans Pavilion in Schenley Park.

Tickets are $10 for all-you-can-eat food; the beer to wash it down is sold separately.

There will also be some raffle baskets, including the top prize, a “Pittsburgh Sammitch Basket.” Mr. McCarthy asked several sandwich shops to donate a gift certificate for a single sandwich, figuring this small outlay from a lot of different restaurants would make for a cool prize. But some restaurants chose to take it over the top. Union Pig & Chicken contributed a certificate for an office party’s worth of sandwiches. Alfred’s Deli in Polish Hill gave 10 sandwiches. Other contributors include Thin Man Sandwich Shop, Oh My Grill, The Steer & Wheel and Spoonwood Brewing.

Mr. McCarthy is friends with Pittonkatonk organizer Pete Spynda, a DJ who goes by the name “Pandemic,” and he provides beer at many of Mr. Spynda’s events. Mr. McCarthy said he wanted to help raise funds for Pittonkatonk because Mr. Spynda organizes “community-oriented, family-friendly events that aren’t a completely defanged thing where you’re not going to have fun as an adult.”

Pittonkatonk, he said, brings back the feel of the ethnic social clubs that used to dot Pittsburgh, where in the summertime, hundreds of people would show up for potluck picnics.

Admission to Pittonkatonk is free; attendees are asked to simply bring picnic food to share.

Read more about the Pierogi Fundraiser on Facebook.

Read more about Pittonkatonk here.

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