What's dishing on the blogs: Pizza competition

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

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This week, we have pizza competitions and summer corn. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

Dan from Pizza Walk with Me reported on The Return to Pizza Dojo, a thrilling pizza competition between Pizza Boat and Bread + Salt. However, if you want to make your own pizza at home, try the wonderful Sweet Corn, Zucchini and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza from How Sweet It Is. Katy also included corn in her cooking and prepared fantastic Old Bay Summer Corn & Zucchini Chili in her BakingDomesticityandAllThingsMini kitchen, while Linda from Dinner Plan-it whipped up delightful Sweet Savory Triple Corn and Sage Sausage Waffles. Take advantage of the fresh and sweet summer corn!

On the sweet menu, Sincerely Caroline baked dairy-, gluten- and grain-free Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping, the Brown Eyed Baker threw together a summery No-Bake Peanut Butter Lover's Pie, and the Sugar Pixie churned creamy and Easy Chocolate Ice Cream.

In other news, the girls from eatPGH ventured out to La Palapa Mexican Gourmet Kitchen in South Side; Yum Yum explored the food at Altius on Mt. Washington; D&T: in the burgh paid a visit to Cafe des Amis in Sewickley; Bill from Three Dogs BBQ showed up at the All American BBQ Festival in Pittsfield, Pa.; and Pittsburgh Magazine invited us to take part in molecular gastronomy events at Notion restaurant on Tuesday nights.

See you here next week!

Pizza Walk with Me photo

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Black & Gold Pierogies hit the market

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Pierogies

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At Pittsburgh Steelers training camp in Latrobe yesterday, there was some really hard hitting going on. 

Fortunate fans were putting a hurting on the first shipment of Mrs. T's "Limited Edition Black & Gold Pierogies," which the company created in partnership with the NFL team, which you may have heard of. 

The naturally colored pierogies, potato ones and cheddar ones, are to be available for a limited time at least in the freezer section at area Giant Eagle, Shop 'n Save, Wal-Mart, Kuhn’s and other stores.08012014pierogies

Mrs. T's vice president for marketing & sales Scott Hart has an easy run into the end zone on this one, and he knows it.

"Steeler Nation has some of the best and most passionate fans in footbal," he said in a release. "Pittsburghers also love pierogies, so we know they’ll love sharing these Black & Gold pierogies while cheering on their Steelers this season.”

Maybe not sharing them, but ...

Read more about the product at the excellent domain name of www.pierogies.com. 
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Mrs. T's photos

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Watch out for the NUTmobile

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Food trucks

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One of the best things to happen to me today was receiving a news release on Word stationery from the "NUTMobile Department."

That is an actual part of the Planters division of Kraft Foods, which, taking a page straight out of the glovebox of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, is sending food-shaped vehicles piloted by college-student brand ambassadors on a marketing tour around the country.  
 
The Peanutter I heard from Melany R. Rodriguez, who co-pilots the "27-foot-long peanut on wheels" with Meghan Krueger and Mason Kerwick. Two other NUTmobiles and Peanutter teams are spreading themselves and puns around the country. "As nutty as it sounds," Ms. Rodrigues notes, "this job is a great opportunity for recent college graduates to gain skills in PR, marketing, sales and media relations."

Her nickname is Salted Caramel; Mr. Kerwick's is Monocline Mase; Ms. Krueger's is Nutty Meg. That's them, from left, in the photo above. 

They're in Pittsburgh this week for several events: 

• 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 31:  Art in the Park at 743 Penn Avenue in Wilkinsburg

• 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1: North Fayette Community Days Parade at 540 Penn Lincoln Dr.

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2 at Giant Eagle Market District in Settlers Ridge

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3 at Wal-Mart at 20245 Route 19 in Cranberry. 

At each stop, the public can meet and photograph the NUTMobile as well as Mr. Peanut, try a free sample of Planters peanuts, pick up NUTmobile stickers and $2-off coupons, and just be part of a nutty American phenomenon involving food and motorized vehicles.

Planters photo

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Updated locations for free ice cream

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Free Stuff

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[Updated at 2:30 p.m. July 30 with new truck locations.]

Can eating ice cream be a political statement?

It can this Wednesday and Thursday, July 30 and 31, when the Climate Reality Project brings free Ben & Jerry's ice cream to Pittsburgh.

We're one of four cities (along with Atlanta, Denver and Washington, D.C.) that are hosting Environmental Protection Agency hearings this week on the newly-proposed Clean Power Plan.

Climate Reality, as part of its I’m Too Hot campaign, is bringing Ben & Jerry's trucks to each city to dispense free ice cream and raise public awareness about the Clean Power Plan, which it is for, and global warming, which it is against.

The group's president and CEO Ken Berlin said in a release, "These EPA hearings are a crucial opportunity for people to let the EPA know they support the agency's efforts to reduce harmful carbon pollution, and we’ll be there to make sure our supporters don't get too hot."

The group says that if approved, "the EPA's Clean Power Plan would provide the first-ever national standards to limit the amount of carbon pollution existing power plants can produce – aiming to cut emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The EPA estimates that the rule would provide significant economic and health benefits, including the prevention of 150,000 asthma attacks and 6,600 premature deaths annually by 2030 as well as the creation of 76,000 to 112,000 new jobs in 2025 by expanding the energy efficiency sector alone."

The plan is open for public comment until Oct. 16; ice-cream eaters will be encouraged to do so via social media and other means.

Find the trucks from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at Market Square, Downtown, and on Thursday, July 31, at the William S. Moorhead Federal Building (1000 Liberty Ave.) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at Carnegie Mellon University from 1:30 to 6 p.m.

The flavors: Cookie Dough and Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

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Climate Reality Project images, the bottom from the rally in Atlanta. 

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What's dishing on the blogs: Pizza feuds

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

PizzaBoat online

This week, we have pizza feuds and frozen desserts. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

Dan from Pizza Walk with Me uncovered a new and exciting pizza rivalry between Pizza Boat and the new competitor in town, Bread + Salt. To learn more, Pittsburgh Magazine invites us to get familiar with Pizza Boat, this new mobile vendor that serves 9-inch pies on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays outside Bar Marco in the Strip District. And Linda from Dinner Plan-it focused on a different kind of pizza: a dreamy True Blue Maryland Crab, Artichoke and Jalapeno Dip Pizza. Pizza seems to be on everyone's mind these days!

On the non-pizza-spectrum, Jessica from How Sweet It Is prepared a satisfying Nectarine and Fig Summer Salad with Crispy Pancetta, Katy made a colorful Chicken with Strawberry & Avocado Salsa in her BakingDomesticityandAllThingsMini kitchen, and Kathy from Chew me! was impressed with her Easy No-Knead Artisan Bread. For something sweet, head over to Haute Pepper Bites for a fruity Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake.

On the ice cream front, the girls from eatPGH are still taking ice cream stores by storm. Yum Yum whipped up flavorful Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, while the Brown Eyed Baker churned lovely Coffee and Doughnuts Ice Cream. And Chef Chuck from Cooks and Eats encouraged us to cool off with The Climate Reality Project that's giving away free Ben & Jerry's ice cream around town, next week.

See you here next week!

Pittsburgh Magazine photo

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After 37 years, D'Imperio's Restaurant in Wilkins will close next weekend

Written by Melissa McCart on . Closings

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An Italian-American special-occasion restaurant since 1977, D'Imperio's Restaurant in Wilkins will close Aug. 2.

"It's time to quit while I still have the energy," said owner Tony D'Imperio.

In recent years, the restaurant had been busy during holidays, " but during regular service we had been spending $10 to take in $9," he said.

Former staff has been stopping in to say goodbyes, since D'Imperio's will not celebrate the restaurant's run with a party. Among visitors was Joseph Schilling, executive chef of the restaurant for 33 years until he resigned three years ago.

As a child, Mr. D'Imperio moved in 1955 from Italy to the area with his family. A year later, when he was 11, he got his start in the restaurant business by washing dishes at the Sons of Columbus Italian Club in Clairton, a job he took to help his family out.

From dishwashing, he learned to cook, then left Pittsburgh to bartend in the Poconos and took a break from the business to serve in the Vietnam War. He returned to Pittsburgh to finish college and to open D'Imperio's, a restaurant inspired by the Italian dishes of his youth.

D'Imperio's is among the last of its kind. Originally on 10th floor of the Jonnet Building in Monroeville, the restaurant became known for its piano bar and lounge singers.

"Walt Maddox is singing the Stephen Sondheim song, 'Send in the Clowns;' the accompaniment is a chorus of conversations, laughter, clinking glasses," wrote Marilyn McDevitt Rubin in a 1981 edition of the Pittsburgh Press.
"Anticipation. Pretty women. Blond. Dimpled. Low-cut dresses. Handsome, broad-shouldered men. Tall. Dark. Macho."

Even then, the restaurant was a classic. "It was as if you had drifted back in time to when elegance was epitomized by New York's Stork Club and San Francisco's Top of the Mark."

The restaurant moved to its current location in 1982, smaller than the original, with a 100-seat patio Mr. D'Imperio added in 2001.

He gave away the baby grand piano to a bartender a couple years ago.

"We're now in a keyboard era," he said.

D'Imperio's photo

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