Friday, May 27, 2011

Witty (and Tasty) Food on the Mount

123 Shiloh Street, Mount Washington

Being a Suburghia newbie, I really had no expectations about Shiloh Grill when we decided to head there for dinner and a few drinks before a what would be rained out Pirates game.  I had purchased a Groupon for the Grill the month before in an attempt to make sure that the husband and I tried someplace new every time we drove into the city.  It is easy to become creatures of sustenance comfort, always heading back to your few fave joints when you are only in the 'Burgh a few times a month.
When we first arrived atop Mount Washington and lucked into a parking meter space right in front of the restaurant, we opted to sit on the spacious outdoor deck.  That is, until Mother Nature made other plans  and we were quickly bolting for the indoor dining room. ;)
So, let's get to it.

From top left, clockwise:

  • The first thing that struck me was Shiloh Grill's facetious and very humorous menu listings and descriptions.  Even if the food had been sub par (which it was not- thank goodness!), it would have been worth the visit just to browse through the menu.  ;)  My favorite menu item by far (and only for it's colorful description) is the Roethlisburgher
  • I started with the World Famous Patio Gazpacho.  Their gazpacho is fresh, with chunks of crisp veggies (think cucumbers, peppers, and onions) in the broth.  It packed just enough spicy heat to not overwhelm the freshness of the gazpacho.
  • Next up- Shiloh Grill's new Arugula Steak Salad. Okay, they pretty much had me at arugula and steak.  ;)  The medium-well grilled steak was sliced over a bed of fresh spinach and arugula and adorned with blue cheese crumbles, radish slices, and pepperoncini's.  Divine...
  • Ahhhhh.... we were there just in time for their happy hour (5-7pm on the weekdays).  Happy hour at Shiloh Grill means half off their draft beers, wings, and their frozen cosmos.  The FROZEN COSMOS!  Holy libations, was this a wonderful treat for an almost full-time craft beer drinker. Frozen, smooth, tasty, and it packs a punch.  This is no frou-frou Cosmopolitan.  They are deceptively easy to drink, but those pink martini glasses of frozen happiness sure do sneak up on you. (Not that I know from personal experience or anything... ;) )
What you need to know before you go:

  • Bring change for the parking meter!  Though I am sure there is free parking somewhere, most parking that I have observed on Mount Washington is metered or valet.
  • Try to to head to Shiloh Grill on a Tuesday evening if you happen to be a lover of all things bacon.  They serve up FREE bacon baskets at the bar, $1 a basket in the dining room and deck.  They also craft a bacon martini to wash down your bacon basket with.  ;)
For hours, directions, specials, and menus, visit below:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Foodie's Oasis in Suburghia- Delallo's Italian Store

6390 Route 30, Jeannette

My first visit to Delallo Italian Marketplace after arriving in my new home of Greensburg, Pennsylvania was my first realization that I could survive (and probably even thrive!) after my big move from one of the larger locavore capitals of the Midwest to what seemed to me a sleepy suburb of the Steel City.  I walked through the doors and my eyes fell upon the colorful and abundant produce area of the marketplace like the eyes of a child to the bountiful gifts below the tree Christmas morning.  This is all for me??  ;)  And I hadn't even got to the cheese counter or the deli, or to the bakery.  And oh, that bakery...
So, let's get to it.

From top left, clockwise (in order of occurrence in store):
  • After perusing all the fresh veggies and fruits in the Dellalo's produce section, you are immediately face to face with the enormous olive and antipasti bar that lines most of the entire right wall as you walk into the main part of the store.  Need hot peppered green olives? They got it!  Need marinated artichoke hearts?  Yep, they got that too.  Need prosciutto wrapped and cheese stuffed peppers?  Yep, check!
  • The cheese counter at Dellalo's is heaven...  They sell every cheese from most any country imaginable.  The cheese mongers are more than happy to slice you off a little taste of any wedge that appeals to you.  They also sell fresh, homemade mozzarella and ricotta.
  • Before you have even turned the corner past the cheese counter and the deli, the aroma of fresh baked bread floats all around you.  Delallo's bakes fresh breads, pepperoni rolls (these are amazing!), and their famous egg rolls daily.  The egg rolls have become regulars to at least one home cooked meal in my kitchen every week (and that is easy to do when they are only 2 for $1!).
  • I will admit it.  Sometimes I come to Delallo's and forgo the deeply purple eggplants and gorgeous avocados and I go straight to the bakery.  And nowhere else.  For those of us who have the pleasure of suffering from an insatiable sweet tooth, Delallo's baked yumminess may just be the cure. ;)  My favorites in no particular order: their whole grain biscotti's, their carrot cake, their coconut cream pie, their made when ordered cannoli's, the salted caramels (my mother's favorite), and the almost as big as your head cinnamon rolls. (Just a tip- they do not always have the cinnamon rolls. So if you go and see them on a plate on top of the bakery counter, have them wrap up as many as you can take home! ;) )
What you need to know before you go:
  • If this will be your first visit to Delallo Italian Marketplace, make sure you set aside ample time to explore the store & it's many culinary offerings.  You do not want to rush your first Delallo's experience. 
  • The cheese counter, deli, and bakery get pretty darn busy on the weekends.  I suggest going during a weekday if you want to take your time to sample cheeses or ogle the bakery counter. ;)
  • Above is just a small sampling of what Delallo Italian Marketplace offers it's customers. You can also find pastas there, dried beans and nuts in bulk, ready made Italian meals to go, Italian cigars... the list goes on and on.
For store hours, directions, recipe ideas, and the Delallo's blog, visit below:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Old World Italian in the Heart of Greensburg- Rialto Cafe

25 West Otterman Street, Greensburg

Rialto Cafe is tucked inside a more than century old stone building (circa 1796) at the corner of West Otterman Street and North Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Greensburg.  The bar (pictured above) is the original from the restaurant's opening in 1933, and the staff still serves up cold ones and libations over this bar almost 80 years later.  The Montouri family has owned the Cafe for 3 generations now.  It has become one of those places that a couple may have come to on a date, then got married and brought their children there, and now those children bring their children there.  Tradition, family, and good family recipes is what makes Rialto Cafe a mainstay (and quite literally a historical landmark) in Greensburg.
So, let's get to it.

From left to right:
  • Most of the dinner entrees are served with the Rialto Cafe House Salad.  The salad itself consists of lettuce, chopped mozzarella, pickled beets, and black olives. I ordered mine with the house dressing, the Creamy Parmesan.  The salad was simple, yet different.  
  • We shared the Fried Zucchini Appetizer.  I was pleasantly surprised by the cut of the zucchini.  The zucchinis are sliced lengthwise, then breaded lightly, and fried.  It is served with a side of their traditional red sauce.
  • As my main entree, I ordered an Italian favorite of mine, the Cheese Raviolis.  Each ravioli was a pasta pillow filled with a ricotta cheese mixture.  My favorite part of the dish was the generous meatball spooned right into the center of the plate.  It was tender, well seasoned, and quite possibly one of the better meatballs that I have had.  The entire plate was smothered in Rialto's traditional sauce, which is a smooth red sauce.
What you need to know before you go:
  • Parking is metered, so bring change!
  • Rialto Cafe is a fabulous choice on a nice, pretty day.  They have a good amount of patio seating (the outdoor space was once where the dining room of one of Rialto's patriarchs used to serve his family his homecooked meals. ;) )
  • There are menu choices for every budget!  The staples of the Rialto Cafe menu are their sandwiches, pasta dishes, and their pizza.
For hours and directions, call below (Yes, I said call. They do not have a website yet- so very old school.):