I visited Pittsburgh (my first time) recently for a conference — turned out to be nice place! I thought it would be different (not exactly sure what I was expecting) – when you travel quite a bit for work it is hard to know what to expect sometimes.
It is not like Philly.
It has many bridges.
It is apparently safer to walk as compared to taking a cab (per a local restaurant owner).
Unexpectedly good food scene.
Decent Fall colors.
And yes, I did set foot in the Heinz Stadium — hello from my Boston fan!
My travel foodie experience was great — for the first night I tried an Argentinian place in the Strip District (Gaucho Parrilla). Crazy huge blackboard menu. You order first and then the server brings the food to the table. Seafood and potatoes side are worth trying. The highlight was definitely the campfire sweet potatoes side dish (with toasted marshmallow and all)! The food was freshly-made and flavorful — not spicy hot but had a nice blend of spices.
Conferences are great for networking and socializing. I get to meet some of my old (and new) friends. I explored Pittsburgh restaurants with my partner in crime, P — we tried Argentinian, Mediterranean and finally, a gourmet meatball place – Mercato right near the convention center — nice variety of options for all tastes (including vegetarian meatballs), huge portions and a nice vibe. You can get your choice of meatballs — as a slider (I went for it), or over pasta etc. with variety of sauces/sides. For dessert we enjoyed their freshly made ricotta doughnuts with powdered sugar (similar to beignets) with chocolate sauce! We were in heaven.
Wrapped up my trip with a local-dish “pierogies” — European/American version of dumplings with a cheese-potato filling cooked in butter and fried onions. Yum!
Until next time Pittsburgh. Go Pats!