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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pusadee's Garden

Street Chicken

BYOB restaurants are the best. Particularly when they serve Thai food in a scenic urban garden. I've been coming to Pusadee's Garden for many years on the recommendation of my cheap-skate little brother who loves BYOB restaurants. While I don't think the food really outshines any other particular Thai eatery in Pittsburgh, the garden setting is truly iconic and the prices are acceptable. In terms of ranking Pittsburgh Thai restaurants, I'd put Pusadee's above Niky's Thai Kitchen and slightly below Spice Island Tea House and Thai Gourmet.

Most of the dishes are entirely delicious, including the Thai street chicken pictured above. If you love lightly fried chicken accompanied by sriracha, this will be your jam. Out of the spring rolls, pork meatballs and fried tofu, this fried chicken was the star of the show. (I'd actually avoid the pork meatballs, I thought they were gross.)

In addition to the chicken, the beer provided by the Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Home-brewers (TRASH) was fantastic. For more information visit Chris from TRASH was kind enough to offer us a keg of Oktoberfest and a keg of his own home-brewed IPA. We were thrilled to say the least, but I think the staff of Pusadee's was a little more than surprised when we rolled in with kegs. 

Frolicking in the garden.

I highly recommend Pusadee's for a casual garden dinner or as a lovely date spot. Be sure to bring your own keg and make some time for a garden frolic.

Pusadee's Garden on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cambod-Ican Kitchen

"There's vodka and then there's Platinum 7X" - Mark Bucklaw
Special thanks to our first host of Pittsburgh Happy Hour BYOB Month, Platinum 7X. Platinum 7X graciously donated these mini bottles of vodka for our consumption. I'm no vodka connoisseur, but I feel like clear spirits pair well with just about anything. Especially when you want to get drunk. Our goal was to do a blind taste test of Platinum 7X and the local Boyd and Blair potato vodka, but we had to settle for just the Platinum 7X. Again, I know nothing about vodka, but Platinum 7X was entirely smooth and palatable with a reasonable price tag. Thanks for sponsoring our event!

Cambod-Ican Kitchen is one of the few places in Pittsburgh where I knew that showing up with a sack of mini vodka bottles would not present an issue. I was first introduced to the restaurant eons ago as a young man drinking his way to certain stardom. Although they are open for dinner, Cambod-Ican really shines between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. when they are the only non-pizza late night food option in town.

Fried tofu and mixed veggies with crispy noodles.

Most late night dinner guests partake in dishes such as "cat on a stick", egg rolls or the famous seafood wantons with moon sauce. But for the eight dollars left in my pocket after a night of heavy drinking I prefer the fried tofu with crispy noodles. The tofu is done perfectly and the crispy noodles are the height of perfection. Dark and crispy, but not overly chewy with a nice sweet finishing sauce. Kind of like how the crispy noodles used to be at Lu Lu's Noodle House in Oakland before that restaurant went terribly downhill and made me want to end my life. Something dark and unspeakable happened to the quality of the food at Lu Lu's and now I'd rather eat at Panda Express. 


There's a certain pleasure to dining at Cambod-Ican specifically because it is not a fine dining establishment. Rather, this is a restaurant with locks on the bathroom doors, surly drunk customers, an extremely colorful owner and a non-traditional menu. Take for example the kielbasa kabob pictured above. What could possibly be more yinzer-oriented? Where do you go for non-pizza late night food options Pittsburgh?

Lulu's Noodles on Urbanspoon Cambod-Ican Kitchen on Urbanspoon