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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Or the Whale

Or the Octopus
This review must be prefaced with the statement that this restaurant is prohibitively expensive, and they know it. If they have not priced themselves out of the Pittsburgh market, perhaps I am just unaware of what good food costs. I worry that I am almost certainly becoming my father. A man that thinks all sandwiches should cost less than 6 dollars because he has failed to keep up with the times. I have to constantly remind myself that good food is expensive and the cost can be justified.

That's just the thing about Or the Whale though - the food is great. The above pictured octopus with fingerling potatoes was in fact so good that I went out and purchased my own fingerling potatoes to make at home, fell asleep cooking them, and nearly died of asphyxiation.

 I've never had octopus served with chimichurri sauce and potatoes. It was exquisite and prepared flawlessly. The octopus had just the right amount of char and a great mouth feel. 

Or the Trout
The smoked trout rillettes are really the only bargain item on the menu at a paltry $11. I thought it was quite nice that the dish arrived with a small salad to help me justify my existence. After all, I spent over $50 on two drinks and two appetizers. (I mean, god damn, I could buy like 70 pounds of bananas with that coin.)  Maybe that doesn't sound bad to you, but I think it is outrageous.

Here is a list of some menu items and their respective prices so you have an idea of what you are getting into.

Seafood Tower - $180
16 oz Ribeye - $65
Duck Burger - $45
Side Salad - $9

Getting old sucks, everything seems expensive.  Also, I'm pretty sure that Or the Whale has the most expensive hamburger in the city. Please prove me wrong in the comments.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Zone 28

Garage Door Access!
Zone 28 recently opened in the far east part of town near Oakmont. Let me tell you, for a kid friendly joint they threw a hell of a grand opening party. Here are some of our favorite magical moments from the opening.

Appetizers! And lots of them. Zone 28 offers a full menu and has two separate bars. The End Zone and the Railhouse.  (If you've ever been to State College you would know that their local establishment called the End Zone is quite a different beast. NSFW.)

Costumed characters! They have a remarkably well crafted beer list for a bowling alley. Their sports bar is the perfect place for dads. Honestly, they should change the name of the sports bar to, "Dads Only."

SNACKS! So many snacks.


This lady won a golden ticket.

This friendly janitor met the Pittsburgh dad! Everyone loves the Pittsburgh dad!

Add caption
And Santa made an appearance! Overall, an awesome place. In addition to bowling and the restaurants they have a full arcade, laser tag and bumper cars!

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Threadbare Cider

Threadbare Cider is easily one of the most exciting places I've visited in 2017. The new space  belongs to the owners of Wigle Whiskey. Threadbare is actually located just right down the street from the Wigle Barrel House - I guess the price of real estate is going up in Spring Garden!

One of the more enticing features of the space is the marvelous job they've done of exposing the production facilities. The massive renovations to the old building allow patrons an intimate view of the innards of the cider facility from the comfort of the dining room.

The cider house stands as a tribute to Johnny Appleseed. (Would you believe that the rapscallion is both real and associated with Pittsburgh?) Threadbare currently offers three separate varieties of cider: a dry, a dry-hopped and a farmhouse.  While I enjoyed sampling all three ciders, there was no contest for my affection. The dry cider almost resembled a dry white wine in it's robust magnificence. I'm no cider expert - but I've had a lot of Jack's Hard Cider in times of desperation and need. Threadbare is considerably better the typical American ciders you see on tap at many bars. Their products are absolutely comparable to the offerings at Arsenal Cider.

Silver Dollar Pancake
Pictured above you can see some of the various offerings from the Threadbare brunch menu. My favorite item was the silver dollar pancakes, but the breakfast pizza and cheese plate were a close second. I should also note that they offer a variety of gluten free dishes as they are attempting to placate the no-beer crowd. I'm looking forward to visiting again! It was an excellent experience.