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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sly Fox

Don't get the chips.
Sly Fox is a dump. Their beer is just awful, their food is gross and you need a door code in order to use the restroom. If I wanted to use a door code to access the restroom I would hang out in a public park in Europe. Shame on you Sly Fox.

Pictured above are the world famous Sly Fox "chips and salsa." For only $5 (or $2.50 during happy hour) these delicious chips could be all yours. We are talking about some Costco bargain chips served with roughly 2oz of flavorless salsa and way too much sour cream. I cannot earnestly recommend these chips and salsa, even at the happy hour price point. 

Happy hour at Sly Fox really isn't a bad deal as all of the appetizers and beer are discounted. However, everything kind of sucks so it isn't really a good deal either. Rashan had this sausage for $9. He said it wasn't awful, but I thought it was odd that they couldn't be bothered to bring him silverware or napkins with his meal.

The hefeweizen I tried tasted like bubblegum and the stout I tried was similarly lackluster. I think they should just stop making beer and sell Miller Lite.

The saddest thing about this whole ordeal is that Sly Fox is apparently opening a second Pittsburgh location right by my house. I hope that they learn how to make beer before they open the doors.

I usually agree with City Paper. Their review of Sly Fox says, "Go to the Sly Fox at the Point for the craft beer that’s been around since 1995. Don't expect much from the food." I would politely add that you should also not expect very much from their craft beer.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Mad Mex - Shadyside

Three sizes of inconsistent margarita specials.
When your grade school teacher told you that math would be important throughout your life, she was not a liar. Mad Mex in Shadyside runs a daily happy hour from 4:30 until 6:30 that features margaritas and discounted drafts. I immediately noticed that the margarita pricing was wildly inconsistent.

I've done the math for you below so that you won't have to bother, but it makes the most sense to order the smallest size margarita. The special has diminishing returns as you order the larger sized margs. The three different sizes of glasses and the advertisement for the special are pictured above. It's worth noting that they don't even tell you the size of the "Big Azz Margarita" - but I'm pretty certain that is a 22 oz glass. What a fucking scam.

$3 12 oz   - 25 cents per ounce
$5 16 oz - 31 cents per ounce
$7 Big Azz margarita - 22 oz - 32 cents per ounce

My friend Paul provided the plausible explanation that even with this knowledge some folks might still be inclined to order the larger size so as to be considerate of the staff. I personally recommend that you just order two 12 oz margaritas at a time so that you are getting the best rate.

A few notes about Mad Mex, they offer half off all drafts during happy hour. Unlike several clown bars around town whose beer selection consists of 42 different IPAs, Mad Mex usually has at least a few different styles of beer to choose from. 

I highly recommend the boneless chicken wings. Mad Mex is one of the few places in town that has a bonafide de-boned chicken wing as opposed to a sauced up chicken tender.

Mad Mex Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Fet-Fisk - Organi Osteria - Dish

Organi Osteria

I'm starting to think that I've lost relevance as a food blogger. After all, food blogs haven't been popular since 2010. It would seem that podcasts and vlogging are the wave of the future. (I'm not even sure the kids call it vlogging anymore.)

The perfect proof of my insignificance is that I've somehow never heard of Fet-Fisk.  Fet-Fisk is a testament of the Pittsburgh restaurant scene transformation. They are a pop up dinner collaborative that takes place at an undisclosed location semi-regularly.  I also do not believe that they disclose the menu prior to their events.

From their site:

"we are not a restaurant. we are a group of friends who currently work in or have worked in restaurants, and we are kind of bummed on restaurants.
we are a group of friends who want to bring other groups of friends together over delicious food, so we throw pop-up dinner parties.
our dinner parties are recurring, and one-of-a-kind. our location changes. unique to each event, our menus highlight fresh seafood and regional produce.
it is important to us for our food to be valued accessibly, and to include satisfying options for diets and restrictions. delicious food is important at FET-FISK.
FET-FISK means ‘greasy-fish’ in swedish"

I'm shocked that these guys could slip under my radar for so long. I really mean it when I say that I must not be cool anymore. Special thanks to my friend Katie for making me cooler. After taking a peek at their Instagram, it appears that Fet-Fesk has been around for about one year.

The Fet-Fisk I had the pleasure of attending was at Dish Osteria and was an all organ/offal dinner titled, Organi Osteria.  Although they have been closed the last couple of years, Dish recently reopened their doors in the historic South Side of Pittsburgh. I highly recommend checking them out, their food is fantastic.

In total we were served nine highly unique courses for $85. Honestly it was not a bad deal but it got expensive quickly as the drinks at Dish were about $10 a pop. Also, we ended up having quite a few drinks as the dinner was slow! The dinner was supposed to run from 7-10 pm but it ran past 11 pm. I'm not a European, I don't like 4 hour dinners.

Some of the amazing dishes we got to try incorporated  head cheese, eyeballs, gonads, tendon, heart, blood and liver. This was not a dinner for the faint of heart and both the menu and the location were not disclosed ahead of time. I've posted the full menu below for your viewing pleasure.

My favorite courses were numbers 8, 4 and 6. Respectively, veal brains with tagliatelle, brown butter and iberian pepper - beef heart with foccacia and bitter greens and calf liver with guanciale and potato.   I can't wait to go party with these folks again.

Full Menu

Dish Osteria & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Western PA Lamb Cook-Off 2019


Lamb Fest has grown massive within such a short span of time! From humble beginnings the Western PA Lamb Cook-Off is now an all out lamb extravaganza. By my count there were over 20 different lamb dishes you could sample. Unlike in previous years, vendors were extremely well stocked and there was no rush to try and get to all 10 stations. Guest chefs included:

Jennifer Girasole (Girasole), Jessica Lewis (Spirits & Tales), Kristin Butterworth (Lautrec), Julio Peraza (Floor 2 at Fairmont Pittsburgh), Will Randall (Meat & Potatoes), Justin Steel (Bar Marco), Chris O'Brien (Scratch Food & Beverage), Brian Hammond (Siempre Algo), Curtis Gamble (Station), Jon Sterrett (Senti), Derek Burnell (Round Corner Cantina and Umami Pgh), Roger Li (Umami Pghand Ki Ramen Pgh), Dan Kern (1201 Kitchen, Bird and Noosa in Erie), Lily Tran (Soba), Sam DiBattista (Vivo Restaurant). Dom Branduzzi (Piccolo Forno and Grapperia), Justin Severino (Morcilla), Michele Savoia (Dish Osteria and Bar), Anthony Falcon (Gaucho Parrilla Argentina) and Nate Hobart (Morcilla). For more on the participants see PRNewswire.

I have to say that I was slightly disappointed by the judges. Usually I think the professionals get it right, but based on my tastes I just have to disagree. I've posted the top three winners below. By and large the judges tended to favor the chefs who made tacos.

In particular I thought that Team 7 was overrated this year and I'm saddened that they are now the three time champions. I just could not get on board with their Lamb Robtaaki (lamb kebabs with various offal.) However, their taco was one of the better ones presented at the event.

Personally, I thought the best dish of the day was the delicate lamb dumpling presented by Team 1. It was perfectly seasoned and just did such a nice job of showcasing the delicious lamb.

This is a top notch Pittsburgh culinary event. I would highly recommend it to anyone! This years winners are posted below.

Team 7:
Roger Li Umami Pgh & Ki Ramen Pgh
Dan Kern of 1201 Kitchen Noosa North East & Bird
Derek Burnell of Round Corner Cantina & Umami Pgh
AKA The Most Hated Players took home the 1st place title for their third year in a row. This undefeated team served three different lamb dishes including
- Lamb Robatayaki
- Lamb Tacos
- Crispy Lamb

Team 5:
Chris O’Brien of Scratch Food & Beverage
Josh Ross of Con Alma
Julio Peraza of Floor 2
David Devoss of Sewickley Tavern
Took second place with Barbacoa Lamb Tacos

Team 8:
Kristen Butterworth
Patrick Duffy
Kareen Brown
Kylie Zaccagni
Team Nemacolin Woodlands Resort come in 3rd with their
Braised Lamb Leg Tacos and their adorable Lamb Fat, Sugar Cookies