Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Market Square Favorites

Since I've been back in Pittsburgh (approaching the three-year anniversary mark!), I've been with the same small law firm whose offices have gone from the stately Henry W. Oliver Building to the glass castle called PPG One. Transitioning over toward PPG Place has made me a frequenter of Market Square - before work, during lunch, and after work. Here are some of my favorite options for fueling and feeding myself throughout the workweek:

Bluebird Kitchen
I enjoy Bluebird for many reasons. 1) Delicious coffee. 2) Different and always tasty pastries. 3) Actual FRESH-SQUEEZED OJ (one of my favorite things in life). 4) My neighbor Alex works there! I need to make a mental note to get to work early enough one day to sit down and have an actual breakfast there, cause I'm on a big eggs and toast kick right now. I can only believe that would make a great start to my morning.

Nicholas Coffee Co.
Lovely lattes, especially when a "pick-me-up" is needed on a rainy, gray Pittsburgh afternoon. (Having an entire wall of your office be a window with an awesome view can get a little depressing in a stretch of rainy days.) They've also got a great selection of teas, and this is a normal go-to for me when I'm out of coffee or espresso beans at home.

If you've been paying even the smallest bit of attention to EvBetPGH, you probably already know my love for this place. But I'm a fan of beating people over the head with information. So here we go again: Best burger you'll ever have. Ever. I never stray away from my usual order (FYI: empty with extra cheddar medium, which I then dip in what even I consider an obscene amount of ketchup), but anyone I have ever taken to this place (there have been lots and lots) agrees that whatever burger they had was MIGHTY good. I love this place for lunch, and I especially love it for after work. When I worked in the Oliver Building, my dad and I would meet at the Smithfield Cafe before Pens games or whatever event we were taking in that night). Now we meet at Winghart's. A definite improvement in many ways.

Las Velas
Let me be nostalgic for a moment: Back when I was at Pitt, back when I was under-21, I ate many a meal at La Fiesta. The restaurant wasn't much - chairs and tables set up in the front two rooms of a mostly-shitty (but livable) South Oakland building - but the food was cheap, the queso (THE CHEESE!) was amazing stuff, and no one asked for my ID when I brought in a six pack. The queso was so amazing that on return trips to Pittsburgh from Boston, I would asked to be taked directly to La Fiesta from the airport. Las Velas, whose quality of establishment is about a billion times less shady than La Fiesta, has THE CHEESE. They also have the tacos and all the other delicious Mexican fare. Though it's not BYOB, I'm now able to consume alcohol legally. And I have consumed many margaritas from Las Velas and I can attest to their wonderfulness (as well as their strongness).

For whenever my sweet tooth is aching for a treat. Love their cookies, although I have to stray away from the ones with too too much icing. I think I may have entered into a sugar coma-shock after devouring one of those once.

Admission: I did not have my first Primanti's sammich until the Steelers Super Bowl against the Seahawks. I was a bad Pittsburgher back then. Now, I'll hit up Primanti's on the regular for lunch. There's a way a double egg & cheese hits the spot like no other lunch option can.

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