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Monthly Archives: May 2012

For a good night out with friends, head to D’s!

D’s SixPax & Dogs

Regent Square

1118 South Braddock Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15218 | (412) 241-4666

So… I am clearly on a veggie dog kick, but can you blame me with all the choices in the ‘Burgh?!  I’ve been to D’s a few times to pick up beer or grab a drink with a friend, but this was my first time testing out their cuisine.  I was impressed.  It was tasty.  Lots of veggie-ness on the menu.

We started with the Zucchini planks for an app.  Planks? Must be a PGH thing, as I haven’t seen it before, but many places here offer the massive appetizer.  The zucchini was nice and crispy, but it was a bit over fried to the point of about a quarter of it being in-eatable.  It was a bit greasy, but not terrible.  We only ate one plank a piece, and to be honest, I could have gone for just a half a plank.  It sat pretty heavy in my stomach. But the redeeming factor for the app were the sauces.  The marinara was actually really good- not to sweet or thick.  And the “tiger” sauce was really, really good.  It had the nice kick from the horseradish and the cooling cream.  It was worth patting the grease off another plank to go back from more!

Fried Zucchini Planks
We fry a humongous handful of breaded zucchini medallions to a golden brown. Served with your choice of marinara or tangy tiger sauce… or heck, both.
$5.95

For our main course, we tried two different veggie dogs.  Clearly, a Chicagoan at heart, I had to go with the Chicago Dog.  Great choice! The dog was packed with amazing veggie ingredients and void of ketchup- just like a dog should come!  The actual dog itself was a touch dry- overcooked by a minute, I think.  But the condiments more than made up for this misstep.  And, the whole thing came properly on a poppy seed bun.  Well done, D’s!

CHICAGO
Capone, Jordan, Ditka, and a dash of celery salt! All on a poppyseed bun! Well, more like relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes, sport peppers, and yellow mustard (oh, and that dash of celery salt!), but still.

The other dog was a must try!  The Big Ben (while not one of my favorite sports heros) it was a great dog! Crispy fries, melty gooey cheese sauce, and coleslaw.  Ummmmm, yes please!  I will go back for this one!

BIG BEN
This little slice of Heaven has nothing to do with a clock that’s 3,700 miles away and everything to do with our star quarterback! Piled high with fries, creamy cheddar and coleslaw!

So here are my words to the wise next time you made the stroll to D’s in Regent Square.

1. One hotdog is MORE than enough!  I think I ate about two bites of each and one zucchini plank and I was stuffed.  And I am not the “I’ll just have a side salad” kinda gal.  These dogs pack it all in.  They are stuffed!

2. The servers in the main dining area all tag-team the tables.  The women who took our order was NOT friendly, but the dudes were. So… Well, I guess there is really no advice here, just be warned.

3. One of my favorite parts about this place is that you can go into the beer cave, pick out any beer you want, and they will open it for you right there.  If you want a beer that isn’t cold yet, they have a convenient super cooler that can get your beer frosty very quickly.  You can also get 6 &12 packs to go.  They have a great selection of local and micro-brews on tap.  You can’t go wrong with the beer here.

Overall Grade for D’s SixPax & Dogs : A-

D's Six Pax & Dogz on Urbanspoon

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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Hot Dogs, Regent Square

 

Joe’s Dogs: Best in the Burgh

Joe’s Dog House

http://www.joesdoghousepgh.com

Joe’s is hand’s down my favorite lunch spot in Oakland.  For $5.25, my favorite (and what I get EVERYtime) is the “Veggie Special” with chips and a drink. I am a veggie dog connoisseur, and this is one of my all-time favorites.  Joe’s veggie special consists of a grilled Yves Jumbo Veggie Soydog on a toasted wheat bun topped with sliced fresh red tomatoes, spicy(!) giardiniera, yellow mustard and celery salt.  Joe (and Chris- the other owner) slice the dog length-wise and grill it to perfection.  Then it’s topped with all that yumminess?!

Yes, please!

Joe and Chris also have a tomato & basil tofu Italian sausage and a killer MorningStar Farms chipotle black bean burger. A food cart that caters to vegetarians has my heart!  But don’t worry carnivores! My meat eatting coworkers are also consistenly pleased with their meat dogs, so I say that you can’t go wrong with this place.  And the owners are super nice folks- win, win!

Joe’s also has a rewards system to keep me coming back.  Wait… who am I kidding, it’s that dog that gets me coming back each time! But, this is a lovely perk!  Buy 10 dogs, get one free!

Joe’s Dog House Grade- Easy A!

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Food Trucks, Hot Dogs, Oakland

 

Casa Rasta v. Smoke

Casa Rasta

2102 Broadway Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15216

Some friends and I took advantage of the amazing weather on Sunday and ventured to the South Hills for the highly recommended, Casa Rasta experience.  It is a cute little place with a nice outdoor patio.  Prefect for a lazy Sunday afternoon of sunshine, people watching and chowing down on some good grub.  The inside has just a few seats, so be warned if you are going on a cold or rainy day, it might be best to get yours to-go!

There are two veggie tacos on the menu.  I clearly had to try both!  They were both good.  Not earth-shatteringly good, but good.  Both tacos came with two fresh corn tortillas. Yum!  The first one I tried, which was my favorite of the two, was the Vegetarian Poblano Chilis & Potatoes (Rajas) and the other was a Vegetarian Mexican Sausage (Soyrizo).  The pepper one was cooked well and didn’t have any of the bitter/metallic taste that happens sometimes to cooked peppers.  The peppers were cut into ribbons which made for a fun presentation.  Topped with a bit of their homemade salsa, it was a good taco.  The Soyrizo taco was fine.  I ate the whole thing and enjoyed it, but it tasted like something I could whip up a home in no time.  The “sausage” tasted just like Boca or Quorn crumbles cooked in some taco seasoning.  I liked it, but it was nothing special.  Am I glad they have it on the menu though?  Heck yes!  I will always credit a place when they have veggie protein on the menu!  Well done, Casa Rasta!

The only thing on the menu that I didn’t much enjoy were the black beans.  They come in a Styrofoam bowl, which for a cute little hippy, veggie/earth friendly place, I was shocked that they used Styrofoam.  But neither here nor there, the beans were just not great.  No seasoning and a minute or two undercooked.  I put them on both tacos to add a little somethin’ somethin’, but on their own, they were not good.

I did, however, very much enjoy my Mango Jarritos.  Delish.

If you have read my review of Smoke and this one, I bet you can guess my winner.  For the food, from this one veggie’s perspective, there is a clear winner- Smoke.  As far as the whole dining experience, I would give it to Casa Rasta based on the patio and option for outdoor dining. I would go back to Casa Rasta with friends for a cheap, casual meal.  I would go back to Smoke time and time again for flavorful, fresh food.

Overall Grade for Casa Rasta: B-

Casa Rasta on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Mexican, South Hills