Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pittsburgh, PA Edition: Olive Or Twist

Olive or TwistWhile in Pittsburgh waiting for dinner reservations, we popped into Olive Or Twist - which is pretty much the cutest name. The martini bar has some high-top tables toward the front, and then there was more seating beyond the bar for folks wanting an actual meal.

Olive or TwistUnfortunately, we didn't get the chance to try any food, but we did get a quick drink. I ordered the "Farmer's Market," which has Three Olivers apples and Pear's, All Spice, Licor 43, and pumpkin butter.

Olive Or TwistIt was very fall-inspired, which I was into. I thought this was tasty, save for the bid of sediment that settled to the bottom of the glass. I didn't care for that.

Olive Or TwistA friend told me that they have some decent snacks, so I definitely want to try that next time.

Olive or TwistHave you been? What's the best martini to order?


Grade: B
Olive Or Twist Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, January 30, 2017

Quebec City, CANADA Edition: Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec

The MarketQuebec City has a lovely market - Marche du Vieux-Port de Quebec - that has just a little bit of everything.

The MarketFrom maple syrup and wine to macarons and fresh pasta, there's literally everything.

The Market
We did a little drink tasting along with pate (amazing!), and I bought some maple caramel and some macarons. 

The MarketSo, I tried a new flavor of macaron called seabuckthorn. Very sweet. The caramel and creme brulee macarons were delicious. And the caramel of course mmm.

The MarketSo lovey - and a welcome change from the freezing cold outside. Look at all this great stuff!

The Market

The Market

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The Market

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Quebec City, CANADA Edition: Casse-Crepe Breton

Casse-crepe BretonPoutine ✓
Crepes 
Meat pie 

There are few must-try dishes in Quebec City, and with its French influence, it's no surprise that crepes make the list. We've already knocked poutine off the list, so next up was Casse-Crepe Breton.

Casse-crepe BretonThis shop gets pretty busy, and you awkwardly wait in the glass walkway inside the restaurant for a table to open. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait too long, and we were seated in a brightly lit dining space next to friendly folks.

Sweet, sinful or savoury, our crepes, homemade style, have personality at Casse-Crêpe Breton! Come and be inspired by a unique and exquisite gourmet moment... Our crepes know how to impress! You can savour them at the heart of this historical city, in a warm and friendly restaurant where cheerful ambiance will keep you coming back for more! 
Whether for breakfast, a savoury or a sweet crepe, come and discover all the fantastic choices on our menu! A glass of house wine, a pint of local beer, one of our specialty coffees, or a freshly squeezed juice will most certainly add a little special something to this fabulous experience. 
Swiss cheese, mushrooms, asparagus, or berries? At Casse-Crêpe Breton, you’ll meet the crepe of your dreams! (website)
Casse-crepe Breton
The menu features savory crepes and "dessert" crepes - the latter which we all ordered ate as the main crepe. :) I went for the cherry filling with whipped cream on top.

Casse-crepe Breton
One thing I learned about this city is that a coffee is standard with every meal - and they often will also substitute hot chocolate if you don't get a coffee. Mmm.

Casse-crepe BretonThis crepe was delicious. Perfectly light, yet crispy, with tons of sweet filling and fresh whipped cream. I don't think I was actually sold on crepes until I had this one. It's like you're getting a sweet treat, but it doesn't feel quite as guilty because it's not heavy.

Casse-crepe BretonDefinitely a great place to start the day.

Casse-crepe BretonGrade: A
Casse-Crêpe Breton Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Quebec City, CANADA Edition: Pub St-Patrick

St Patrick's pubAfter a long day of driving from Boston up to Quebec City, Canada, we were starving. We walked up and down Rue Saint-Jean looking for a place that was open and we could all agree upon. Somehow, the only thing that was really open and appealing to us all was Pub St-Patrick.

St Patrick's pubThe Irish bar is large and has a menu that features a little of everything - assuming this is a common tourist stop. They offered things like fried pickles, pretzels and blooming onions, as well as burgers, wings, salads, pizzas and a few "Irish" specialties: shepherd's pie, bangers & mash, and Irish stew.

St Patrick's pubBut the thing that cause my eye was the signature poutines: pulled pork poutine, buffalo chicken poutine, and more. And no, not necessarily authentic. But are there rules when it comes to fries and gravy and cheese curds? There shouldn't be. Kaitlynn and I both ordered poutine - she the pulled pork and me the buffalo chicken in hopes to halving it. But, the way it came out, it was difficult to split so we just made do.

St Patrick's pubThe buffalo chicken poutine was actually decent. Fries were crispy, tons of curds and blue cheese and nice hunks of spicy chicken. That was a nice addition to the rich gravy and crisp fries. Best thing ever? Nah, but definitely welcome after a long, busy day. I ordered a drink, which I was not a huge fan of. Our service was also nearly nonexistent. But, not bad.

St Patrick's pub


Grade: B
St. Patrick Irish Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, January 27, 2017

Morgantown Edition: Ta-Khrai Thai Cafe

Ta-khrai
So, a brand new Thai restaurant has opened up above ZenClay along University Avenue, and it's already dishing out meals that will rival many other restaurants in town.

Ta-khraiTa-Khrai Thai Cafe has taken over what was most recently the Dancing Fig location and transformed it into this trendy, but beautifully cozy spot. The vibe isn't entirely different from the previous restaurant, but it's lovely all the same. Lovely dark wood floors, purple walls, bright white accents and beautiful art.

Ta-khraiThe location is great because 1) it's close to me 2) there is free parking right across the road and 3) the ultra cool pottery studio ZenClay is right underneath. Definitely a nice little gem.

Inside, we were seated near a window and handed these large books full of glossy menu pages. The menu is quite large, and I took a photo of nearly every page so you can check it out. There are a TON of options, so choose wisely.

Ta-khraiAs we were looking over our options, they brought us some waters full of lemons, limes and grapefruits. My friend Lisa loved it, but it was a touch too sour for my taste, and I asked for a regular water. Mmm I love regular water.

As far as ordering, this presented a challenge. There are just SO many options. I wanted something uniquely Thai, but there's just a lot to sift through. So, I put in an appetizer to buy some time: cheese rangoons. Obviously.

Ta-khraiThese were ... I think the best I've had in town. Super creamy, but also little hunks of onion all fried up with a sweet sauce on the side. You just can't go wrong. But what's perfect about these is the way they are wrapped makes it so there is cream cheese in every bite (so there aren't those pointy pieces that are just fried), and these are filled to the brim with cream cheese. Plus, I love the little extra texture of onion so it's not too creamy. Just fantastic.

Ta-khraiWe were presented with another appetizer - on the house. Crab puffs were essentially small fried pockets of crab. It was served with a sort of sweet relish. Not bad, but it's hard to go up against those crab rangoons.

OK, time to choose. I went with the pad thai because I feel like it can be a general measurement by which to gauge. Kind of like every Chinese restaurant needs to, at minimum, have a good General Tso's... I feel like pad thai is probably an easy entry dish for many folks unfamiliar with Thai cuisine, so they should have a good one. You can choose how spicy you want the dish, and she even asked if we'd like hot sauce on the side. No. Thank. You. Just regular, no spicy.

Ta-khraiThese noodles are a bit thicker than Chaang Thai's, and there's so many wonderful textures. Sometimes just a pile of noodles is a bit much; that texture variation is key. And there were scallions, peanuts, chicken, egg, bean sprouts and cilantro all in a tamarind sauce. The flavor - delicious. Definitely on the sweeter side, but I'm into that. It was very good. I love the slight chew of the noodles and that sweet and flavorful sauce.

It might be a bold claim - but I think I may have a new favorite restaurant in my arsenal. The service was incredible - very accommodating, very helpful and even gave us a 10% discount. One of the other diners knew the place was open from a post I put out and mentioned it to the waitress, who was super thankful. They did only take cash, but they should be online and taking cards by now. Cash might be safe juuuust in case. And, the food - there is a lot, which can be overwhelming, but everything I ate was super good. Give 'em a try. Tell me what you think.

Grade: A
Ta-Khrai Thai Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out their full menu:

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