Smallman Galley is a cool spot in Pittsburgh that allows for four restaurant concepts to have test kitchens.
The Smallman Galley concept was envisioned at sea by two U.S. Navy Lieutenants. In traveling the world, they experienced grand food halls featuring the most unique culinary talent those nations had to offer. Smallman Galley was founded on the belief that talented Chefs here at home deserve a fair shot. We exist to break down the barriers to entry in this notoriously restrictive industry. On a warship, meals are at the center of daily life – this is the time when the crew can relax and unwind from the rigors of life at sea. The “Galley” is the place where the food for the entire crew is cooked and served. It symbolizes a tight community of hard-working people striving toward a common goal. The word “Smallman”, aside from being the street on which our incubator is located, is nearly synonymous with “local.” Our goal is to make local extraordinary by showcasing the very best culinary talent our city has to offer. (ABOUT)
So, the three concepts when I was there were Colonia, Banhmilicious, Iron Born, and brunoise. I thought Colonia, a Latin American-inspired concept, sounded most interesting.
No stranger to Smallman Galley, Chef Jesse Barlass was the Sous Chef for one of its inaugural restaurants, Carota Café. The new concept he will bring to the space, Colonia, is designed to showcase the many diverse cuisines of Latin America.
The cuisine of Colonia will help spotlight the marriage of native and colonist influences, whether it be the Taino, who were indigenous to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic which have heavy influences from Spain and Africa, or Uruguay, whose native Charruans have a heavy Mediterranean influence.
According to Barlass, "Most of Colonia's dishes will have classic roots, some with modern twists (not straying too far from their origins). Refined but true to its humble roots. We will not scratch the surface, but dive deep into these countries rich culinary treasures. Our food won’t feature sauces or beans from cans, or factory made tortillas it’s going to be made from scratch the way these small countries have been making, evolving, for years. Our menu will be consistently changing as there are many countries cuisines we’d like introduce to our guests."
Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Barlass held the position of Sous Chef at Los Angeles hotspot The Wallace, and has worked in a variety of cities all over the United States, garnering a variety of diverse experiences along the way (Smallman Galley).
For my meal, I ordered the Pão de Queijo breakfast sandwich, which had Brazilian cheese bread, turkey, egg, chihuahua cheese and aji aioli.
I live and die by that bread now. So delicious. It was a hefty meal, but pretty tasty. And filling. And, it was cool to sit in the communal dining space with foods from all over.
Unfortunately, Colonia has since moved on and a new concept has taken its place. But it's always a fun time to try all the different places.
Which places have you tried at Smallman Galley?