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Date Night: Shadyside

Date Night: Shadyside

You may have noticed that my posts have been a touch sporadic lately.  We’ve been having internet issues at home, primarily that the new “high speed” internet provider we signed up with is providing us a service that is decidedly not high speed (i.e. so slow it is virtually unusable).  With any luck this will be resolved on Wednesday, when we start up with a different provider.  So this is a post of our outing a few weeks back, that I’ve been intending to post for ages, but due to internet problems can’t access my blog at home to properly post, and at work I’m actually working and don’t have time to write it. So here we go.

Mr. Beez and I are very fortunate that his parents live nearby, that they and Baby Beez love spending time together, and that Baby Beez is confident/flexible/secure enough to spend overnights with them.  She doesn’t spend overnights there often, but from time to time she does, and it’s nice to be able to go out for a grown up evening and not have to worry about getting home at a specific time to relieve the babysitter.

For our usual date nights, I slap together a list of all the new or cool things I’ve heard of around town, and often that results in us zig-zagging back and forth across the city.  We took a different approach this time around, and focused our evening on Shadyside.  Even though it’s the go-to neighborhood for young professionals in Pittsburgh, we actually don’t spend time there very often anymore. 

This particular evening was a beautiful spring evening.  The sky was clear, the air was mild, it was perfect to lounge around on a patio.  Naturally, we headed over to one of Shadyside’s best patios: the Harris Grill. To be honest, the Harris isn’t at the top of my list for Shadyside establishments, but they make a mean frozen cosmo, and it’s absolutely perfect for kicking off the warm weather.

HarrisCosmo

These cosmos go down easy and they are not for lightweights, so if you plan on spending more than a short visit at the Harris, you better have a designated driver in mind.  We also started the evening off with some snacks. I had wings and Mr. Beez had something that I can’t remember what it was.  The food was fine for our purposes, but doesn’t stand out in particular. This is a place you visit for the casual, irreverant atmosphere and those potent slurpees, not for fine dining.

Harris Grill on Urbanspoon

Our next stop on our evening out was Noodlehead on Highland Avenue.  Mr. Beez likes spicy food and we both love thai food & noodles.  I’d heard that Noodlehead is exceptionally spicy, so thought it would be ideal for our evening.  For wimps like me, there are a couple of non-spicy options on the menu. Since appetizers at the Harris apparently wasn’t enough, we got round 2 of starters in the form of pork buns from Noodlehead.  They were completely, insanely, remarkably delicious.  The bun was light and fluffy and the pork flavorful but not too spicy for my wimpy palate.

noodleheadbuns       Noodlehead is BYOB, with a corkage fee of a mere 50 cents per person.  Awesome.

noodleheadmenu

For our main meals, Mr. Beez had spicy street noodles and I had not-nearly-as-spicy see ew noodles.  See ew noodles are my regular order at thai restaurants, and these ones were fantastic.  Sometimes the noodles end up over-sauced and over-salty but that was not the case with these at all. 

noodleheadseeew

noodleheadspicy

Best of all, the dinner was super-super cheap. 

noodleheadcheap

Mr. Beez declared Noodlehead one of his absolute favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh, and I certainly cannot disagree.  The food was awesome, the service was quick and attentive, and it was crazy cheap. We love this place.

 Noodlehead on Urbanspoon

Our next stop was the Steel City Improv Theater on Ellsworth Avenue.  Going there feels like you’re going somewhere super secret.  It’s on the block of Ellsworth that is blocked off for construction, and the door is virtually unmarked.  We just followed the other pedestrians, and figured out where to go.  They have a steady schedule of multiple shows a night, and each show is about an hour and costs only $5.

steelcityimprov

We started the evening wiith The Lupones, a totally improvised musical, created with inspiration from the audience.  Hilarious. My hairdresser is actually in that Improv group, and it was a lot of fun seeing her very funny creative side. 

steelcityschedule

We stayed for the second show, The Death Show.  In that show, a volunteer hands up their handbag for the troupe to examine, and the show is essentially a eulogy in several acts, based on what they learn about the volunteer from their handbag.  I, being adventurous, egomaniacal and proud of the fantastic new handbag I was carrying, eagerly offered my purse for review.  The show was hilarious and fantastic.  I wasn’t embarrassed in the least (Like I said, I’m an egomaniac! I loved it!) and I even got a “The Death Show” t-shirt for my bravery!

We wrapped up our evening with a stroll across the Eastside Development footbridge to have dessert at Spoon.  I also had the refreshing citrus sorbet, and that buttery pretzel on top was the perfect complement.

spoonsorbet

Mr. Beez went for a banana cake dessert, which he gave glowing reviews. (I didn’t have a bite, I don’t much care for banana cake.)

spoonbananacake

This was one of our absolute best date nights yet.  The traveling was minimal, so we could spend more time having fun instead of driving from place to place.  I’m so glad we picked comedy as our central entertainment activity for the evening.  Any activity we would have planned owuld have been fun, but I think spending a few hours in hysterical laughter made it all the more special.

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