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Industry Public House

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself with A FEW COMPLETELY UNSCHEDULED HOURS.  I had a ton of work to do that weekend, but I got it all finished.  I had a haircut appointment, but the haircut was all finished.  Mr. Beez and Baby Beez were visiting with his parents.  I had nothing to do, and I decided to do the most uncharacteristic thing for me ever…I went to  a bar by myself!

It was an awkward time in the afternoon, about 4pm on a Sunday, and although I had a list of places I’ve been meaning to try, a lot of them weren’t open.  One, however, was– Industry Public House in Lawrenceville.

I kicked things off with a Rhuby Rhuby Rhuby (blackberries muddled with simple syrup, Rhuby liquer, bitters, lemon zest and basil).  You can’t go wrong with blackberries, ever.  The cocktail was sweet but not sickeningly sweet.  And it ha a nice punch from the liqueur.

Industry has a huge number of beers and hard ciders on tap, and I was thrilled to also enjoy a draught of hard cider from Arsenal Cider House.

For my meal, I enjoyed an amazing farmhouse burger with truffle fries.  This fresh, tasty burger was topped with cheddar, BBQ sauce and a fried egg.  This was my first truffle fry experience, and I don’t think any other kind of fry can make me happy again.

My big plan for my free time was to chow down, have a couple drinks and read some magazines. Despite my usual antisocial attitude, I ended up chatting the whole time with other people.  I didn’t get any magazine reading done, but had an equally nice time.

Even though Larryville was already the bastion of all things trendy and cool, Industry is a fantastic addition.  The service was great and quick, the food and drinks were delicious and obviously prepared with care.  I don’t get to Lawrenceville as often as I’d like, but Industry is worth a special trip.

Industry Public House on Urbanspoon

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Club Cafe Brunch

Friday’s not a traditional “brunch” day, but I figured by posting this on a Friday, you could keep Club Cafe in mind when you’re putting very important brunch plans together. (Brunch, my friends, is the most IMPORTANT meal of the weekend). Also, I am feeling like a sad sack because there aren’t many entries on my Love With Food giveaway.  The giveaway closes to night, so please stop on over there to share your FAVORITE THING ON THE INTERNET! (and to make me feel popular)

Club Cafe is an intimate live music venue in the Southside. Seeing a band play there feels like you’re hanging out with them in your living room. I was excited to see they’ve begun to offer Sunday brunches…oh who am I kidding, I get excited about every mention of brunch! Of course, a LivingSocial deal bumped Club Cafe up to the top of my “must try!” list.

I met up with my friend Sonia for a walk around the Southside before brunching. We walked from 18th street down and around the Southside Works and back, and worked up quite an appetite. Good thing, because Club Cafe’s brunch menu was so full of delicious sounding offerings that we had a hard time choosing.

I selected the Steak & Egg croissant. This is no Crossainwich, this thing is delightful. Club Cafe gets their croissants from Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery. They are SRS BZNESS. While the croissant was too delicate a bread to fully contain the sandwich, it complemented the steak and egg with perfect decadence. The only fitting description for this sandwich is buttery. Oh it was so good.  I want to eat this every day.

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I initially did not plan to order any cocktails, but I saw they offer a Bloody Mary flight, and I could not resist. I imagined that these would be small glasses of bloody mary, but hoo boy, are they ever generous with their servings.

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I would return to Club Cafe for brunch in a heartbeat. The food was delicious and the prices were good. The service was astounding as well. We arrived on the earlier side for brunch, but even as time passed and the seats began to fill, the servers were quick to fill our water and coffee and attend to every need.
Club Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Oh Canada!

Mr. Beez and I have been having a simply lovely time on our Vancouver holiday! We have done SO much in 3 short days that it’s unbelievable. All yinz are going to have to suffer through a bunch of Vancouver pics for a while.

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Vancouver ahoy!

The airport is attractive and clean. All in all, Vancouver is a lot like Pittsburgh in terms of the city’s “feel”, except they’re doing a smidge better with certain environmental and livability issues (but I’d venture a guess that their homelessness challenges are more significant than those in Pittsburgh).

We started our first day in Vancouver with a visit to Granville Island Public Market. It is similar to Reading Terminal Market in Philly, or Pike Place Market in Seattle, except I think in Vancouver the local-to-tourist ratio is much higher.

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I had to be careful not to chow down too eagerly, because we had a Gastown Food Tour (led by Vancouver Food Tours) scheduled for the evening. We have had a really fun weekend, but Mr. Beez and I agree this was the most fun event of the weekend. Gastown is Vancouver’s historic but funky district, filled with innovative and trendy bars and restaurants. Food and fun are serious business in Gastown.

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Gastown’s famous steam clock.

The tour leader was incredibly knowledgeable about the fun trivia of the neighborhood, and was also an articulate foodie. The tour encompassed four restaurants, each with a different take on drinks and small bites. Our tour leader was both just plain fun to hang out with, and was also good about leading conversation about the food and drink.

The first stop was at Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar. They served 3 different microbrews, and small plates of chili and lobster mac & cheese. The food and drink were solid, and this would be a great place for happy hour or a meal if you work nearby. It didn’t have the kind of quirky individual personality I usually look for, so while I wouldn’t steer you away from it, it would not be my first pick for a bite in this very eclectic neighborhood.

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The second stop was the Pourhouse, which is a pre-Prohibition style bar and restaurant. We were served the Jefferson County cocktail, which was citrusy, with a little kick to it. Just my taste! They also served us Scotch Eggs and Devils on Horseback, both of which were prepared to perfection. The Pourhouse was my favorite stop on the tour, and I’ll be sure to take a visit back here the next time I’m in town.

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The third stop was the most innovative and interesting, and was Mr. Beez’ favorite on the tour. Judas Goat specializes in Spanish wines and tapas, but considering the MINISCULE and completely open cooking area they have, their tasty dishes are extra-impressive. We tasted 2 kinds of sherry at Judas Goat. While sherry isn’t my first choice of drinks, it was neat to step a little out of my comfort zone. Mr. Beez ended up really liking the sherry, so this was a great stop for him.
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Our final stop was Salt which, like Judas Goat, is tucked away in a little alley, which makes it feel secret and exclusive. We tasted 3 wines at Salt, paired with cheeses and cured meats. SO YUM.
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There are many food tour companies in Vancouver, and this tour was on the pricier end of the spectrum. However, I thought the tour was well worth the money. The quantity of food and drink is perfect, the small bites aren’t really that “small” and are spaced well, so that you finish the tour feeling full, like you just had a big dinner. The variety of drinks is a welcome mix, and is enough alcohol to make you a little more chatty, but certainly not too much. The tour guide did a great job of facilitating introductions and conversation, so that we all felt like comfortable friends by the evening’s end. Mr. Beez and I both say: Two Thumbs Up!!