0

Breakfast and Blogging on March 26 with @ClarkHillUpdate

I’m very excited to announce that on March 26th, my firm will be hosting “Breakfast and Blogging” a breakfast panel discussion about legal issues confronted in social media use. We’ve got a great panel lined up to cover a very broad range of topics. I’ll be covering First Amendment and Defamation/Slander/Libel issues, and we also have attorneys covering intellectual property, corporate & business issues and employer/employee relations.All the speakers are young, savvy folks who are personally well-versed in social media use.

This event is geared toward entrepreneurs, social media managers and anyone who has a general interest in social media use. There is no cost to attend! Feel free to submit some questions in advance! I hope you can make it!

breakfast and blogging

0

Beer me! Raising a glass with @PaBrewTours North Country Brewing @VoodooBrewery @PipersPub Rivertowne & @FullPintBrewing

I hardly consider myself a beer connoisseur, but I do enjoy a good brew from time to time. I wish I could be all hops crazy like the cool kids, but hops are too bitter for me. I lean towards wheat and fruity beers. And, again, to prove how uncool I am, I don’t like dark beers either. I probably sound picky, but I do like a wide enough range of beers that I can reliably find something pretty much anywhere I go that I really enjoy.

Due to some uninentional timing, I ended up having a lot of beers in the first two months of this year. Mr. Beez and I went on the Yinz Going Up North? Tour with PA Brew Tours in January, and then I again toured with PA Brew Tours on their East Pittsburgh Brew Tour N’At with my friends in the Allegheny County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.  I threw a visit to Pipers Pub in this post because we had good beer there too, so why not?

Item of Interest Number 1: The Yinz Going Up North? Tour

All of PA Brew Tours’ outings begin at a restaurant/six pack shop, so you can pick up provisions for the road. Yes, you can drink beer on the bus. It’s even encouraged. The tour involves visiting multiple breweries, with samples and behind the scenes tours at each, and a dynamic tour guide who leads trivia and generally coordinates fun.

I’ve been on brewery tours before that just involve a little sample at the end. This is not that kind of tour. PA Brew Tours is a day drinking party. Having alternate transportation home afterward is a wise idea. Maybe this is just because I’m old, but once we got back to the ‘burgh from our tour, I was exhausted. A post-beer-tour-bar-crawl was not going to happen. But on to the tour!

The tour kicked off at Carson Street Deli, which I only had some vague idea existed. I was really impressed by the nice selection of sandwiches and extremely impressive beer selection, both on tap and for mix-and-match six packs. They also deliver! Mr. Beez and I bought some brews and made a mental note to visit again later.

Beers at Carson St DeliOur first stop was at North Country Brewing in Slippery Rock. Mr. Beez and I have visited there before, and really like the place. During our first visit, we were camping near Moraine State Park. Our friendly server was chatting with us about our visit, and as we dined the weather got terrible. A TORNADO even touched down in the park as we ate. We finished our meal and were getting ready to pay, and the server told us to please stay as long as we could possibly want, because it just wasn’t safe to go back out right yet. It wasn’t a ply to get us to buy more beer, the North Country staff was genuinely concerned about our safety. It was so genuinely sweet. Also, the food was genuinely goo, and the beer was great.

North Country Brewing

North Country Brewing Taps

They put out sampler platters for the tour and we all had the opportunity to try whatever beers we wanted. All of the beers are brewed right there. The Firehouse Red was our favorite, and the beer is unbelievably cheap, like $3 a pint.

North Country is about an hour’s drive north of Pittsburgh. It’s a destination definitely worth the time in the car, maybe not all the time, but at least once or twice to check the place out.

North Country Brewing beers

Our next stop was Voodoo Brewery in Meadville, PA. I didn’t know much about this brewery before our visit there, but it is for sure a gem.

Voodoo Brewery

Voodoo’s selection is broad. Mr. Beez and I agreed that our favorite was the Gran Met. They offer it as a cocktail mixed with juice. I had it mixed with grapefruit juice, and it was fantastic. The Voodoo Love Child and White Magick also sound awesome, but we got distracted by how much we loved Gran Met and never made it around to trying them.

Voodoo Beer List

Voodoo Brewing Samples

Most breweries on PA Brew Tours’ itineraries offer food, and in particular spent grain pizza (gotta do something with all that grain!) We had a pizza and salad, and they were just great. The salad was so fresh, and the pizza was rustic and tasty.

Voodoo Brewing FoodWe (obviously) toured the brewery. The coolest thing about Voodoo is that these folks are true believers in their craft. They have a philosophy that the beer needs love and encouragement to properly develop, so they play music for their beer 24 hours a day!

Voodoo Brewing TourTheir menu also includes something a little different– beer milkshakes. I tried the pistachio beer milkshake. It tasted exactly how it sounds…which basically means that no thank you, I won’t order that again, but it was a good learning experience.

Voodoo Brewing Beer Milkshake

Item of Interest No. 2: Piper’s Pub

The Beez family has gotten into the habit of going out to dinner every Friday night, mostly because by the time it’s Friday, I don’t have the energy to think about dinner, much less cook it. One of our absolute favorites is Piper’s Pub. Why? Check out those pics. Love it.  My brew picks for the night: An Arsenal Cider House Fighting Elleck and a Full Pint White Lightning.

Onion Soup and Arsenal Cider at Piper's Pub

Burger and a Full Pint White Lighening at Piper's Pub

Item of Interest No. 3: East Pittsburgh Breweries

This tour kicked off at D’s Dogs and Six Packs, which is great. If you haven’t been there yet– GO THERE. Our first stop on the tour was Rivertowne Brewing. I had been to their restaurant over by the stadiums, but actually did not realize that they are a real brewery. Rivertowne is actually a large brewery, and they are unique beause they have a canning line.

Rivertowne Pour House TapRivertowne has a pineapple beer that is just great.

The Rivertowne Brewing Tanks

We were only at Rivertowne for a short bit, and then we move on to Full Pint. I didn’t realize it when I first got there, but I can now confidently say that Full Pint’s White Lightning is my favorite local beer of the moment.

The Full Pint Tap

Beers

For whatever ridiculous reason, I did not manage to take a snap of my food there. We ordered a spent grain mashed potato pizza that was fantastic, and I also got a growler to take home. It was only $5 for the growler bottle and $10 to fill it, which was a deal I could NOT pass up.

I like beer, but I would never otherwise go out of my way to seek out local breweries to visit. PA Brew Tours fills that gap and makes it incredibly easy for the casual beer fan to check out our local beer hotspots. As I sat here writing this post, Mr. Beez kept looking over my shoulder, remarking “I want to do another beer tour!”

So that is the recap of my beer exploits in Western PA, and I can now cross this item off my 32 before 32 list!

0

Weekend Update.

Weekend Update.

Once again, I managed to jam-pack the weekend so full of things that Monday is here and omg I’m already exhausted. Mr. Beez has officially cut me off from adding any more things to the calendar. I’ll see yinz when I’m out from being grounded. Relatedly, by that point, I will probably no longer be losing my mind because I’ll be getting more than 5 hours of sleep a night. Wouldn’t that be nice.

Friday kicked off with some musical festivities– Billy Joel at the Consol Arena! And to make things even greater, Gavin DeGraw was the surprise opener!

Gavin DeGraw in Pittsburgh

Gavin DeGraw wore very tight pants.

Billy Joel in Pittsburgh

The Piano Man entertaining us in Pittsburgh!

Saturday brought Baby Beez’s ballet class and an outing with the Orange Chair family for ice cream and Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater’s Teacher from the Black Lagoon (which received lots of smiles and thumbs up). I also had a bunch of work to do, so there’s that. And I squeezed in some TV time with Broad City which I LOVE OMG SO MUCH I CAN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.

Due to the terrible weather and my treadmill-induced injuries, I’ve been logging far fewer miles than I really should. I was feeling nervous about the upcoming Cherry Blossom 10 miler. On Sunday, the weather was finally mild and dry enough for me to get outside for a run, and a long run at that! I logged 7.33 miles, and even though I’m a bit sore today, that run felt so good.

Baby Beez had her kids-yoga adventure class on Sunday, which pretty much goes like this every week:

photo 3

On Sunday night, we ventured to Ten Penny for cocktails and dinner with friends. I was impressed with the venue and the food was overall very good (separate post about Ten Penny to come). We also saw Alton Brown’s show at the Benedum Center. I didn’t know what to expect, but the show was very funny and entertaining, with music and crazy science experiments.

From @altonbrown on Twitter

Alton cheesin’ it up at the Benedum Center, from @altonbrown on Twitter

This was a good weekend to be around the ‘burgh. Now if I could just get a nap…

0

Talk shop with me, @AlexanderFIV @YinzRReadin @The_Steel_Trap and @BrassyLibrarian

Are you interested in starting a blog, but don’t know where to start? Or are you just bored on a Wednesday night? Or are you always lookin’ for an opportunity to hang out with the Pittsburgh-Internet-Famous? If your answer to any of these is YES, then join us at the Greentree Library for a panel talk on Blogging in Pittsburgh.

Heck, even if your answer to all of those is a big fat NO, come hang out with us anyway! See you on Wednesday!

Advance registration is required, and you can take care of that bizness by clicking this link.

Blogging in Pittsburgh

4

Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best Restaurants Party @PittsburghMag

Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best Restaurants Party @PittsburghMag

This was my fourth year attending the Pittsburgh Magazine Best Restaurants Party, and it was my favorite by far.  The party celebrates the region’s “best restaurants” as chosen by various critics, using whatever criteria they use. Really, I don’t know how the restaurants are picked, but every year the lineup consists of restaurants I like (see: Cure), restaurants I want to try (see: Wild Rosemary) and standard Pittsburgh staples (see: Mineo’s).

Burgatory's sliders and mini-shakes

Burgatory’s sliders and mini-shakes

Each year Mr. Beez and I attend with our foodie friends, Christine and Trav.  The party is not a cheap ticket, and it’s popularity has exploded with the Groupon specials that have run the last two years.  The last three times, we attended with a standard ticket, and I seemed to have the same gripes every year: too crowded, too crowded, too crowded, running out of food because it’s too crowded.  This year we changed things up and splurged for VIP tickets, meaning we got in an hour earlier and had an hour’s worth of an open bar.  This made all the difference and we loved it.  By the time the standard ticket folks started wandering in, we were already stuffed full of food, and ended up leaving kind of early (seriously, we were there for the FOOD, and we needed naps after gorging ourselves).

Divine pistachio macaron from Cafe Chocolat

Divine pistachio macaron from Cafe Chocolat

Each year ends up with more or less a food trend.  Our first year, sashimi and other varieties of raw fish were all the rage. This was a disappointment to me because I was pregnant at the time, but did manage to console myself with copious servings of chocolate cake from the Gullifty’s table.  A couple years back pork belly was the big thing, which is delicious for the first several dishes (the restaurants serve out “small bites” sized dishes), but quickly became much much too much.  This year seemed to be the year of the crostini.  Crostini is good, but not particularly exciting. I think of crostini as something I’m eating when I’m waiting for the real food.

photo(4)My favorite dishes of the evening were the fresh sliders and mini java-chip shakes from Burgatory, pictured above, and the delicious steak salad from Wild Rosemary.  Savoy and Cure took home the audience awards for the evening, but to be honest, I didn’t make it to the Savoy table and I can’t remember what Cure served.

Wild Rosemary's heavenly steak salad.

Wild Rosemary’s heavenly steak salad.

The party is followed by an after-party at the Rivers Casino. We did not go this year because of the early onset of food coma. We did go last year, and I recall that there was an abundance of delicious snacks (we only sampled a few, since we were stuffed by the time we got there…this is an ongoing theme for the Best Restaurants party), and there was plenty of music and on the whole was a nice time.

Tasty pulled pork slider from I don't remember where, but it was super good.

Tasty pulled pork slider from I don’t remember where, but it was super good.

If you are interested in the Pittsburgh food scene– whether it’s just trying new restaurants or chatting with chefs– the Best Restaurants Party is worth attending. Heck, you don’t even have to be a foodie to have a great time. We plan on splurging for the VIP ticket in future years to avoid the big crowd, but yinz all better not jump on that bandwagon, or you’ll crowd it all up!