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Trial Taper with @DelaniesCoffee and Judit European Visage

Trial Taper with @DelaniesCoffee and Judit European Visage

I wrote this post about a week ago, and in all the flurry of trial activity, flat out forgot to post it!! A little late, but here it is…

Preparing for trial is kind of like preparing for a marathon. Except I’ve done both, and I can say that preparing for trial is way harder and more stressful. Well, maybe it depends on the trial. But the trial I start on Monday is one of those trials.

I’ve been working hard to prepare. And by working hard, I mean working so much that I’m losing my everloving mind. So today I needed to dial it back and take a little break. Sometimes, being in the office just ain’t gonna happen.

I started the day off at Delanie’s Coffee in the Southside, and I have to say, it’s such a comfortable, chill place. I had an excellent egg and cheese sandwich and a solid cup of coffee. I spent a couple hours working through my trial outlines, alongside a whole bunch of Duquesne students studying for finals (nursing students I think). There is free wifi, lots of seating and lots of electrical outlets. Basically, a prime spot for studying.

Delanie's Coffee

Afterward, I moseyed on down to my favorite local spa, Judit European Visage and treated myself to a facial. The last month has been a nonstop stress-fest and my face was showing it.

Judit European Visage

Judit is my favorite because the service is always impeccable and the prices are reasonable. PLUS they always treat you to a nice little glass of champagne. My husband bought me an all-day spa package their for my birthday last year, and it was just amazing. Now it is my go-to place when I need a spa treatment (which is frequent). Perfect.

After the facial, my face was glowing. And the scalp massage, aahhhhh so wonderful, I was so relaxed and felt so wonderful.

So it is back to more studying for the weekend. Showtime is Monday. Let’s do this.


Credit for the Pittsburgh Skyline illustration goes to Barry Gott and Smalltower Press. If you aren’t already familiar with it, the Smalltower Press shop on Etsy is fantastic.  And yes, I did reach out to him and get permission before using his illustration on BeezusKiddo, because that’s the cool thing to do, kids.

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6th Things for the 6th

6th Things for the 6th
  • In general I have sworn off Groupon because I buy a bunch of Groupons and never use them. Of course one day sitting around waiting to get called for court, I signed on to Groupon and went shopping. Because I’m a sucker. And fell down the rabbit hole of “Well, I’ve been meaning to go there anyway, so I might as well buy one.”  I got one for local, since I haven’t managed to make my way there yet. We took Baby Beez there on Saturday for a late lunch. It’s more bar than restaurant, so her presence was only mildly inappropriate. She also was refusing to act like a civilized human, so she fit right in with all the beer swigging March Madness fans. The food wasn’t impressive, and since there are a number of other restaurants in the South Side that I like better, I probably would not return for a meal. But I did get myself a Yinzerrita, and it was FANTASTIC. Mine was a strawberry yinzerita, which comes with pear cider (other flavors come with other corresponding beers and ciders). I would like a Yinzerrita waiting for me when I come home from work every day, plz, Jeeves.

Yinzerrita from Local Pgh

  • We went to Green Forest Churrascaria with my father in law for Easter lunch today. This was Baby Beez’ first meat-on-swords experience, and it was a revelation for her. She announce her favorite food is MEAT, because of course it is. I was a vegetarian for 10 years before I got pregnant with this kid. Then all I wanted was hot dogs and donuts. Of course those are Baby Beez favorite foods. Pregnancy cravings make a lot more sense to me now. Baby Beez is no stranger to dining out, and she announced Green Forest to be her FAVORITE RESTAURANT. She has found her happy place.

Green Forest

  • Also, because it is Easter, and she is spoiled, she got lots of chocolate even though we are Jewish and don’t celebrate Easter (we share it with Christian relatives). Baby Beez doesn’t care what you call it, as long as she gets chocolate. We usually don’t let her have chocolate because it makes her CRAY CRAY. Like serious cray cray. I thought “What the heck, it’s Easter” and let her eat a bunch of it. The result was her stripping off all her clothes and wearing only undies and my noise-cancelling headphones (not plugged into anything),  running in circles around the living room,  and at one point wrapping herself in a blanket and talking to herself under the dining room table. Now you see why she is not allowed to have chocolate. I guess I just need to eat the rest of the goodies in her Easter basket for her.

Easter Chocolate

  • We made a bunch of airline and hotel reservations for our travels over the summer and I am very excited about this. Also, I went through our calendar and plugged in “SWIM AT JCC FAMILY PARK” on a whole lot of days. In past summers, I fantasize about taking Baby Beez to swim in the kid pool while I lounge around and read magazines.Then I get all wrapped up in all the different things going on around the city and buy all these tickets to things, and then we don’t make it to the family park. So now I’m filling the calendar with “SWIMMING” and plan to stick to it.

  • Mr. Beez bought me 2 LUSH bath bombs for Hanukkah. I used one of them today, and turns out it was a bomb full of glitter. So the tub was full of glitter and I was covered in glitter, and Mr. Beez dropped a bunch of f-bombs about that bath bomb, and now I’m not allowed to have bath bombs anymore.

lush4

  • I was very excited to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, but now I start a trial in Erie the next day. This means no race for me. Which is probably for the best because I’ve got full-on stabbed-in-the-knee runner’s knee going on in my right knee. I could run a half in May, but it would be bad news bears. So now my next long race isn’t until Labor Day weekend. I went to the South Side trail to try and run today, but I couldn’t make it more than a couple steps before I was limping. I did a 4 mile walk instead. I need to lose some LBS, strengthen my quads and do a whole lot of stretching. At least I’ve got time on my side for this…but I better not use that time as a temptation to slack off.  I took this neat picture of the industrial bric-a-brac on the trail today.

IMG_3480

HAPPY MONDAY, YINZ. Go get it.

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St Pat’s

Today is St. Patrick’s day (celebrated), and our neighborhood is overrun by drunks. I’ve done my best to avoid going anywhere in Mt. Washington, and have stayed out of the South Side and downtown entirely. I’m not anti-beer and nonsense, far from it really, but I’m definitely anti large crowds of drunk, obnoxious people. Well, anti large crowds of people at all, and then when you add alcohol into the mix, forgeeeeet about it. Instead of guzzling green beer today, I took Baby Beez to ballet class, took a nap on the couch, ran out to fill the growlers at Hough’s for some at-home beer enjoyment tonight (Hough’s was surprisingly chill at the time), and then we went out with some folks from my husband’s work for bowling. It’s been a pretty laid back day, and that’s ok.

Even before dealing with people staggering oblivious into the middle of Shiloh Street, I’ve never been much for St. Patrick’s Day. When I was a kid, I flat out loathed it. Where I grew up in CA, they had this absolutely horrid “tradition” that if you weren’t wearing green on St. Patrick’s day, you’d get pinched, but if you were wrongfully pinched, you could punch the pincher. I didn’t like people telling me what color to wear, I don’t like my personal space invaded, and even with the promise of retribution against wrongful pinches, I just wanted to be LEFT ALONE. So no, St. Pat’s was not my jam. I hear that no one in Pittsburgh has that stupid tradition, it must be some weird California thing. In any event, I’m glad for that, because it quite literally is the. worst.

I had a brief stint in college when I did love St. Pat’s day. That was entirely because St. Pat’s day was about beer, and I was in college and wooooo beer! woooo crazy! This was also the same time of my life that I had a betta fish named Midori, because everyone seems to go through a phase in their early 20s where naming a pet after alcohol seems like a brilliant idea. Fish don’t live long, so I wasn’t stuck with that mistake for all that long, but I feel reeeeeal bad for anyone who ended up acquiring a parrot named Captain Morgan during that life phase.

Now I’m back to hating St. Pats, but really because it’s amateur hour at all the local bars, and people driving all stupid. Also, I occasionally get dragged by my husband to the parade, but the weather is inevitably bad, and I go because I feel like I owe it to him after dragging him to so many events, but I hate all the standing, and the cold, and the damp, and the drunks. It was raining this year and Mr. Beez decided not to go, and omg that was a beautiful thing.

So now here we are, on the evening of St. Patrick’s day (celebrated). Mr. Beez and I are sipping some lovely beers and watching Foxcatcher. I’ve wanted to see this movie for ages, so I am very happy about it. In one little glimmer of celebratory spirit, we popped into the Grandview Bakery tonight and got ourselves some Irish potatoes.

Irish Potatoes

They look totally gross, but they are delicious. They are these cream cheese coconut candies, rolled in cinnamon. Deeeelicious. Now if St. Patrick’s day were all about these, I might be able to get into the holiday.

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A Second Look: @CurePittsburgh @AlghnyWineMixer and @PageDairyMart

A Second Look: @CurePittsburgh @AlghnyWineMixer and @PageDairyMart

On our most recent date night, Mr. Beez and I revisited a much-celebrated favorite, Cure, in Lawrenceville. Cure’s chef, Justin Severino, was very early in the local, ethical foods trend. The cuisine at Cure is of the highest quality and care, and also reliable. Although I do like a good culinary adventure, when you go to Cure, you have a good idea of what you’ll be getting into, and you know it will be delicious. That’s not to say it lacks creativity. The dishes are creative, but we’re not talking anything off-the-deep end.
Cure

Cure’s hallmark is, not surprisingly, its cured meats. The salumi platter comes as a small or a large. The small is appropriate for 2-4 people to have a light snack before the meal. The last time Mr. Beez and I visited Cure, we had the small, and we enjoyed each bite, but wanted MOAR (in a big, roaring fashion). After all, the salumi is what we visited for. So this time, we went all out, and destroyed the large. It could have easily been an appetizer for 6. But don’t let anything hold you back from your dreams!

Cure giant salumi plate

The last time we were at Cure was before they had a liquor license. A part of me misses BYOB, because the mark-ups on alcohol in Allegheny County are inexcusable. However, the cocktails we had really were delicious, so I guess that makes the pain of the price a little less. I usually don’t like any kind of drink with cream or milk in it, but the server promised that the thing I ordered (can’t remember the name…) with egg whites in it was actually very tasty, and if I was grossed out, he’d be sure to get me something I liked. So I took the risk and ended up really enjoying it. The cocktails had the right balance of being sufficiently boozy, but also containing interesting and substantial mixers, so you didn’t feel knocked over the head with a Jim Beam bottle.

Cure Cocktail


Cure cocktail 2

Next up: more foods!


Nice little Spanish dish

My favorite dish of the evening was the salumi, because salumi. That’s what they do. But I also absolutely loved the “Nice Little Spanish Dish.” I ordered it on an impulse, and was so glad i did. It had grilled octopus and something green (parsley?) and this kicky little sauce. It was light and fresh and had all the right things to interest your palate but not bog you down so that you are incapable of moving on to the main course. It is, indeed, very nice.

Cure Hangar steak

I also had a little plate of carbonara pasta which was  very nice, especially the soft egg that I broke open and mixed all in the noodles. However, as it was carbonara, it didn’t photograph the best, so I skipped that photo opportunity. Mr. Beez ordered the hanger steak. This is usually a dish I just ignore on a menu, because bla bla boring boring. However, it is a mistake to ignore the hanger steak on Cure’s menu. It is exceptional. There are so many flavors all at once, and the steak just melts in your mouth. I wished I had ordered this for myself, but by the time I got to taste it, I was simply too fully to eat more. This subsequent visit to Cure certainly lived up to the fine impressions it created in earlier visits.

After our dinner, we still had a little time left with the babysitter, so we strolled on down to the Allegheny Wine Mixer. I love how that bar is fun, and funky, and always has a great selection of wines at reasonable prices. Also, a framed portrait of Vincent Price over the bar. Yesssss.

Allegheny Wine Mixer

We wrapped up the evening with a visit to Page Dairy Mart for their last open weekend of the season. Although they have many amazing choices involving cookies and brownies and all kinds of shakes and blizzardy things, my absolute favorite is the coffee soft serve with hot fudge and whipped cream. It’s that real, heavy whipped cream too. The best.

Page Dairy Mart Sundae

We love checking out new places, but sometimes a date calls for the comfort of old favorites. All three of these were A+.

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Essential Pittsburgh Outings and @PageDairyMart

Essential Pittsburgh Outings and @PageDairyMart

My recent hankering for a hot fudge sundae reached an apex yesterday, and I could no longer stand to go without. An after-dinner ice cream outing was essential. Baby Beez, having not fallen far from the tree, was equally excited for ice cream. So excited that she complied with my order to eat all her green beans at dinner, with little complaint.

I have long preferred hard-scooped ice cream over soft serve, but this may be due to a lack of exposure to proper soft serve. Up until a few years ago, the only soft serve I knew was from McDonalds or Costco, each worth every penny of their paltry $1.49 price. I suppose anyone would be ambivalent about soft serve given that limited exposure.

While pregnant with Baby Beez, I had my first taste of real soft serve, with a late afternoon sprinkle-rolled cone from Wiener World. Now that was some good ice cream, and I realized that I may have been misled.

So last night we ventured to the local mainstay of all things soft serve, Page Dairy Mart.  Page has cultlike devotees, and quite frankly, I felt shame for never having visited before, because it’s one of those quintessentially Pittsburgh places. I intended to get a simple hot fudge sundae, but when I saw the Hot Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae (featuring Nancy B’s cookies!) I could not help myself. Gluttony it must be.

Page Dairy mart Chocolate Chip Sundae

The sundae was enormous. Usually I am one to finish every last bite, even if it makes me sick, but this sundae simply defeated me. I got about 2/3 of the way through and declared “Uncle!” But every bite on the way to that sugar coma was decadent. The members of the Page Dairy Mart cult certainly know good ice cream.

Page Dairy Mart

Baby Beez was thrilled with her simple chocolate soft serve. It’s nice that they offer a wide range of sizes, and I was able to get her an “Xtra Small” which was just perfect for her 3 year old appetite.

Given the ridiculous prices I’m used to paying at other ice cream outlets, it was a thrill that our entire bill came to $6. ONLY SIX DOLLARS, and this isn’t for pathetic icy-milk, this is for delicious frozen confections. What a treat.

Today I’m continuing on the theme of Pittsburgh Mainstays with lunch at Fiori’s Pizza. It, too, has a firmly entrenched following that rivals the Mineo’s aficionados (personally I’m a Jioio’s girl).

My colleague, Tania, recently moved to Pittsburgh. She asked me yesterday about essential Pittsburgh experiences (for new residents, not just for a quick visit), and I sort of surprised myself that I didn’t have a list at the ready. These are the things I’ve thought of so far.

  • Shopping & snacks in the Strip District
  • Burgers at Tessaro’s
  • Dessert at Oakmont Bakery
  • Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte
  • Primanti’s
  • Movies on Flagstaff Hill
  • Pirates game on Skyblast night
  • Dave & Andy’s ice cream
  • Three Rivers Arts Festival
  • Kennywood visit! Complete with Potato Patch Fries
  • Riding the Incline
  • Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning
  • A hike through Homewood Cemetery
  • The Warhol Museum
  • (not Pgh but close enough) Fallingwater
  • St Anthony’s Church in Troy Hill
  • Lunch at a Pittsburgh Fish Fry
  • Get yourself invited to a wedding and chow down at the cookie table
  • Thumbprint cookies from the Arcade Bakery at the-Macys-formerly-known-as-Kaufmanns
  • Visiting the Christmas Windows at the-Macys-formerly-known-as-Kaufmanns
  • Sunday brunch and breadmaking at Enrico’s in the Strip (h/t Randy)
  • A visit to the Point State Park fountain (h/t Sonia)
  • Indulging at Fat Heads (h/t Sonia)
  • A Vinnie Pie from Vincent’s Pizza Park (h/t Peter)

What else should we add?