We recently made our first trip to Pittsburgh to attend the graduation weekend events for Aaron's sister. We are so proud and happy for her completion of the pharmacy program at Duquesne University. Pittsburgh is an older, compact city split into pieces by the Ohio and Alleghany rivers that run through it. The population is certainly dominated by the several universities situated within Pittsburgh.
On Day 1, we visited the Strip area to hit up the original Primanti Brothers, per Aaron's request. This deli is known for their sandwiches with outrageous condiments or toppings like coleslaw and French fries. We opted for the pastrami. I was expecting a hoagie type roll, so I was surprised by the sliced white bread. It was alright - one of those things you just have to try.
Meanwhile, my special request was to hit Wholey's. Even though we shared a sandwich at Primanti's in hope of sharing another sandwich at Wholey's, that simply wasn't possible. The fried fish for the sandwiches was as big as my head! I opted for a large lobster mac and cheese to go instead. It was a decadent luxury - rich and creamy Vermont cheedar, al dente shells, and large chunks of fresh lobster.
I then wandered into PennMac, a Pittsburgh institution. If only we had a picnic to enjoy, I would have loved to buy a variety of cheeses to enjoy from this large Italian grocer.
Before leaving the strip, I stopped by Enrico Biscotti. This was a fun bakery with large glass jars filled with layers of enormous biscotti. Having made chocolate almond biscotti using Dorie Greenspan's recipe, I was disappointed with these biscotti. I found them to be tasteless and drier than your typical biscotti. I included 2 bacon peanut butter biscotti for Bailey when I bought a half dozen.
There was one Pittsburgh restaurant that really piqued my interest: Salt of the Earth. It's only been open for a year, and they focused on preparing food from farm to table. Aaron went for halibut, which he declared one of his favorite meals ever. I opted for the veal, mostly because it would be served with sweetbreads.
After graduation, we had some time to kill before dinner. We went to The Church Brew Works, which was a church converted into a brewery! It was quite impressive to see how much of the original church structure was preserved for its new purpose.