First, I would like to thank Pittsburgh Magazine.  I won two tickets to The Best Restaurants Event last night in a contest they held.  I had never been to an event like that before.  I went over my sisters house early to try on dresses and get ready considering I am not a dressy person.  I assumed it was a very dressy affair and I think for the most part it was.  There were a few people in jeans and tennis shoes and one girl in boots and fish nets.  They sure made me wish I had dressed down at first as the heels were killing my feet.  In the end I don’t think it was a jeans event and what I was wearing was more appropriate no matter how much I wished I wore something else.
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When we first walked into the room it was pretty overwhelming at how many different booths there were to go to.  I had no idea ahead of time what to expect.  There were people everywhere in line at the various booths to sample all the wonderful food.
It didn’t occur to me until halfway through my evening to keep track of where I was taking pics from.  Thank you to my sister for suggesting it!
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In the very first line I realized Chris Fennimore was in front of me.  I have been watching him on WQED for years and was excited just to be in the same room.

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On to the food. I am not a raw fish person at all so I avoided anything of that nature.  Unfortunately there were many of them.  Raw salmon, tuna, and sushi of all kinds.  I just can’t stomach it and that isn’t a place I wanted to get sick in.  I am sure everyone there appreciates that.  I also stayed away from the alcohol with one exception.  I tried a drink from Mad Mex that had an enormous amount of alcohol in it but good.  If I wanted to keep eating I couldn’t keep drinking.  They had various wine’s and I noticed Penn Brewery was there.
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Desert first?  Sure, why not.   These little yummy treats came from the Sweethouse Bake Shop in Mars, PA.  I tried the Brownies with cream in them and they were yummylicious.

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SweetHouse Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

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I have eaten at a Japanese Steakhouse before but had yet to make a trip to Nakama in the Southside. They had a few tables with different items.  I believe one was Sushi.  I ate the item below minus the portion of meat on one side of the plate that I asked them to leave off.  What I did try was very good.  I wish I had asked what it was.

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Nakama Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

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One table looked like a marshmallow haven by  (The) Common Plea Restaurant. I heard them mention that one of them had a kick of cayenne in it.  I am not sure exactly what they were but they were yummy dipped in chocolate.

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Common Plea Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Cross Keys Inn had potato pancakes. They topped them with creme and salmon.  I had one, hold the salmon. I love potato pancakes and this one sure was good.

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Cross Keys Inn on Urbanspoon

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A place I heard about before, I thought from someone on Twitter but I am now thinking it was on a WQED show. Regardless I have wanted to try it ever since. Franktuary in Downtown. I tried a Veggie frank that looked like a regular hot dog, taste wasn’t too bad.  I also tried Locavore which is organic, grass-fed and made locally.  I am trying to eat better and buying more organic but sometimes I am having a hard time liking the food.  This frank was outstanding!

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Franktuary on Urbanspoon

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Another place I adored was Wooden Angel from Beaver.

Why, oh why do they have to be so far away? I watch alot of food tv and see chefs make Risotto all the time but have never eaten it.  This restaurant had pork and bacon on risotto and it was divine! I was so close to licking my plate or asking for another. I definitely want to make a trip here for dinner sometime soon.

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Wooden Angel Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Ok.  Yo Rita in Southside was there with some drink concoction.  They managed to get me to try it by not telling me what it was but encouraging me to drink it first.  I never found out what it was called nor what was in it.  I don’t think I want to know.   I’ll be nice and just say I didn’t finish it. Sorry.

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Yo Rita on Urbanspoon

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I found another yummylicious dessert from Gullifty’s in Squirrel Hill.  It was an apple cake with cheesecake in the middle and drizzled with caramel. First off, OMG yummy! Second.  I have an apple cake recipe that tastes so much like theirs it just might be the same recipe.  I got the recipe when I was in 7th or 8th grade in home ec class.

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Gullifty's on Urbanspoon

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Jac’s Cafe in White Oak had two different kinds of soup.  I love wedding soup and it is difficult to find good wedding soup so I choose that.  Other than a need for some parmesan cheese it was pretty good.

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Jac's Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Dinette in East Liberty had a good Rice Pudding. They use local, seasonal and organic ingredients in their foods.

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Dinette on Urbanspoon

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The Claddagh Irish Pub in Southside Works is somewhere I have been wanting to try. They had an Artichoke and Spinach dip that was very good.

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Claddagh Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

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The last dish I will comment on was from the Square Cafe from Braddock Ave. This was a cheddar and chorizo biscuit.  It was pretty good but I have to admit I had to ask my sister was chorizo was.  I think after many of the spicy foods I did try and bold flavors I can say I expected more flavor from it, although it was a good last food to stuff into myself before going home.

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Square Cafe on Urbanspoon

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I am not sure when I can wear my jeans again after all I ate.  My sister kept asking me, “Do you think you can eat more?”  As small as I am I said Yes LOL  I do want to mention that some of the restaurants portions were probably a bit too large. I expected a tasting.  It is very difficult to taste everything with such big portions and I didn’t like to waste, especially if I didn’t like it. I did see a Twitter message from Pittsburgh Magazine this morning that leftover food was being donated.

I’m not sure how much was left over though as many booths had to close down before 8pm as they were out of food.
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Here is a picture of my sister and I sitting on the floor.  We could barely walk at this point. I wanted to throw the heels in the garbage and kept dreaming of walking back to the car barefoot.  I did walk back to the car barefoot.  I didn’t even make it down the escalator before taking them off.   Thats my sister on the left and me on the right.  Stupid glare in my glasses.

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We did get to take the June issue of Pittsburgh Magazine home as well as a glass with the event name on it.  I feel bad for the many people still in the room who wouldn’t get a glass because some greedy people were taking up to 4 glasses each.  I’ve already read my issue of the magazine from front to back.  I think I may subscribe again.  There was a year I started receiving it out of the blue.  No one would fess up to sending it to me so I chalked it up that they used a recipe I submitted years ago as they used to give a subscription if they used it in something.
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I had a great time and want to thank Pittsburgh Magazine again for the tickets!  I hope to attend again.
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To end this very long blog here are some pictures of some of the other booths I didn’t write about.