Where We're Eating in July

The Barleywine pretzel buns from Eliza's Oven make the perfect sliders for summer burgers.




Eliza's Oven

Eliza Bowman learned kitchen basics from her grandmother. Deviating from tradition, she prefers to bake with alcohol: Her Barleywine pretzels contain East End Brewing Co.’s Gratitude Barleywine, a malt-heavy beer that gives off a bold, sweet flavor. Because the beer contains yeast, she must toy with the measurements to yield the right dough consistency. At her Pittsburgh Public Market booth, she sells snack-size pretzels that resemble buns, thus making great dunkers for soup or sliders for burgers. With advance notice, she also can make mini, full-sized and bowl varieties.

2401 Penn Ave., Strip District; 412/886-4533, elizasoven.com; photo by Laura Petrilla

 

Pho Van

Pho is filling and budget-friendly. The well-known Vietnamese staple combines slightly fatty (beef) and light (sprouts, noodles) elements. The pho chin, or brisket, and pho bo vien, with beef meatballs, consistently please. Other hits are cold shrimp rolls with peanut sauce and bowls of rice vermicelli with cucumbers and more.

2120 Penn Ave., Strip District;  412/289-7999, phovan.net

 


Out of the Fire Café

Ordering several small plates is advisable. Smoked salmon and hummus tastings are big on flavor but light in substance. Seared jumbo-lump crab cake is improved when you also scoop forkfuls of colorful vegetables and pesto aïoli. The cheddar-corn-scallion grits are more substantial than you’d think.

3784 Route 31, Donegal; 724/259-8887, outofthefirecafe.com

 

Merante Bros. Market

A one-stop shop for Italian groceries, Merante uses some of those ingredients in its beloved 6-inch high My Sister’s Sandwich. The staff saws into crusty Italian loaves to make room for a pile of capicola, salami, mozzarella, provolone, mortadella and hot or sweet peppers with greens. Italian dressing is essential for dipping.

604 W. McMurray Road, Canonsburg; 724/743-5900, merantebrothersmarket.com

 


Amazing Café

Rejuvenation is a core value at this frequent stop for yogis, vegans and healthy eaters. While waiting for made-to-order juices, salads and sandwiches, enjoy complimentary infused water. The aptly named Bliss cake derives much of its flavor from sprouted wheat flour, cinnamon, cacao powder, coconut oil and palm sugar.

1506 E. Carson St., South Side; next to Amazing Yoga; 412/432-5950, amazingyoga.net

 

Cheesecake Caffe

Cocktail-flavored treats are fun, especially this time of year. Staff at Cheesecake Caffe churn out the popular piña colada feature daily starting in July; one of more than 20 choices, it features hints of pineapple and coconut. For a pick-me-up, pair with a cup of espresso.

512 Main St., Irwin; 724/863-3111, cheesecakecaffe.com



 

Larry Lagattuta, Founder/Owner of Enrico Biscotti Co.



 

Larry Lagattuta credits the late Antonio Branduzzi, father of Piccolo Forno Chef/Owner Domenic Branduzzi, for leading him to the baking business and showing him the ropes. Always armed with a colorful story, Lagattuta leads Enrico’s baking classes and is in the work kitchen almost every day making offerings he enjoys, including cannoli and beignets. The company, which produces about 1,200 pounds of biscotti daily, celebrated its 21st birthday in March.   

Secret to good biscotti?
I hate to get all touchy-feely, but you have to honor the ingredients . . . Biscotti is a pretty product; use ingredients that are real and true. In my estimation, you need to make it by hand so it’s truly artisanal. 

Novice baker’s biggest mistake?
In mixing, adding too much water too quickly. Patience. In shaping, overflouring the board. Patience. In the baking process, not letting bread rest for a long enough period of time. Patience. In eating, eating too fast. 

Preferred sweet?
My favorite right now? Any pastry with Nutella in it. 

Advantages of using a stone oven?
Stone is really forgiving — as old-school as you can get.

2022 Penn Ave., Strip District; 412/281-2602, enricobiscotti.com

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Here are the 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this November.
Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
13 Bartenders You Should Know

13 Bartenders You Should Know

Get acquainted with this group of charming bar professionals working in various establishments around the city.

The 412

CMU’s Newest Campus-Life Venture Is Decidedly Low Tech

CMU’s Newest Campus-Life Venture Is Decidedly Low Tech

Check your laptop (and your textbook) at the door and stop by the Mindfulness Room for a little zen.
Your Guide to Putting Together a Costume in Less Than 24 Hours

Your Guide to Putting Together a Costume in Less Than 24 Hours

Follow these steps to assemble your best Halloween getup yet.
Could ‘Green Light-Go’ Eliminate the Pittsburgh Left?

Could ‘Green Light-Go’ Eliminate the Pittsburgh Left?

The state-sponsored program looks to add $75 million in traffic-signal upgrades throughout the city.
Google Dedicates Today’s Doodle to Jonas Salk

Google Dedicates Today’s Doodle to Jonas Salk

See a tribute to the late scientist each time you go to look up something today.

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Here are the 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this November.
Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
12 Hot New Restaurants

12 Hot New Restaurants

A diverse crop of eateries caught our attention this year, so we’re highlighting some of our favorites.
Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

PittGirl doesn't know why we say "warsh" — but she has figured out why we 'Burghers hit the brakes at the sight of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.
13 Bartenders You Should Know

13 Bartenders You Should Know

Get acquainted with this group of charming bar professionals working in various establishments around the city.