Sousa Plans to Reopen Station Street Hot Dog
Plus, delicious Peruvian cuisine lands in Squirrel Hill and Sunseri's in the Strip serves up fresh-baked cheap eats.
Kevin Sousa (right) photo by Laura Petrilla
Sousa plans to reopen Station Street Hot Dog
Though hot-dog shops aren't novel establishments, one talented chef is ready to bring his fresh approach to a local shop. On Dec. 28, Kevin Sousa announced on Twitter that he—along with his brother, Tom, and Jay Finelli—would be reopening Station Street Hot Dogs, adding a third eatery to his list of personal ventures (he currently operates Salt of the Earth and is working on Union Pig & Chicken).
Because the space is in great shape (having received a makeover from the previous tenants), Sousa hopes to open Station Street within the next few weeks, offering lunch and dinner services to patrons seven days a week. And the menu will feature all-beef and veggie hot dog options as well as fries and soft-serve ice cream. Such hot dog varieties as the Chicago and chili should be included in the lineup.
(Station Street Hot Dogs, 6290 Broad St., East Liberty. Follow the progress: twitter.com/stationsthotdog)
—Kristina Martin, Associate Editor
Delicious Peruvian cuisine lands in Squirrel Hill
Ají Picante is owned by Gail Klingensmith and Pam Cohen, the pair behind the popular Pamela’s P&G Diners. To ensure a successful start, they recruited chef José Luis del Solar (originally from Peru) out of Chicago to be the opening chef.
Like many cuisines, Peruvian fare relies on the ingredients that are native to the country—in this case, seafood, potatoes, corn and peanuts. But the food also reflects the many parts of the world that are part of Peru’s history, including Spain, China, Japan and Africa. One example of the Japanese influence is that the tilapia used in the ceviche dish ($8) is sliced like sashimi rather than chunked.
The Torrejas de Choclo, aka crispy corn fritters, ($7) are seasoned with ají amarillo and cilantro, and served with guacamole, black Andean mint (“huacatay”) sauce, hot-pepper sauce and red-onion salsa. Another wise choice is the Causa de Langostinos ($8): a blend of shrimp and avocado with aïoli, layered with mashed potatoes and served with olives and a quail egg.
One of my top entrée picks, especially for winter, is the Chupe ($22): a Peruvian-style bouillabaisse with clams, mussels, calamari, octopus and shrimp in a tarragon seafood broth chock-full of vegetables, corn, lima beans and squash, and finished with a touch of cream. This dish is large enough for two people to share.
This BYOB restaurant offers some delicious beverages that would make for awesome mixed drinks; take the the Chicha Morada ($5), for example: tasting like grape juice, it comprises purple corn, apples, pineapples and quince—and would mix nicely with vodka.
Want the full scoop? Click here to view the review in its entirety.
(Aji Picante, 1711 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. Hours: Tues.-Thurs. & Sun., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m. BYOB, with no corkage fee. Info: 412/422-0220, ajipgh.com)
—Valentina, PM Restaurant Critic
Strip District favorite offers inexpensive, tasty fare
Jimmy & Nino Sunseri Co. dishes out the most fully loaded Italian hoagie ($6, foot; $3.50, half) in the ’Burgh. A freshly baked bun is stuffed with mortadella, capicola, salami, ham, pepperoni and provonello cheese, then topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and a drizzle of the balsamic-based house dressing. The resulting hoagie is served cold—or at its best after a quick bake in the oven. And what better way to eat the sub than by dipping it in a cup of Jimmy & Nino’s soup du jour ($4)?
(Jimmy & Nino Sunseri Co., 1906 Penn Ave., Strip District; 412/255-1100)
—Kate Chynoweth, PM Food Editor