The Foodie Report
The food truck movement gathers more steam, the Public Market expands its space and a Food Revolution is afoot.
Food Trucks Keep Rollin’
As things continue to develop in the mobile-food scene, we wanted to let you know that new businesses have entered the ring. The Steer and Wheel, whose name gives a little nod to its primary meat source (beef), debuted in late March, and is dedicated to stellar burgers and fries. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Fukuda, which set up a pop-up sushi bar last summer, now has an official truck, from which the crew serves its top-notch Japanese eats. Food Truck Roundups, as they’re dubbed, take place throughout the area (from South Side to the North Hills), showcasing a handful of trucks, at minimum — and Food Truck Fridays (held weekly at Bar Marco in the Strip) made a comeback last month.
Food Revolution Pittsburgh Day
While it’s clear that Pittsburgh chefs and restaurateurs are passionate about good food, it’s even more evident when several of them banded together with other locals to form Food Revolution Pittsburgh. For Food Revolution Day (established last year by internationally renowned chef Jamie Oliver and tied to the 2012 One Young World Summit, held here), a few events are scheduled around the city.
To start off the day, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will host family-friendly cooking demos — and after that, the fun continues at Barack Obama Academy, where reps from the Environmental Charter School and Bar Marco present an “Iron Chef”-style competition with high-schoolers and area chefs (we bet it’s more exciting than the TV version). Regional farmers will also be present at the academy to discuss Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) options, too. One thing’s for sure: On this day dedicated to superb eats, you’ll want to show up at the events very hungry.
Continuing to pack in new eateries, Lawrenceville’s main drag gained another spot in March, with the opening of Salud, which offers Cuban-American eats. Though the menu lists American standards like burgers, you’ll want to try Cuban-inspired dishes like the hefty empanadas or lechon sandwich starring pulled pork.
(4517 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/605-0233)
Pittsburgh Public Market
When it first opened nearly three years ago, locals delighted in the offerings at Pittsburgh Public Market, where fresh produce could be found near a gourmet-marshmallow booth. Now, as it’s grown in popularity, the market is set to move down the street this summer to a new home that’ll offer more space. Bonus: Staffers will increase hours of operation, and merchants can cook on-site in the shared-use kitchen.
(24th and 25th streets at Penn Avenue, Strip District; pittsburghpublicmarket.org)
Redbeard’s on Sixth
Mt. Washington revelers have turned to Redbeard’s each time they needed to find a watering hole with plenty of space, games (darts, anyone?) and grub. But downtown visitors can discover those very things at the newly opened site on Sixth Street. This spot boasts an upstairs and downstairs bar, plus more than a dozen flatscreens, significantly improving your game-watching experience (be sure to visit on Wing Wednesdays). An average weeknight will become remarkably better if you stop in during the bar’s “happiest happy hour” (from 4 to 6 p.m.). Going to a Pirates game? Be sure to fuel up on sandwiches, fajitas and more before your walk across the Clemente Bridge.
(144 Sixth St., Downtown; 412/261-2324, redbeardspgh.com)
Pittsburgh Wine Festival
For wine buffs and even those who’d like to expand their knowledge, the Pittsburgh Wine Festival is an annual highlight. Since more than 500 types are out for the sampling, attendees are sure to find something to their liking; vendors bring anything from ice wines to full-bodied Portuguese wines. With ample sips and a breathtaking view (the evening event offers guests an opportunity to watch the sun set over the city), it’s no wonder that countless locals have made this fest a yearly tradition.
(Heinz Field, East & West Club Lounges,100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore; pittsburghwinefestival.com)