Something new for breakfast in downtown Pgh

My aunt and I decided to try out Bufford’s Kitchen, a newish spot in Pittsburgh located near the now, PPG Paints Arena.   Out of the three, we attended the downtown location, which means metered street parking.

Understand we love eating, shopping and simply being social.  Therefor, staying “hip” she recommended Bufford and from there we made out way downtown.  While entering this space, the first thing you notice is all the metal and wood used all around the restaurant which was pretty nice.

“Oh, check this place out!” I said out loud.

The place was fairly empty, but it was early and only two other tables were consumed with customers.  This was ok because it just meant we had more time to chat with our wonderful waitress and waiter in training.  We went back and forth with our menu selections while taking suggestions from the staff and together decided to get the Our Soon To Be Famous French Toast and the Shrimp & Grits Bowl that consisted of cajun seasoned shrimp with a bbq butter sauce, egg and topped with cheddar cheese.

“Did you like it?” I asked.  She did, which is great!

As for myself I actually do not eat cheese in grits so it wasn’t a wonderful mouth experience, but it was fine, different.  I’ve mentioned cheese in my breakfast in the past and it’s just not my thing, but was open to try once again.  The butter sauce also too greasy and made sick.  I could feel my stomach beginning to turn once we left.  Thank God for the lemon water!  The shrimp itself was pretty good.   bufford-pgh.jpg

 

As far as the french toast, I’ve had much better.  Not sure if the menu title is appropriate <lol> but I wish them the best.  The bread the ok, not dry, but not buttery and tasty.  It was missing something…maybe cinnamon or nutmeg?  It seems a lot of restaurants do not flavor their food unless it’s a family owned spot who really understands what their people want.  Maybe that’s more of what I want, mom and pop spots?

 

 

I still want you to try this place out.  Why?  The customer service was awesome, it’s very clean, they seem to have great drinks at the bar, breakfast is served all day and it’s simply another cool place to visit whenever downtown.

Amenities (parking, location, seating, menu selections, etc) **
Customer Service (greeted, helpful, polite, checking-in, etc) ***
Cleanliness ***
Experience (themed, music, atmosphere, energy, etc) ***
Taste **
Price **


Want to try croissant french toast?

RECIPE:

Croissant French Toast

4 old croissants

3/4 cup milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • Slice croissants in half (or not, personal preference)
  • In a bowl or shallow dish, stir together milk, eggs and vanilla
  • Dip croissant halves into one at a time into egg mixture.  Make sure it’s nicely coated and moist.
  • Melt butter in large skillet/frying pan over medium heat. Once warm, place croissants in pan, allowing to cook about 2-3 minuets on each side or until golden brown to your liking.

Love fruit or other toppings?  I do!  Consider topping with whipping cream, strawberries, berries or glazed bananas.  Enjoy!

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The Flavor Table

The Eagle and I came across this (BO) business by accident called The Flavor Table. They’re located on Florence.  So we went in and tried their breakfast.  It was cool.  The price didn’t bother me and the decor fit their theme, a Louisiana feel.  They have the typical photos on the wall, beads in the corner, flowers on the table, everything is red and purple and the waiters are pleasant offering great customer service.  They offer catering, take out, no reservations, there’s street parking and you’ll pay a typical $12 for your meal.  Oh and I’ve only been there twice and I just learned they have a little patio eating area in the back.  I’ll try it out next time whenever I’m around.  I think I saw about three tables back there surround by umbrellas and additional covering for added privacy.  Simple area for a small group of maybe 10 who want some fresh air and privacy.  Keep in mind it’s in a residential area.

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So the first time I went there I ordered the Peach Cobbler French Toast.  I thought it was going to be smothered in yummy sauce with juicy peaches, but instead they offered the cobbler in a side dish and the french toast on its own plate.  I was a little disappointed.

Pictured above is what I ordered the second time we visited.  It’s their Caramel French Toast.  Maybe I’m asking for too much but I could have used a tad more of a thicker sauce or syrup.  It was simply caramel poured on top.  So they lack creativity, but the food was still good enough for myself to return in time.

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The Eagle usually gets items such as rice, eggs and salmon croquettes of which I guess I need to learn how to make.  This is his plate pictured to the left.  He said he really enjoyed his Shrimp and Crab Omelet.  I was pleased for I hate to have him upset with his meal.  It cost about $17.

 

 

All and all the place is fine.  If you’re in the area, try them out for yourself.  I may not drive across town just to eat here, but if in the area I would definitely continue to support.

Amenities (parking, location, seating, menu selections, etc) **
Customer Service (greeted, helpful, polite, checking-in, etc) ***
Cleanliness ***
Experience (themed, music, atmosphere, energy, etc) **
Taste **
Price ***

 

What I learned about Grits

I enjoy grits and like to think everyone does to some degree in varied fashions.  My grandmother would eat them with cheese ALL THE TIME!  Oh wait, but I can’t forget her vienna sausage on the side.  For myself, as a kid I’d go for the pathetic butter and sugar approach or the lets die from a heart attack with butter and season salt approach – BOTH versions I held on a pedestal LOL  Nowadays I’ve learned to explore them fried or combined with pork, gravies, eggs, garlic, you get the picture.

Grits, originally a Native American dish has become a regular in the United States, specifically in the southern states.  I’ve learned the name Grits is simply a term for a pounded form of dried corn.  As for Hominy Grits, which is something different are prepared from corn that has been soaked in a weak lye solution and hulled.  Hominy refers to the type of grain that is used to make traditional grits.  Hmm – didn’t know!  They’re a larger grain.  Unfortunately, many people use both terms in general unless you’re from a specific region who knows the history of the item.   I guess I shall continue my research of grits.

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Usually recognized as a breakfast item, in the south you can come across them served with pork, seafood in the Carolina’s and as soufflés up north.  Note, you can prepare Grits in varied ways.  You can slow-cook them, this version most of us are accustomed to by adding liquid until they have a creamy texture as pictured above.  You can quickly prepare them, which offers a grainy texture.  Grits can also be fried of which I have tried and  will explain below.

RECIPE:

FRIED GRITS:

1 tbs butter or oil to 1 cp of left over grits

  • Press the grits together creating a ball to create round patties or a square to cut  1/2″ thick strips in any length you desire.
  • Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan
  • When hot, place patty or strips in pan, turning occasionally until edges are lightly browned
  • Serve hot with syrup, butter or whatever your favorite condiment shall be

 

 

 

Diving For Food!

So there’s this place called Tart over on Fairfax if ever in Hollywood.  It’s a restaurant attached to a colorful, cool, LA vibe hotel.  Jenise told us about it and so we all made the trip.

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Talk about a photographers heaven…for me anyway.  The door to the right leads you into the hotel lobby.  This entrance I’ve captured is the door on the left, the restaurant.  As you enter it becomes a little dark.  There’s a bar with additional table seating placed around the room.  As you follow the path of curiosity to the right, it quickly leads you to their outdoor seating. This is located central of the hotel and restaurant.

IMG_1132.JPGBesides the check-in counter, the hotel entrance has a tiny boutique, large coffee table with art decor inspiration books and appropriate themed dust collectors representing farming or gardening.  The doors to the left lead you to the outdoor eating area as mentioned above.  Directly to the right was their little swimming pool with yellow rubber duckies preparing to outline the water.IMG_1139.JPG

Cute!

 

“Where to sit?” was the question of the moment.  So many choices.  For us, simply a party of three, we really didn’t need the horse shoe of benches topped with black and white pillows and large coffee table to hold everyone’s plates.   Maybe next time.

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