Saturday, June 30, 2012


A few years back, I was watching an episode of The Office where Michael Scott and his crazy girlfriend Jan hosted a dinner party for some of the employees of Dunder Mifflin. Well into the party, the topic of dinner finally came about. Jan said to everyone that she is cooking ossobuco and here is in my opinion one of the best parts of the episode:

Pam Beesly: Oh, I- I can help, starting dinner if you need it.
Jan: Oh no, no, no, it's just the Osso Bucco needs to braise for about three hours. Everything else is done! Pam Beesly: Three hours from now or three hours from earlier, like 4 o'clock?
Jan: You know, Pam, in Spain, they often don't even start eating until midnight.

That scene makes me laugh all the time. This just proves that Jan is pretty crazy. But the scene also inspired me to make ossobuco, which I've never cooked before. It wasn't too difficult to make but it had some challenges.

 I cut up some carrots, celery, garlic, and onions. These are the standard vegetables used for ossobuco.

Here are the veal shanks, which I browned slightly before I start braising them. They were actually relatively hard to find in the Strip District. I could not find it initially at Salem's or Anderson's Meat and Poultry. I was finally able to get them at Strip District Meats. I got 2 lbs that came out to around 20 bucks. Definitely not cheap meat.

Took a picture while the shanks are still being braised. For the sauce, I ended up using pizza sauce instead of tomato sauce from the can because I still had some left over pizza sauce and wanted to finish using it. I did add some sriracha sauce to give it a slight kick to it.

A plate of the ossobuco. The best part of eating this is when the meat just falls off the bone, and when you eat it it's so tender. The sauce gives it a nice sweet kick to it, but does not overpower the flavor of the meat. I left the fat intentionally because it gives that meat full flavor. All in all, it was very enjoyable. Below is the link of the recipe.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Teppanyaki Kyoto in Highland Park

One of the great things about working in the city is getting an opportunity to read the weekly edition of the City Paper. Besides reading Savage Love and perusing the adult ads(Admit it you've done it), I enjoy reading the restaurant reviews. I was reading a review about a Japanese restaurant called Teppanyaki Kyoto, and I was shocked to find out that it has been around since the beginning of the year at Bryant St. in Highland Park. I go to Bryant St quite a bit, and I never noticed a Japanese restaurant in the neighborhood. From reading the review, it sounded like I totally missed out on a great place. Better late than never, I decided to check out the restaurant last weekend.

When I was about to enter the restaurant I can see why I never noticed it. There was no obvious sign in the front of their place. If they added a sign or logo on the top of their restaurant I think more people would know about the place.

I liked the inside of the restaurant, it may be fairly small but the decor was nice, simple, and to the point. I also liked the fact that there was a "bar" so to speak where you can watch the chef in action and we even chatted with him throughout the night. Before I start talking about the food, there might be a few of you who are not familiar with teppanyaki. Basically it's style of cooking in Japan where they use an iron griddle to cook food. What sets it apart from hibachi is that with the griddle type cooking surface, it's useful for cooking smaller ingredients like chopped vegetables, eggs, rice, etc. Looking at the menu, I noticed that they had no sushi in the menu whatsoever. I think that's a bold and smart move because since there is no sushi, the customers that normally only eat sushi has an opportunity try other Japanese cuisine. The fact that they don't serve sushi sets this restaurant apart from all the other Japanese restaurants in the city.

The two appetizers we ordered were the Tori no kar-age(Japanese fried chicken bites) and Corn and Asparagus. The chicken was crunchy, juicy, and the lime gives it a slight sour kick to it. Of course I dipped the chicken with sriracha sauce. No surprise there. The Corn and Asparagus was buttery and salty due to the soy sauce. The flavor doesn't overpower the vegetables. All in all, good appetizers to start out with.


For the main entree, I got the Hokkaido Okonomiyaki. It's a Japanese pancake made with wheat flour, eggs, lots and lots and did I mention lots of cabbage, Japanese mayonnaise, seaweed powder, and bonito fish flakes. What makes it Hokkaido is that it contains seafood such as scallops, shrimp, and squid. What I found interesting is that it takes 25 minutes to make one dish. I'm glad at least they were honest about it on the menu, and it was fun watching the chef cook it from start to finish. The ingredients for the most part all worked together in that there was not too much or too little of each.  The only ingredient I didn't like was the fish flakes because the texture felt funny to me.  It was almost like eating tissue paper.  The Okonomiyaki was also very creamy because of the liberal amounts of the mayonnaise, and I liked how you could see some of the charred grill marks on the cabbage. It was a very unique dish and I can say now this is the most I have ever eaten cabbage at one time.

All in all, Teppanyaki Kyoto is welcome addition to the Highland Park restaurant scene. Once they have a website and a real sign, I am confident that they will even have better success. I am definitely looking forward to coming back and try their other dishes.

Teppanyaki Facebook page

Teppanyaki Kyoto Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pittsburgh's Best Hot Dogs Part 4 - Krazy Dogz

Krazy Dogz is the fourth and final installment of the Pittsburgh's Best Hot Dogs series. It's a pretty cool hot dog shop in the Southside owned by the husband and wife team of RJ and Kelly. They have some pretty cool hot dogs especially the custom dog where you can have whatever toppings you want. Check the video out, and you'll be amazed at what kind of toppings they have.

Krazy Dogz on Urbanspoon

Krazy Dogz

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pulled Pork Tacos(Well almost)

I've always been a fan of pulled pork sandwiches because of how flavorful it is, and how comforting it is to eat. I realized that I've never made it before. So earlier this week, I decided to go with it make it. I found the recipe in Pork Tacos). Most of the recipe turned out well, but one key ingredient did not and almost ruined the moment so to speak. I attempted to make the corn tortillas homemade, but it did not turn out well. Even with a roller, I wasn't able to make it circular. I recommend getting a tortilla press. It's so much easier. Then when I put it in the pan to cook, it was little to hard and I noticed cracks on the tortilla. It was very difficult to fold. Despite this mishap, I'm glad that the pork turned out great. Check out the slideshow below of my experience making pulled pork tacos.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pittsburgh's Best Hot Dogs Part 3 Junkyard Doggs

The day before the shooting, I went to the Pittsburgh Public Market to grab some pierogies. By accident I found a hot dog stand called Junkyard Doggs. I looked at the stand and the menu, and I was very intrigued. I asked Will the owner to see if he would like to be part of the video project and he said yes. Here is the video and check it out.

Junkyard Doggs

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Toledo/Detroit Part 1

Pictures from Day 1 of my road trip to Toledo and Detroit

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pittsburgh's Best Hot Dogs Part 2 D's Six Pax and Dogz

For part 2 of my hot dog video series, I checked out a placed in Regent Square called D's Six Pax and Dogz. They have good food, great beer, and was able to get an interview with Cory the kitchen chef. Check it out.

D's Six Pax & Dogz on Urbanspoon
D's Six Pax and Dogz

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Road Trip to Detroit - Heidelberg Project

My good friend D and I decided to take a road trip to Detroit last weekend for Memorial Day. Despite Detroit's troubles, we thought it would be a worthwhile trip because we heard that they have a great food scene, and we wanted to check out the architecture of the city or what's left of it. I will be posting future blogs about the food scene, but I want to talk about the Heidelberg Project. We decided to visit there because of the unique artwork and art structures that were built. The project demonstrates the passion and creativity of the people of Detroit. Check out the slideshow below.


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