Saturday, May 29, 2010

Local Restaurant Meet Up

Last night, SP and I joined several other people for a meet up at Church Brew Works (CBW). We had a great time meeting everyone. Many thanks to Lindsay for organizing the meet up. Check out her blog post about the evening here.

I have to admit that going in to our first meet up and not knowing anyone else who was going, just their blog, I was very nervous!! I am a shy, introverted person and I am not very good at meeting new people. Frankly, it stresses me out. I was all 'oh what a great idea Restaurant Week and a meet up' and before I knew it I had said yes and then Friday afternoon reality set in: I had to go meet people! It was like a giant blind date! What if they were mean? What if we had nothing to talk about? What if SP & I were obviously much older than everyone else (we are older than everyone else... older than people probably think!)? What did I get myself in to????

To make matters worse, as we were about to leave, the drenching downpour started. Ugh! I got pretty wet and felt all soggy! We left around 6:30 -- we always allow an hour when we have a definite time to be somewhere because you never know what the Fort Pitt Tunnel traffic back up will be like. Thanks to very light traffic, we were parked and seated by 7:15 - a bit early and we were the first ones there.

Then Lindsay showed up and all my fears went away - she's a very sweet, friendly, bubbly, fun 'Human Vacuum!' Mike from FoodBurgh was there, Julie from Snickie, Brett & Kristie from Serenity Valley Farm (Kristie is also the Pittsburgh Food Examiner), and Lindsay's friends Natalie & Joe. No one was mean and we had plenty to talk about - whew!

CBW is of course a beer place! SP ordered the Coconut Stout - he likes those dark beers. Everyone else ordered beers - I cannot give any more details because I am not a beer person! I ordered iced tea.

Mike ordered a bottle of the Cherry Quadzilla for everyone to share: From CBW site: "The Cherry Quadzilla is a full bodied Belgian ale. It is amber in color with some red hues. You will notice lots of fruit-like esters and a bread-like maltiness with a lingering caramel sweetness. As the beer finishes, you will get a slight bitterness and then a alcohol warming effect. When the Cherry Quadzilla warms, the complexity increases and the flavor becomes fuller."

I had a few sips and liked it, but not enough to become a beer drinker!

Here's the CBW Local Restaurant Week menu:SP, along with 3 other people, chose to order the special $20.10 deal. The soup was a roasted vegetable & bacon soup:I forgot to ask him how it tasted. He loves soup, and he ate it all, so I guess it was good!

He & I ordered the pierogie appetizer to share:These were good. Sometimes, to me, pierogies are hard to cut or the dough is too doughy, but these were a good consistency. Easy to cut, not too doughy, and a nice potato filling.

SP chose the Mango-Black Pepper Glazed Chicken for his entree:He really enjoyed his meal. He said it might have been the best dish he's ordered at CBW.

The other $20.10 entree was Jambalaya, which Brett ordered:I didn't ask him how it was, so all I have is the photo of his dish!

I didn't order off the special menu because the jambalaya was spicy, and the mango chicken came with coconut rice and coconut is not a flavor I especially like. Instead, I ordered the Cous Cous Salad with chicken:From CBW site: "Baby greens, spinach, chilled marinated Israeli couscous, pine-nut crusted chevre, and marinated artichoke quarters served with red pepper vinaigrette." I really enjoyed this salad. I actually enjoyed it more without the vinaigrette. There were 3 rounds of a very tasty goat cheese, lots of artichokes, lots of mixed greens and sprouts. Very tasty - and also probably my favorite dish of the ones I have tried at CBW. It was huge and like most entree salads I order, I felt full and it looked like I barely ate anything! So lots of leftovers for lunch today.

Julie had a yummy looking Artichoke, Spinach, & Feta pizza. I'm not sure what Mike, Natalie, and Joe ate - but it's all in Lindsay's post!

For dessert, SP got the special deal Bread Pudding - which was enormous!He didn't finish it all and brought some home. It seemed to me like a huge chopped up cinnamon bun! Lots of cinnamon flavor.

I opted for the tiramisu:This was good, and light, but I would have liked more coffee flavor/less rum (or whatever booze they used) flavor.

As Lindsay said in her post, the service was very good. Our server was still checking on if we wanted any more iced tea/beer/water even after we paid and were lingering; she took time to explain all the beers several times as people arrived at different times; and there were no problems or errors with the separate checks.

Again, many thanks to Lindsay for organizing a fun evening - SP & I had a really nice time.

Church Brew Works on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm so glad everyone had a good time. Some of my fave 'burgh bloggers were there!

  2. I'm so bummed I missed out, would have loved to meet the two of you!! Hopefully next time!! I love CBW, too which makes me even more jealous =)

  3. Aww, thanks for the shout-out! It was great getting to meet you two; don't worry - I had the same fears as you before I got there! Thank goodness everyone was super nice! :)