Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week kicks off tomorrow and ends next Sunday, January 22nd. We've been looking forward to PRW for a while. I am impressed at the number of restaurants participating in PRW.

Naturally, SP & I want to participate in PRW and take advantage of the special offers. But where to go? So many good options. For a complete list of participating restaurants, click here.

We've made our decisions, and we've made our reservations. We decided that we should try 'new to us' places. Which left us with a lot of options! It was very tempting to try a new place every night of the week. But then we realized that would be difficult. Tuesday-Thursday are not good days for us to go out to dinner because of how late SP works coupled with traffic in & out of the city. Since I feel I can no longer be a safe driver, I gave up driving. I cannot drive into the city to meet him. That means he would have to drive from the city back to Robinson to get me, then turn around and head back into the city. Ugh! Especially since anytime he tries to leave work early [leaving early for SP = normal rush hour] to get home early, it ends up taking him more than twice as long to get home as normal [normal commute home for SP = after rush hour for everyone else]. So unfortunately, we decided to pass on the special blogger dinner at Braddock's Tuesday night.

We will be trying new-to-us places tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday. For now, I'm going to keep our choices under wraps! But I will share last night's dinner, which was at Bocktown Beer & Grill (in Robinson). Both the Robinson & Monaca Bocktown locations are participating in PRW.

For us, since we live in Robinson, we are fairly frequent diners at Bocktown. Add to that the fact that I seem to always order the same sandwich, that means I haven't blogged about Bocktown in quite some time. Suffice to say that we enjoy Bocktown a lot. If we're eating in Robinson, it's almost always there (unless we're doing something really quick, like DiBella's).The servers are always friendly and chatty, know their beer, and are happy to make recommendations/talk about your choice with you, it's cozy, sporting events are usually on the TVs, and there's never too much of a wait. I think our wait was 20-25 minutes last night. Compare that with the 50-60 minute wait at Olive Garden last night, which is where we originally tried to dine in order to use a gift card we were given, but the traffic gridlock in the parking lot, the lack of a free parking space [forget a wheelchair accessible one], the long wait time, and the super crowded waiting area in which the wheelchair would not fit... well, we left that nightmare and headed over to Bocktown. So much nicer! Parking! Wheelchair accessible parking! Room in the waiting area! Shorter wait! And football on TV!

What made our visit last night noteworthy is that I ordered something besides that Bocktown Burgher! To start, I ordered one of the appetizer specials: fried cheese balls breaded in panko and served with marinara.
Sorry for the crappy photos - it's dark in Bocktown! Tasty. I devoured six of them, leaving just one for SP. That was OK because he ordered his usual cup of She Crab Soup:
I had a couple of spoonfuls. Soup always tastes extra good when it's freezing cold outside! SP chose the Cajun Shrimp Salad:
It comes with a tomato pepper vinaigrette which must be pretty darn tasty because SP practically licked the dressing bowl clean and I don't think I've ever before seen him use all the provided dressing on a salad!

I decided to finally try the B.E.L.T.CH.
Peppered bacon. Fried egg. Lettuce. Tomato. American cheese. Buttery, toasted, thick sliced bread.
So huge! And messy. But I managed to eat it all.

Bocktown has a lot of beers, but I am not a beer drinker. I always order the tasty fresh brewed iced tea. SP also orders iced tea, but he does like beer. Unfortunately, he's still supposed to watch how much alcohol he drinks. Fortunately, Bocktown offers a small, sampling size. So SP tried the Atwater Cherry Stout. He really liked it.

There are many reasons we always pick Bocktown over any of the gazillion chain restaurants in Robinson. If you haven't yet tried Bocktown, you should. And you should check out at least one new restaurant during PRW.

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