Photoessay: (Delicious) Things I Ate in Pittsburgh

I’m sure you’ve already picked up that I’m a little bit of a foodie. Sometimes I truly do live to eat, like the time I devoured soup dumplings in New York’s Chinatown, or the time I spent hours on the bus just to eat a burrito in Seoul or maybe that other time I digested mass amounts of cake while in Germany. If you’ve ever even glanced at my Instagram account, you’re fully aware that good food is one of my favorite things. Ever. (And I may or may not have even made an Instagram account solely out of a desire to post pictures of food. May or may not.)

Sometimes I get a little restless living in Pittsburgh. But there’s one thing that hasn’t disappointed me yet about being here: the incredible variety and quality of food, everywhere. And much to my delight, that includes lots of ethnic food.

Can you spell “nom?” I believe it goes like this: P-I-T-T-S-B-U-R-G-H.

I’ve been in town for five months now and eaten a lot of great food, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll stick to food found outside of my house. Even though I’ve become quite the capable cook, lately. Fasten your bibs, folks.

Let’s start with the obvious:

So #Pittsburgh.

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I’d be the worst kind of Pittsburgh-er if I didn’t flaunt our cultural pride and joy, the deli sammich with fries and ‘slaw in da sammich. (That’s “in the sandwich,” for those not fluent in Pittsburghese.)

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I’d also be the other worst kind of Pittsburgh-er if I didn’t include Pamela’s AMAZING crepe-like pancakes with bananas and walnuts inside.

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Also burgers. Pittsburgh has some great burger joints that really go all out. Pictured above is an Angus beef patty with brie cheese from BRGR. I’ve also had an incredible burger at Legume/Butterjoint, in Oakland. Fatheads, formerly THE Pittsburgh burger restaurant, officially has serious competition all over town.

Yes, I am blessed by burgers.

Now that I’ve got my bases covered there, we can move on to the ethnic food.

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The color balance on this picture is THE WORST but the taste of this sushi was literally THE BEST. Thank you, Little Tokyo, for making my sushi dreams come true.

A new French pastry shop opened up in my suburban town. And much to my surprise, an actual French lady runs the place. And not surprising at all, all of the above was incredible. Apparently also healthy, because “butter isn’t bad for you,” according to this French woman. Right.

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Are these Pittsburgh or ethnic food? Both, really. Pierogi Fest was a little like taking a trip to heaven, and then eating little pieces of it. Over. And over. These two types of pierogis: hot sausage and pesto ricotta. Let me know when you’ve finished drooling and we can move on.

Maybe Mulled Wine is more of a thing you drink, but I’m going to throw it into the “nom” category anyways. A German friend of mine went all out recently, and made the real deal, Bacardi-and-sugar-fire and all. Authentic German Glühwein? It looks like I don’t even have to leave town. (And then this was accompanied by authentic, catered German sausage. Boom.)

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Indian food is my biggest weakness. Nobody try to bribe me into doing terrible things, because spicy dishes from Mintt would probably do the trick.

Yes, you can find authentic, incredible and high-quality Sicilian cannoli in suburban Pittsburgh. It’s weird. (Actually in two places!)

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Something, something, Venezuela and the Conflict Kitchen. Also incredible.

I might have occasional (…or frequent) longings to see new countries and spend more time abroad, but I certainly can’t complain about my stomach not getting an international experience it craves. Pittsburgh, you’re doing something right.

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For a more in-depth look at Pittsburgh’s food scene, my blogger friend Julie’s stomach gets around. Check her out.

What makes your mouth water? Does your hometown kill it when it comes to food, like Pittsburgh does?

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Photoessay: Argentinian Desert

This trip to Jujuy and Tilcara was my first solo travel trip. There were friends made, buses ridden “black” (past the destination on my ticket), hills climbed and cacti gawked at, as they towered over my head. I came home with sandal, necklace, sunglasses and earring tan lines. The bus ride from Tilcara to Buenos Aires took a full 24 hours.

The national park full of cacti remains one of my all-time favorite places I’ve ever been. I’d kill to go back with a DSLR.

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Where did you take your first solo trip? Have you ever seen this area of Argentina?

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Photoessay: Córdoba

I have an old friend that lives in Córdoba, Argentina. We met when I was 17 and both studying abroad in Austria, and almost five years later, we finally met up again. I couldn’t stay very long on my short pass-through (was it just one day?), but she took me to a party with traditional bailando. I have a blurry photograph that contains a lot of snapping fingers held up in the air. That was one of the times I was especially grateful to have not just friends all over the world, but wonderful ones at that.

The other memory I have of my time in Córdoba involves the first time I asked strangers if I could take their photograph, HONY style. I was pleasantly surprised when they said yes. It’s one of my favorite photographs from that semester abroad.

Photos were taken in October 2011.

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squiggle3Do you have old friends in foreign places? How about those old men?

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Photoessay: Bariloche the Beautiful

No, I haven’t up and traveled to Argentina without telling you. But I have gone through my photo archives and found some photographs definitely worth sharing, even if my camera was nothing fancy. The gorgeous scenery of Bariloche made up for that and more.

Photos were taken in November 2011, during my month of Couchsurfing through Argentina.

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Lovely place, is it not? Have you ever been?

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Photoessay: Paris in Spring

Oh, Paris. I didn’t have the most wonderful time. It took me three tries to find a croissant worthy of bragging about. I spent more time lost than found, and not in the good way. And maybe worth mentioning is the borderline dangerous fever I had for a few days while there. It all worked out in the end, though; I got some beautiful photographs and much-needed antibiotics in Germany the following week.

I’ve been playing around with isolating select colors in Photoshop, so these photographs are a little different from the usual.

 

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Instagrams of a Recovering Expat

No one comes back to their hometown from extended amounts of time overseas and feels immediately at home, or even like they fit in. I’m in my third month of living in the USA and sometimes I still feel like a weird outsider intruding on someone else’s world. But I’ve had to cope somehow, or else abandon my sanity, which doesn’t sound like a great idea. So I’m coping. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be where I am and working the job I have and in this position. But drastic transitions can be rough, dude!)

How? By surrounding myself with all those things I missed while I was abroad and just love to do, in general.

Like drip coffee and sitting in coffee shops for hours.

Like at-home cooking (in a full kitchen!) and farmer’s market finds.

Like arts and crafts and knitting scarves while listening to Beyonce.

Like dogs. So many dogs. All the dogs.

Dog versus lizard over here, ya'll. #dog #pug #puppy #toy #usa #pittsburgh #domestic #cute #ugly #play #datface

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#westvirginia #dog #portrait #cabin #oglebay #usa #familyreunion #puppy #lookforthelight #indoor #pets

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The ugliest dog in the world. // #englishbulldog #bulldog #dog #winston #ugly #animals #pets #usa #pennsylvania #pittsburgh

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Like running everyday.

Like hanging with friends I’ve missed dearly (before they relocate to Guatemala like a jerk).

oh hi @hadleymeetsworld. #NewJersey #selfies #sneakattack

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Like bringing home real, physical books from the library.

Good things. // #recoveringexpat #bookworm #books #amreading #lookforthelight #happy #good

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Like roadtrips to awesome cities.

#newyorkcity #lookingup #skyline #sky #summer #urban #nyc #travel #usa #newyork #roadtrip #moma #architecture #lookup #bluesky

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And lastly, like enjoying the city I’m in. Because Pittsburgh is kind of awesome.

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Photoessay: New York, New York

Sorry for the radio silence on my end. I don’t have any good explanations for it, except to say that my heart’s not in it for some reason. And instead of writing something mediocre up, I’ve opted not to write. And it’s been some weeks now and that hasn’t changed.

So if my words aren’t going to work, then I’m going to let my photographs do the talking, instead. These were taken during a long weekend in “the city”, a place I’ve loved and love and maybe will always love. Maybe it’s the bagels. Who can say?

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Photoessay: Albania Blooms

I have yet to write about Albania, but it was one of the countries that stuck with me most. While I loved the friendly people, little bits of chaos that infiltrated everyday life and the gorgeous Adriatic sea on my doorstep, the flowers are what immediately come to mind when I picture the country. It seemed like everywhere I looked, another new kind of flower peeked out between a fence or two buildings, brightening my day.

So I tried to make it a habit to stop and smell the roses. In other words, I photographed the shit out of those flowers.

Enjoy!

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Which flowers are your favorite? Have you ever seen any of these where you live or while traveling?

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