Dan and I took an early morning drive into downtown Pitt to visit the strip district. Where else can you find amazing, ethnic, freshly prepared food that is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the taste buds. There are just a few places that I can’t miss on these infrequent visits.
The first stop was Enrico Biscotti. I have tried my hand at a hapless batch of biscotti and have had my fair share of teeth cracking biscotti, so I appreciate a perfectly baked cookie. With flavors ranging from orange, almond & nutmeg, coconut & chocolate chip, cranberry & pistachio to black pepper & walnut the selection was intoxicating. I also picked up an almond lemon polenta bar. Divine.
So, as you plan your visit make sure to check their website, they have baking classes. I’d like you to bake some for me.
Just next door is another favorite place to stop, Stamoolis Brothers. This little nook has a wonderful selection of Greek items in addition to bulk spices. I scored big with oregano, thyme, and turmeric. So many spices. They have a wonderful cheese selection, which reminds me … they had a sampling of a feta dips. The feta and sun-dried tomato was salty, savory and a bit sweet…must remember to experiment with a recipe.
And the journey continued to Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. Bread…mmmm bread and other sundry supplies, bulk soup to nuts and so much more. It is an Italian grocer with tapenade this and tapenade that. So many freshly baked breads. I did not buy one loaf but like a foodie tourist fool took photos of a few.
so much bread
Oh my goodness, how could I forget the Lotus Food Market, on the corner. Just as I got my foot in the door, I was approached by a gentleman asking of some help. Mind you not much of anything in the store is in English, so much fun! He was looking for chili-garlic paste. He was working on a nostalgic recipe, printed in the New York Times, for sesame noodles. He said it was similar to noodles prepared at his favorite NYC restaurant in the 80’s. I told him I would help if I could photograph a copy of this insanely good recipe for noodles. Done deal. Here is a link to the recipe.
Look as these beautifully packaged sweets. I did not buy any, there was a full bag of biscotti in my hand but I bet if you ate these your would shoot sunbeams the colors of lime green, fuchsia and hello from your happy fingertips.
part two to follow… I need to get up for a snack.