If you’ve been paying attention to food trends over the past few years, you’ve probably heard the term “better burger” thrown around. Starting (at least it seems) with Five Guys, there has been a race to see who can improve on that mainstay of fast food in America: the cheeseburger. But, if you’ve ever eaten at Swenson’s a group of seven drive-in restaurants in northeast Ohio, you’d be forgiven if you’re left scratching your head wondering what there is to improve, and why anyone would think that they could make a so-called “better burger.”
Keeping up with a blog on a regular basis is apparently kind of hard. It gets even harder when you buy a house, move into that new house, plan a wedding, and successfully carry out that wedding. Between not having a lot of time to cook, and even less time to write, blogging—especially food blogging—can easily fall by the wayside. And it has. I will strive to do better.
After the whirlwind of a day we had on Saturday, Tania and I knew that there was no way we’d be able to top that day’s list of activities. Among other things, we didn’t have nearly the same amount of time to spend in the city—we did after all have to go home. (And, I’m pretty sure that while Visit Pittsburgh was happy to pay for a couple of nights in the Renaissance, they weren’t going to pay for us to stay indefinitely.)
Just because we were short on time didn’t mean that we weren’t going to squeeze the most out of our last hours in Pittsburgh though. We had big things planned!
You know what happens when you move and plan a wedding all at the same time? Things go by the wayside—like blog posts about visiting new and exciting cities. Apologies to all the places we visited on days two and three of our Pittsburg trip. We didn’t like you less than the places we visited on day one. It’s just that Tania and I have lately spent a lot of mental energy on figuring out how to get our big couch out of the garage and through the front door. (Something we didn’t manage to do on moving day.)
Do you want to come visit Pittsburgh? That was the question posed by an email I received out of the blue a few months ago from Visit Pittsburgh. Actually, the question was a little different. It was: Do you want an all-expenses paid trip to Pittsburgh? So while the answer to the first question would have already been yes, the answer to the second was a resounding yes.
(This is where I provide the requisite disclaimer. Visit Pittsburgh invited Tania and I to visit over a recent weekend and provided us with admission to area attractions and spending money. They placed no limits on what we could see and do, and only asked that we write about our trip in return. What follows then is a recap of the things we did and enjoyed. Payment for the trip may have come from others, but the opinions that follow are all mine.)
I have enough friends from Pittsburgh that I know that they are as proud of their city as we here in Columbus are proud of ours. And I must say, they have a right to be so proud. Their list of cultural attractions is long enough to fill a week’s itinerary and still not see them all. And, as Tania and I would soon discover as we planned out our trip, the same can be said about the dining scene.
A few weeks ago, I got an automated email. My domain registration for www.pieareround.com was about to renew itself. At that point, I was faced with a decision: should I let the registration expire or should I re-commit myself to this blogging project. After all, it had been quite a while since I last written anything for this blog. My heart just hadn’t been in writing for the blog lately; the joy had kind of gone out of it. Combined with the time it took to document and write each post, I seriously considered abandoning the whole thing. But a funny thing happened. Just as I was contemplating giving it all up, I had several people ask me, unprompted, what happened to the blog and whether I was working on anything new. Coincidental timing, but it at least inspired me to give it another go. Continue reading
I’ve mentioned before that Tania works as a tour guide for Columbus Food Adventures. Luckily for me, I occasionally get to enjoy some of the ancillary perks of her job. Most recently, she (and I) were invited to come along on the Meat Lovers’ Tour. While some tours, like the German Village and Short North Tours, are run reliably each week (when in season that is), the Meat Lovers’ Tour is a less frequent offering. So when we were invited along on the tour, we definitely jumped at the chance.
First, a bit about that name: the Meat Lovers’ Tour. I suppose it’s accurate in one sense. But, if you were judging the tour by just the name, you’d be left with a very one-dimensional picture of what it involves. Yes, you eat a lot of different kinds of meat; it’s definitely not a tour for vegetarians. At the same time though, it’s not a single-minded glutinous celebration of protein. Instead, the tour is a celebration of the role that meat plays in various cooking styles and traditions.
Even the above description is lacking. I’m having trouble describing the tour in a brief yet comprehensive manner. I guess that’s why a whole blog post is necessary. You’ll have to just read the whole thing and draw your own conclusions.