Your March to-do list just got a little bit bigger.
1. Try something new for brunch.
Brunch is big business in Pittsburgh! The Vandal has just announced that their brunch menu will be available every day of the week, so you can get brunch dishes like Smoked Trout with potato latkes, pickled egg and roe, and Earl Grey + Blood Orange tea cakes whenever you’d like. Downtown’s fl. 2 has launched a new weekend brunch program, with tasty new dishes like their soon-to-be-famous Duck Confit Cinnamon Roll, which is a house-baked cinnamon roll, cooked in duck fat, and stuffed with duck confit. And the new-to-Lawrenceville Cinderlands serves up an ever-changing brunch menu every Sunday, featuring elevated breakfast sandwiches, omelets, and plenty of their house-brewed beer.
2. Get a reservation at Pittsburgh’s newest French brasserie.
Have you been to Poulet Bleu yet? The latest Pittsburgh offering from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group (they were just named a semi-finalist for a James Beard Foundation Award) has gotten stellar reviews from guests, and a stellar review from our own Madeline Quigley. And they’re getting good reviews for good reasons. With a simple, French-forward menu (Burgundy escargot, chicken liver pate, and Parisienne gnocchi are standouts) and a gorgeously-designed space, Poulet Bleu is well on its way to becoming one of the most important restaurant openings of the year. Poulet Bleu (3519 Butler Street)
3. Embrace your inner vegan.
Even if you’re a meat-eater (guilty as charged), don’t discount the seriously stellar vegan offerings that Pittsburgh is serving up right now. Bloomfield’s Relish is open on the weekends with vegan doughnuts, sourdough toast, bagels and more, and they’re also hosting a couple of special events this month, including their Pizza Night (March 8) and Cupcake Night (March 9). Apteka has just launched a new late-night menu, which they’re serving from 10:00 p.m. to midnight every Saturday and Sunday. You’ll find vegan burgers, fries, pierogi, and more. And Onion Maiden is killing the vegan game in Allentown, with new menu additions regularly introduced, like white chocolate and raspberry doughnuts, ramen, and pickled ginger fritters.
4. Learn a new kitchen skill at Gaynor’s
If you’re a novice chef (or just a little rusty in the kitchen), March is a good month to treat yourself to a little extra instruction. Almost every day of the week, Gaynor’s School of Cooking on the South Side offers lots of cooking and kitchen skills classes, and this month, you’ll find everything from beginner’s classes that will cover Pastry Dough and Bread Baking, to international cuisines, like the Foods of Mexico and the Foods of Spain. Classes are typically about $95 per person, and include all instructions and samples of each dish. To see the full event calendar, visit their website.
5. Order your Easter candy now.
Do not let your Easter candy buying happen at a drugstore this year! Elevate those Easter baskets with some locally-made chocolate eggs, bunnies and truffles. Sarris Candies‘ meltaway eggs are western Pennsylvania classics (favorite flavors include Peanut Butter, Toasted Coconut, and Chocolate Fudge Nut), and their Bash Egg, filled with mini chocolate-covered pretzels and jelly beans, is the perfect way to keep kids occupied after Easter egg hunts. Gene & Boots has chocolate crosses, lambs, ducks and bunnies, along with chocolate Easter baskets filled with turtle candies, peanut butter minuettes and more. Easter offerings from Dorthy’s Candies include chocolate baskets, and more than a dozen different kinds of chocolate bunnies. And Pennsylvania-based John & Kira’s Chocolates has a special chocolate Easter basket available this year, filled with Chocolate Honey Caramel Bees, Pecan & Cinnamon Cashew Tortoises, Coconut Peanut Butter & Caramel Cottontails and milk, dark and white chocolate Garden Bunnies.
6. Become a (tech-savvy) food rescue hero.
Local food rescue organization 412 Food Rescue has just launched the latest edition of their app, making it easier than ever to become a food rescue hero and help deliver food to those in need. The app’s new redesign allows for easier pickups, new alert management, location-based rescue requests and more. On Saturday, March 10, join them at their East Liberty office from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for a special app training and orientation. The organization is also running a special giveaway: The first 1,000 successful updates and complete logins of the app will be entered to win prizes that include Pittsburgh Pirates tickets, a Big Burrito gift card, a one-night stay at the Fairmont Pittsburgh and more. 412 Food Rescue
7. Eat one of Pittsburgh’s best burritos.
Is there a more perfect food than an overstuffed burrito? We don’t think so. Pittsburgh has some seriously good ones to try right now, like the Burrito Steelers (with beef, chicken, rice and pinto beans) from La Palapa‘s newly-opened location, the Shrimp Diablo Verde from El Burro, burritos stuffed with everything from spicy brisket to Buffalo cauliflower at Baby Loves Tacos in Bloomfield, and get a sneak peek of the soon-to-come Pittsburgh Burrito Bus by visiting the PGH Sandwich Society truck on their stops around town.
8. Be the first to know about Hitchhiker’s newest can releases.
Ever since Hitchiker Brewing Company announced that they would be releasing new cans every week, we’ve started to eagerly await their weekly email to let us know what’s on tap for that week. From their Woke Breakfast Stout (brewed with maple syrup from Paul Family Farms) to their Agiro (a Strawberry Margarita Gose brewed with wheat, lime peel, sea salt and strawberry), Hitchhiker has some of the most creative brews in town – and their eye-catching cans just look so nice in our fridge. Want to be in the know? Sign up for their newsletter online.
9. Make these cookies.
These Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread cookies have been blowing up the Internet since the beginning of the year, and if you haven’t made them yet, go do it. Now. You’re welcome.
10. Try the Gnocchi at DiAnoia’s Eatery.
The Strip District’s DiAnoia’s Eatery made waves recently when news broke that it was serving house-made gnocchi in a house-made bread bowl in all its carbs on carbs glory. Is it decadent? Absolutely, especially since it’s topped with house-made marinara, heavy cream and tons of melted mozzarella cheese. Is it delicious? Again, absolutely. It’s definitely a splurge, both financially and calorically, but sometimes, you’ve just gotta live a little. DiAnoia’s Eatery