Dine, Play

Be Steel, My Heart

Well, now that I am back feeling 100% I will recap my trip up to Pittsburgh.

I taught class last Thursday morning and then hit the road to Charlotte to catch my flight.  Upon arriving, I went to check out the area where Pure Barre Fox Chapel was located and then went to check in to my hotel.  I realized I had never eaten lunch so figured I would give Primanti Bros. a try.

Cajun Chicken & Cheese

Their original location, the one I went to in the Strip District, has been there since 1933! Yes, french fries come on the sandwich. Yes, I ate (almost) the whole thing.

After I finished my very late lunch, I went back to my hotel to get some more work done. A little later on, I met up with my friend Natalie for dinner. Natalie and I went to college together sophomore year through senior year in Charlotte, NC. We’ve done a great job staying in touch after college. She’s had a number of visits to Charlotte when I was still there. She also visited me when I lived in Charleston, SC. It was only right for me to jump at the chance to head to Pittsburgh for work so I could extend my stay to play!

For dinner, we went to Bakersfield. Their website sums it up perfectly, “Serving up authentic, Mexican street fare, and a selection of over 100 tequilas and American whiskeys. Bakersfield is a spot where the food is simple, the service is warm and the atmosphere is alive.”

I had the Bistec taco – marinated grilled short rib, chipotle slaw & cilantro and the Short Rib taco – braised short rib, queso fresco, crema, white onion, radish & cilantro.  Sounds delicious, right? I should’ve known right then and there when I didn’t have much of an appetite that something was off…other then the fact that I had a massive sandwich for a late lunch 😉

On another note, I didn’t realize (until just now) that they had one in Charlotte, NC too! (and Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio)

Friday morning, I woke up and I. Was. Not. Ok. Not sure if it was food poisoning or a stomach bug, but the universe was not in my favor. I managed to get it together and head off to the studio to lead training. That was a rough day. Yikes.

By the end of the day, a logical human being would take herself home and go to bed, but I couldn’t sit still entirely. I went and had a LIGHT dinner with Natalie and her sister at Smallman Galley. I knew I shouldn’t get too crazy with my food selections and I was perfectly ok with that when I spotted the Avocado Toast.


Smallman Galley seats 200 guests and houses four different kitchens. Each chef spends 18 months where they run their own restaurants controlling their menu, hiring staff and interacted with the customers. Love it. On Mondays, when they’re closed to the public, the chefs attend trainings by industry leaders on branding, business planning, marketing and restaurant operations. Love it even more. During their last six months of their time there, the owners help them secure financing and find their next location in the city. Ahhhh, perfect! Dreams come true.

Saturday morning, I headed back to Pure Barre Fox Chapel to teach a class to clients and teachers. It’s always fun to get to teach in other studios and interact with other teachers and their clients.


Jessica (teacher), Danielle (owner of PB Fox Chapel) & Danielle (me)

After class, I headed back to the hotel to meet Natalie.  While I was out, Natalie headed down to Peace, Love & Little Donuts to pick up these bad boys.


I’m pretty sure these speak for themselves.

Believe it or not, I only had two. One s’mores and one banana chocolate chip. They were both delicious.

After we got out sugar fix, we headed to The Tower at PNC Plaza. Natalie works there and I was dying to have a tour. Yes, I’m a dork. The building “incorporating state of the art green technology, including a double-skin facade and solar chimney, the building was designed to exceed LEED Platinum certification and to be the greenest office tower in the world.”

Shortly after our tour of the building, we continued to walk around downtown.  That’s when my arm started to fall asleep and the other migraine symptoms started to kick in. NOOOOOOO, you have GOT to be kidding me?!   I tried to stick it out and drink cups and cups of water, but no luck.  I was determined to win this battle and we still headed to Mount Washington so I could get a killer view of Pittsburgh.


Realizing there was no hope, I ordered pierogies and zucchini sticks. Yeah, real healthy. At this point, who cares?!


Look at that sour cream…sick! 

I finally accepted the fact that I needed to go back to my hotel room and sleep.  Who was I kidding thinking I was going to come out of this as a winner?!

I wouldn’t wish a migraine upon my worst enemy.  That’s such a stupid expression, who actually has enemies? If you’re not a victim of migraines this may help give you an idea of just a few of the thoughts that went through my head on Saturday.  And yes, they are the same thoughts that went through my head when it came back Sunday night.

After some shut eye, I figured I would brave the migraine hangover and attempt to go out to dinner with Natalie.  I was so bummed that one thing after another was putting a damper on my Pittsburgh plans.

We went to Grit and Grace Noodle Bar.  It was so nice to be able to eat dinner outside and not be uncomfortably hot.  After dinner we went to Perle, a champagne lounge. They had champagne on tap.  I swear, I am amused by the littlest things.  I’m almost convinced that their CO2 glass chiller made the bubbles taste better.

Natalie and I split a champagne flight and then each tried a different champagne cocktail.


Brut. Rose. Seduction.

Given how the last couple of days had been going, we knew not to stay out too late (I know, I shouldn’t have been out at all).


Sunday morning, I managed to pull a muscle(s) in my upper back / neck area while I was getting ready.  I. Am. A. Mess.  I headed towards the airport, but stopped at a place called Eggs N’at for breakfast.  It reminded me of some of the places that I used to go with my family when I was a kid.

Well, I made the best out of my trip to Pittsburgh despite all the curve balls that were thrown at me. Hopefully I can make it back there again some time and have a healthier trip!

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