Pittsburgh, PA


Pittsburgh, like Cleveland, is a working class town. A town that drew Germans, Polish, Irish and others to this city surrounded by rolling hills and powered by the steel mills.  One would expect a “meat and potatoes” type of town spotlighting the staples of the Eastern European diet, such as sausages, butter & milk. However, the vegan restaurants were not only plentiful, but delicious!

Our favorite eatery we visited is the Quiet Storm Vegetarian & Vegan Cafe. Imagine a diner run by former barisrtas who value taste AND healthfully delicious food. We liked it so much we went twice in one weekend!

On our first visit we enjoyed a nice Sunday brunch. Jeff had the Biscuits & gravy, a Gluten-free biscuit toped with tofu, kale, TVP bacon & tahini gravy. DeAnna had the Burrito with kale & tofu scramble which she slathered in tahini gravy. DeAnna enjoyed her meal, but was jealous of Jeff’s updated diner fare. A decision was made so that on the second visit there would be no jealousy both of us would order the Bahn Mi sandwich. If you don’t know, a Bahn Mi is a Vietnamese-style hoagie with picked vegetables, spicy mayo, and, in this case, seitan sausage & ham, toped with tangy cabbage slaw. Quiet Storm is not an all Vegan establishment, so read carefully! I believe this particular sandwich came with egg based mayo, but we subbed it out for the veg kind. All in all, we gave it an A ++++, Christmas Story Movie Style! Bonus points for the super attention payed to recycling & reusing.

Pittsburgh is a energetic city with no shortage of things to do. We spent the weekend there so really we had just one full day. We learned our lesson in Paris, to not try and cram too much in one day. We visited the Andy Warhol Museum, and as big of fans as we are, we felt it was overpriced. However, on a whim we decided to visit The National Aviary and we were happily surprised. Out of the things we did, nothing brought out the “school kid on a field trip” feeling more then The National Aviary. Tucked in the Allegheny Commons Park, the Aviary claims home to 500 different birds and 200 species. From bald eagles to penguins, and owls to lorries, the Aviary is not only entertaining, but educational. We saw a live bird show, and besides some cheesy music, it was really neat to have Macaws, vultures, and owls flying around right above your head. We also fed the lorikeets! If you don’t know what a lorikeet is, they are a rainbow colored parrot and are very friendly. In fact, most of the birds there can be hand fed. You really do get a sense of how wonderful this world can be and how important it is to take care and protect every animal on this planet. If only they didn’t serve “chicken fingers” in the food court, it’d be bird heaven!


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