Thursday, December 31, 2009

Numerology with Pittsburgh eating

DB~ and I both have had this week off. It's entailed a lot of family stuff and catching up with friends.

On Tuesday, without planning it out beforehand, we ate at 2 restaurants in Pittsburgh that had numbers featured in their names. For a closet numerologist, I took great delight in this.

For lunch, we met DB~'s aunt at Paris 66 in East Liberty. This was a restaurant that DB~ had been to, but we both wanted to go to together as well. It was a way for us to remember our fantastic trip to Montreal this summer by eating crepes.

We got there at 12:45 and the place was packed. I don't mind waiting for a table, but the entry way to Paris 66 is very narrow. Waiting outside was not an option, as it was a bitter (albeit sunny) day. So we stood packed like sardines for 15 minutes.

Once seated, I selected the St. Germain crepe -- ham and Swiss, DB~ got the Montparnasse -- basil, tomato, mozzarella, and DB~'s aunt got a salad of sort with chicken.

I was underwhelmed by my selection. It was literally just ham and swiss inside a crepe. The crepe was "square", with the ends folded in. It needed some sort of light sauce drizzled on it or some vegetables inside. Something. C'mon. Work with me here.

DB~'s crepe was much better, but still not on par with Chez Suzette's lunch crepes in Montreal.

The dessert crepes were excellent though. All 3 of us split a lemon-sugar-creme dessert crepe and a bowl of chocolate mousse on the side. If we go back (and we will, even though I was underwhelmed), it may be for dessert crepes or just dessert.

We were relegated to the back deck, which was loosely enclosed with plastic tarping, but compensated by blasting heat with those radiant heat thing-a-ma-bobs. I felt like a rotisserie chicken that needed turned by the end of the meal, as my one side was much hotter than the side facing the plastic tarping. However, the inside is decorated beautifully and you really feel the owner's Frenchness coming through the design.

Added bonus - sitting next to us at one point were a group of 4 with a small child and they were speaking French. Nice touch.

For dinner, we met one of DB~'s co-workers/friends and his date at Bettis's Grille 36. I had the Carolina Burger, which is an orgy of tastes and sins (burger topped with pulled pork, cole slaw and an onion ring) and DB~ had the more sensible Rosemary Chicken.

I was disappointed with the small amount of fries I got with my burger. Now I'm not a pig by any means, and I've long championed the "right-sizing" of portions at restaurants, but this was a small amount. DB~ liked the rosemary chicken dish well enough.

Neither one of us was overly-impressed by the restaurant...the decor was nice enough, it was surprisingly smaller than I anticipated inside, but the food was so-so. It's my opinion that if Bettis didn't hang his name on the shingle that this place would be gone within 3 or 4 years. Even with his name, I can't see this place lasting.

Bonus points for the mens' bathroom, though. The one-way mirror at the urinals is can look out and see the patrons at the bar, but they can't see you. Also, the sink countertops may be some type of fiberglass or other type of material that allows some translucence, as there were lights that slowly changed colors beneath the countertop.

For two restaurants that add up to 102, neither came close to achieving such a high score by me. At least I'll probably return to Paris 66 at some point, though.

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