Jul 13 2014

New Food Tours in the Works!!

Uncategorized - 11 days ago -

If you haven’t read about the new tours  or seen us on WTAE or KDKA, let me fill you in.  The Flavor of Pittsburgh tour is a three hour food trip through Pittsburgh’s culinary history from early days in Market Square through today.  It is really fun, I promise!!    This tour is an ongoing one and more info is at www.pghtoursandmore.net.

I am starting another series of tours that are one time events, with the theme of Edible Secrets of Pittsburgh.  The first in the series is on August 12 and it’s called What’s the Buzz All About?  I don’t want to give any secrets away, but the stops are wonderful and the people that we will meet are so terrific, too.  They are all doing good things for our community .We will have enough food for a meal throughout the four hour tour and the cost is $75 per person, which includes all food and transportation. The shuttle leaves from Lawrenceville, where we can park in a safe lot during the tour.

Again, for more info, go to www.pghtoursandmore.net and click on the Food Tour link.

In the works for September is an Italian themed tour and also a fun tour to new meat markets in our area.

For  any questions, email me at mary@theforkandtheroad.com or call 412.576.1755..

Hope to see you soon!!

mary miller

 


Jun 1 2014

The Fork and The Road rises again!!

Uncategorized - 8 weeks ago -

Although The Fork and The Road has never really been gone, I am getting back into doing more tours by partnering with Pittsburgh Tours & More, which is part of Pittsburgh Transportation Group!  This will allow The Fork and The Road to do more tour and to meet your needs by doing a better job with charter and custom tours.  Keep your eyes open here and on Facebook for all the good things to come in mid-2014.  We are so excited about this new and wonderful chapter for The Fork and The Road.  Please email me at mary@theforkandtheroad.com with any questions or to discuss planning a culinary tour for you or your group.

new photos 014

 

It was a rainy day for the Encore tour this spring, but we still had a fabulous time!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for your patience over the last year and during the next few months as my website makes a transition to something much more beautiful and readable.  it certainly is a process, but it is all good in the end!

 

Mary


Sep 2 2012

The Fork and The Road returns!

Cape May / Centre County / Culinary Tour / food blog / Homestead / Laurel Highlands / New York City / Pittsburgh / Strip District - 1 year ago -

After a few months of rest and rejuvenation . . . and lots of exploring new culinary treats, I am back to the website and blog. The past months have taken me to a food meeting in NYC which was beyond fabulous and an extended stay in south Jersey that totally cleared my mind and my constantly inflamed W PA sinuses. (Nothing like a beach breeze to cure all ills.) I’ve trekked to central PA for luscious produce and homemade ice cream, explored the history down to Pittsburgh’s south in Washington, PA and visited a brewery, a grain mill and a dairy up north of Butler.  But now it’s time to share my finds.

Blazing hot pizza oven at Keste in the West Village.

The culinary tours are still on the menu, but my focus is now mainly on charter tours. Here’s how it works. A business  purchases all 18 or 20 seats, and fills the seats with employees or customers as an incentive or “thank you” for work well done, great service or for stellar business patronage.The tours are also popular with book groups, garden clubs and “newcomer” clubs.  They’re a  great team building experience and a way to learn  about the many culinary treasures in our area without being worried about getting lost on the backroads.

The Fork and The Road is also currently doing  presentations on W PA culinary history to groups who are limited in time for a driving tour or who don’t care for riding on a bus . .albeit a luxury bus. These talks are lively, fun and involve tasting some local treats.

Milking time at Otterbein Acres farm near Carlisle. The cheese is available here in Pittsburgh in at least two markets.

If you’re looking for something new and different for your group, give me a call. I can build a unique tour specific to your group’s interests.


Apr 19 2012

Don’t forget to sign up for the May tour!

Uncategorized - 2 years ago -

Spring 2012

 

Culinary Tour

 

Tuesday, May 8

 

Learn all about these delicious cookies!!!

 

On this trip, the driving time is short and the stops are real Pittsburgh treasures.  Whether you grew up in near the Three Rivers or if you’re a transplant, there’s something for everyone on our foodie bus. Get ready to learn about (and taste)  the ethnic food of the steel mill workers and their families, enjoy a light snack in one of Homestead’s newish eateries, sample a bubbly treat in the Strip, visit our area’s oldest and history filled (oh, and simply stunning) hotel for lunch, tour the Burgh’s new, hot destination (Wigle Whiskey) and more.  I’ve worked to dig up some fascinating culinary history tidbits about Pittsburgh.

The tour leaves from the Pump House near The Waterfront in Homestead.  Very little walking is involved.

Date:  Tuesday, May 8

Time:  9 AM until approximately 4 PM

Cost:  $125, which includes transportation, all meals, samples and entrance fees.

To make a reservation or for more info, email Mary at mary@theforkandtheroad.com or call 412.576.1755

Seating is limited to 18 and just a few seats remain.

The old Carrie Furnace site

Hope to see you on the 8th!

 

 


Mar 24 2012

Pittsburgh “This and That” Tour

Uncategorized - 2 years ago -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join The Fork and The Road on Tuesday, May 8 for a tasty and trivia-filled tour of Pittsburgh.  We’ll embark on our journey from the historic Pump House near The Waterfront in Homestead.  So many stories to tell about this area!  And such rich culinary history, too. Learn about the architectural gems of  Homestead and Munhall while enjoying a morning snack in a charming, restored cafe.  Next, we’ll investigate the roots of our ‘Burgh dialect all while sipping on some fun (meaning alcohol containing) bubbly beverages and savoring some local nibbles.  Then, it’s on to a “dahntahn” treasure  for a “wunnerful, wunnerful” vintage Pittsburgh lunch.  Before inching back to Homestead, our last stop will be a visit with Eric Meyer at his fabulous new whiskey distillery, where we’ll  learn about the start of the Whiskey Rebellion and  get to taste his  just bottled rye and wheat whiskey.  This is a real treat.  The tour leaves at 9AM and returns at 4PM, and is $125 per person, which includes all food, beverages and transportation.  Tour is limited to 18 people so sign up early.  Please email mary@theforkandtheroad.com or call 412.576.1755 to make your reservations or for more information.


Jan 6 2012

Spring 2012 Tours

Homestead / Lawrenceville / Meyersdale / Pittsburgh - 3 years ago -

The Fork and The Road does not like winter. Not at all. So, now that the holidays are over . . . hope yours were fantastic . . .The Fork is getting snuggled up under blankets and working on the Spring tours.  I am working with Karen Novak at McGinnis Sisters to plan some amazing wine and cheese tours, driving around finding new hidden stops for a Steel Mill themed culinary tour and thinking hard about a chocolate tour.

 So stay tuned for more info in the next few weeks. If you have specific questions, feel free to give me a call at 412.576.1755.

Happy 2012 to everyone and I hope it is filled with good health, happiness and kindness in your world.  xo


Dec 12 2011

More wonderful holiday food gifts.

Greensburg / Lawrenceville / Pittsburgh - 3 years ago -

Nothing’s more exciting than coming home to find a package on your doorstep.  That’s why I love food of the  month clubs.  Every month a surprise awaits!   Go local by getting the hard to buy for person on your list a Biscotti of the Month membership. My friend, Anna Jo Noviello, owner of Sunset Cafe and Aunt Anna’s Biscotti in Greensburg, makes the best biscotti around. I never really liked the dry, almond scented biscotti from my childhood, but Anna Jo’s are  different. They’re  a little softer and  come in more contemporary flavors, although they sell the traditional almond ones, too.

Aunt Anna's Biscotti on the cooling rack at the bakery in Greensburg

Anna Jo has lots of varieties, but myfavorites are Red Velvet and Coconut Lemon Macadamia. The Biscotti of the Month Club is a gift that everyone would enjoy.

Another terrific idea for a local gift is a spirit filled growler from Arsenal Cider House. After months of trying to get there, I finally stopped on Saturday morning and I just loved it!  Located in a house across from the Allegheny County Health Dept. in Lawrenceville,  these folks make hard ciders from different local fruit and they also make  mead.  I can’t really describe this place, but I loved it and I loved their products, too.  You  must stop by to have a sample.  I bought the Pear, apple and Cinnamon apple.  I was told that concord grape would be next.  Their bottles are super attractive, the vintages have fun names and the contents are excellent. I can’t think of a better hostess gift for this season. ( If you can keep from drinking it yourself.)

Any other last minute food gifts ideas?  Let me know.  So many great products right here in Western PA.  We are so fortunate.

 


Dec 5 2011

Good things in the Burgh

Lawrenceville / PA / Pittsburgh - 3 years ago -

Wandering is my favorite pastime. Exploring new places, meeting new people.  Just looking around and absorbing the vibes.  This past weekend was filled with so many exciting discoveries that I just have to share each and every one. I ended the weekend inspired.

Friday afternoon, on a quest to finish a holiday project, I stopped at  the Oakmont Candle Company in,  duh, Oakmont.  This local company makes 100% soy candles in a multitude of really great scents. Owner, Gene Alese, told me that soy candles are required to be just 25% soy, so make sure you ask about this before you buy.  Soy burns clean, without any toxic smoke, but 100% soy is the only way to go. Oakmont Candles also make an upscale line called Wyk, with super fabulous packaging. Consider buying local for things even like candles.

Look at the lovely packaging of the Wyk candles. And the candles smell amazing!

Next on my drive was a quick stop at  The Pittsburgh Center for The Arts to pick up some lovely work by Rochel Schiffrin  and Martha Ellen Ressler.

The beautiful and talented Rockel. Can't show her work because it's a surprise for a special person.

Then a few miles over to BoxHeart Gallery in Bloomfield led to a major gift for myself . . three framed snowflake paintings by Cella Neapolitan. A few years ago I bought one of her snowflake necklaces (okay, I bough two)   and they always garner lots of oohs and aahs when I wear them.

My beloved snowflake necklace. Made from a magnified actual snowflake photo.

Saturday morning started with a stop to get olive oil refills from David Lagnese at the Farmer’s Cooperative of Easty Liberty.  Always a great way to get my local food fix and much less crowded than the Strip District.  Next stop was the I Made It! Market at Bakery Square, where I made sure to visit Krystal Doring at the Green Bubble Gorgeous booth.  I love her products, especially the Mocha Mint  and Vanilla Coconut Creme Whipped Body Wash.   There’s another I Made It! on December 7 on the Pitt campus, so check it out.

Sweet and creamy, with no icky residue. This minty soapy parfait is delightful!

On to the holiday glass sale at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.  I love glass because it is cold to the touch and with my current state of hotness ( the temperature kind of hotness, not the cool kind) having gorgeous handmade glass around the house is helpful. The center has a small shop and has classes (great gift idea) throughout the year.   Onward to the Holiday Book Fair at the Heinz History Center where I met travel and roadside “wonder” author Brian Butko and his publisher at Stackpole Books.  This actually made my day, as I have been  Butko fan for years. After paying for my books (too many books), it was time to get home.  The day ended with a bison burger from Burgatory for dinner.   My favorite burger in the city.

Sunday began with some cookie baking ( dark chocolate cherry and  Mexican wedding cookies) and then a visit to the tail end of the Lawrenceville Cookie Tour.  Some terrific new finds here . . Atelier at 5204   Butler Street  and Trinity Gallery on Hatfield Street.    Glass artist Meeghan Triggs does amazing work (I wanted to buy everything in the shop) and,  lucky me, I got to meet talented photographer Adam  Milliron, who was hanging out in Meeghan’s gallery. Adam showed me some of his recent Carrie Furnace photos and also some stunning food shots. True talent, here.  The lighting in his photos gave me chills. Really great work.  Dan and Carol Gaser at Trinity Gallery  have a gem in their place off the main drag in Lawrenceville by focusing on newer artists.  The had more of Dressler’s work and some lots of other art that was so beautiful. Definitely going back to all of my new Lawrenceville finds.

One last stop at the Pittsburgh Public Market  in the Strip for some OMG fantastic duck prosciutto from The Crested Duck, and I was finished for the day.  So pumped by all of the fantastic artisans following their passion. Thanks to all for making the end of my week so fulfilling!


Nov 28 2011

More great holiday foodish gifts.

cheese / Pittsburgh - 3 years ago -

It’s no secret that I love the Farmer’s Market Cooperative of East Liberty.  It runs every Saturday from 5 am (yes, that is very early) until noon.  The vendors are so nice and they sell local goods all throughout the year, unlike many markets that close for the winter.  During each visit, I stop and say hello to David Lagnese, who sells great coffee, fresh squeezed juice, some of the best olive oil in the city and terrific local cheese. ( His stand is on the left towards the back of the market.)

Turns out David’s father has penned a lovely book about Italian cooking and Italian families called Cookin’, Recollections and Recipes of Joe Lagnese.  It’s written a  bit like a novel and the recipes read a bit like stories, but it’s obvious that this guy knows his food.  Every recipe I’ve tried has been a hit.  The best part of giving this book as a gift is that profits benefit the Muriel’s Breath of Life organization, which provides assistance to patients with Cystic Fibrosis.  The elder Lagnese’s daughter in law passed away from adult Cystic Fibrosis a few years ago and the family began this foundation to honor her life.  Stop in at the market on Saturday’s or  go to www.murielsbreathoflife.org  to purchase the book.  Pair it with some of his son David’s olive oil and a piece of wonderful PA cheese and you have a gift anyone would love.

Another favorite locally made gift would be anything from the line of USA Pans bakeware made in Crescent, PA.  I purchased the mini muffin pan, the mini brownie pan and the Pullman loaf pan from CRATE on Greentree Road.  Sturdy, easy to clean and just all around terrific, these pans are professional grade bakeware that make great gifts for the family baker or for someone who wants to be a baker.  Pair your pan with some local flour ( St Vincent Gristmill), a bottle of homemade vanilla  . .  who wouldn’t love this?!

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.  My girls were both home for the holiday and it reminded me of how much I continue to miss them even though we’ve been empty nesters for a while now.  Boo hoo.    I need to keep busy to get over my empty house sadness.   Always looking for something new and fun, so if you know of anything, please pass the info along.  Oh . . .and don’t forget the holiday glass sale and the I Made It!  Market this coming weekend . . .and the annual Cookie Tour in Lawrenceville.  Lots to look forward to this week.


Nov 15 2011

Where is the time going?

Donegal / Laurel Highlands / Pittsburgh / Strip District - 3 years ago -

Weeks are flying by and I can’t get caught up. Yikes.  Sorry for the delay with the winner of the contest.

The winner of the beautiful cutting board was Christine. Lucky girl.   Congratulations and thank you to Ralph Teets at Cutting Board Art for his generous donation.  His boards are lovely and make fantastic gifts, either by themselves or as part of a gift of wine, crackers, dried fruit and cheese.  Artisan made gifts are so much more valuable than factory made. Thanks, Cutting Board Art!!

Another fabulous holiday gift is the sampler from The Berry Patch.  You get to pick three different flavors of jams or jellies  in 4 oz jars.  Not only are they so tasty, but they have a multitude of uses from marinades to salad dressings and  come already packaged in a beautiful box ( notice the box in the above photo.)  Stop down to the Pittsburgh Public Market to select your flavors  today.  You can sample them before you purchase, too. Don’t forget to say hello to Scottie and Brenda, the owners of The Berry Patch.  The Berry Patch folks can be reached at 724-238-4714 or at  the.berrypatch@hotmail.com if you want to pre-order your gifts.  Things can get crazy on weekends and sometimes they do sell out.

Still looking for something to do on Thanksgiving?   The nice folks at the stunning TreeTops at Polymath Park  near Donegal would love to have you join them for Thanksgiving dinner. The menu includes roasted butternut squash soup, in house smoked salmon and many traditional goodies such as roast turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Oh, and pumpkin pie brulee.  Call them today!!!

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