Monday, February 4, 2013

Meat & Potatoes

I never go out late. Like, ever.

I'm not THAT old - I just never enjoyed being out at all hours of the night and then feeling like poo the next day. Especially when I have to work the next day. I get up at 4:30am every day during the school year - do you REALLY think I want to be awake past 10:00pm?  Or even 9:00pm?

Nope. I need to function.

But, every once in awhile, I have the urge to get out and do something late - more often on a weekend. So, when James asked me if I wanted to go see John McIntire's show at the Cabaret Theater on Saturday, I really had no problem saying "yes".

Plus, it was the perfect excuse to go to Meat & Potatoes, like we mentioned last time we went to one of John's shows.

Meat & Potatoes (the rug, at least)
The restaurant has gotten great reviews, but we rarely end up near its location in the Cultural District. Maybe I'm not "cultured" enough, but I'll take any excuse to go to a great restaurant.

Getting a reservation was not easy - 3 days before, I was only able to secure a 9:30pm reservation, which was pushing the time.  However, we left quite early due to the snow that had been falling all day, and arrived about 40 minutes early.  After waiting about 10 minutes, they were able to seat us around 9:00.

It was great timing.

I had perused the menu ahead of time, but I was a bit iffy on my choice of food.  The restaurant name is "Meat & Potatoes", and they aren't kidding - a lot of meat-based dishes, but enough other items for the typical vegetarian to not go hungry.  James and I each chose an appetizer - mine was the fried brussels:

Fried Brussels
I give all credit to Keith Fuller from Root 174 for turning me on to brussels sprouts, and I can't thank him enough for doing so.  These brussels were great - a little greasy, but enough so that they reminded me of less-guilty french fries.  Even a die-hard hater of brussels sprouts would find these palatable.

James went with the fried pickles, which were recommended to him from many of his Twitter followers:

Fried Pickles
I had never had fried pickles before, and I wasn't disappointed - but I think my fried brussels were better.  These had a typical fried outer crust, like frozen chicken nuggets do.  The taste wasn't bad, but they weren't my favorite part of the meal.

For my entree, I wanted something different.  Challenging, even.  Tacos, of course, are one of my favorite diet staples, but...the only kind of tacos that Meat & Potatoes serves is Sweetbread Tacos:

Sweetbread Tacos
And if you're not familiar with what "sweetbreads" are, or if you're picturing a danish in my tortillas - sweetbreads are the thymus glands of animals.  Glands.  Typically, unwanted parts of an animal.

Close-up of Sweetbread Tacos
In this dish, however, you would have never known the different between a gland and any commonly-eaten animal part.  The coco chile-crusted sweetbreads were crispy, slightly spicy, and unlike anything I had had before.  Combined with avocado, cabbage, jalapeno, corn, and crema, I was smitten.  

James had the Fish and chips, which he enjoyed.  I took a bite of his fish, and it was good, but I was much happier with my tacos.

We left quite satisfied, and went on to John McIntire's show to be entertained - and indeed we were.  By the time we got home, I didn't even feel like I had been out later than usual.

John McIntire & Dr. Cyril Wecht
Although I was quite glad that I got to sleep in the next day...

Meat & Potatoes
649 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222



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