Sunday, September 29, 2013

Duck and Cover

Unless you've been living under a very dense, very secluded rock, you're probably well aware that our fair town was graced with the presence of a very large bath toy this weekend.

The 40-foot rubber duck tediously made his way down the Ohio River and into our hearts on Friday afternoon. He was greeted by the thousands of eager Pittsburghers (present company included) who lined the riverbanks and bridges like pre-teens at a Beatles concert.

After posting a few photos on Facebook, I noticed a fairly sizable divide in the reception of this little, er... enormous fellow. Many are skeptical and confused at why in the world a giant rubber duck warrants such a spectacle. Sarcastic hashtags such as #whotheduckcares and #whogivesaduck abound.

At the festival, a friend of ours even overheard what I can only assume to be an incredibly religious couple angrily state "It's a disgrace, the way they're all worshiping it like a false God."

My response to those people had I been close enough to give one? Um no. There is no worshiping. We're all simply watching and scratching our heads and coming together to enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity. No candles were lit, no prayers were said at its non-existent feet. It's just plain fun.

So "Who cares?" I do. I care a lot. And not just because I happen to have an affinity to ducks.

Because this is Pittsburgh. We were the first US city to receive this ridiculously hilarious global phenomenon. We can't even get on Britney Spears' tour schedule, but we got the duck. That's a pretty big duckin' deal, I'd say. Pittsburgh is gaining some serious ground as a cool place to live, work and visit these days and I'm proud to be here to witness it unfold. We made national lists. We knit a bridge.

Heck, the Pirates are even rounding out a winning season. IT'S ALL COMING TOGETHER FOR US!

So while yes, it may be a little odd that we're all so darn excited about a giant rubber ducky floating down a river, its what the duck symbolizes that's really so exciting. We are going places. We are proud. We are Pittsburgh.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Get'cho Butt to Gaucho!

Remember that time that I used to be a blogger? HA.

People, I apologize. Wedding planning and wedding dieting are not necessarily conducive to free time to write or free calories to consume.

But FEAR THEE NOT. I have a few reviews stored and ready to go to keep your taste buds informed.

One of those is one that I've been excited to post for some time.  Sammies from Gaucho in the Strip!

Gaucho is not your typical restaurant. It's a takeout joint. You come in, you "ooh" and "ahhhh" at the enormous amount of character that's accomplished in such a tiny area (the cuteness-per-square-inch ratio is phenomenal), you order, you GTFU.

There is an adorable little patio adjacent where you can eat outside, but mostly you just want to take these sammies to a (very) private place and indulge because THIS reaction is fairly imminent:

 Animated Gif on Giphy

I ordered a Matambre (Flank Steak Sammie) and as I turned to head out and claim a seat under an umbrella, I spotted a Lazy Susan stocked with robust salsas. Four different kinds, all emitting their own unique, rustic aroma and all looking magnificently homemade. They were (in no order because i completely forget which was which...) a Chimmi Churri (traditional herbs and garlic), Pimenton (pepper and herbs), Ajo (roasted garlic) and Cebolla (carmelized onion). Obviously I had to try all four.

 When my sammie was delivered to me (in a glowing halo of light with angels singing somewhere off in the distance), I could already tell it was going to be good. The ciabatta bread was the perfect PANTONE 18-0940 and the oils from the grilled veggies and meat were being soaked in to just the perfect depth.

The meat was juicy and succulent. Easy to rip into with one bite, but not remotely brittle. I took a piece out of the sammie to eat with my fingers (like a true lady) and it was like I was eating candy. Delicious, cow-meat candy. It melted in my mouth and left a nice peppery aftertaste which did nothing but make me want more.

And those veggies. MY GOD. Those veggies. They were charred to perfection, the flavor was out of this world. They were the perfect complement to the steak.

Matambre (regular size), $10

Restaurant Info:
Gaucho Parrilla Argentina
1607 Penn Ave (in the Strip, near the 16th Street Bridge)

Tues - Sat 11:00 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Nope. There are four stools inside and a few tables outside, so come WAY before or well after noon to snag a seat at lunchtime.

Overall Opinion:
What I'm saying is, you gotta go here. You just gotta. Lunch break? Saturday in the strip? A nice quick dinner before a night on the town? It's a necessity. Bring your friends, but make sure you butt in front of them in line so you can order first. It's the best steak sammie I've ever had the privilege of putting in my mouth. They've got small plates that also look amazing and I cannot wait to go back and give them a try.

GAUCHO Parrilla Argentina on Urbanspoon

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