Bloggers' new book a local food love story

Pittsburgh's food scene is good enough these days that figuring out where to grab a bite on any given night can be something of a head scratcher. Delicious as they may be, you can only eat so many Primanti's Cap & Egg sandwiches.

But it should be a little easier to figure things out after Labor Day, when the blogging team at releases a paperback guide to the city's best eats.

"Food Lovers' Guide to Pittsburgh" (Globe Pequot, $14.95) goes on sale on Sept. 4, and in it, authors Sarah Sudar, Julia Gongaware, Amanda McFadden and Laura Zorch promise to provide the "inside scoop" on the best places to eat, drink and buy food in and around the city. That includes the lowdown on the best dishes at 228 restaurants and food specialty stores/markets organized by region (Downtown, Strip, North, etc.) and alphabetized for easy searching.

Also included is a guide to food-related media so you can keep up on culinary news, and a chapter on the local producers of beer, wine and spirits. For those who like to cook as much as they do eat, there's a dozen recipes from top Pittsburgh chefs. Megan Lindsey, for example, shares Franktuary's recipe for Sweet Onion Sauce, while Root 174's Keith Fuller dishes the tasty Falafel dish included at the end of this story.

Conveniently sized for your car's glove compartment, the book also includes a calendar, with website info, of Pittsburgh's most popular ethnic food festivals and other food-related events, plus a "cheat sheet" for the must-eats in our city. Which of course includes Primanti's.

The authors will discuss their book and answer questions at three events this month:

• Penguin Bookshop, 420 Beaver St., Sewickley, 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 7.

• Industry Public House, 4305 Butler St., Lawrenceville, 8 p.m. Sept. 15.

• Moon Public Library, 1700 Beaver Grade Road, Moon, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26.

For more info or to order a copy of the book:

Keith Fuller's Falafel

  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and chopped cilantro
  • 2 eggs, beaten, for dredging
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • Tzatziki Sauce (recipe follows)

Add all ingredients except for herbs, eggs and panko crumbs to the work bowl of a large food processor. Process on high until uniform and creamy. Remove to a large mixing bowl. Fold in herbs. Form 1-ounce patties and dredge in egg wash followed by panko crumbs. Fry in 350-degree oil until crispy. Serve with Tzatziki Sauce.

Makes about 30 portions.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and let stand in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, or up to 1 hour. Makes about 1 cup.

-- "Food Lovers' Guide to Pittsburgh" by Sarah Sudar, Julia Gongaware, Amanda McFadden and Laura Zorch (Globe Pequot, $14.95)

Gretchen McKay: or 412-263-1419. First Published August 30, 2012 4:00 AM


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