Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh southside’

Review: Big Dog Coffee

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

A shot of Dig Dog Coffee … click it to go there.

It took us a while, but we got here.

I always love checking out the privately owned coffee venues in the area.  It’s where you really get a taste of the community (along with the local beans).

We visited around lunch time.  Parking was available, but tight on the street.  Additional spaces available at the SouthSide Works garages very close to the venue. Big Dog is easy to find and very accessible and it’s definitely inviting.

We ordered a typical latte with caramel, nothing fancy.  It was quickly made with great service and it tasted great.  The atmosphere inside was extremely welcoming (it was like walking into your house).  Not load, relaxing music (but not typical local radio) playing, and extremely clean.

The pricing was extremely reasonable – either cheaper or in line with typical pricing at other coffee spots.  We didn’t get to try the food, but as reported by others, it’s great too.

The representation Big Dog gives on it’s website is very accurate (if you like the website, you’ll love the place).  They are also involved in the community – which is a major plus for a local business.

Free wireless – Yes, but they will give you a password at the counter.

We will shortly add this to SWB Recommends, as it’s definitely a go to place to relax and sip some hot java.

Update:  We tried the stuffed pepper soup — excellent!!!!!!


PS – If anyone has had a change to have the food, please leave a review comment.


Review: SouthSide Works Chili Festival (ChiliWorks)

April 12, 2010 1 comment

We made it to ChiliWorks!

… and it was definitely worth it.

I love food, cool art, and the sound of live brass – so booths full of chili, original artists, and a mariachi band made my day (along with seeing allot of friends on a great sunny day).

The event took place on upper 27th street in SouthSide works with the bands close to the courtyard.  The artists we occupying the old Joseph-Beth storefront.  Booths full of chili were just everywhere!

Oh … did I say booths full of chili were just everywhere?!?!?!

We expected the event to be slightly different and have a higher level of “cool” than your standard issue chili festival, and it was.

Here is what we found:

  • Out of all the chili’s in competition, almost all tended to show a higher level of culinary skill put into their creations.  There were maybe one or two that were mediocre – but that may be more because of our personal tastes than anything.
  • The bands were excellent, and the mariachi band definitely set the tone for the event. Heavy kudos to them for pulling out a two hour set. Music levels were loud enough to feel the music, but not drive you to the end of the street – good for everyone. We recommend having the bands again … and keeping whatever techs were hired.
  • Thanks to Carrie Nardini and I Made It! Market … that art was great!  I Made It! never ceases to amaze SWB with the originality and diversity of the artists participating in their events. Watch out Three Rivers … we like ya, but Carrie and I Made It! are coming up with goods and the coolness.
  • The ticketing, tasting, artist areas, etc were all very well planned out and easy to get through even with the very heavy crowd.
  • Overall the event run by the SouthSide Works crew was well thought out, family friendly, and gave every reason to add it to your yearly “attend this” list.

But, most importantly …

Who won the chili contest?

According to a text from Pam at SSW – Tusca Global Tapas and Chef Jeff.

If you want to check out the restaurant, Click Here to go to Tusca Global Tapas in SouthSide Works.

When we tasted Tusca’s chili, we found it to be unique and not standard, but well made enough to rank highly with competition event chili’s … and in the end they showed their skills in that.  SWB didn’t expect any less from Tusca, as the culinary capabilities of those that work there are proven time and time again.


PS – We were impressed enough with the event so we are adding it to SWB Recommends … and we hope to see it back next year.

SSW Chili and Art Festival (ChiliWorks)

April 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Capture from SSW’s ChiliWorks event posting – click it to go there.

Everyone likes a Chili Fest ….. that’s just the way it is. Period.

You get everything there that you could possibly want: Good food that’s probably really bad for you, imported beers, loud entertainment, oh – and did I say good food that’s probably bad for you?

You can’t go wrong by going to a Chili Fest.

Now,  one of the hottest spots in Pittsburgh, SouthSide Works, has popped their own into place with a full compliment of I Made It! Market artists brought in by Carrie Nardini, Live Entertainment and Kid’s Korner brought in by SouthSide Work’s marketing director Pamelyn McMahon, and much more!  It’s a Pittsburgh cool and chic chili fest for the whole family!  The date is April 10th this year (2010).

This is another event by the folks that brought you SouthSide Work Exposed (less me … I opted out of Exposed a few years ago), so it’s bound to be cool.

Quickie List Of Events:

  • Chili Tasting (if you haven’t figured that out)
  • Mariachi Fiesta Band
  • I Made It! Market Artists
  • Kid’s Korner

* Click on the schedule icon above to go to the actual events website.


PS – Even if you aren’t the beer drinking, chili pounding partier that everyone thinks goes to chili festivals – go anyway and support I Made It! Market (these are the artists that make changes and the cool stuff you have in your homes).  If you don’t have any of their cool stuff in your homes … BUY SOME!

The Ongoing SouthSide alchohol license debate

May 19, 2009 Leave a comment

swbtwitterIf you of you are near or have heard of the SouthSide of Pittsburgh, you know it’s fairly well saturated with bars.  A piece of legislation was instituted keeping the amount of drink service establishments down.  The real purpose of this was basically to give the community a chance to review an application before it was issued to a new venue.  If the process would work correctly, it would keep responsible businesses (like restaurants service wine to compliment a meal) flourishing and irresponsible businesses (the ones that serve 50 cent drafts and 1 dollar shots) from expanding.

The problem is, at this point, no matter how legitimate and responsible the business is, they are being kept from opening if the quote for the block is already met.  Some do not think this is fair, either do we.  Personally, SWB wants to see the legitimate and responsible businesses grow and expanse, thus push the irresponsible ones our of the area.  This would be a controlled and fair way to attack the alcohol problem in the SouthSide of Pittsburgh.

Click Here for the SouthSide’s latest booze battle details from Rich Lord of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Please check out and take the following poll:


PS – We’re going to get our 50 cent drafts now, before our advice shuts all the hole in the wall shot and beer joints down.

Home Buying In Pittsburgh – A Real Good Time

March 27, 2009 Leave a comment

sshomestepsIf you are at all thinking about buying a house how, especially in or near Pittsburgh, you need to check out this article by Sam Spatter of the Tribune-Review. It’s amazing the amount of deals real estate companies and sellers are cutting to get houses sold. Being offered is everything from free appliances to buying your house if you don’t sell it in ninety days. So, if you ever wanted to live in a cool area like The SouthSide or The Strip District, or maybe just want to move to a better school district – now is the time to look.

This is big FYI article, so read!


PS – Even SWB is thinking about upgrading from his small Adidas labeled cozy weasel home to a much better Westinghouse appliance box.

Call For Artists – SouthSide Works Exposed

March 23, 2009 Leave a comment

cropped-exposedmainbanner_000SSW Exposed Banner – Click it to go to their site

It’s that time of the year to apply for SouthSide Works Exposed – the growing art and music festival at SouthSide Works in Pittsburgh. This year Carrie Nardini is running the show, and the experience she has should bring some new dimensions to the markplace at SSW Exposed.

Please check out the site, and apply if you are an artist.


SWB Anniversary Coming Up

March 20, 2009 Leave a comment

ssw2004We are getting close to the 3 year anniversary of SWB.  It would be nice to plan a little something to celebrate the occasion, so please comment to this post if you are near the SouthSide area and are a reader.

This post is being written in the place where SWB started in mid-April 2006 … Crazy Mocha at SouthSide Works.  It was my first time blogging, and judging by the people that surrounded me at the time – the first time blogging for many.  At that time too, the blog was done on iWeb via .mac on my laptop and  grew to a point where it was read in about 14 countries, with enough hits per month that I started getting phone calls from Apple.

Things have changes.  We’ve moved the blog to WordPress and the blog is now mostly written on an EEE PC via the web.  The format has changed, the topics have changed, etc.  The one thing that hasn’t changed is that, sitting again in Crazy Mocha, I’m still surrounded by first time bloggers, and people that truly believe that they are writing the next book to get on the New York Times best seller list.

Well, post here if you are interested in celebrating with SWB mid-April for our 3 year anniversary (time and date tobe announced if there is enough interest).  We’ll try to get something going (I’d like to do something like a limited number or free expresso shots or house coffees at Crazy Mocha SouthSide, if I can afford it – or can find a sponsor.  I’m tossing up the idea also of doing something at Exposed 2009 also, but I haven’t discussed it with anyone yet.


PS – We hope to see you at whatever we end up doing …. if you can’t make it, rant for us on your own blog 🙂

BTW, the picture above is from 2004 when you could get a clear shot of the SouthSide Works Cinema because the building that houses Sur La Table, REI, etc were not built yet.  That was the view from my apartment at the time.