Working in the Strip District for more than 2 years, I have never once stepped foot at Roland’s Seafood Grill. There really wasn’t any particular reason why I didn’t want to go there. Any time I passed Roland’s, I always see people in there eating and drinking. That alone should have enticed me. I would guess there were other restaurants in the area that appealed more to me at the time. In fact I would have to guess I’ve only been to 50 percent of the restaurants in the area. Being a foodie that is fairly embarrassing, but most of the time I bring home cooked meals for lunch.
A few saturdays ago, my buddy D texted me and wanted to meet up for lunch. I had a few errands to do first, but I was able to meet up with him by the Penn Mac store at the Strip District. That was when I decided I was in the mood for seafood, and let D know we should go Rolands. He agreed and we go in. Normally when I’m in the mood for seafood, I usually go to Wholey’s or Penn Ave. Fish Company. Their food is so good that I don’t think about going anywhere else for seafood. But since Roland’s was nearby Penn Mac, We decided we should give it a shot. At 2:00 PM, the place was still alive and kicking. We decided to go to the bar in the back room since the main room was full. The menu wasn’t as elaborate as Penn Ave. Fish Company and not as cheap as Wholey’s but was still rather impressive.
D ordered the fried fish cod sandwich, and I decided to go with the calamari as my meal. If I see calamari in the menu, 90 percent of the time I will order it whether as an appetizer or a full meal. I get my calamari, and from the looks and taste of it I was impressed with it. I liked how they added the hot peppers to add color and heat to the dish. They used beer batter for the calamari; which I must say this was probably the most unhealthiest calamari dish I ever ate. Despite that, it was really damn tasty. I liked how the beer batter was crunchy and at the same time the calamari was tender without being chewy and overcooked. The most disappointing part of the dish was the dipping sauce, It was a tomato based sauce with various vegetables, but it was served hot rather than cold. Also when you dip the calamari, the sauce just runs down instead of staying. Because of that I asked for cocktail sauce, and it was a much better dipping experience. I asked D how his sandwich was, and he said it was pretty good and huge.
All in all I had a good time at Roland’s. I thought the dishes were really good and plentiful. When I now think about my lunch options in the future, Roland’s will be on top of my list.
As you can tell, I have not really updated my blog for the past several months other than one post in December. I have been very busy with running obstacle course races, work, and other things. Among those other things is mentoring a 9 year old boy named J through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program. I had always wanted to mentor kids, but just never had the opportunity or the time to do it. Last year, I decided to pursue it since I had the time for it. So far, it has been a great experience hanging out with J and mentoring him. We have done various things together such as rock climbing, going to the science museum, having video game night, and the like.
A couple months ago, I was hanging out with my buddy DG at a bar that I can’t remember at the moment. Somehow the topic of Canada came up, and we both decided that we were going to take a weekend trip to Canada in November. We ended up going to Niagara Falls and Toronto. Surprisingly Niagara Falls is not too bad a place to go to late fall even though it was cold as hell. It helped that not many people were there. Word of advice to everyone; don’t go to the Guinness Book of World Records museum. For 13 dollars it is a rip off and you can look up all the stuff for free on the Internet.
Front of the restaurant. I like how it’s modern and simple.
A few months back, I ate at Ramen Bar and did a review of them. The food was pretty awesome, and will certainly go back in the future. When I came out of the restaurant, I noticed there was another noodle bar across the street called Everyday Noodles. I never noticed this place before; so it must have been just new at the time. I’m sure Ramen Bar was “pleased” that another noodle shop opened up on their street. That’s not a bad thing of course because it forces both restaurants to be at their best since they are competing against one another. In my Ramen Bar post, I rated the restaurant a perfect 5 out of 5. Will I rate Everyday Noodles exactly the same?
Before I moved to Etna, I lived in East Liberty for over 3 years. It wasn’t the greatest neighborhood by any means, but I enjoyed my time living there and could walk to many places fairly easily. The Quiet Storm Vegetarian and Vegan Cafe was walking distance from my apartment, but I never went there during my stay in East Liberty. At the time, I had no desire to give the restaurant a shot because I wasn’t really into vegetarian food at the time. Fast forward to now, and I’m more open minded about vegetarian/vegan food thanks to a few friends. With that said I finally had the opportunity to go to the Quiet Storm.