Red Orchid Thai Restaurant

Thai Food Red Orchid

Before I moved to the North Hills of Pittsburgh, I wasn’t at all familiar with the area. My only experience with the area was the Ross Park Mall on the central McKnight Road. One pre-move renovation day, two 26 year old guys working hard to install laminate turned hungry. I had been attempting to remove the most hellishly suborn wallpaper for a solid 6 hours, so I turned to trusty google to discover take out options in the area. I’m not the pizza or sub kind of gal, and I really wanted to reward myself for battling the impossible to remove wallpaper, so I looked for Thai. My search lead me to the Red Orchid on Babcock Boulevard, less than 10 minutes away. Our take-out Thai more than satisfied, definitely the reward 3 reno crazed people needed. My BF and I have been hooked on Red’s Orchid’s Thai food ever since. They’ve recently expanded their dine in area, which my BF and I finally took advantage of this past Saturday.

We started with, what else other than, the classic default Asian appetizer of Crab Rangoon.

Red Orchid North Hills

My go-to main dish order is the Green Curry with shrimp, which consists of broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, eggplant, basil mixed in a green curry paste & coconut milk. It is delicious, but seriously spicy. I order the lowest spice level at a 1 and it stills instantly makes me cough, my nose run and indigestion instantly flare… but I still LOVE the taste. Seriously it’s delicious, even if I can only handle a bit at a time. Usually when I order take out I combat the spice by adding more coconut milk or yogurt. I am sissy when it comes to spicy, but truly even my BF thinks it is spicy for a level 1.

north hills green curry

My BF tried something new, the Thai Panang curry with coconut milk prepared with broccoli, carrots and bell peppers. He ordered a spice level 5, so I was too scared to try it myself.

north hills thai food

We also ordered my other favorite dish, the Pineapple fried rice. Its stir fried with egg, pineapple, cashews, carrots, onion, scallions, and raisins which all combine to create the most delicious nutty flavor. Once I start eating this dish, I have a hard time stopping.

north hills pineapple fried rice

I would really encourage anyone in the North Hills area to step up their takeout experience by ordering from the Red Orchid, or to stop in for the dine-in experience.

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Pittsburgh North Hill’s Breakfast Spots

North Hills Breakfast Spots

On the weekends, I love to sleep in and go to an affordable typical American breakfast with my BF. Not an overpriced brunch in the city with champagne or bloody marys, but a relaxed breakfast with no makeup and sweats.  Living in a suburban area, the North Hills of Pittsburgh, we have plenty of homey breakfast choices.

The Island Bean Coffee

island bean mcknight road
Photo from islandbean.com

No morning is complete without coffee. If you can’t already guess by my taste in wine, I love my coffee sweet and flavorful. I haven’t explored all the coffee shops in the North Hills, but my favorite so far is definitely The Island Bean. This is actually a small drive-through right off of McKnight Road by the new Block Northway. Their lattes can be customized through a huge lists of flavors. My favorite so far is the coconut cream, while my BF likes the Nutty Squirrel 🙂 Seriously an upgrade from the bitter lattes of Starbucks we are all used to.

Island Bean Menu

First Watch Cafe, McCandless Crossings

First Watch is a chain, but a very quaint modern farmhouse chic daytime cafe. Not only is the decor & color scheme farmhouse fresh, but the menu is vast with breakfast, brunch and lunch items. First Watch is known for using high quality,  fresh & organic ingredients with many healthy options and fresh pressed juice offerings.

I love their egg hash dishes. The “Skillet Hash – Parma” is two cage-free eggs atop fresh, seasoned potatoes, Italian sausage, house-roasted Crimini mushrooms, onions and tomatoes with melted Parmesan, Mozzarella and fresh herbs. It’s very filling, only about $13 .

first watch egg hash
Photo from First Watch’s Instagram Feed

Eat’n Park

I love a breakfast at Pittsburgh’s  family-owned restaurant chain Eat’n Park. As a teenager this is the place I would go with my friends after every jr high dance, sports game, or any weekend we couldn’t find anything better to do. We’d have fried appetizers, milkshakes and grilled stickies. Now I love to go for good, affordable coffee and pancakes on a weekend morning.

🙂 @eatnpark

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The Yinzer community is strong here, there’s just something so nice and comforting about coming to Eat’n Park and seeing the hard working employees & patrons, their Pittsburgh pride & friendliness is evident.  Their Caramel  Macchiato Latte, is definitely full of sugar, but it so delicious for a treat. A bonus on top is that it comes with a free refill, that I usually take to go. My go-to Eat’n Park is the one right in front of the Ross Park Mall (7370 McKnight Rd) the other smaller location down McKnight is very slow.

love you a latte ☕️

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I love @eatnpark coffees a whole latte ☕️ #PGWEEKLYFEATURE

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Comment and share with me what Pittsburgh area breakfast spots you love!

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Emiliano’s Mexican, A Love Affair

If you know me, you know I love Pittsburgh’s Emiliano’s Mexican restaurant. This obsession dates back half a decade when I discovered the Southside location via my college friends. If someone had a birthday we probably we’re getting out of the dirty South Oakland (Pitt’s off-campus housing area) and venturing to the Southside for divine margaritas and delicious food.

Post-college I moved about 2 blocks away from the Southside location. I used to joke that the SouthSide Works was the “most dangerous part of town” for me to live; since I was within 2 blocks of Emiliano’s, the Cheesecake Factory and Saga Sushi, as in close enough to be dangerous to my waistline and bank account.

Here I am in the summer of 13′ glowing from an Emiliano’s margarita bliss.

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I spontaneously celebrated National Tequila Day in 2014, aka in my world a valid excuse to get my BF to go to Emiliano’s.

Celebrating national tequila day at emilanos 😝😝😛 with @pciarrocchi7

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My whole love affair with a Mexican restaurant is actually unexpected because I don’t love tequila, nor do I eat beans, peppers, or anything at all remotely spicy. What I do love are chips. cheese, chorizo, and avocado, which Emiliano’s dishes are filled with.

I have two favorite dishes at Emiliano’s, the grilled shrimp quesadilla and the Choripollo. Emilian’s grilled shrimp quesadilla is unlike any I’ve had elsewhere. The shrimp are sweet, tasty & meaty for a $12.99 appetizer, but the best part to me is the cheese. I’m unsure what type of cheese Emiliano’s uses (it’s yellow) but it is delicious and sweet as well. This dish is perfect for me since it’s not an overwhelming amount of food. I can indulge in my margaritas chips & salsa too without feeling too guilty 😉

Source: Emiliano’s Yelp Page

 

My other favorite dish is the Choripollo, a marinated chicken breast topped with chorizo sausage and a delicious white cheese sauce. For 14.99 this dish is amazing. It’s a huge chicken breasts doused in the cheese & sausage mixture, served with rice, tortillas, guacamole salad and more taco cheese. I always have plenty of leftovers with this order.

 

Source: Emiliano’s Yelp Page

 

Their margaritas on the rocks with a salt rim are my all time favorite drink, besides Moscato. I crave them, ask my BF. These margaritas are smooth and refreshing not sickly sweet like many bar versions can be. It is a good deal to get the pitcher of margarita on the rocks, if you are with at least one other person and you each plan on having more than 1 margarita. Think of it as an investment 🙂

 

 

This blue margarita below is a bit of an upgrade, made with DeKuyper Blue Curacao.

Margaritas

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One time I ventured into another specialty drink, although I sadly don’t remember what it was.

Rainy Saturday afternoon at Emiliano's

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My boyfriend explores the menu more than I do. His recent favorite dish is the Chipotle Pork Wings, three  slow-smoked pork ribs basted in a sweet and spicy chipotle-bbq sauce, served over a bed of rice and black beans. For 14.99 this is another amazing quality meal full of flavor.

You can't buy happiness, but you can buy BBQ Pork Wings.

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Last February Emiliano’s hosted a fun Valentine’s themed promo where if you shared your date pic to social, you’d be entered to win a prize package. Here’s our cheesy pose 🙂

Emilianos Mexican Pittsburgh

I truly love this place, it might be my favorite Pittsburgh restaurant. Anytime we are going to splurge and go out I always petition for Emiliano’s. Since we now live in the North Hills of Pittsburgh we will even visit the Cranberry Emiliano’s location.  Which makes me even more excited that Emiliano’s has announced they’re opening a location in McCandless Crossing! Now Emiliano’s will be all but 1o minuets away from me. I better start saving my meals out budget to prepare! I’ve already told everyone I know how excited I am haha 🙂

Emiliano's suburbia style #cheers

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