This weekend Andy and I headed out to Monroeville for Good Taste! Pittsburgh. We weren't sure until the day of that we wanted to go, so we couldn't get discounted tickets. However, when we were in line for tickets, a woman came up and gave us $3 off coupons. Score! THEN, another woman gave us a free ticket! We offered her money, but she said that she got it for free :) yay!
I am so glad we went - it was great!
I had never been to the Monroeville Convention Center before. It was a lot easier to get to than I thought. It was also a lot bigger than I thought. There were two huge areas, then a bunch of little rooms off of the larger areas.
Near the entrance, Giant Eagle had a very large area with samples and information.
Our first sample was a new ice cream flavor that isn't in stores yet, and it had pieces of cherry and chocolate. So good!!
They also had a variety of breads and dipping oils, juices, marinara sauce,
and an olive bar! I went for the giant green olive (don't know what it's really called).
We didn't miss the cheese guy! Well, we missed him actually carving it, but it was still there to look at and try :)
It was so neat. The cheese tasted great, too. He also had samples of the cheese tucked into a halved date. YUM.
Max & Erma's had a stand, and they were handing out chocolate chip cookies and either tortilla soup or pecan cranberry salad.
Bailey's makes coffee creamer (didn't know that) and I tried the Irish Cream. They are non-alcoholic, btw.
I realize that so far, I have only shown large companies' stands. The vendors were actually mostly small, local companies. It's just that they usually only had one person standing there, so it was super awkward to take a picture.
Sugardale was having a Bac-On, where local chefs were displaying their mad bacon-cooking skills.
Bacon Andy seemed to be enjoying himself.
Hot Dog Kelly was definitely having fun!
In the second big room...wine tastings! We picked up a glass each after showing our IDs, and got to tasting. There were about 15 wineries there, and they were all fantastic. The best part was, despite the crowd, each winery representative was great to talk to, offered advice for tasting and pairing, and would gladly answer any question.
I have had wine in the past from a couple of the wineries, such as Christian W. Klay Winery,
and others, such as Stonekeep Meadery, were new to me. They were all awesome!
After a couple of tastings, I was obviously no longer scared to take candid shots of the people working the booths :)
After the wine tastings, we headed to more booths to sample tasty treats.
Possibly my favorite samples came from Aladdin's Eatery. I had no idea until looking at their website just now that they are actually located in five states. I definitely thought they were a Pittsburgh-only restaurant. Oh well, their food still rocks.
So many things to try!
I tried the salad (tasted like tabouleh without the grains), hummus with hot sauce and pita chips, and stuffed grape leaves. It was excellent.
I bought a new pair of shoes from Target this weekend (probably the second pair I've bought in 2010...I just can never decide), and they were quite comfortable during the whole show!
We ended up staying for about two and a half hours. It was so much fun, and I'm really happy we decided to go. There were a lot of people there, but it didn't seem overcrowded at all. My only complaint was the abundance of styrofoam, etc., but I guess any other option would have been difficult to manage. The awesome thing was that at the end of the show, all of the leftover food was going to the Pittsburgh Food Bank...cool!
I hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend!