Last Thursday night Greg and I attended a Pittsburgh Food Blogger meet-up, hosted by Mike from Foodburgh, at Bocktown Beer and Grill. We too shared the same apprehension as Nicole, but figured why not give it a go and so we went.
We made the drive out to the ‘burbs, winding around all the classic American chain stores and restaurants and found Bocktown, tucked away in a rather small, dead looking strip mall in the land of strip malls, Robinson. We walked in and bee-lined it for the bar… it was a Thursday after all. Greg got a pumpkin beer, called the drunken pumpkin, and I got strawberry wheat ale. We found our group and introduced ourselves. A few minutes later, Lauren joined us and she ordered the same pumpkin beer that Greg got but hers was rimmed with sugar and cinnamon. YUM! I definitely got one of those for my second drink and it was AWESOME. Greg got a crème brule beer for his second and it was very sweet and almost tasted like coffee he said.
…anyway, on to the food! It was the night of the first pens game and so they had some pens inspired menu items. Not to mention that their regular menu is quiet big too so it was really tough to make a decision. Word from our fellow diners was that everything was good, even the salads, and particularly the burgers were great. One of their specialties is also their hand cut fries, which you can order with a variety of toppings. Greg wasn’t too hungry so he ordered a small order (which was anything but small) of fries topped with beer cheese and jalapeños. I ordered the Geno Burgher, which was a burger on marbled rye with sautéed onions, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing from the special menu. This “burgher” was inspired by Evgeni Malkin, affectionately known as Geno in Pittsburgh who is Russian, hence the burger’s toppings. I cut it in half and gave Greg half of my half and ended up taking the other half home for Friday’s lunch. Between the beer, ¼ of the burger and a ton of his fries I was stuffed.
A few notes on Bocktown. First off, I was very impressed with the service. Our waitress was really fun and Bocktown even gave our table a large, specialty bottle of beer to try out, which was really tasty. The menu was big and it sounded like almost everything anyone has ordered off it is solidly good. According to Mike, they also try to be as local and sustainable as possible and even the takeout containers were mindful of these concepts, how nice. Lastly, Bocktown is into the whole social media thing and is pro bloggers, which is very cool. The only negative for me was the drive out there, but even that wasn’t too bad.
The experience of meeting up with the fellow bloggers was really great too. It rekindled some food blogging excitement for me and inspired me to resume writing our restaurant reviews again since we were talking about so many great restaurants. I am already looking forward to the next meet up and the potential for a really great meal!