The “ice ball man” is back on the North Side. Gus Kalaris has been manning the bright orange ice ball cart under the rainbow-colored umbrella near West Park on Pittsburgh’s North Side for seven decades. The stand opened for the season on Wednesday, just in time for the Pirates home Opener.
On the menu at Gus & Yiayia’s are three items: flavored ice balls, peanuts and popcorn.
“I love the mix of people that come here,” said Kalaris on Thursday, as he shaved the 50-pound block of ice for what seemed like a never-ending line of customers. “They come from all walks of life and from all over the city.”
Kalaris turned 89 in January. He took over the business in 1951 from his father George, who started it in 1934. “Yiayia,” the Greek word for grandmother, first referred to Gus’ mother, Pauline, and then his wife, Stella, who died in 2016.
Supply chain problems are reaching into a far corner of the business universe: Ketchup packets.
After enduring a year of closures, employee safety fears and start-stop openings, many American restaurants are now facing a nationwide ketchup shortage. Restaurants are trying to secure the tabletop staple after Covid-19 upended the condiment world order. Managers are using generic versions, pouring out bulk ketchup into individual cups and hitting the aisles of Costco for substitutes.
“We’ve been hunting high and low,” said Chris Fuselier, owner of Denver-based Blake Street Tavern, who has struggled to keep ketchup in stock for much of this year.
The pandemic turned many sit-down restaurants into takeout specialists, making individual ketchup packets the primary condiment currency for both national chains and mom-and-pop restaurants. Packet prices are up 13% since January 2020, and their market share has exploded at the expense of tabletop bottles, according to restaurant-business platform Plate IQ.
Midwestern Pet Foods, the same company that issued a big recall in January due to aflatoxin, has recalled products from 10 dog and cat food brands due to the potential for salmonella contamination. The brands involved include CanineX, Earthborn Holistic, Venture, Unrefined, Sportmix Wholesomes, Pro Pac, Pro Pac Ultimates, Sportstrail, Sportmix, and Meridian. The full list of recalled bags is very long.
The recall is specifically for food produced at the company’s Monmouth, Illinois facility. Though, those products were distributed nationwide and to online retailers. You’re looking for an “M” in the date code on the bag that designates it as having been produced at the facility where salmonella was detected, per the company’s recall. The lot code information is printed on the back of the bag and looks like this: “EXP AUG/02/22/M1/L#.
Laura Hileman, 18, said the weekend offers a special glimpse into how one of Somerset’s biggest products is made: “You get to see how maple syrup producers run their show – how the trees are tapped, the sap filtered, boiled down – and then you get to taste it.”
The event continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For a list of participating camps, visit somersetcountymaple.org.
There’s a new grab-and-go lunch option in downtown Greensburg.
Henry’s Hoagies opened March 2 in the downstairs space at 16 W. Second St.
For now, the food service is all takeout, offering eight sandwich options, four varieties of pepperoni rolls, two daily soups, snacks, fresh fruit, yogurt and bottled drinks.
Owners Henry Johnson and Holly Hull hope to add indoor dining when pandemic restrictions ease.
The Greensburg couple is new to the restaurant business, but not strangers to preparing food for others to enjoy.
They honed their hoagie-making skills by supplying party eats to their friends and families. They also cook for family holiday dinners.
There are few foods that evoke as much passion as pizza: Ask a dozen people their favorite and you might get a dozen answers, and everyone has a fierce loyalty for their neighborhood pizza shop.
Matt Porco, Donnie Amman and Chris Clark can rattle off theirs without batting an eye — Casa Del Sole in Aspinwall, Don Campiti’s in Dormont and Napoli in Bridgeville, respectively. It’s a combination of that neighborhood nostalgia along with a career’s worth of experience at top restaurants in Pittsburgh and New York that they’ll bring to Doughbar Pizzeria & Rotisserie, slated to open March 17 at 1831 E. Carson St. on the South Side.
Though whole- or half-bird rotisserie chicken and wings will be on the menu, pizza is the star.
“When you look at Pittsburgh’s pizza historically, we have a neighborhood pizza culture. We are bridging the gap between that and a full-service restaurant with the experience we have, the ideas that we can present, and creating an environment that is a destination,” said Porco, executive chef and co-owner.
“We’re hoping that you can get a little bit of nostalgia,” Clark said. “We’re incorporating ideas from the pizzas we liked when we were young.”
“Our menu is going to be a riff on a neighborhood pizzeria,” Mr. Porco said.
The new pizza restaurant from Matt Porco, Donnie Amman and Chris Clark will open on March 17.
The Quaker Oats recall is specific to the brand’s 3.03-oz. bags of Quaker Rice Crisps in Sweet Barbecue Flavor, which may have undeclared soy in them. According to the recall notice, individuals with soy sensitivities or allergies “run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume the product contained inside the recalled bags.”
In total, 4,550 bags of the potentially contaminated chips are being recalled, each bearing UPC number 0 30000 31984 0 and a best before date of May 29, 2021, written as “MAY29213M21” on the packaging. The affected products may have been sold in the following 21 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
While no illnesses associated with the consumption of the aforementioned Quaker Oats product have been reported, the FDA says that anyone with the recalled snacks at home should return them to their point of purchase to receive a refund or contact Quaker Consumer Relations at 800-367-6287.
A shuttered Mexican restaurant on the South Side will soon be home to pizza and rotisserie chicken.
Doughbar Pizzeria & Rotisserie restaurant has taken over the space on East Carson Street, with a planned opening ona March 10.
The menu will feature 14- and 12-inch pizzas in New York style and pan options, rotisserie chicken served as whole or half bird with options for wings or tenders, stone-baked hoagies and a selection of starters, salads, sides and sauces.
It’s owned by former chefs at Downtown Pittsburgh’s Sienna Mercato and Emporio: A Meatball Joint, Matthew Porco of Franklin Park and Donnie Amman of Dormont. They teamed up with Chris Clark, general manager of Superior Motors in Braddock.
The city state has a dizzying array of vending machines, dispensing everything from cacti to pizza.
The reasons vending entrepreneurs are trying out new products are as varied as the businesses themselves.
Manish Kumar, the managing director of Norwegian Salmon, says machines offer him his own retail space. That means his frozen products aren’t placed next to fresh salmon, which is more popular here.
Mervin Tham, one of the three founders of EasyMeat, whose machines sell the Wagyu beef, thinks the variety is expanding because the barriers to entry are fairly low.
“It’s a low effort way of testing a product, especially if you’re starting a business of your own. And generally there’s some interest towards the automated retail culture that you see overseas, like in Japan,” he says.
An estimated one billion people worldwide suffer from protein deficiency, according to the Cornell Alliance for Science.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said rich countries like the United States should move to “synthetic beef” to address the global protein problem.
The co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and chair of the investment fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures made the comment during a discussion about his new book “How To Avoid a Climate Disaster,” Technology Review reported.
The book discusses how technology can be used to slash emissions in “hard to solve” sectors like agriculture.
Pittsburgh has a really vibrant and underrated cocktail scene. Bartenders across the Steel City sling inventive and delicious drinks for fairly affordable prices. While Pittsburgh’s legacy is a “shot and beer” town, that narrative is evolving rather quickly.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Allegheny County Health Department ordered the Boston Market in Shadyside to close after it was deemed an imminent health hazard.
An inspector found standing water at the front cook line, employees were walking on cardboard to pass through areas and the restaurant was cited for sanitation and pest issues.
The health department’s website will be updated when the closure is removed.
It’s a debate with no clear-cut answer: Which Pittsburgh pizzeria rises above the rest?
Patch is celebrating National Pizza Day on Feb. 9 by asking people where they go for their favorite pie. What follows is a list of some of the more popular pizzerias in
town, but it isn’t meant to be inclusive. Feel free to mention your favorite place in the comments section even if it isn’t mentioned here.
- Aiello’s, Squirrel Hill.
- Beto’s, Beechview.
- Caliente Pizza and Draft House, Bloomfield, Hampton, Mt. Lebanon, Monroeville, Aspinwall.
- Driftwood Oven, Lawrencville.
- Fiori’s Brookline, McMurrray.
- Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon.
- La Tavola,Mt. Washington.
- Mineo’s, Squirrel Hill, Mt. Lebanon.
- Spak Brothers, Garfield.
- Vincent’s Pizza Park, North Braddock.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Allegheny County Health Department shut down two businesses this week.
Donnadieu’s on Fallowfield Avenue in Beechview was ordered to close for being open and operating without a valid health permit.
Catie’s Cakes in Munhall was also ordered to close for the same reason.
The health department will update its website whenever the closure orders are removed.
What Subway bills as tuna is a “mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna,” according to the complaint.
Filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of two California residents, Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin, the lawsuit contends the two “were tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing,” based on its labeling.
Hundreds of pets have died and others have been sickened after eating recalled pet food manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods, according to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) updated recall notice.
As of Jan. 21, the FDA became aware that more than 110 dogs died and over 210 others fell ill after consuming food from the company’s Oklahoma plant “that may contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxins.”
However, as new information becomes available, “case counts and the scope of this recall may expand,” the FDA said.
Earlier this month, the company expanded its recall “out of an abundance of caution” to include pet food products containing corn that were manufactured in the company’s Oklahoma manufacturing plant and have an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022.
The recalled popcorn, which was sold exclusively at Publix stores in Georgia and North Carolina, is printed with UPC code 70175 06021 and has a use by date of March 29, 2021, as well as bearing the letters Z1 E1. If you have the affected popcorn at home, the FDA recommends either throwing it away or returning it to Publix to receive a refund of your purchase.
Chick-fil-A says it is “kicking off the year by offering a grilled version of a spicy favorite.”
Starting on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, fans get a Grilled Spicy Chicken Deluxe sandwich for a limited time.
The grilled version of the sandwich “features grilled chicken marinated in a spicy seasoning served on a toasted multigrain brioche bun with Colby-Jack cheese, lettuce and tomato.” A creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce was “created specifically for the new sandwich.”
FDA investigates potentially fatal levels of aflatoxins, poisons produced by mold that’s not necessarily visible.
Midwestern Pet Food is expanding its recall of dog and cat food sold online by retailers nationwide as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigates potentially fatal levels of aflatoxins.
Midwestern, based in Evansville, Indiana, is broadening a prior recall to include all pet foods manufactured in the company’s Oklahoma plant containing corn and having an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022.