Pinball Perfection

2013-07-27 12.30.50Tucked away in a two-floor complex in West View, my first reaction to Pinball Perfection was “woah”. Then, “how do I start playing?”

Open since 1991, Pinball Perfection is the premiere spot in Pittsburgh to get your pinball fix. Or ogle over the 100s of pinball and other classic machines. The machines are divided up by era and theme, ranging from baseball to Flash Gordon. The earliest machines date back to the 1920s.

The top floor of Pinball Perfection is dedicated to gaming. The lower floor features a show room for sales.

Pinball Perfection has an eclectic feel, every corner you turn there’s a new game to be discovered. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable about the machines, and are happy to share the tips and tricks of their favorite games.

 

2013-07-27 12.25.36

Pinball Perfection is a unique place to spend a weekend night. The upper level is open Fridays from 7-10pm and Saturday from 12-5pm. Bring a couple friends and spend a few hours testing out your favorite games.

Don’t worry about bringing quarters here. An hour of unlimited play is $5, the entire day $10. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

The Tribune Review posted a slideshow of Pinball Perfection earlier this year. The photos barely give the place justice–there’s so much going on.

Pinball Perfection

(412)931-4425

231 Perry Highway

Westview, PA 15229

 

 

Restaurant Review: BOhèm Bistro in Seven Fields

The charming, rustic decor at BOhèm.

The charming, rustic interior at BOhèm.

You don’t need a plane ticket to Europe to feel like you’re there this summer–a quick drive to BOhèm Bohemian Bistro in Seven Fields can do just the trick. The rustic design and Euro-centric menu will leave diners feeling like they’ve left Pittsburgh for a bit.

The working fireplace (with the saying "alma, corazón y vita" written on it) is fired up in the colder months.

The working fireplace (with the saying “alma, corazón y vita” written on it) is fired up in the colder months.

Let’s start with the decor, which owner Markay Harlan proudly explains is both recycled and personal. BOhèm capitalizes on reusing elements to furnish the space situated next to Siba in a small strip mall. The restaurant is small, but comfortable, and bursting with character–much like small bistros in France.

The chandeliers are remnants of wine barrels, the seat backs are feed bags sewn together to create a cover, and decorative wood beams come from a 150-year-old local barn. The tables are rough cut wood, adorned with simple chairs, letting the plates speak for themselves. A close friend of Harlan crafted the corner hearth and it’s adorned with the phrase “alma, corazón, y vita”– soul, heart, and life.

BOhèm offers menu items not often found in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. With small plates meant for sharing, each diner gets a taste of the unique offerings, best described as fresh European tapas with a predominantly French influence.

Crispy Brussels sprouts with pancetta, parmesan, and balsamic glaze.

Crispy Brussels sprouts with pancetta, parmesan, and balsamic glaze.

The grilled brussel sprouts in balsamic and parmesan, dusted with pancetta, are beyond delicious, and, according to the servers, one of the most-ordered dishes. We had to stop ourselves from licking the plate clean when we had other plates coming along. Other small plates include bone marrow, escargot, and, another menu favorite, Prince Edward Island mussels.

Our salads were fresh, lightly dressed, and unique. The beet salad came with savory chevre, crispy pancetta, pea shoots, mandarin oranges, and red onions and was light yet tasty. The star of the mixed greens salad, with its fresh vegetables and farm fresh egg, was the pickled ramps, which our wonderfully attentive and friendly waiter Chris forewarned us had a strong flavor.

BOhèm’s menu features a section of tartines, crepes, and flatbreads, with a variety of styles prepared in one of the aforementioned ways. We opted for the fig and smoky moody blue cheese tartine with duck confit at the recommendation of Chris. Essentially an open-faced sandwich on French bread, the tartine was smoky, cheesy, and sweet, a delightful combination.

Bistro wine is served by the glass, in quatrinos, or by the liter.

Bistro wine is served by the glass, in quatrinos, or by the liter.

We were far too full to try any of the bistro classics, such as roasted chicken with andouille sausage or mac and cheese, but we did order a Nutella crepe from the dessert menu. The large crepe was filled with a light hazelnut chocolate mousse and topped with fresh whipped cream and a strawberry.

Aside from tasty food, BOhèm mimics European dining with their selection of over 100 wines. Harkening back to family vineyards, the restaurant offers liters or quatrinos of bulk Bistro wines, served simply in stemless glasses. With a vartiey of choices, diners can try multiple wines to accompany their many dishes, or choose a cocktail from the fully-stocked bar.

There’s also a charming outdoor area for diners to enjoy their meals.BOhèm has its invite-only grand opening reception on June 27 and will be open for both lunch (Monday-Friday) and dinner (Monday-Saturday) starting the next day. The staff and owners enthusiastically answered questions about the food, wine, concept, and decor. Our experience, from the food to the wine to the atmosphere, was great and we hope to check it out again soon!

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“Color Me Rad” Brings Fitness and Fun to First Niagara Pavilion

Color Me Rad

Color Me Rad (Photo credit: Perfectance)

Hordes of color-splattered runners took over First Niagara Pavilion yesterday, Sunday June 9, for the “Color Me Rad” 5k. The unique event drew around 16,000 participants total in the morning and afternoon sessions.

The national 5k event welcomes runner of all ages and experiences, the event was truly all ages from the kids running with their parents to grandparents running with their grandkids. “Color Me Rad” discourages participants to take the run too seriously, and instead enjoy the experience of having colored cornstarch thrown in your face.

Color Me Rad

Color Me Rad (Photo credit: Perfectance)

 

Participants are encouraged to wear as much white as possible to start, then coat themselves in color before the race’s finish. The course was lined with 5 color stations where runners were “color bombed” by volunteers wielding color powder. Sunglasses were distributed before the race to keep the powder out of the runner’s eyes.

The course was laid out over the pavilion’s parking lot with a portion inside the music venue. The terrain was mostly rocks and gravel, making it difficult for some participants, but the laid back atmosphere kept everyone in high spirits. Overall, the experience is a great introduction to running 5ks, and a great way to spend a beautiful day.

Portions of the registration fee went to benefit The Ronald McDonald house, and members of the charity served as volunteers during the 5k.

“Color Me Rad” is hosting another 5k in Morgantown, West Virginia September 7. Register early and save $20.

“Color Me Rad” in 8 sec. 

Best of the Fall Fests: Fort Ligonier Days & Brady’s Run Gear and Beer

In case you need a reason to get outside and experience fall in western PA this weekend – here are 2 great fall festivals that are just a short drive from Pittsburgh.

Fort Ligonier Days – October 12-14, 2012 @ Downtown Ligonier

  • Parade (Saturday Morning)
  • Reenactments of the battle of Fort Ligonier
  • Festival food – in my opinion some of the best festival food around
  • Craft vendors, kids activities and more
  • Read more about Fort Ligonier Days food in the Tribune Review here
  • Festival Facebook Page – facebook.com/FortLigonierDays

 

Gear & Beer Fall Fest – October 14, 2012 @ Brady’s Run Park

  • Hosted by the Ohio River Trail Council – proceeds will go toward bike trail development connecting the Montour Trail in Coraopolis to the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway trail.
  • Activities include a mountain bike ride, 15-mile, 35-mile or 50-mile road bike ride, 5K run/walk, kayaking and canoeing, Calland Arboretum Trail Tour, auctions, raffles, children’s bike rodeo & live music
  • Food, drink and free wine and craft beer tasting with proper registration!
  • More details – including race registrations – are available here – be sure to scroll way down on the page for the registration links.
  • Read more about the Gear & Beer Fest in the Tribune Review here.

Scottish and Scutching in the Laurel Highlands This Weekend

Highland Dancing

Image by AlxTheRed via Flickr

History lovers, hold on to your hats and pack up your wagons (station wagons) and head out route 30 east to the laurel highlands this weekend – it is a double header of cultural festivals.  We are often asked about what are the must-do events around Pittsburgh.  Both of these festivals are on our list of favorites.  And they happen to be on the same weekend so you can catch a double header of history celebration just outside of Pittsburgh this weekend.

First stop – break out your bag pipes and kilt for the Ligonier Highland Games – a day long celebration of Scottish hertiage.  There will be athletic events such as tossing the caber (throwing a big tree trunk) and the Scottish hammer throw.

Then  steer your wagon (or mini van) down 711 south to Stahlstown – time to celebrate the important fiber of flax.  Flax is what linen fabric is made out of.  The Stahlstown Flax Scutching Festival is the 2nd oldest Scutching festival in the United States.  They have been celebrating the scutching every year since 1907.  Yep, 1907 – so join them for the 105th annual Flax Scutching festival to learn about how the flax plant is turned into linen cloth and snack on some buckweat pancakes too.

Ligonier Highland GamesSaturday, September 10, 2011 @ Idelwild Park

Flax Scutching Festival – Saturday & Sunday, September 10 & 11, 2011 @ Stahlstown Flax Scutching Festival Fairgrounds

Here is a map that includes both festivals and 2 other places that you should consider stopping – Joe’s Bar in Ligonier has the largest collection of taxidermy in North America and the Pie Shoppe in Laughlintown has good sandwiches and pumpkin cookies. The Google location for the Pie Shoppe is not correct – the Pie Shoppe is right on Route 30 – directly across from the Ligonier Country Inn.