Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room

139 7th St. Pittsburgh, PA 15222(412) 281-5700properpittsburgh.com

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Proper indeed. I mean I knew they probably had game when I saw that a Brooklynite had given them five stars on Yelp, but I gotta give mad props to Proper for a slew of killer pies. Not to mention good salads and their candy bacon, which is to die both for and from. We only did take out though, so I can’t speak to the décor or service, but resounding praise is in order for the crust, sauce, toppings and sides.

Starting with the highs of the pies, I’d rank the prosciutto with Turkish figs and feta right at the tippy top, and that’s not just the honorary Turk in me talking. It really was harika (Turkish for “The Best”), so maybe it is the Turk in me talking.

A close second would be the Yelp revered Carnivore made with ample helpings of meat, obviously. But this pie is more about quality than quantity, which is why it was so good. Also, a pie with sausage and pepperoni is normally about as oily as the Exxon Valdez, but not this one. The Carnivore knows how to keep it under control. Respect.

In third I’d go with the Mediterranean pie, made with whole olives (not sliced), artichokes, arugula and feta. It’s like a Greek salad on top of a pizza and it’s, like very good.

And bringing up the rear for me would be the old staple, the Margherita. It’s good, but compared to the other pies, it’s a bit of a snooze. And I’m not just saying that because I’m incapable of appreciating the simple beauty of a Margherita. It’s just that when you distill a pizza down to just sauce, cheese and crust, all three have to be that much more impressive to impress.

But speaking of impressively simply things, Oh Lordy was the candy bacon that and then some. Two boxes of it disappeared no sooner than they hit the table, like dipping a cow in the piranha-infested Amazon River. Which will only make my next sentence laughable, because the salads were actually very good too, but after candy bacon, what are we talking about? Well, what we are talking about is an apple, walnut, dried cranberry and feta salad that far surpassed most pizza joint expectations. In fact, Proper did that handily across the board, and I’m not just saying that because it’s in Pittsburgh… Okay, that’s a flat out lie. I am TOTALLY saying that because it’s in Pittsburgh. Nicely done Proper. Consider me officially stupefied.

4 teeth

Momofuku Ssäm Bar

207 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10003(212) 254-3500momofuku.com

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While I didn’t actually eat AT Ssäm, I did eat FROM there, thanks to a little site called trycaviar.com. For those of you who know seamless.com or grubhub.com, it’s basically the same thing only instead of trying to offer a ton places they focus on quality vs. quantity. Which means you can order delivery from some pretty awesome places… like Momofuku Ssam Bar. So, here’s what we ordered:

We went with three mains and three sides and shared everything. Of the mains the only miss was the pork shoulder wrap. It was bland by comparison to it’s brother from another mother, the lamb wrap. It was moister and much more flavorful than the pork. But both seemed to be adorned by the same Korean/Thai accouterments (I know it’s supposed to be Korean, but the use of peanut feels more Thai).

The other main was also pretty special. Apparently a dish so popular Momofuku serves it at more than one of their restaurants. It’s made with sausage and rice cakes and it’s packing some serious heat (pictured). Highly recommend.

And since we’re talking highs, the spicy potatoes are a must. Best I’ve ever had. Blows away the typical small plate you tend to find at every tapas restaurant from LA to Madrid.

The broccoli is also good, but compared to the potatoes they are at least two flights down from Heaven. And same goes for the bean salad granted it might be three flights down.

So a strong 3 knives for Ssam and a weak 5 for trycaviar.com, because while it is definitely awesome it is also pretty friggin’ slow. Meals take, on average, over an hour for delivery. So if you’re famished, trysomethingelse.com.

3 teeth