Why hello there Pennsylvania

24 Mar

Greetings from the Keystone state! Lincoln and I made it to our final destination (read: Pittsburgh, not death) last night around 830P and it was one long day!

I woke up earlier than planned on Wednesday so I packed the car, made sure everything was turned off (because even though I have an awesome memory, I can’t tell you if I turned my curling iron off or not) and were soon on the road.

I picked up a bagel + cream cheese from Brueggers with my free coupon and a Death charge from Caribou. A death charge is basically a redeye-a coffee with a shot of espresso also with it. Plus I like saying Death charge, I feel really bad ass when doing so (or feel like I am a Star Wars fanatic)

I love the marketing person for Caribou, their napkins and cups always bring a smile to my face

As soon as I knew it, it seemed like we were in WV, the border is only three hours away but I always feel like it should take longer. Lincoln was relaxed, I had some good jams playing and it was an all around gorgeous day.

Lincoln and I stepped out at the New River Gorge Bridge Visitors Center  to get some fresh air and take a look at the scenic view. I’ve driven by this a number of times but I’ve never stopped so no time like the present, right?

And it was a bit windy out

Soon, we were in Summersville, WV to meet up with one of my friends from college who lives there. Um, there’s not a lot going on in Summersville so when I suggested meeting up for lunch, she asked if Bob Evans was ok. I am not a huge fan of the chain restaurants but A) They aren’t too many non chain places in Summersville B) I haven’t been to Bob Evans since my college days and was excited to me reunited with Bobby.

I got the same thing I got eight or so years ago, the Wildfire Chicken Salad.

It was as delicious as I remembered it and I really like how they offer a savory size if you don’t want a full salad.

I got schooled in the bathroom

Seriously, how I am 31 and didn’t know this? You bet your ass I’ll be singing this from now on!

After that, we stopped by Wal Mart so I could find some WVU gear for cheap. I refuse to go to the bookstore in Morgantown and spend $30 on a t-shirt. That is just insane. So I stuck to my frugal ways and checked out Wal Mart but sadly, they didn’t have anything. I did find some nifty Nicholas County gear (the county where Summersville is located) and was nothing short of excited

Lincoln and I hit the road yet again after that and our next stop was Morgantown, where WVU is located and about two hours north of Summersville.

I went to Morgantown and was happy to see it was a ghost town. Hooray for them being out on spring break because I honestly could not deal with more traffic at this point. It was so surreal, driving around and seeing how everything had changed from the time I’ve been there. The old, crappy house I used to live in was finally condemned and driving down frat row brought a smile to my face. Oh to be young and very stupid again!

I met up with one of my sorority sisters who lives in town and we went to Lavender Cafe. This is a newer place and is located where a Chinese take out place used to be. It’s very unassuming but quite cozy when you walk in, decked out with a lavender door and all and was hopping for a Tuesday night in Morgantown while the area was under a tornado watch. Oh, I forgot that part, didn’t I? Yeah, we just won’t even go there with how the driving went. 

I liked their menu because not only was it one type of Asian cuisine–they had Thai, Chinese and Japanese food. My friend said their sushi was amazing and as you all know, I am team sushi all the way however I didn’t feel so confident about ordering sushi in Morgantown. I’m a sushi snob, there I said it! Not feeling like a gambler, I stuck with old faithful and got the Chicken Pad Thai.

It doesn’t look like much but the portion sizes were out of control–so much food in such a small plate. I ate every bite up and couldn’t have been happier. It was one of the best pad thai’s I ever had and they even listened to me when I said I liked it spicy. The spice was there but didn’t overtake the peanut flavor which happens most of the time with me.

My friend got the Godzilla Roll and I admit, when I saw it I had a bit of food envy. I tried and roll and again, it was fabulous. In the off chance one of you is ever in Morgantown, WV, I highly suggest Lavender Cafe!

About an hour and a half later, we were finally in Pittsburgh at my friend’s apartment and greeted with a much-needed glass (ok, three glasses) of homemade Sangria

The flowers on the glass matches her tattoo if you’re wondering about the picture.

And mimosa cupcakes! The way to my heart is via coffee, sushi or sweets so I had to try one. If I didn’t I would be a rude guest and I am all about the manners. Plus combining two tasty items like mimosas and cupcakes doesn’t hurt either.

They fantastic with a moist cake and sugary sweet frosting. My friend is an amazing baker and I seriously need to take some tips from her. She does birthday and wedding cakes on the side so if any of you Pittsburgh peeps need someone to baker some goodies for you, let me know and I’ll get you her info.

After I scarfed down the cupcake, I had to check on little Lincoln to see how he was doing with his surroundings. Lincoln is very skiddish (but not Yiddish) and gets nervous around new folks and places. I looked and found him prancing around sniffing the heck out of everything and getting used to his new home for the next few days.

As for this morning, even though it’s my “vacation”, I woke up at 5A. WTF? I couldn’t get back to sleep so figured I may as well roll with it and start the day. Lincoln was right by my side and did his early morning stretching to wake up

And then that is when my life changed forever thanks to this contraption.

*Enter in a choir of angels singing*

Ok, so I’ve heard about the Keurig, how amazing it is, blah blah blah but just thought everyone who told me that full of it. My friend showed me how to use it last night and I needed some coffee this morning and here we were. She had a nice selection of coffees o try ranging from Caribou to Kona to Emeri’s coffee but I settled on this

I waited for it to warm up, dropped the coffee cartridge in  (not sure if that’s the real name but I like how that sounds) and pressed the button and it started brewing

Less than two minutes later, I had a cup of hot coffee in my hands

Bottom line: I need a Keurig in my life. STAT!

Do you have a Keurig?
Is there anything you’re a snob about? For me, I am  definitely a sushi snob and kind of a coffee snob as well.



43 Responses to “Why hello there Pennsylvania”

  1. Elin @andserenitytoo March 24, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    Sounds like you got a really good welcoming in Pittsburgh!!
    I’m a fish-snob… I don’t ever order fish unless I’m in a seafood restaurant, since it needs to be fresh and it’s easy to get wrong. I’m also a coffee snob like you! Needs to be good coffee, right amount of milk, correct temperature etc… A girl must have standards! 😉

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      I am right there with you on the coffee, it is all about having the right temperature, sweetness, amound of milk, etc and have them all gel together.

      I can definitely see why you would be a fish snob, thats one of the foods I don’t joke around about.

  2. dianacheung March 24, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    i just told glenn we are getting a keurig when we move to denver. Hate my shitty coffee maker..I want fancy sh*t to start my day…so happy you have a few days,hitting up friends, being a bum, and eating glorious eats!! enjoy yourself and ask her for that mimosa cupcake recipe!

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      Dirty. But then again, I can use it when I visit woo hoo!

  3. vixter2010 March 24, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Fun trip! Cupcakes are always good and they look delicious, i’m very jealous 🙂

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      I’ve never met a cupcake I didn’t like.

  4. Violet Monkey March 24, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    I’m definitely a coffee snob…
    Back in the day I used to manage a Caribou Coffee; and I learned so much about coffee, that I simply can’t drink the swilly stuff anymore. Blah. It’s Caribou all the way for me. I can still do blind taste-tests and tell you which roast is which. But anyways… (I’m a coffee nerd!).

    Btw – the coffee with espresso at Caribou is called a Depth Charge.
    But I like the sound of Death Charge! 😉


    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

      Ahhhhh good to know–thanks for the info! I always say a red eye when I order it at the Bou but then they correct me and with all the machines running plus me having horrible hearing, always thought it was Death Charge! I’m still gonna use it though b/c it sounds gangsta!

  5. Kace March 24, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    Mimosa cupcakes? Need recipe STAT. And I’m a snob about condiments/toppings. Namely, Keller’s Butter or Heinz ketchup. No substitutes, I can taste it.

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

      I am the same way with ketchup. I tried buying the cheaper stuff for awhile but Heinz is the best.

  6. bluberrypickin March 24, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    that bridge looks SUPER scary!!! Love the sunglasses!!!

  7. OliePants March 24, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    Can I have a bite of that bagel please? PS I am determined for Wally and Lincoln to meet!

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

      I am all for planning a four legged friend meeting! Or they can skype 🙂

  8. bigcitybabycarrots March 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    We have one at work and I love it. I also love and miss Caribou coffee. I used to study at one in DC all the time when I was in school. I wish NYC would get their act together and get one!

  9. Jen@jensdaily March 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Holy balls, you went over that bridge?! I would have needed a vallium and tranquilizer to do that!!
    Oh man, that chicken pad thai looks freaking amazing!!!

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

      Hahahah, it’s not too bad. At least I never thought it was until I saw it from the overlook and was like “Holy crap, that’s what I’ve been driving over for a # of years??”

  10. Valerie Furnas March 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    Love, love the Lincoln pictures. Nice muffin.

  11. This Italian Family March 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    I don’t remember where or when, but I learned early on to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” while washing my hands. Gotta love little tips like that 🙂

  12. Amy @ Second City Randomness March 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Our leasing office has one. Sometimes when i’m out of coffee or randomly going through, I make sure to use it. 🙂

    And campus bookstores are horrifically overpriced. Unless you’re a student with student charge and the bill goes to the ‘rents. Then it’s ok… and preferred. 🙂

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

      I would definitely go over there and use it if I had the option. Especially with how they are jacking up your rent.

  13. Alyssa March 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I LOVE Keurig coffee! My sister has it, and I always go bananas over it when I visit. 😉

    I was always told to sing Happy Birthday twice while washing my hands!

  14. janetha @ meals and moves March 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Brueggers! We used to have those here and don’t anymore. Aw man, I loved that place. Side note: Link is the cutest.

  15. Monique March 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    When i first moved, my roommate was a buyer at MACYS. we had the BEST kitchen appliances. And we had the Mac Daddy Keurig. When he moved, he took the damn thing with him. So i scoured the net for an amazing deal and scored my special edition keurig for $100. It was the best $100 i have ever spent. I dont like drip coffee much anymore. I like my fresh K cups (not cartridges my love LOL) and I get the refills on Amazon.
    I am a snob when it comes to food in general. When cheeseeater and I were talking (cuz we had a figth monday and havent spoken since) he brought me a huge container of “Thai Chicken Noodles” from Applebees. I gave him a stink face. one, for giving me HIS nasty leftovers and two- its from APPLEBEES.
    Dude tells me all the time im a snob.
    I guess its time to own it.

  16. peacebeme March 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    I am definitely a coffee snob! I love Caribou coffee.

    I want a Keurig!

    And I would say mimosas are one of my favorite things on earth, delicious paired with cupcakes!

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

      You got that right, I love the drink and love cupcakes so the two together were heaven 🙂

  17. runninginpinkproject March 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    I do have a K-Cup Coffee maker and its pretty much the best invention ever in the history of ever-dom. I just got some caribou k-cups so I am jazzed about that. I am a bit of a sushi snob too. I mean Ill eat less than stellar sushi but Im a freak about it. I’m also a hummus/guacamole snob.

  18. Jenn @ Peas & Crayons March 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm #


    Seriously! I have to have one every day!

    Hooray for good eats, funny napkins, funny bathroom signs, and just awesomeness! im so glad you’re having a blast! ❤

  19. genesis March 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    we have an office keurig and everyone just buys their own K-Cups (cartirdges). my fave is the cinnamon roll and vanilla coffee. i swear the keurig is the best thing since sliced bread but I cant justify buying it for home. not just yet.

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

      See, I could totally be about an office one like that. I like the sound of cinnamon roll coffee.

  20. Autumn @ Good Eats Girl March 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    OMG! you have to get a Keurig. I cannot live without mine. It’s seriously the best thing ever! I’m a coffee snob. I never used to be…but have become one over the years!

  21. Heather (All Sizzle No Steak) March 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    All that food looks delish! And I friggin love that napkin :).

  22. According to Gus March 24, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    Yay for road trips. Loved all the Lincoln photos, obvs. He’s such a good boy!

    I hope you have a fantastic time on your trip! You’ve now made me crave sushi, bagels, coffee and cupcakes. 😉

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

      Thanks, he did amazingly well in the car. Just one of the reasons I love that little pup!

      Hope you got at least one of those in your schedule 🙂

  23. lookingupwhileslimmingdown March 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    1. I don’t think I’d order sushi in Morgantown either.
    2. Jackie makes quite the host…sangria and mimosa cupcakes…I’m coming to visit her. 🙂
    3. I sing Happy Birthday when I was my hands.
    4. Hope you’re having fun!!!

  24. leashieloo March 24, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    I bypassed the Keurig for a Tassimo, but that’s only because I prefer to drink cappuccinos and lattes, and the Keurig can’t make foam. But seriously, they are lifesavers.

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

      I’ve never heard of that brand but want to look into that as well!

  25. Natalie @ While I Breathe March 25, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    i have a single cup brewer keurig and love it… its just the right size for my kitchen, sadly i think i make more hot chocolate in it than anything else lol… can’t wait to hang out tomorrow!!!!!!

  26. thefitacademic March 25, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Never heard of mimosa cupcakes, but sounds delish! Looks like a fun little trip!

  27. Lori March 26, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    I’d coveted my sister’s Keurig last summer when I visited so hubby got me one for Christmas this year. It’s one of the few things that I’d save if I had to run out of my burning house!

    • simplyshaka March 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

      Well that says alot, I am definitely looking into it. I am all about the convenience and washing out the grinds from my coffee filer and cleaning the coffee pot is one of the most annoying tasks to me.

  28. adrianna March 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    our similarities never end tiff! my aunt and uncle live in nicholas county (in canvas…which is a stone’s throw away from summersville)…and we used to go to summersville lake every summer when we stayed w/ them. went to the bridge a lot, too! my cousins went to nich county high school…i love that their wal-mart sells those tshirts, haha.
    love the hoody, of course. my bro and sis are home now from spring break, so i figured itd be a ghost town when you rolled through. it is nuts how much motown is changing, isnt it? they keep me informed of all the new buildings, demolishes, etc. gotta try that joint when i go visit them. is it on high street?

    hope pittsburgh is fun and productive! tell the rivers i said hey : )

  29. erica@fashionmeetsfood March 29, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Looks like you had a fabulous time in PA. You and the pup are way too cute!


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