Monday, January 14, 2013

You Can Now Get Your Thai and Chocolate Right in Downtown

The corner of Penn Avenue and 9th Street just got a lot more exciting with the addition of two new businesses in the beautifully renovated building located at 901 & 903 Penn Avenue!  So the PDP staff decided to take a bit of an outing and check out this happening corner!
These new businesses were of particular interest to the PDP because the building itself is going through the PDP’s Fa├žade Improvement Program.
901-902 Penn Avenue - Home to Sinful Sweets and Nicky's Thai Kitchen

First we met up at Nicky’s Thai Kitchen.  Although they have yet to have an official Grand Opening, it is clear that Downtown Pittsburgh was ready for some excellent Thai Food to add to their dining options, as the restaurant was busy the entire time we were there.  First of all, the atmosphere truly transports you to Thailand, with lush artwork complimented rich, dark, colors on the walls, it is easy to forget you are Downtown.  The menu includes all of your usual Thai favorites along with some extra special Nicky’s dishes.  If you are familiar with any of their other locations, you will not be disappointed.

Nicky's Thai Kitchen
Since there were four of us, we were able to sample a nice variety of the menu including: fresh spring rolls and traditional egg rolls and chicken satay with a delicious peanut dipping sauce for appetizers.

Chicken Satay
Yellow Vegetable Curry

Next up - entrees: Brian tried the Yellow Vegetable Curry and had this to say – “I ordered medium and it was quite spicy and I liked the heat. As I did finish everything, can’t say it wasn’t good!”

Garpow Chicken Lad Kao
We also invited along our friendly photographer John Altdorfer, he tried the Garprow Chicken Lad Kao and stated “Everything about the dish spot on delicious. The generous portion of ground chicken with    fried garlic, bell pepper, bamboo shoots and jasmine rice blend well with each flavor standing out on its own. But the fried egg on top was a real treat. And the presentation is just gorgeous.”

Chicken Massaman Curry was up for Leigh who “really enjoyed the sweetness of the coconut and peanuts paired with the traditional Thai  spiciness.”  She was happy to have some leftovers!

Lastly Geof had this to say about his dish:  “I have eaten at a lot of Thai restaurants, including pretty much every restaurant in Pittsburgh that makes it.  I may go to one restaurant for my favorite red curry, choose a different restaurant for Pad Thai, and pick yet another place for Cashew Tofu.  After this meal, Nicky’s Thai is now my go-to place for Cashew Tofu- They got it right.  This version had a great balance of tofu to vegetables, and the sauce was the ultra-intense dark and spicy/sweet/salty style that makes me happy.  Plus, there was one lone Crab Rangoon perched on top of my rice- a very welcome stowaway.”
All-in-all, we can’t wait to go back.
New Sinful Sweets Customer
The only way to follow-up such a great meal, is a great dessert, so we popped next door to Sinful Sweets by Christopher George.  This chocolate shop specializes in handmade, gourmet chocolates.  There are some imaginative offerings, including chocolate covered bacon, and chocolate bars generously covered in coffee beans, as well as more traditional items including delicious chocolate covered toffee and chocolate covered strawberries. Although it was a cold day, we spied several people trying out decadent milk shakes.  We definitely put those on our “must try” list!

Delicious Peanut Butter Truffles
What a great lunch break!  Come on down to the Cultural District and check out these new businesses for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.

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