As the leaves start changing and the air gets a little chillier, you might have a hankering for some fall-themed foods and drinks. If you live in the Pittsburgh area, I’ve got you covered with some delicious suggestions for satisfying that craving without getting a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. For those outside of the Pittsburgh area, these could serve as some inspiration for your fall seasonal menu.

(in no particular order)

1. Jungle Pumpkin Curry @ Pusadee’s Garden on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, PA

If getting tickets to Luke Bryan feels like a hard thing to get, just try to get a reservation to Pusadee’s Garden, it is right up there with chip chop ham! Luckily for me, I somehow was able to walk-in and snag a seat with less than a 5-minute wait.  

Okay, let’s talk pumpkin and curry! The chicken is cooked perfectly and adds a great sweet touch to the heat given in the curry dish that the herbs bring to the table.  They do warn it is a spicy dish, luckily for me, I love spicy foods! I also like sweet and although it may not be a pumpkin, the Kabocha Squash from Japan is a real treat! The cook, Buzz, informed that once harvested the squash turns sweeter not starchy, like traditional squash. If you’re looking for a spicy and sweet curry dish, Pusedee’s Garden Jungle Curry is the one.  They also have a vegan option, called the Pumpkin Curry with cauliflower and eggplant, and tofu, Brussel sprout sand mushrooms.

2. Pumpkin Risotto @ Fig & Ash on E Ohio Street in Pittsburgh

This pumpkin risotto takes sweet pumpkin and a classic risotto up a notch! The sage oil ties together the goat cheese, crushed walnuts, and butternut squash so well that it is near impossible for you to put your fork down! It comes in a large and small plate size, please do yourself the favor and get the large!  

When speaking to the owners about this dish, they kept the dish humble, explaining the chef took what they had and wanted to make a seasonal dish and create this. This clearly shows the chef’ skill and knack for capturing a great tasting risotto with a sweet butternut squash.  

Soon to be released at Fig & Ash is their fall cocktail menu! Rumor has it from the bartender they are days away from the release. If you have seen their cocktail list and their entertaining names (I.e. TOTO, WE'RE NOT IN PITTSBURGH ANYMORE), you know we are in for a treat!

3. Various Sweets @ Oakmont Bakery on Sweet Street in Oakmont, PA

If Willy Wonka needed inspiration for his chocolate factory, I am sure Oakmont was on the list! Growing up in Oakmont, I have seen this place grow enormously and for good reason... so many delicious memories (which is their motto)!

For the fall, pumpkin lovers have plenty to try: Pumpkin Gob, Pumpkin Cupcake, Pumpkin Spice cookie, Pumpkin mini cheesecake, and if that was not enough, they threw in a Pumpkin Muffin!  

My Top 3 were the Pumpkin Mini-Cheesecake, Pumpkin Gob, and Pumpkin Cupcake. The pumpkin cheesecake takes on the classic cheesecake with a hint of pumpkin!  The Pumpkin Glob served cold – they mean it – is a sticky sweet, delicious pumpkin dough with cream cheese icing. It is light, sweet and delicious! Lastly, the Pumpkin Cupcake’s pumpkin spice batter, pumpkin moose filling, vanilla butter icing, orange icing, and butter cream leaf and stem make for a dessert all ages couldn’t resist!

4. Pumpkin Spice White Russian @ The Pub at 333 on Allegheny Avenue in Oakmont, PA

This Pumpkin Spice White Russian goes a notch above the rest with the Pumpkin spice cream and the Caramel Graham cracker rim created by their bartender, Will.  

The premise behind this drink really was to make a delicious seasonal cocktail, with exceptional flavor while still being a cocktail (you can taste the 2 oz of vodka as it’s not all sweet) and make it quick enough for all the bartenders to make on the fly of a busy night.

5. Pumpkin Pie White Russian @ Steel Mill Saloon on Grandview Ave in Mt. Washington, PA

Another white Russian... but this time, Pumpkin Pie!

This cocktail captures the seasonal flavor with a recipe that is simple enough to make at your next holiday party!  Kayleigh at Steel Mill Saloon mixes together this flavorful drink with a vanilla vodka, Kahlua, pumpkin liquor, and cinnamon garnished on the rocks.  It was creamy with the pump liquor and sweet with vanilla liquor all while smelling cinnamon garnish as you enjoy!

Honorable Mention: Pumpkin Pie Martini @ Off the Rails BBQ on Allegheny River Boulevard in Verona, PA

A spot known for their BBQ, Mac and Cheese, and my favorite, the chicken drum sticks.  They also have a group of bartenders who enjoy turning on the flavor when it comes to creative cocktails.  This was released earlier this week while they were closed.  So, I will be trying this out later this week to see if margarita season is able to extend into the fall!

If you're in the restaurant business, you know firsthand that it can be difficult to obtain ingredients right now, so you may be wondering how to take care of your regular back-office tasks while making sure seasonal dishes can be pulled together. With Hospitality Innovations, our web and mobile app, you can take care of inventory, ordering, reporting, and team management all on one platform. The product was developed by former and current hospitality professionals with the goal in mind to make hospitality management easier. If you're interested in learning more, check out our website here or schedule a no-stakes demo here to go over the product!

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