A “Nu” Adventure, or, The Advantages of Living in Squirrel Hill

We set out last weekend to check out a restaurant that we hadn’t been to yet, Everyday Noodles. We were excited, we had done some research online and had some ideas about what to get, and we had Anna and her booster seat and we were all set.  Unfortunately, I had a lot of work to do over the weekend and I was hard at work all afternoon, so we were also setting out about half an hour later than we had initially planned, getting to the restaurant right around the prime time of 6:15.

When we got there, people were waiting outside in the chairs on the sidewalk.  Multiple large groups of people.  There was a 30 minute wait. And thirty minutes doesn’t work when you have an antsy toddler.

And so, we walked. Where else could we check out?, we asked ourselves. There’s a new ramen place, but that would be a little tough for Little Miss to eat. The new Thai place looked too fancy, and Sun Penang also looked pretty busy.  Then Chris suggested a place we had been talking about a few weeks ago, a place that has been around for a while now but that we’ve never had a chance to check out: Nu.  They call themselves a “Modern Jewish Bistro.”  So, not really having any idea what to expect, we turned down Murray and went to check it out.

And I am so glad we did! I’ll say it was “unexpectedly delicious,” not because I didn’t think they would do a good job with the food, but rather because we went on a whim and with absolutely no expectations or ideas about what to get. And it was wonderful! It was more casual, a little tongue-in-cheek, and our server was friendly and fun. They were running brunch specials for the weekend, and everything looked great. I had a tough time deciding!

Chris got a smoked meat sandwich, piled high with tender, flavorful meat.  Sometimes corned beef and things like that can be a little chewy, but this just melted in your mouth. I got a brunch special (though I don’t think I would have wanted it as an actual morning food): an open-faced sandwich with carved turkey, tomato, thick-cut bacon, and cheddar-hollandaise sauce with a side of shoe-string sweet potato fries. The bacon was delicious, the turkey was tender and flavorful, and even the tomato was fresh and juicy.  Everything was so well done, I was really impressed!

We also ordered a plate of kishka, which our server described as a Jewish stuffing. It was more like a loaf than a stuffing, I would say, though, because I (obviously) didn’t get the chunks of bread that I think of when I think of stuffing. It’s matzo meal mixed with pureed vegetables like celery and carrot, grilled and topped with gravy. We could really taste the vegetable puree in it, making it a little more savory that we expected. It was great, and Little Miss couldn’t get enough of it.

I was sad we couldn’t try dessert (grilled cinnamon babka with apples? Or chocolate babka with ice cream? Yes, please!), but again–antsy toddler puts some limits on your dining experience. With casual fare that was so tasty, though, I look forward to going back again!

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