Share This Page

Authors schedule talk about Pittsburgh's top cuisine at Hampton library

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:02 p.m.
Pine Creek Journal
The authors of the guide in the photo are Mandy McFadden, left, Julia Gongaware, Laura Zorch and Sarah Sudar. Submitted
Pine Creek Journal
This is the book jacket to Food Lovers' Guide To Pittsburgh.

Oh, to eat out for a living.

“We all would probably love that,” said Sarah Sudar, co-author of the “Food Lovers' Guide to Pittsburgh: The Best Restaurants, Markets and Local Culinary Offerings” (Globe Pequot Press; $14.95).

Four local women wrote the sold-out, 318-page book. It covers more than 220 eateries and includes a number of the establishments' recipes.

The authors — all of whom have full-time jobs — will talk about their passion for all things palate-pleasing at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24 in Hampton Community Library.

Admission is $2.

“We all like to eat out a lot ... None of us have a culinary background,” said Sudar, 29, of Hopewell, Beaver County.

A University of Pittsburgh employee, Sudar helped launch the literary quartet responsible for the “Food Lovers' Guide to Pittsburgh.”

The women also write about food and eating out at eatPGH.com, their blog, which led to their book.

“I think we're all on some sort of diet,” said Sudar, a communications specialist in the University of Pittsburgh Division of General Internal Medicine.

Sudar's co-authors are Julia Gongaware, 30, of Bloomfield; Laura Zorch, 29, of Shadyside; and Amanda McFadden, 29, of Mt. Lebanon.

“I'm the cheeseburger girl of the group,” said Gongaware, social marketing manager for UPMC Health Plan.

“Blue cheeseburgers are my favorite.”

Zorch is the educational programs assistant in the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council's Office of Public Art.

“I love anything with cake and cookies,” she said. “I'm sort of the sweets expert.”

McFadden — digital engagement manager for PPG Industries — confesses a fondness for ice cream, pizza and the Asian chicken salad at Applebee's.

“I feel guilty sometimes, going to chain restaurants,” McFadden said. “I think ‘I should be checking out something new.'”

Sudar and McFadden are 2002 graduates of Hopewell Area High School.

“We liked going out to eat. We liked talking about it,” Sudar said. “We said, ‘Why don't we just start a food blog.'”

McFadden then connected with Zorch at Westminster College. Sudar met Gongaware at Point Park University.

The women now meet weekly to plan and review their dining adventures, and all spend about 10 hours a week on their part-time jobs as a phantom restaurant reviewers, according to Zorch.

“We don't use big words. We just tell you how we honestly feel,” said Sudar, whose favorite local eateries include Alla Famiglia in the Allentown section of Pittsburgh; Meat & Potatoes in downtown Pittsburgh; Beto's on Banksville Road; and Clifford's Restaurant near Evans City, Butler County.

The women's upcoming visit to Hampton Community Library will highlight a meeting of the library's Cooks-n-Books group, which gathers monthly to swap cooking experiences and sample each others' recipes. About 15 women of many ages attend the group's meetings.

“We pick a theme. We make food,” said Suzanna Krispli, director of Hampton Community Library

Limited copies of the “Food Lovers' Guide to Pittsburgh” will be available for purchase at the authors' talk. Advance registration is requested by calling 412-684-1098.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.