In the beginning of February, I planned on taking a road trip to Philadelphia to see my best friend from college, Julia. Our itinerary included the Mutter Museum in Center City, Evil Genius Brewery in Fishtown, and tacos (of course) at a place Julia recommended. Unfortunately, I could not make it to Philly due to last minute circumstances so Julia came to see me instead. That is just 1 in 1,348,568 reasons why Julia is an awesome best friend.
Julia and I went to Duquesne University so Julia is familiar with some of the Pittsburgh neighborhoods. One area that was not heavily trafficked for us during our college years was Mount Washington. Now, as a local, I try to take Julia to places I like up on The Mount.
One of my favorite local spots is The Summit. I chose The Summit for many reasons. First, their hand-crafted cocktails are amazing. Every ingredient is fresh and the selection of cocktails can pretty much meet anyone’s need. There are so many to choose from and the menu changes from time to time to keep up with the spice of variety. If you come during the weekday from 5-7pm, all the house cocktails are only $7 which is a good deal for the high quality drinks they make and serve. Secondly, I love the atmosphere at The Summit. The cozy cocktail bar nestled in the corner of Shiloh Street welcomes all customers. Inside, the dim-lighting and candles, exposed-brick walls, minimal seating, chill music, stack of board games, and no televisions displayed, creates an intimate, yet casual trendy feel.
Julia was very pleased with this place. She loved her first cocktail along with a bowl of the roasted garlic and herb seasoned popcorn.
After our round of Happy Hour discounted cocktails and bites, we both moved on to ordering the pork confit al pastor tacos from the large plate section of the menu. This part of the menu was very limited, but I am glad to see a taco option making the cut.
In the midst of working on our second round of prestige cocktails, our tacos arrived at the bar. The al pastor tacos were dressed with grilled pineapple, pickled red onions, and creme fraiche. A cup of tomatillo salsa came on the side.
The sweet pineapple and crisp pork is what took over the majority of flavor and texture with this taco. The pickled onions also added some crunchy texture and were not at all overpowering. I thought the pork was overly crispy and too greasy as I could feel a layer of grease on my lips. With pork confit, the pork is cooked and submerged in its own rendered fat as well as cooled and stored in its fat. I know this method probably led to such a savory crisp meat, but it was too hard around the edges for my liking. The creme fraiche, which is thicker, richer, and less tangy than sour cream added to the fancy indulgent feel of this taco. I also used a good bit of the tomatillo salsa as it was fresh and complemented all the other toppings on this taco. My only other complaint besides the pork crispiness was that I think this taco could benefit from a toasted flour shell instead of a very soft flour shell.
Because this was a decent taco and I was not mad that I tried this taco, I would give it a 2 out of 5. There are some texture components that seemed off for me with the pork confit taco. However, this taco does not affect my love for the drinks and atmosphere at The Summit. I will continue to swing by for more happy hours with the locals and the visitors (like Julia).
Price: 3 tacos with tomatillo salsa and no sides for $12.