Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Introducing The Curioso Cuff!

Attention ladies! I have a new, fun accessory for you! On behalf of the founder and designer, Pittsburgh-native Robin Randall, I'd like to introduce the Curioso Cuff!  

photo used with permission

At first the Curioso Cuff looks like an opalescent white "mood ring" for the wrist, but with a quick click, it turns into a miniature light show with three settings. The woven cuff is free of nickel and lead, battery charged, and adjustable. 

What I find to be so appealing about this attractive bracelet is that it serves as both an ice breaker and a conversation starter. Not that I have any trouble with either of those, but sometimes even the most social of butterflies needs some illumination. Who wouldn't want to discuss such a great piece, especially when mesmerized by the patterned lights? Exactly! 

Personally I think that these are great gifts as well as being a fun option for bridesmaids to wear at a bachelorette party, sorority sisters to wear at an event, or party gals to wear at 21st or 30th birthday festivities. Furthermore, Light Up Night, First Night Pittsburgh, the Three Rivers Regatta, a concert, or even a night at Sky Bar are all now incomplete without this bracelet! 

Curioso Cuffs are only $34.95 (plus tax and $3 shipping); there is a "buy one get one for $20" fall special through October 31st. If you have any questions, you can email at

Monday, October 5, 2015

Frankly Speaking

Franktuary is more than a pleasant play on words; while I won't claim that it's a religious experience with tubular meat, it's certainly a pleasant play on the notion that anything classic can be divine albeit unorthodox.

The food truck (@franktuary) and Lawrenceville location (3810 Butler Street, 15201) of Franktuary are well-known at this point (the original location in the basement of Trinity Cathedral shuttered its doors in 2014); the Market Square location (115 Forbes Avenue, 15222) is now open! It is in this location that I spent some time with friends on Friday night for the purpose of this review.

The Market Square location is much smaller than its Lawrenceville sister, with an entrance that directs patrons into a line for immediate ordering. With a bar to the left, seating that favors single diners, and windows that look out onto Forbes, Franktuary is definitely catering to the people-watching lunch crowd.

There were six folks in our dining group, and between the six of us (myself, JAS, BAD, CLS, APD, and WNJ), I think that we tried a well-rounded sampling of what Franktuary has to offer even though we did not try the poutine or salads:

(served on a potato roll, with vegan and gluten-free options available; Standard w/beef natural casing for $3.5; Grass-Fed w/beef natural casing for $4; and Vegan tofu for $3.75)
New Yorker | Buffalo
Korea Town
Chicago Imposter
Texan | BLT

  • New Yorker (+$1, house kraut, onion sauce, brown mustard)- This was a delicious option that reminded us of a high school football game frank's more mature cousin. 
  • Buffalo (+$1, bleu cheese dressing, wing sauce, celery)- Eye catching and mouth watering... unlike the city of Buffalo. Kidding.  
  • Koreatown (+$2, bleu cheese, kimchi, Korean bbq, cilantro)- The most interesting item on the menu with the least favorable review as the combination of ingredients worked better in theory than in practice.   
  • Chicago Imposter (+$2, relish, onion, yellow mustard, tomato, pickle spear, banana peppers, celery salt, poppy seeds)- This frank can impose on us anytime. Highly recommended, especially if one favors a little brine and a lot of texture! 
  • Texan (+$2, grass-fed beef chili, sharp cheddar, jalapeƱos)- Worthy enough to secede from the United States and for its own more perfect union. Kidding. 
  • [the special] BLT (+$2, housemade bacon, spring greens, tomato, chipotle ranch)- This was the fan favorite; in our opinion, the BLT should be a regular fixture on Franktuary's menu as it was quite close to perfection with its chunky bacon and creamy, spicy ranch. Oh my. Oh my.  
Sides ranged from pierogis to chili to slaws.
Pierogis | Fries

  • Pierogi (3 for $5, 6 for $9.25; garlic aioli or sour cream)- Although pricey and small, these were delicious and were crispy enough on the exterior to be eaten without utensils. I opted out of the aioli and sour cream to fully taste this quintessential Eastern European item, finding that it needed neither condiment at all. 
  • Fries ($4, hand cut with garlic aioli or ketchup)- These weren't anything noteworthy, but they succeed at getting the job done. 
Lastly, it must be noted that Franktuary offers ten beers on tap as well as local libations from favorites like Pittsburgh Winery and Wigle Whiskey. Try the Church Wine Punch ($7) if are feeling frisky and/or the always pleasing Boylan Sodas ($2) if you are behaving.

Franktuary Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

(3.4 stars, 3.4/5)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


It finally feels like fall, and I am thrilled that I can wear "upper body denim," boots, and infinity scarfs every day of my life without consequence. I even got a hot chocolate (skim, no whip) today because I knew that I wouldn't sweat uncomfortably in the process of drinking it. This month I am looking forward to reviewing a few restaurants, the opening of Fluhme Glam Bar, a chili cook-off with my friends, and Halloween (wait until you see Mojito's costume!).

September was a blur of back-to-school mayhem, Sundays spent with PSB, hip pain, Labor Day fun at Sheldon Calvary Camp, the start of junior high swimming season, visit(s) with my Kansas relatives, the Steel City Big Pour, Diner en Blanc, and my debut as Miss Hawaii at my first Miss America themed party (sadly, I did not win... but there's always next year!).

A few thoughts on September before I sign off:

  • Holy spicy tomatoes Batman! If you have yet to try a variation of Sriracha ketchup, I highly recommend that you do. Dip some kettle chips in it and boom! 
  • I have written two articles on Urban Cashmere that have been published so far: "Book Clubs are Always in Style" and "The Art of Dating Oneself".
  • My most recent pieces in PDCDC's The Downtowner covered Pittsburgh Winery and the upcoming opening (10/19) of Poros
  • The premieres of all of my favorite shows were everything that I anticipated... Empire might have been my favorite of the mix. 
  • I just plowed through The Girl on the Train and I've moved onto The Good Girl. Apparently I have an affinity for unreliable female narrators, despite my inability to remain calm during suspenseful plotlines.  
  • I have learned that I have developmental hip dysplasia in addition to my multi-directional labral tear and paralabral cyst. This means that there is no immediate solution for my hip issues, and that I have another appointment with yet another doctor at the end of October. 
As I have always said when ending one of these posts, thank you for reading and continuing to read The Steel Trap. August was another successful month regarding our number of hits; we are nearly at 297K hits overall and progress remains consistent (and organic)! That's right. I don't buy popularity. We are still in the top 10 on zomato (formerly urbanspoon)! As always, thank you for "liking" The Steel Trap on facebook, following @The_Steel_Trap on Twitter and @The_Steel_Trap on Instagram. Lastly, if anyone has anything that they would like me to cover, or a restaurant for me to review, please send me a message. I am always open to suggestions (you can take SAA's lead because she calls me with them at least once a week)!

Helloooo October!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Afternoon Commute

Well, it's Friday. And this means that you might need some music. Enjoy!

Song: "Stitches"
Artist: Shawn Mendes

Song: "Firestone- Live Acoustic Version"
Artist: Kygo featuring Conrad Sewell

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The First World Problems Of HGB & MAB cont.

There have been thirty-six posts of this nature; not surprisingly I continue to accumulate many contributions from family and friends in addition to the ones that MAB and me experience on our own. It all begs the question: Is life in the first world getting to be too hard for us? Well, yes. Yes it is. I actually think that the more time that one spends in the first world (i.e. the Lexus Club at PNC Park or Vineyard Vines or Nemacolin Woodlands), the more first world problems arise.

As always, you should know that anything posted on facebook and Twitter is totally fair game. It's just too easy for me to pluck your first world problems from there and drop them here on The Steel Trap. I have screen shots for days. Note: Just because these are written in first person point of view, doesn't mean that they are mine. Or does it? You decide.
  • On average, I get fifteen promotional emails a day from retail stores. But Pottery Barn has to be the worst. Who needs two different promo codes from the same store every single day? There are only so many indoor AND outdoor decorative pumpkins and nautical throw pillows and monogrammed stockings and sculptures made from real-actual-wooden-sticks-found-in-nature that I can buy. 
  • It took five minutes for my Twitter app to load and I could tweet at all... just like the Pilgrims crossing the Atlantic on the Mayflower. 
  • I found this book online for $4.99 but I had to pay $7 in shipping. 
  • Writing a play synopsis of my play is actually harder than writing the play itself. 
  • If you're traveling internationally and your passport is valid within three months of expiring, it won't be considered valid in many countries. Such a last minute realization will require you to drive to Philadelphia or D.C. to apply for a renewal in person five says before driving again to D.C. to catch your actual flight. Not that I had to do that or anything... 
  • I played too much Super Mario today and now I have "Nintendo fingers." 
  • Since 2011 I have had my employment listed on facebook under what I thought was just a random group called "Private," so I didn't have to put where I actually worked. Since I have a new job I thought I would click on it... and apparently it's an adult content media group... adult content media group meaning porn distributors. AND IT'S BEEN MY "EMPLOYER" SINCE 2011. 
  • My son wants to go to a Penguins game this year so I just checked ticket prices. And my checking account barfed. 
  • Why why why why why why why was Google Docs blocked at work? Why? 
  • When am I going to learn that if I comment on a picture from eight years ago, it will show up on everyone's facebook timelines? 
  • RIP iPhone 5. You took a bath today. Lots of quality pics and contacts were lost. Hopefully people will message me if they feel that I'm relevant in their lives. 
  • Against my better judgement, I signed up for ShopRunner so that I could get a purse from The Limited within two days. Granted I was desparate because I needed a white purse for Diner en Blanc. ShopRunner is a third party service that provides Amazon-ish shipping options. The purse came in four days. 
  • I really have a problem. I am getting my wisdom teeth out tomorrow and I am freaking out. I was literally tearing up while writing notes to put in my kids' lunches like it would be the last notes I ever write. 
  • The hospital never sent my MRI results to my doctor so I waited for two weeks to find out that I have a multidirectional anterior labral tear with a paralabral cyst and a possible superior labral tear from an injury that I cannot recall. SURGERY. REHAB. 
  • We've had several people ask if they need to send back RSVP's for our wedding. Yes. Please. Whether you're coming of not, we need them. Why would we pay for send RSVP cards if we didn't want people to send them back to us? 
  • Fun fact. The out bound Fort Pitt Tunnel is closed. It's taken me an hour to get from Regent Square to get to the tunnel. And then another hour and a half to get to Carnegie. 
  • There's nothing like buying an expensive gift and finding out that it's completely awful. Keurig 2.0 is absolute garbage. 
  • Every day I am afraid that I'll finally run into a celebrity and I won't have enough storage on my iPhone to take a selfie with them. 
  • Thank you, someone in my family for removing all of my AP Calculus notes from my binder and throwing them in the trash can. Not like I wanted them or anything. 
  • The moment when your skirt gets caught in an escalator = the moment when you have to "Hulk" up and rip it out so it doesn't rip off of your body in front of thousands of people. 
  • I'm literally so stressed because I cannot decide what's more outrageous... that the hosts of The View made fun of that nurse, or that people actually watch The View
  • My husband and I left a bag at the port when we went on our cruise at the beginning of August, and we just noticed that it was missing yesterday (a month and a half later). To our credit, it wasn't with the rest of our luggage in the designated spot, but still... this is pretty bad. Two of my favorite Lilly Pulitzer dresses and my favorite heels were inside!