Ling Wollenschlaeger, founder and owner of Pittsburgh Fresh, began her career with a degree in economics followed by a decade of corporate employment. She has since moved on in pursuit of a life full of delicious food made with fresh, local ingredients. After completing culinary training at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and several years of working with Pittsburgh’s top chefs, she began her own venture, Pittsburgh Fresh.

Pittsburgh Fresh is a meal delivery service that serves the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, offering a range of Paleo-friendly meals made with locally sourced fresh ingredients. After leaving her hometown in China for the U.S., Ling was shocked by the amount of processed foods Americans consumed. Now, her goal is to “help busy professionals and active men, women and families achieve optimum nutrition by minimizing processed foods and maximizing the consumption of fresh vegetables, fruits and lean protein.”

The business has expanded to include catering and a pop-up dinner series that works in conjunction with several other local Pittsburgh businesses. It’s fair to say that Ling is making a positive impact on the burgeoning Pittsburgh food scene. Here’s the scoop on her best meal last week:

Last weekend during our date night, my husband and I stumbled across a new restaurant in Lawrenceville—Roasted Barrelhouse and Eatery. The place has a welcoming, casual atmosphere with a friendly serving staff. We were able to chat with one of the owners and he told us they specialize in house-made, slow roasted meats accompanied with various sauces and au jus. This was attractive to me because I appreciate restaurants that are willing to put in the time and effort to make the best product. Also, who doesn’t love a good piece of meat!?

We started with the Arsenal Meatball appetizer. These pork meatballs (which I thought was a nice, innovative spin compared to beef) were smothered in house marinara and topped with a parmesan/ricotta mixture. The marinara had just enough bite and was well balanced with the right amount of cheese. From there, I had the “Larryville Combo” that consisted of half of a lamb sandwich and their Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho. The lamb was cooked perfectly. You have to be careful with lamb so it’s not too fatty and/or greasy and their chef did a great job. It was well seasoned and was served with an au jus dipping sauce. The crunch of the toasted bread, combined with the flavors of the meat and au jus made a wonderful combination. The sandwich was topped with fresh arugula and a cucumber yogurt sauce. The gazpacho was very refreshing; perfect on a hot summer night.

We topped off dinner with a few cocktails. My personal favorite was The White Lady. I am not a fan of gin by any means, but this was absolutely delicious. I had to stop myself from having one too many. I look forward to frequenting this spot again and would highly recommend it to others.

Caroline is working towards completing her Masters in Food Studies at Chatham University. She is an avid runner with a penchant for tiny spoons.