Brooks Broadhurst has spent most of his life thinking about how to get food from the field to the plate. For 20 years, Broadhurst has worked alongside his family at Eat’n Park, where he has focused on supply chain management and procurement. The job sent him all over the country (and sometimes farther) to source food and meet farmers.
It makes sense that Broadhurst’s new venture focuses on bringing great food directly to the people in his own community. Mt. Lebanon’s Block 292 will be “a seamless blend of restaurant, butcher and market.” Lamb, pork, beef and more will be provided through a partnership with John and Sukey Jamison at Jamison Farm, bringing an old-school community butcher to a neighborhood that currently lacks one. A small market will stock the essentials to make dinner at home, including produce and prepared foods. Or you can eat at the restaurant portion of Block 292, which will be run by Eliza Jamison (John and Sukey’s daughter), an accomplished chef who has worked at some of the country’s best restaurants.
Broadhurst and his team are currently transforming a former service station on Beverly Road into Block 292, which will open later this year. When he’s not swapping hydraulic lifts for butcher blocks, Broadhurst finds time for some seriously good eating.
I had a tough time thinking about my favorite meal this week. Being in the food and restaurant business, eating out or entertaining at home with food is simply part of our life. And while we have always enjoyed visiting new and exciting restaurants, we have a lot of good old favorites.
This past week I had spectacular tacos at Smoke, a yummy sandwich at The Vandal, great risotto at Six Penn, and a strong steak salad at Café Io. But I honestly had my best meal at our house.
It was our turn to host the Mt. Lebanon Girls Lacrosse team for their team meal. And while I like eating, cooking great food isn’t my strength. So I called on Chef Eliza to come up with the menu for 25 high school girls. And it was awesome.
She started with a spring pea hummus (cannellini beans, English peas and mint) with pita chips. We then moved on to a myriad of choices. A fresh green salad with homemade ranch dressing topped with local chicken grilled on the Big Green Egg (my favorite toy). This was followed by handmade pasta with either marinara or vodka sauce. Next was the feature: two choices of meatballs. Good thing we didn’t have to choose between either the pork and beef (with a little salami mixed in) or a spicy lamb and beef meatball. Of course, the beef, pork and lamb all came from Jamison Farm and had been cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce to make them firm but moist on the inside.
And I can’t forget the Asian-flavored chicken wings that served as a great appetizer (as well as a few girls’ lunches to follow, I believe) and the dessert of either a brownie or chocolate chip cookie bar. Pretty hard to top that!
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