Photo courtesy of The Food Tasters.
Photo courtesy of The Food Tasters.
Photo courtesy of The Food Tasters.

When the founders of The Food Tasters launched their blog and social media accounts, they wanted a personal outlet to share their food adventures with friends and family. However, their unabashed enthusiasm for small, independent restaurants quickly caught on and they have evolved to become a source of recommendations not only for restaurants in the city but more so, for those outside the city.

As Eileen French of Revive Marketing Group says, the semi-anonymous group (some do know who they are!) has become a fun and instrumental fixture on the Pittsburgh Food Blogger scene. They literally put their money where their mouth is and encourage others to do so, too.

Their best meal last week is a classic Food Taster’s choice.

Best meal we ate last week was at the Freedom Farms Sandwich Shop on Route 8 in Butler. Freedom Farms runs a farmer’s market and across from that is their sandwich shop.

The food at the shop is everything locavores want—and in such an unassuming place!

They say they are “farm to fork” and they truly are. The produce is from the farm and the general manager (who is also the chef) builds his menu based on what’s available so they have as much ingredients from the farm as possible.

If they cannot source from their farm, they will source from other local farms. And what’s funny is that it is not because it is so trendy—it’s simply a way of life for them. It’s because they are farmers and that is what they do!

We go there a lot, but last week, we had the Horseradish Roast Beef Hoagie.

Shaved roast beef baked on a hoagie roll with melted provolone cheese topped with vegetables and horseradish sauce. And we had that with a macaroni salad.

Everything down to the salad dressings and mayonnaise are all house-made. They don’t have dairy cows but they do source their cheese as locally as possible and they make their own bread. All the meat is from their farm or local farms.

We stop there once or twice a week during lunch or dinner, because not only does it have good food, it also has a nice sit down area with WiFi, so it’s great place to get some work done.

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment. She is the Chief Veghacker, recipe creator and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food and food policy. She writes about the intersection of food, health, innovation and policy.