Jess Keyser

Union Pig & Chicken owner Jess Keyser is hard to pin down. When she’s not working at her restaurant, she’s traversing Asian store aisles, watching WWE wrestling with her boyfriend, getting into “who wore it better” battles with a 3-year-old, and snuggling with her dog Cotton.

Oh and the girl loves food. So naturally, we wanted to know what her best meal last week was.

The best meal I ate last week was from this Uzbek restaurant in Mt. Washington, Kavsar. We went there because my boyfriend—who has a knack for finding diamond-in-the-rough places—drove past it one day and saw that their tagline was “It is impossible to imagine Uzbek food without meat.” Naturally, we had to go.

We got a little bit of everything on the menu with meat in it. Everything was amazing and the descriptions just don’t do the dishes justice. For example, we had what was described as “stuffed eggs”—which really are like deviled eggs but the filling also had meat and bean sprouts. And the egg itself was pickled. It was so good.

The Uzbek bread was amazing—it had a terrific crust and flaky center. Shaped like a flat donut but not fried, it was rustic with an awesome crunch.

We had two soups – one had meatballs and noodles and another with broth and carrots. The broth in both was just rich and perfect.

Then we had vareniki—which essentially are the best pierogies ever. They are little potato dumplings that are not doughy, the filling was just rich and savory.

We had all the kebabs. They whip cheese and eggs in their meatballs–so good!

But I kid you not, the best thing I had was this little side salad that they serve. It was shredded carrots with dressing. I don’t know what they put in it but it was magic. I ate about a quart of it.

Want to know where Pittsburgh foodies love to eat? Check out other Best Meals.

Leah Lizarondo

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.