By day, Pete Kurzweg practices law. By night, he’s the manager and co-owner of the Independent Brewing Company in Squirrel Hill. He’ll often do both at the same time. But the Independent’s kitchen doesn’t open until 5 p.m. most days and lunch, as we all know, is the most important meal of the day, right behind breakfast and happy hour. So last week, Kurzweg left his laptop in his office at the bar and went down to Regent Square for a midday meal at Istanbul Sofra. We caught up with him as he prepared to DJ a Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week event at The Brew Gentlemen.
“The last time I DJ’d was at the Carnegie Museum of Art, and I forgot my headphones, so I was doing everything by feel,” he says. “It might have been my best set ever.”
I started with baba ghanoush and grape leaves. An important note on baba ghanoush: the eggplant should be grilled before it’s pureed. I feel that with a lot of current babas, you don’t get that, but theirs really succeeded in retaining that flavor.
Main course, I went with the adana kebab. It was between that and the chicken kofte, but chicken is the vodka of meats. This was very well-cooked. Kebab is basic. It needs to be well-seasoned and it needs to be well-grilled. This one hit the balance dead on.
I’d only add that as a general matter, I feel like we need more places to get kebabs in Pittsburgh.
While Craft Beer Week is winding down, the brewery collaboration beers will stick around until they’re gone—including a scotch ale Pete and Matt Kurzweg brewed with the guys at CoStar, which they’ll debut at the Independent today.
Check out other Pittsburgh foodies’ Best Meals.