While I have been in Cleveland for almost seven years, I spent most of my life a short trip
from Pittsburgh, PA. My family is still in the area, and I am an avid Steelers fan. When the Steelers made it into the playoffs, I knew I would be making the trek back home to watch the game(s). What better excuse to spend a few days in the city and try out some new coffee shops and restaurants?
B52 just opened in the up and coming Lawrenceville neighborhood. B52 is an abbreviation for the cafe’s location which is the corner of Butler and 52nd Streets. This is the second venture of Allegro Hearth Bakery creator, Omar Abuhejleh, and I think he’s onto something very special.
When I first walked into B52, I noticed the drop ceiling with reclaimed tin ceiling tiles and open brick walls. The layout and color palette was relaxing and quaint. The 32 seat cafe includes a full service coffee and espresso bar, as well as, small bakery and take out section. While waiting for a table, my mouth watered over the fresh baked goods including vegan cinnamon rolls, brownies, truffles, cookies, and more!
The menu has a Mediterranean theme, but it also includes some general vegan staples such as tofu scramble and buckwheat pancakes. The best part about the menu is that everything is made in house and prepared fresh!
I was lucky enough to get a table during brunch and tried my first Nitro coffee (it’s nitrogen infused!). This was quite an experience! Nitro coffee takes the best part of carbonated beverages, beer, and coffee and combines it into one powerful, caffeine-filled glass. Too bad I can’t set up a tap for myself at home. I would drink this coffee all the time!
When it came time to order our meals, my sister, partner and I all wanted to order the Kofta Tofu Scramble. Who can say no to spicy seitan, perfectly seasoned tofu “eggs,” sautéed kale, homemade pita chips and harissa sauce? Not us! It was hands down the best tofu scramble I have had at a restaurant.
In order to try more menu items we each also ordered a side. My sister ordered a sweet and creamy almond cashew yogurt with a berry compote. My partner ordered one of the freshest, smokiest, baba ghanouj dip that I have ever had, and I ordered potato, carrot, and onion latkes. While all of the sides were delicious, the blue ribbon goes to the baba ghanouj. Do not hesitate to order this item!
When it came time to part ways with B52, I couldn’t help myself. I was too full to eat dessert on the spot, but I ordered three truffle variations to go – pistachio, coconut, and espresso. I’ve had my fair share of vegan truffles, but the pistachio truffle might be my favorite thus far!
Overall, I cannot give this new vegan restaurant enough stars. The only thing they can do better, is to extend their hours. Currently, B52 is only open for breakfast and lunch. Don’t take it from me – visit Pittsburgh and give this new gem a try!
PS – Want to know how I make my own delicious coffee every morning? No, I don’t use a standard coffee maker. No, I don’t use a french press. It’s 2016. It’s time to level up and use an AeroPress! You won’t regret it. The little gadget creates the smoothest, low acidity coffee you’ve ever had!