This past November, we coughed up $25 to support the Homeless Cat Management Team's fundraiser (yes we feed feral cats) and came away with our very own Enjoy book. 

I made a solemn vow that this would be our ticket out of the Olive Garden and into a bright local restaurant scene!  Then ... bonus ... we received a copy of the Entertainment Book for xmas from our friends Harry and Bob.  Weeks and months of chain-free dining! 

The absolute BEST place we have tried thus far has been Papa J's on the Boulevard of the Allies in Downtown Pgh.  The food was fresh and delicious.  Our server was this spunky blond with an awesome dyke belt who made the phrase "excellent" sound like the highest of praise.  And with our coupon we could do appetizers and dessert.  What's not to love -- no crowd, plenty of free parking and unlimited fresh bread. Plus, they had the best vinaigrette dressing in the world. 

Others include:

* Khalil's II in Shadyside (food was good, service a bit slow even with a very light crowd ... I hate waiting for a drink refill)

* Carnegie Museums of Natural History and Art (haven't been there in years and I found the Bog People exhibit fascinating although I do miss the Dinosaurs)

* Lucca - this is supposed to be one of the region's best restaurants.  I found it to be just okay and it convinced me that I'm pretty much an $18/per entree person max, not a $26 and up/per entree person.  I felt awkward and gangly in this mink and cashmere lined restaurant.  The service was very good but to be honest, I'd prefer things to be slightly less atmospheric.  There was nothing inherently negative about our meal, but I doubt I would return. 

An honorable mention to Eckerd Drugs.  Its good to get a practical discount every once in awhile.  I bought diapers for Ava.