Monday, October 31, 2011

Sandpresso brings “Korean twist on breakfast and lunch” to Pittsburgh. And $8 kimbap.


Sandpresso (샌드프레소), a Korean coffee and sandwich shop, opened its first location in the United States in September. The Pittsburgh store (map) is just west of the Strip District, an international(ish) neighborhood with blocks and blocks of Asian, European, American, and Pittsburghese restaurants, shops, street-food vendors, and cafes.

From the Pittsburgh City Paper’s review earlier this month:
After eating the best egg salad I've ever eaten in my life at Sand Presso Coffee and Sandwich Bar, David Kim is mum on exactly what makes it so tasty.
"That's our magic sauce," he says with a smile. Likewise, he's little help on why my vanilla latte seems deliciously better. The co-owner of the new eatery in the Strip (just steps from Downtown) isn't telling; he just keeps smiling.
Sand Presso has only been open since last month, but a steady stream of customers stop in for coffee.
In South Korea, Sandpresso is pretty ordinary, and is one of many shops that offer wimpy-but-expensive sandwiches. We’ll see how it does in a neighborhood people visit almost purely for the food. The menu includes a bulgogi burger and an $8 bowl of bibimbap that's the going rate for bibimbap in the city, but somewhere between two and three times what it would cost in South Korea, depending on the restaurant's level of pretentiousness. To succeed in this Pittsburgh neighborhood, though---one that includes the locally-famous Primanti's---I think it will have to rely on the strength and the pricing of its coffee and smoothies.

Japanese, Chinese films at 2011 Three Rivers Film Fest


Three East Asian films will be showing in Pittsburgh at the Three Rivers Film Fest in November: Love in Space, a 2011 Chinese movie; Outrage and Quill: The Life of a Seeing-Eye Dog, both from Japan. Plenty of other international and domestic films, too.

Pittsburgh Sakura Project at North Park, November 12.



It would have been very lame to title this “Dig the Pittsburgh Sakura Project this November”, so I didn’t. The Pittsburgh Sakura Project has been active the past several years in planting cherry blossom trees at North Park, and will be doing it again on November 12th. Check the Meetup.com page for more details.

JET Information Session at University of Pittsburgh, November 2nd.

If you’re a University of Pittsburgh student interested in teaching English in Japan with the Japan Exchange and Teaching [JET] Programme, there will be an information session on November 2nd from 5:30 to 7:30 in 4130 Wesley W. Posvar Hall. Says the Pitt Asian Studies News and Events page:
The Consulate General of Japan in New York and the Pittsburgh JET Alumni Association welcome anyone interested in applying to teach English at K-12 schools in Japan or work as a coordinator for international relations in local and state government offices in Japan to join us for this information session about the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program.
. . .
This information session is open to anyone interested in applying for the JET Program this year or in the near future. For full program information, please visit www.jetprogramme.org - this session will feature a panel of JET alumni, discussion of the application and interview process, placements in Japan, salary, qualifications, etc.
If you’re a JET alumnus, check out the Pitt JET Alumni Facebook group.