Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Farmer X Baker Brings Much Needed Riverfront Dining To The Region

Jennifer Urich focuses on locally grown ingredients and house-baked breads at her casual spot in Aspinwall Riverfront Park.




photo by hal B. Klein
 

There aren't a lot of riverfront dining options in Pittsburgh, and, by and large, the food served at those establishments isn't very good. Jennifer Urich intends to brighten the dire waterside landscape with her new BYOB restaurant, Farmer x Baker, which opened last week in the utterly charming Aspinwall Riverfront Park. 

“I’ve lived here for 20 years and was always searching for great places to eat by the water. I felt like I found that when I walked into this park,” she says.

The establishment's name combines two of Urich’s passions: the former landscaper owns Root and Heart Farm in Gibsonia and has for years baked bread as a hobby. She says her baking is influenced by her father’s Hungarian Jewish heritage and her mother’s French roots; previous generations of her family worked as professional bakers, too. 

Urich is planning on using her bread — bagels, flatbreads and biscuits are part of the initial lineup — as a showcase for produce, cheese and meat raised within 30 miles of Pittsburgh (flour, however, comes from Central Milling in Utah). In addition to vegetables and edible flowers from Root and Heart, she currently is working with Tiny Seed Farm, Dillner Family Farm and Freedom Farms. “It’s simple comfort food, sourced really well,” she says. 

Urich started selling bagels in the park last autumn and now, along with Jesse Barlass (Colonia at Smallman Galley, Station), is offering a straightforward, ever-changing menu of tasty seasonal cuisine. Last week, for example, you could find a bagel with heirloom tomato, basil and greens, a baguette with ham, arugula, onions, cucumbers and herb aioli and farm greens shakshuka, among other breakfast and lunch dishes; Urich also plans on rolling out a Sunday evening dinner menu this weekend. “The baked goods are the vehicle for whatever is seasonal. Other than that, we’re not going to set any parameters or any theme for what we’re serving,” she says. 

The base of operations is an upcycled 160-square-foot shipping container. Urich, who has experience as an architect and contractor, believes she’s the first person in the region to rehabilitate one into a fully functioning commercial kitchen. “It’s an awesome thing to be able to build a kitchen and open a restaurant for $80,000,” she says.

The setting is a hidden gem (for most of us), too. Aspinwall Riverfront Park is a tranquil, 10-acre space peppered with comfortable seating, a dog park, a pleasant marina and mellow areas for reading. The addition of this charming BYOB eatery makes the park an even more delightful destination. “I’m so excited to create a space where people can unplug and be by the water. It’s calming here,” Urich says. 

285 River Ave., Aspinwall; instagram.com/farmerxbaker​
Wed-Sun, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 


 

In Other News: Hidden Harbor and the Independent Brewing Company are throwing a luau on Sunday, Aug. 25. Former big Burrito chef Tim Eelman, now working at Marla in San Francisco, is returning to town to team up with Independent Hospitality Group executive chef Jamilka Borges for a Puerto Rican style pig roast. Their menu will feature whole-hog barbecue, paella and “fixins galore,” and bars will have drink specials (as well as their excellent day-to-day offerings) to pair. Tickets are $25 for a large plate of food. 

Over at Churchview Farm, four Pittsburgh chefs (Dave Anoia, DiAnoia's Eatery; Justin Steel, Bar Marco; Steve Lanzilotti, Talia;Tony Giaramita,Pizza Taglio) are set to battle for porcine primacy at the farm's second annual Festa Della Porchetta on Saturday, Aug. 17. Look for pork dishes, sides from Churchview Farm produce, wine, beer and ice cream, plus bocci and live music.  

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Back to School: 20 Famous Pittsburghers' Yearbook Photos

Can you put names to the faces of these notable Pittsburgh graduates?

Pirates’ Epitaph: July 2019 – The Bucs Stopped Here

Clint Hurdle’s team was respectable, and in a contending position at the All-Star break. Then the bottom fell out, and the Pirates have looked like Little Leaguers ever since. All that remains now is to see how far they can actually sink.

The 400-Word Review: American Factory

This impressive documentary, produced in part by Barack and Michelle Obama, is loaded with insight and perspective.

The 400-Word Review: The Peanut Butter Falcon

"The Peanut Butter Falcon," an indie comedy with great performances, thinks a bit more of itself than it earns.

The 400-Word Review: Ready or Not

Don't mistake this for another half-hearted teen scream. "Ready or Not" is an enjoyable horror satire.

Don't Let Headlines Keep You Away from the South Side

The weekend volcano went off on East Carson on Saturday night. That doesn't mean the neighborhood has a fundamental problem.

Steelers Challenge: Making the Most of Big Ben’s Final Years

The Steelers couldn’t find a franchise quarterback between Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger. Now, with Roethlisberger as the sole remaining link to the team’s Super Bowl success, the time for another championship run is now — or it might not be for a while.

Restaurant Review: Alta Via

With its first new restaurant in 15 years, the big Burrito Restaurant Group proves it still has it.

The Amazing and Important Things Being Taught Off Campus

For Pittsburgh’s universities, some of the most dynamic research and learning take place beyond campus borders.

A Helping Hand: School Supplies as Easy as ABC

The Education Partnership helps teachers get what they need without breaking the bank.

Coworking Gets Down to Business in Pittsburgh

Sharing a workspace becomes more than just a place to plug in a laptop for entrepreneurs seeking an environment where they interact and help others.

Find Out How to Play Hockey at the Bottom of a Pool

Penguins skate on the ice; stingrays swim below it. See what happens when they toss the puck in the pool.

A Unique Honor for the King of Dukes

Duquesne basketball legend Chuck Cooper broke the NBA’s color line in 1950; next year, he’s getting a posthumous, one-of-a-kind honor at his former campus.

Our 50 Years: Myron Cope on Sports

In the earliest years of Pittsburgh Magazine, we didn’t quite know how to cover sports — so we just let Myron Cope say whatever he wanted.

Pigeon Bagels Opens In Squirrel Hill

Gab Taube opened a standalone location for her popular bagel business in July and we're very happy about it.