Restaurant Passport - The Surznick Common Room

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Restaurant Passport

This month marks one year of Nick and I living in Pittsburgh. Now that we're completly settled in to Burgh Life, we're so excited for this summer so we can explore and do all of the fun things we didn't do last summer (probably because we found out about them too late!) Something we really want to do this summer is try new restaurants we haven't been to yet.

Before we moved here a year ago, we started a "Pittsburgh Restaurant Passport" with different places we wanted to try, but we haven't really used it at all. I think we just forgot about the trying new places thing once we found the ones we love (Hey, Franktuary! Hey, Hofbrauhaus!) There was also that whole paying rent, bills, student loans, and running out of money thing... (sigh).

But now we're ready for round 2! We decided to make a new restaurant passport and stick to it this time - even if it takes us years to complete! (Which is pretty likely... I mean this blog is about two kids on a strict budget!)

Want to make one for your town? Here's what you need! (And if you have a pen and some paper, this project is FREE!)
- Plain paper (We used standard 8.5x11")
- Scissors or Xacto knife
- Ruler
- Stapler
- Pens, markers, crayons, scrap paper, etc. for decorating
- List of restaurants (and any other info you want to include)

Here's what you do!
- Cut your paper in half widthwise (or hamburger style, as we said at Farmdale Elementary). I marked the center of my paper with tiny pencil marks and then cut along the marks using a ruler and an Xacto knife, on a cutting board. We used 7 sheets, so now we have 14 half sheets.

- Fold your half sheets in half widthwise and make a crease down the center. Staple 2-3 times down the crease to bind your pages together. Stapling can be a little tricky unless you have a large stapler. Our stapler is relatively small, so I laid my book unfolded on my wooden cutting board and stapled through the pages, directly into the board. Then I carefully pulled up my paper until the staple popped out of my cutting board. I used my ruler to fold down the ends of the staples.

- Now your book is bound and ready to be decorated and filled!

We used some pieces of leftover scrapbook paper (from our bunting!) to decorate the front of our passport. You can make yours as plain or detailed as you want!

We filled our book with 52 restaurants! Some were recommendations from friends, others are places we've driven by and would like to try, and some we had never even heard of. We tried to have a lot of variety in the styles of cuisine, price range, and type of meals. Some places are just little bakeries, others are "special occasion" types of restaurants. We also tried to pick places from a bunch of different neighborhoods so that we get to experience different parts of the city that we don't frequent.

Here's what we put on each page!
- Restaurant name
- Address
- Neighborhood (helpful for a big city!)
- Type of food
- Date we went
- Our thoughts

Other things you could include are x/10 rating, price range, what you ate (although we will probably include this under "Our thoughts", friend's recommendations, etc. This is your passport to fill in however you please! We used to get our restaurant addresses, neighboorhoods, and types of food. This is also a helpful source for finding places you haven't heard of before (compiling 52 restaurants wasn't easy!)

We're really excited to get started on our passport. This weekend we're already planning to get brunch at one of our picks!

Think you'll make a restaurant passport for your town? Let us know if you do! We'll be sure to check back in a few months to share some of our great finds!

Sarah & Nick

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  1. :) That's fun! And it would take some research to find all of the different restaurants and their addresses! After 3 years of living here we've definitely tried a large number of the restaurants around, but there's still some we've never made it to.