3100 Penn Ave.
It's not unusual for sports celebrities to get involved in the restaurant business, and now wrestler Kurt Angle joins other Western Pennsylvania athletic luminaries such as Mike Ditka, Jerome Bettis and Joe Montana in putting his stamp on an eatery.
Angle, a Mount Lebanon native, gained fame (and eventually some infamy) by scoring a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics, and joining the Spandex-ed he-men of the professional wrestling circuit. Now, he's joined up with muscleman Dave Hawk and Doug Mariani, a longtime local food purveyor, to launch a line of pre-made healthy meals -- and a Strip District café to sell them in.
This "foodies" café isn't catering to your artisanal-chèvre-and-fig crowd -- the menu offers mostly sandwich-board favorites and comfort food. The unassuming cinderblock building, across from the 31st Street Bridge, is open for breakfast and lunch. Expect the standard fare such as waffles, sandwiches, salads, soups and smoothies.
For heartier appetites, entrees include grilled meat-and-veg plates, as well as a selection of Italian family favorites from Mariani's (baked ziti, rolled stuffed eggplant and cheese manicotti).
The "angle," if you will, is that some of the items have been power-packed. Angle and his partners purchased the supplement Ultra Fiber DX, which, according to the Foodies' brochure, offers various benefits for weight management, blood-sugar levels, digestion and "overall good health."
Diners can find Fiber DX in Kurt's High Protein Cheese Pizza, Kurt's Breakfast Boost smoothie, and the four pre-made entrees that, along with the pizza, comprise Angle Foods. These carefully calibrated meals are available in house, to-go (for microwaving at home) or by mail order from www.FoodiesFoodClub.com.
In them, a grilled piece of chicken or salmon is paired with rice or broccoli and pumped up with Fiber DX. For example, the grilled salmon and broccoli boasts 35 grams of protein, 13 grams of fiber and only 245 calories. At 12 ounces total, these are pretty small meals for a big man, but perfect for a light lunch.
I was leery of getting super-proteined with no outlet other than pacing in my cubicle, so I opted for an old favorite pegged as a "healthier choice": a turkey sandwich. Sandwiches are available on a high-fiber Italian knot, as well as "stacked," so there are options here for boosting.
The dedicated can wash down their meals with some Turbo Tea or Muscle Milk, and sweeten the deal with an extra-fiber biscotti. Now that's a power lunch.