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Local grub and a Fresh documentary: Enrico Biscotti's E2 does more than brunch

Enrico Biscotti's Highland Park location opened just over a month ago, and has quickly become a brunch staple, serving up sugar-dusted beignets, perfectly poached eggs and delicate frisee salads to caffeine-craving weekend crowds. Table waits tend to range from 15 to 30 minutes, but no one seems to mind killing time chatting with neighbors. The cafe at 5905 Bryant Street, called E2 (and pronounced E-Squared), has given Highland Park the kind of early-day dining kick its business corridor needs -- a perfect complement to Tazza d'Oro's coffee, baked goods and veggie-friendly sandwiches.

E2 serves only weekend brunch, but is more than just a brunch place, says Jordan Kay with Enrico Biscotti. There's also a basement-level event hall with a speakeasy feel that can fit about 100 people. E2 is also in talks of launching some "guerilla-style dining" events, says Kay. Translation? A day or two before a themed dinner (e.g. Blues, Burgers and Beers), Enrico will blast details to its social media followers. First come, first served. This worked, after all, during the blizzard -- E2 opened early to neighborhood residents as a sort of soup kitchen through social media and word-of-mouth only.

E2 is also embracing local foods, as is the entire Enrico Biscotti/Flying Biscotti Catering family. About two years ago, the company developed a relationship with PASA, and since then, it's not only sourced locally, but also been a leader in local food education. Last month, Enrico Biscotti did a fundraiser with Just Harvest to donate CSA shares to two low-income families. And on Tues., April 27 at 6:30 p.m., E2 will host a benefit for Grow Pittsburgh, of which Kay serves on the board.

The event is a screening of the documentary Fresh, a Food, Inc.-type film that celebrates people across America who are re-inventing our food system. The screening will also feature local foods prepared by chef Kate Romane, sourced from Meadow Rock Farm & Gardens in Butler, Pa. and Penn's Corner Farm Alliance.

"Fresh promotes more responsible ways or purchasing and consuming food, and talks a lot about the different efforts around the country to educate people about where their food comes from, and about different sustainable ways they can consume it," says Julie Pezzino with Grow Pittsburgh.

The event is $25 per person and BYOB. Reservations can be made at www.enricobiscotti.com or 412-281-2602.

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Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Jordan Kay, Enrico Biscotti; Julie Pezzino, executive director, Grow Pittsburgh.

Photograph courtesy of Enrico Biscotti

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