There have been Mancinis at Coraopolis Cash Market for more than 60 years. Pittsburgh-native Albert Mancini opened up a little three-aisle grocery store and deli in 1952, committed to excellent customer service, high-quality meats, and freshly baked pastries. Today, Albert's three kids, Jim, Donna, and Sharon, carry on his legacy even as the store has grown. Fresh, high-quality food is still a top priority, and offerings include Boar's Head meat and Mac's Donuts.
HobbyTown USA occupies hands and stimulates minds of all ages with sundry games, models, paints, and educational toys. The shop assigns junior-pilot licenses with its model F-14 Tomcat Black Bunny, a built-up die-cast fighter jet ($14.98), as well as creative licenses with an eight-color, gloss-enamel paint set ($12.15). Balsa fins help the 17-inch Aerospace One Fighter Escort rocket kit ($14.99) to soar up to 500 feet when strapped to an A6-4 single rocket motor ($3.39). With the 21-piece, 6-in-1 educational solar kit, brains construct neural bonds using modeling glue and customers assemble six battery-less toys, from windmills to airboats, while learning about solar energy ($19.95). The classic ant farm introduces a slice of nature to the home ($15.49), and a 1,000-piece Asian Rainforest puzzle keeps rainy days interesting by depicting a different, more colorful rainy day ($14.49).
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers' market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,500 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the Pepperoni Pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs or slicing it into bite-size nuggets. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including Frozen Lemonade Mixers.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex?s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. They also reach out to local communities through fundraising opportunities.
Popcorn-N-That’s explosive technicians stoke hungry stomachs with more than 20 varieties of made-from-scratch puffs. Hard-bodied kernels are air popped into snowy swans, which are then stowed in bags designed to ambush sweet cravings with sticky kisses. Confectionery caramel corn—constructed to the specs of a half-century-old family recipe—shines both solo ($9.49 / lb.) and as the backbone of numerous decadent variations. Wear your heart between your molars with black-and-gold candied Burgh bits ($11.50 / lb.), or sic sweet teeth on a kerfuffle of carmelized puffs, almonds, and coconut tangled together in chocolate ribbons ($12.49 / lb.). Monthly limited-edition flavors celebrate seasonal changes, such as August’s camp-fiery s’mores bites and September’s back-to-school blend of caramel-apple corn, drizzled with white chocolate and graphing calculators.
Mediterra Bakehouse's team of flour artisans employs cultural traditions of their North Aegean roots, unblemished flour, and careful hand kneading to craft fluffy assortments of baked goods. Multifarious pastries, such as a crumbly twice-baked chocolate-hazelnut biscotti ($8 for a pack of four) or buttery currant-cream scones ($8 for a pack of 4), pack citrus tones that pair with coffee better than small talk and hard-to-pronounce size names. Pound-cake selections ($10 each) in lemon and vanilla sport 24 ounces of buttery French style and respective lemon zest or bourbon vanilla for socially acceptable at-work bourbon consumption. Delectable loaves of chocolate-cherry bread come chock-full of Michel Cluizel chocolate and moist Michigan cherries, and parmesan-peppercorn bread tingles tasters with a quarter pound of parmesan reggiano and black peppercorns that delightfully dip in tomato sauce (both $9). For health-conscious consumption, eight-grain, three-seed loaves deliver thick slices of cracked wheat, cracked rye, and cracked barley ($7), as mentioned in the bread section of Cracked Magazine.
As Pierogies Plus's chefs filter into the kitchen early each morning, they peek at the vast pot of potatoes they left to boil overnight, making sure each spud is tender and ready to tuck inside their signature dumplings. The multigenerational kitchen staff?some of whom have been making pierogies for four, five, or seven decades?roll out rounds of dough and top them with sauerkraut, kielbasa, potatoes, and other fillings, following a special recipe espoused by Food Network chef Bobby Flay. Then chefs center each dollop of filling, hand pinch the pierogies into scallop-edged crescents until they cry uncle, and cook them until the dough turns golden. Pierogies Plus dishes out its eponymous treats and other Eastern European dishes both in its McKees Rocks storefront and in an online store, and caters special events, such as graduation parties and weddings.