Though its sweet shoppe is a new addition, Charlie's has been serving ice cream for over 30 years, long enough to witness both I Love the '80s and its original source material. Try your tongue on one of Charlie's time-honored soft-serve treats in chocolate ($2/medium), vanilla ($2/medium), yogurt ($2.35/medium), or Dole ($2.35/medium) in a cake cone. Charlie's can also add any of 36 flavors, including butterscotch, espresso, cheesecake, mango, and many more into any of its soft-serve flavors. Or opt to sharpen your teeth on two scoops of classically flavored hard-serve in a cake cone ($2.25). Sugar-free options in butter pecan and fudge ripple help keep discerning diets in tact. Ice cream is also skillfully injected into cakes, pies, and cookie sandwiches, bridging the gap between Charlie's old and Charlie's new with a filling more satisfying than caulk. Swing by the sweet shoppe portion of the dessertery to pick up some home-style baked goods, such as cookies, brownies, crème horns, muffins, tarts, apple dumplings, cakes, savory pepperoni rolls, and more. Pie, cake, and other large orders must be placed 24–48 hours in advance.
The sugar-savvy staff of The Gingerbread Shop guides guests to furnish four types of festively shaped sugar cookies during 60-minute Valentine's Day–themed confectionary workshops. During the decorating festivities, aficionados share aesthetic tips and techniques, such as finding complimentary colors and how to fit an entire love sonnet onto one side of a cookie. Participants dress up their two-dimensional works in warm, festive fashion using varied confections from a candy buffet as well as a plethora of other colorful decorating supplies. When done designing their sweet holiday themes, guests can surround a card-decorating station to design custom love notes, well wishes, and illustrations of Michael Bolton's likeness using a range of provided craft supplies.
Sweet Tammy’s has thrived as a friendly neighborhood bakery, offering artfully crafted cupcakes from fresh ingredients. Today, the bakery is also participating in National Just Desserts Day in honor of the premiere of Bravo's Top Chef: Just Desserts. Check the website for details on how to score a free dessert, today only (you can redeem your Groupon starting tomorrow).
The proudly independent family crew that runs The Pittsburgh Bagel Factory brings the same commitment to tasty food and early-rising work ethics that made their bagels a local staple to their new Craig St. location. After baking their bagels, which include everything from savory onion to multigrain wildberry, the kitchen staff puts them to work, schmearing them with cream cheese concoctions or sandwiching them with deli meats including oven-roasted turkey and kosher salami. Custom blends of eggs, morning meats, and cheese gussy up handheld comestibles, while burgers flip from sizzling grills to challah buns dressed with toppings ranging from grilled onions and mushrooms to fried eggs and peach barbecue sauce. Staff also pull shots of espresso to add to steaming mugs that vanquish sleepiness from faces.
Mancini's Bread Company infuses its dough with 85 years of bread-baking expertise, helping to earn it the 2012 title of Best Bread in Pittsburgh by Pittsburgh City Paper. Owner Nick Mancini Hartner assumed the reins of the family business after learning the rules of baking from his grandfather and attending artisan bread classes at the San Francisco Baking Institute, twin educations that get baked directly into each loaf of twist bread, marble rye, and european multigrain. The popular pepperoni roll combines the family's crusty specialty with spicy pepperoni and all the transportable ease of a piano on wheels.