The McGinnis Sisters specialty stores are run by the coincidentally named McGinnis sisters. This is a truly familial enterprise, founded by their mother and father in 1946. The daughters expanded the store's selection and gravitational pull throughout the years while still retaining the literal mom 'n' pop attention to detail and quality. Fresh and local products dominate the shelves in each of the cozy markets. Chicken and pork fill meat cases, while recently reeled catches grace the icy displays at the seafood counter. You'll find quality deli meats and even freshly prepared lunch sandwiches ($4.99–$5.99) at the in-house delicatessen. Follow your whiskers to sniff out locally acquired cheese or daily-made bakery sensations.
The Getaway Cafe has its own way of defining the notion of a family-friendly restaurant: Owned by husband and wife Lou and Nancy Manolios, the restaurant has seen all five of their daughters work between its walls, and Lou's nephew, Christopher, is the general manager. Running a restaurant was a lifelong dream of Lou's. He grew up in a close family and was washing dishes at his grandfather's restaurant at the age of 12, an age when many boys are only washing their footballs. Now, at Getaway Café, he and his wife have created a large, eclectic menu with everything from baby-back ribs to fresh seafood and weekend breakfasts. They also host a variety of events such as martini nights with live entertainment and wine dinners.
Cannon Coffee Shop serves hot mugs of freshly brewed coffee and a variety of tasty treats. Energize with one of the myriad bean-infused drinks available, such as an iced coffee ($2), a brain-jolting double espresso ($1.50), a creamy mocha ($3.75/16 oz.), or a latte ($2.50/12 oz.) decorated with florally patterned milk-froth. Grilled sandwiches, such as the zucchini panini ($4.25) or turkey florentine panini, made with basil aioli, fresh spinach, and melted cheese ($5.25), muffle the grumbles of newly caffeinated hunger pangs. Cannon Coffee Shop also offers coffee beans and loose tea for purchase in bulk, perfect for brewing at home or aboard the international space station.
The proud and pliable recipient of a yoga mat's worth of accolades, Amazing Yoga spreads its limber arms to embrace all practitioners, welcoming stretching sophomores and savants alike. Talented, passionate instructors lead an array of classes over a flexible schedule at each of Amazing Yoga's four studios. Clients can frequent the studio of their choice and stack their chakras in classes such as the Basics, a beginner's power-yoga class that emphasizes foundation postures, helping practitioners build up a strong foundation to withstand floods, high winds, and tickling attacks. Amazing Yoga recommends bringing your own water bottle and a mat to classes, though rental mats are available for $2 per class.
Kaleidoscopic Egyptian tapestries hang on the stone walls of both Sphinx Cafe locations, while tendrils of jasmine- and mango-scented smoke drift up to high, vaulted ceilings. Though it was once a church, the space now exudes an aura of opulence and leisure that matches the warmth of the coffee houses in Egyptian owner Remy and Syrian Amera's native homes. “Hookah bars are different from the norm [in the U.S.], which is either a restaurant or a bar. It slows you down. You just relax here.”
Plush cushions help patrons relax at both of Sphinx Pittsburgh locations, as do more than 30 imported tobacco flavors that servers can enhance with creative add-ons such as wine, fruit syrups, and talking caterpillars. On some nights, belly dancers, fire eaters, and live musicians wind their way between hookahs. On quieter nights, Ms. Andrawes says you can find people playing card games, chatting, and sampling platters of homemade hummus and kibbeh.
In the most basic of terms, kitchens are places where ingredients come together to create a satisfying whole; the marriage of Pat and Brigitte Joyce, co-owners of 17th Street Cafe, proves that this pairing of complements is not always limited to the food. In 1988, Pat was starring as the café's executive chef when Brigitte joined his kitchen staff. Over their years working together, their love simmered on slow, low heat until they were finally married in 1995. Seven years after tying the knot, the couple jumped at the chance to own a piece of their shared history and took over 17th Street Cafe, which they now operate as a labor of love on many levels.
Today, two staple entrees—the pork chop au poivre and the veal with crab—are the lone holdovers from the original owners' menu. These favorites of long-time regulars join a revamped menu crafted from sustainable and organic ingredients whenever possible. Pat's current favorite—chicken- and asiago-stuffed pasta "pillows" served in an aioli sauce—exemplifies this new approach, which tends to add an innovative twist to traditional fare such as pasta, seafood, veal, and chops. Lunch also hosts a wide array of fan favorites, including the stuffed Portabella–a large mushroom cap filled with zucchini, sweet peppers, onions, carrots, artichoke hearts, domestic mushrooms, and spinach topped with asiago cheese. Chefs Ed and Lance craft creative burgers to sate midday appetites as well. Longtime patrons opt for the Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner burger, cooked to order and topped with peanut butter, a fried egg, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
Inside the dining space, chocolate-brown and gold walls flank dark oak tables, lending the space a Mediterranean look that has been featured in several film and jeans commercials. Location scouts aren’t the only guests to have taken notice of the delicious entrees and cool ambiance—players from the Pittsburgh Penguins can often be spotted dining on puck-sized veal cutlets at nearby tables.