I can’t believe I’ve never eaten at Church Brew Works – until now. We met a couple friends for dinner on a Friday evening and it was packed. With great conversation and company, I enjoyed the CBW Beer Sampler, cheeseburger pierogies and the meatloaf. The meal was quite filling – as most beer meals are – and I had a great time.
When someone visits Pittsburgh for the first time, where should you go? The most common response is Primanti Brothers for the sandwiches with fries and coleslaw. While I agree that Primanti’s is a required stop for visitors to the steel city, I think that Pierogies are another key food symbol of Pittsburgh.
The hard question is, if you are visiting and want pierogies – where do you find good Pierogies in downtown Pittsburgh?
Answer: Mike & Tony’s Gyros
Mike & Tony’s Gyros not only has arguably the best gyros in downtown Pittsburgh, but also care pierogies from Pierogis Plus. Pierogies Plus were the proud winners of the WPXI Pittsburgh’s Best Pierogies contest.
Willing to cross the Allegheny River? Go to the James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy on Foreland Ave on the northside. The pierogis are homemade and dressed with an infused sour cream that will make your mouth water. (James Street Gastropub opened after the Best Pierogies contest. The Pittsburgh TasteBuds predict that James Street will win next time).
The city of Pittsburgh is rich in Polish heritage. So much, that pierogies are viewed as a city icon. The Pittsburgh Pirates even have four pierogi mascots that run around PNC Park as in-game entertainment. Though the Pirates have fun with their pierogies, some serious locals scoff when restaurants have fun with them on their menu.
A recent tweet from Braddock’s American Brasserie, which we’ve reviewedbefore, offers a braised short rib pierogi. But when you stuffed it with a braised short rib, is it really a pierogi, or is it more of a ravioli?
My answer is yes, it is a pierogi. Here’s why.
After some of my own personal research, here are some key differences between pierogies (of Polish decent) and raviolis (of Italian decent).
|Pierogies are filled pasta circles that are folded and pinched closed into half moon shapes.||Ravioli are square pillows that are sealed the entire perimeter of the square.|
|Pierogies are traditionally filled with potatoes, onion or cheese, sometimes in combination.||Ravioli are traditionally filled with meats and cheeses.|
|Pierogi dough is just flour and water.||Raviolis are made using an egg pasta.|
|Pierogies are boiled and/or pan fried in butter and onions. Served pan to plate without a sauce.||Ravioli are only boiled and served in a sauce.|