It certainly goes without saying that our current situation in the world is unprecedented and it has been quite an adjustment for all of us. The good news for us “foodies” is that plenty of options exist to quench the need for mouthwatering, comfort food. With recommendations, government orders and guidelines changing by, what seems to be by the minute, restaurants and other businesses have faced great challenges keeping up. Food, essential in every sense, is something that continues to bring us together in these trying times. While businesses have been forced to suspend dine-in operations, they have quickly made adaptations to offer delivery, take-out, drive-thru and more! Fortunately, this “down-time” and isolation has afforded me the opportunity to check-off some places on my restaurant “bucket list”.

In addition to take-out food, desserts and baked goods, there are many places offering pick-up or delivery on wine and Pennsylvania made spirits. This is a “staple” given the current closing of the Fine Wine & Good Spirit Stores.

Threadbare Cider House

1291 Spring Garden Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

While I’ve never been to the actual “Cider House”, I have tried their cider on several occasions. Known for both their cider and delicious pizza made with sourdough crust, this place has been on my list for quite a while. As with many other bright entrepreneurial minds in the Pittsburgh region, they quickly adapted and rose to the occasion offering a special drive-thru pick-up concept. Perfect for two people, for only $30 you get both a pizza and a 750 mL bottle of cider. There are certainly options for everyone, but I chose a Bacon, Chicken Ranch style pizza and a bottle of “Hey Sweetie” cider. They have offered this special drive-thru pick-up concept a few nights a week. Reservations and selections are made online and everything, including gratuity for the staff, is including in the $30. I reserved on a Thursday night and pick-up was anytime between roughly 5 and 7 PM. I pulled into their parking lot, a staff member came out to my car and confirmed my selections and after a short wait of about 10-15 minutes (pizza made fresh when you arrive), they returned with my cider and pizza. I couldn’t wait to bring it home and give it a try. The pizza smelled so delicious that I almost dove in on my drive home! Topped with cheese, house made ranch, crumbled bacon, burst tomatoes and chicken, this pizza was surely a winner. Not to mention the delectable sourdough crust! It’s safe to say there were no leftovers! Visit their website or Facebook page to learn more and see when their next drive-thru pick-ups are taking place!

Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor

2801 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Need an ice cream fix to bring up your mood… no problem! Klavon’s, a Pittsburgh classic located in the Strip District, has been around since the 1920s and they serve up some seriously delicious and locally sourced ice cream. While the inside is beautifully reminiscent of an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, take out or delivery will have to do for now! Be sure to add a “dine-in” visit to your to-do list after this is all over! I have been a fan of Klavon’s for several years. Their sundaes, shakes, ice cream and floats are delicious, old fashioned in nature and I particularly like their cookies and cream ice cream! Available for delivery via Grubhub, Postmates and Uber Eats. Pints, quarts and gallons available for delivery!

Lincoln Avenue Brewery

538 Lincoln Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15202

Not only do they offer a rotation of house made brews via growler for curbside to go, but also various daily specials as well as menu staples, such as “old world giant soft pretzels”, paninis, soups and more. I ordered for curbside pick-up and enjoyed their daily flatbread pizza special (steak, bacon, roasted red pepper and onion) along with a spicy Italian panini. I am hankering to order here again very soon as I follow them on Facebook and their daily specials have consistently outdone one another! Everything is made from scratch and I would certainly recommend! Follow them on Facebook for the most up to date menu.

Oakmont Bakery

850 Third Street, Oakmont, PA 15139

A true Pittsburgh staple, known far and wide is the Oakmont Bakery. With an incredible and seemingly endless selection of breads, bagels, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, donuts, pastries, pies and more – there surely is something for everyone. I placed a rather large curbside to go order that included a loaf of sourdough bread, a pepperoni roll, red velvet cake, thumbprint cookies, lady locks, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry Jello pretzel salad torte and the “Oakmonter” torte. I opted for a wide variety so I could try a bit of everything. My favorites were easily the thumbprint cookies, strawberry pretzel salad torte and pepperoni roll. Best part, there was no traffic on route 28, making it a quick and easy drive!

Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries

1101 William Flynn Highway, Glenshaw, PA 15116

I’ve been a fan of the products from PA Pure Distilleries since connected with them in Summer 2019. Based in Glenshaw, PA, they make award winning Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka, Bly Silver Rum and a multitude of “ready to drink” vodka and rum cocktails. The ready to drink cocktails are as simple as they sound – ready to drink (already mixed with liquor)… just add ice! They are currently offering free delivery of three or more bottles. It’s important to note that with delivery of any alcohol in Pennsylvania, someone over the age of 21 must be at home to receive the delivery. I’ve placed two orders so far since the “quarantine” started and have received my delivery the very next day via courier service. My favorites have been the Blood Orange Cosmopolitan (Vodka) and the Lemon & Lavender (Vodka) cocktail. I also ordered a bottle of BLY limited reserve dark rum, which I have not tried yet – but very excited to!

Black Dog Wine Company

7425 Steubenville Pike, Oakdale, PA 15071

Offering wines made right on the property, Black Dog Wine Company has a nice selection of wine for your choosing. They just released a Blueberry Wine (very tasty, fruity and sweet) and Strawberry Wine. A customer favorite and bestseller is their “Trophy Wife”, a sweet white wine made with diamond grapes. It was awarded “Best Sweet White” in the State two years in a row. Grapes are sourced from the Erie and New York regions. They are currently offering delivery within 15 miles of the winery and are open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 – 5 PM. Delivery orders placed online before 4:30 PM will be delivered same day. This is another one to add to your “must see” list when life is back to normal! The winery is located in the beautiful Hankey Family Mansion, built in the late 1800’s. Most everything inside is still original to the home. Free live music is offered most weekends as well as a variety of food trucks, including the infamous “Cousins Maine Lobster Truck.”

Written by Bobby Catley