“We started as a coffee shop with sandwiches,” says Pear and the Pickle proprietor Bobby Stockard. “We have become a sandwich shop with coffee.” When Bobby and his wife, Alexis Tragos, came from Brooklyn, New York, to Pittsburgh in 2011, their goal was to create a place with a vintage neighborhood ambience. As Buffetbuster and I ate sandwiches at the long wooden table up front, we watched locals come in for coffee and their usual breakfast (most to-go), always engaging in friendly chat with Bobby as he put it together. Pear and the Pickle really does have a comfortable vibe.
Sandwiches are outstanding, especially for breakfast. Bobby says the egg sandwiches were inspired by the Bodega-style ones they had back in New York, but the bread here is pure Pittsburgh — toasted fluffy rolls from Mancini Bakery — and the sausage delivers more savory succulence than standard-issue street-corner fare back east. There is nothing wild or outlandish about a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich at Pear and the Pickle, but good ingredients put together by expert hands make it a totally satisfying no-utensil breakfast.
Lunchtime sandwiches (available at breakfast, too) range from such basics as PB&J and grilled cheese to a top-of-the-line Rialto, which is an Italian Dagwood of ham, pepperoni, capicola, provolone, and all garnishes including zesty dressing.
Espresso and Coffee (including cold brew) are Stumptown brand. Vanilla lattes use house-made syrup. The special drink of the day when I visited was a Soda Bomb made with two espresso shots plus your choice of Boylan’s Creme, ginger beer, or Red Ribbon Cherry soda pop.