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We aren’t writing this because tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We’re writing this because after almost seven months on this adventure, our family took the opportunity to have a brief bit of time away from our daily service at Anchor & Anvil. The shop is still open and manned by our wonderful staff (although we are closed tomorrow for Thanksgiving and have limited hours of 9:00 – 3:00 on Friday). And with this opportunity, we wanted to express our gratitude to those that have helped make these past few months such a joy.
Whether it has been our vendors and their products or services, the council & staff at the Borough of Ben Avon, our own employees, Kim Lyons and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for their feature story on us, Tom Fodi and WTAE for their interview at our shop, Katlyn Chambers and the artists who put together a delightful art exhibition or Ryan and Doug at Auroch’s Brewing, we owe so much of our success to their contributions. We cannot omit the Holcomb family and the staff from The Fire Escape who established so much goodwill in the community that we have done our best to carry on. We could continue with a long list of other individuals and companies, but no matter how the list we write, we would still omit so many.
Most of all, we would like to say to our customers, whether they are daily or have only visited once, that we are so appreciative for every visit from each and every person who enters our door. We hope that you have enjoyed your time with us as much as we have.
To those who are traveling, we wish you safe travels. To those who are cooking, we wish you patience and stamina. To those who are not able to take time away from work, we wish for you to be rewarded commensurately. And for all – family, friends, customers, strangers, everyone – we wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings with your friends and families.
With Thanksgiving approaching, we wanted to extend our thanks to all of those who have visited us in the past six-plus months since we’ve opened. As much as we love coffee & baked goods & tea & the other drinks & foods we serve, we love to share these wonderful things with others even more.
But we also believe that Thanksgiving is a time for family and, while we are a business, we are a family business. Thanksgiving is a time when family comes before business. So we will be closed on Thanksgiving.
As for Black Friday, we will be open but on a shortened schedule. We will open at 9:00 am and close at 3:00 pm. We hope that you will visit during these limited hours and then return to the enjoyment of family & friends.
Traditionally, the Saturday following Black Friday is Small Business Saturday. We will be open for our regular schedule and encourage all our customers to patronize not only our local, small business but others in our community as well.
As for a food update, we’re delighted to have added a daily soup selection and chili from Beaver County’s McElhaney Family Farm to our menu.
Of course, once Thanksgiving has been celebrated, we’ll be switching to Holiday Baking Mode. We’ve got a long list of new items with mint, chocolate, nog & other holiday mainstay flavors that will go in to production as soon as we turn the calendar page to December. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter and Facebook for the most recent items.
Until then, stay warm, enjoy the company of friends & family and cheers!
Wasn’t the Fall Festival fun? Of course it was! We loved it! And now that it’s over, we are rolling out more good stuff.
First though, for anyone that missed it, before the Fall Festival, we stocked quarts of apple cider in our bottled drink fridge. We’ve also added honey crisp apples and are offering hot cider as a drink on our menu now. And our latest scone is the apple crisp scone. All of these are thanks to the good folk at Soergel Orchards supplying us with the most delicious cider and honey crisp apples to be found.
And because the morning of the Fall Festival wasn’t already crazy, we offered oven baked donuts for the first time that morning. We’ll be serving these every Saturday & Sunday morning. But because the weekend seems so far away right now, this Wednesday, our Why Cook Wednesday? Special will be these oven baked donuts. We won’t have them in the morning. But all afternoon until we close at 8:00, we’ll be baking them and decorating them in black & gold to show our Pirates spirit for their big Wild Card game against the Giants.
We’ve had a few inquiries in to bringing soup & chili on board. This is absolutely going to happen. The unbelievably good run of weather we’ve had has kept this off our urgent to-do list, but we have always been working towards having soup. We have a small amount of construction we have to do in the kitchen area, but we hope to have this complete in the next week or two. Once that is in place, we’ll waste no time making soup & chili part of our daily fare.
In the meantime, we’re adding a cheddar & bacon corn muffin and will be testing out some other corn muffin varieties. We’re also going to add a pumpkin muffin and caramel pretzel brownies.
As for what else is coming, we are deeply opposed to holiday creep. So we refuse to say anything about our plans for a certain holiday happening at the end of October except that our mad scientist types are in intense plotting mode at this very moment.
We can, however, share that the day after that holiday at the end of October, we’ll be hosting an art festival here. So please keep November 1 open on the calendar. Our co-sponsor, Aurochs Brewing, will be on hand. There will be art & music & merriment & other lovely odds & ends.
Autumn weather is arriving. Football season is underway. And the Ben Avon Porch Crawl is in a couple of days. These are all things that we’re excited to see.
Fall is also hitting our pastry case. We’ve unveiled our new maple walnut scone and a couple varieties of oatmeal pie cookies, vanilla and peanut butter-Nutella. Are we done? Puh. Shaw. There are lots of other things to come.
This weekend though, we’re continuing the breakfast paninis that we added to the menu last weekend. We recommend the chorizo, but the ham or bacon or capicola are also excellent. And like with all of our sandwiches, we serve them on Breadworks bread.
Our featured coffee this weekend will be the Santa Lucia from Costa Rica. It is a very balanced selection with a hint of citrus. It may just the thing to help recover from a long evening of porch crawling.
We had a malfunction that prevented us from having monkey bread available last weekend, but we expect it to be fresh and ready Saturday morning.
Or for anyone that can’t wait for a treat, we should be getting a fresh Enrico delivery Friday morning with key lime scones and chocolate croissants. These are quite simply, in our opinion, the most delicious things to come out of the Strip District.
And we’ll be working hard on the next additions to our fall selections. Some lucky Sunday customers may even get free test samples when our staff is too stuffed to try anymore.
We got a little bit behind on our updates and since we don’t have a Delorean that time travels, we’ll just backtrack a little on some newsworthy items.
We’re breaking out some new food items for the fall. On weekends, we’re now having breakfast paninis. There is a choice of ham, bacon, turkey or capicola with Colby cheese or Parma chorizo sausage with provolone cheese. We add some egg and grill it on fresh Breadworks bread. It is quite the hearty starter now that the mornings are starting to get chilly.
We’ve also got a new Berry Cream smoothie that starts with our strawberry mix, but adds whole blueberries and cream blended together. It is quite simply our favorite smoothie. And for anyone that is looking to add some extra fruit to any of our other smoothies, we do have the option to add an entire banana. We highly recommend trying the mango smoothie with the banana.
Today, we’ve got our first new pastry for fall in our case: the maple walnut scone. We love scones and we love fall. So we’re doing scones featuring some traditional fall flavors. With some maple and crushed walnuts and a glaze, these scones are not to be missed.
What’s next? We’ll be continuing to feature single origin coffees as our alternate brewed coffee on weekends. We’ll be introducing a new espresso signature drink. We have a lot of new pastry items we’re going to be unveiling starting, well, probably tomorrow. There will be some new merch coming for the Ben Avon Fall Festival.
So it’s been an exciting couple of weeks here and we had a few things we had to share here.
The first thing is both exciting and a little sad for us. Lisa has been a stalwart mad exemplary staff member for us since we took over from The Fire Escape. But she is taking a full-time position as a personal trainer and will be leaving us. Please stop in Friday morning (which will be her last shift) and wish her well in her new adventures. We’ll miss her, but we’re very excited for what she is going to bring to the world of personal training.
We also need to let everyone know that we’re taking a day off on Monday, Labor Day.
Before that, this weekend we’ll be brewing Madcap’s Ardi, a naturally-processed Ethiopian coffee that has an extremely vibrant punch. It will be in place of our Third Coast, but it is not what would normally be considered a bold coffee. Different from the Six One Six blend? Absolutely, very different.
And we’re working on more new stuff to bring you soon. Some weekend food specials. More Wednesday panini and quesadilla specials. New cookie varieties. Until we get those online, we’re breaking out some new muffin varieties that are available right now. Today’s creation involved crumbling pieces of our peanut butter swirl brownies in our muffins and we added some peanut butter to make them even more rich & creamy.
Lastly, since it’s just so hot out, anyone that hasn’t tried our Hard Hat (half iced coffee & half chocolate milk), now is a perfect time to try.
We’re not experiencing any technical difficulties, but we are going to go “off air” if you will tomorrow afternoon. So we’ll be closing earlier that usual. Instead of our normal 6:00 p.m., we’re going to close at 12:30.
We do apologize for any inconvenience, but please be assured that we will be resuming coffee serving and espresso making and all our other normal activities Friday morning at our regular opening time.
So here’s a few notes about what we’ve got underway at Anchor & Anvil Coffee Bar these days.
Yesterday, our good friend The UPS Guy delivered three large boxes of brand new mugs. Here’s what they look like:
As with all of our other stuff involving any sort of graphic design, our friend Robin at Siddy Girl provided her invaluable help in creating these. These are ceramic and heavy duty. Each weighs just a touch short of one and a quarter pounds. They are now our medium mug for any drinks enjoyed here and we have both styles available for purchase ($8 each).
Today, we got something new from Enrico Biscotti called sfogiatelle. Pronouncing it isn’t easy and if it comes out sounding like “faux-juh-tell” and that’s wrong, please let us just extend our apologies now. As for what they are, they are a pastry shell similar in consistency to a croissant; very light and very flaky. Each of them is filled with a mixture of ricotta cheese and citrus zest. They are amazing.
Enrico also brought a fresh supply of chocolate croissants. We got some of these last week and we barely got them in the pastry case before they were sold out.
Just in case a photo would provide more incentive to try them, we’re happy to oblige.
Sufficiently hungry yet?
If not, here’s the plan for Why Cook Wednesday? tomorrow:
A Panini sandwich with 2 slices of Breadworks thick sliced sourdough
Ample amounts of Swiss cheese & roast beef
Some fresh greens
And to put it over the edge, creamy horseradish
This weekend, we’re again going to take Third Coast off the brewed coffee selection. In its place, we’ll be doing Summer Solstice. This is the blend we’ve been using for our iced coffee this summer. It has been a favorite of our customers as an iced coffee and we think it is equally as tasty brewed hot.
So whether it’s today or tomorrow or this weekend, we’ve got all the needs for tastebuds covered.
We love dogs. Perhaps the most popular past time in our neighborhood of Ben Avon is dog walking. We have big windows looking out on to Church Avenue and all day long we see dogs and their owners walk by all day long. We see big dogs and little dogs and dogs with long fur or short fur and all different breeds and kinds of dogs.
We can’t, unfortunately, allow dogs inside unless they are a service animal. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t as friendly as we can possibly be to our neighborhood pooches. We do have a water bowl for our four legged friends outside and, for anyone that comes inside, just ask for a dog treat with any purchase. It’s on the house. And there is a picnic table and a few outdoor chairs to relax outside where dogs are welcome.