Thin Man solves case of high-quality sandwich shop in the Strip
By Rachel Weaver
Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 8:44 p.m.
One ingredient in a new sandwich shop's signature item is so popular with guests, patrons are buying it in bulk.
Thin Man Sandwich Shop's namesake selection is comprised of chicken liver mousse, Penn's Corner bacon, frisee and red wine vinaigrette on a baguette. The mousse made such an impression with customers in the shop's first few weeks, chef/owners Dan and Sherri Leiphart opted to sell it by the 8-ounce portion ($8).
“It's got a cult following,” says Sherri Leiphart, 39. “We're really excited.”
The mousse is just one way Thin Man incorporates gourmet elements into on-the-go food. The shop opened in early February on 21st Street in the Strip District. The Leipharts of Carnegie are classically trained, fine-dining chefs who have worked in the kitchens of Isabela On Grandview, Bistro LePommier and Lidia's. The pair wanted a venue where they could showcase more-casual choices prepared with their professional flair.
“We wanted to do something more reflective of who we are,” says Dan Leiphart, 35. “The economy is changing people's general perspectives toward life and food, but we still want to do it at the level at which we like to cook.”
Sherri Leiphart says the couple saw a need for a high-quality sandwich shop.
“It's a slightly different venue,” she says. “There are not a whole lot of places like this Downtown.”
The name stems from the couple's affinity for the 1930s movie series of the same name starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as a former private detective and his wife. Dan Leiphart says the pair's dynamic mirrors his relationship with his wife.
“The way they interact reminds us of the way we interact, with eye rolls across the room or hitting each other with pillows when no one's looking,” he says.
The shop makes good use of its Strip District location by incorporating many of its neighbor's products into its menu selections.
“It's easy because everything is here,” Dan Leiphart says. “We picked the Strip because we love the atmosphere. It is the center of food for the city. If you're looking to buy good food, good, wholesome ingredients, you go to the Strip.”
The menu consists of three signature sandwiches, which will be offered daily, and a rotating selection of seasonal sandwiches, which will change weekly.
Signatures are the aforementioned Thin Man ($6.99); the Il Bastardo ($6.99), with mortadella, runny egg and American cheese on olive focaccia; and the Smash ($8.99), with goat-milk-marinated organic chicken breast, avocado, alfalfa and lemon pickled green onion on a wheat baguette.
Seasonal sandwiches include the Grilled Broccoli with Asian marinated mushrooms and miso mustard on ciabatta ($7.99) and the Grilled Pork Tenderloin with butternut squash-cumin seed marmalade and bib lettuce on baguette ($7.99).
Sides include potato-kale soup with leeks and poached garlic puree ($3.50) and roasted sweet potatoes and beets ($3). The baby spinach salad ($5.50) has orange-poppy seed vinaigrette, hazelnuts, radish and whole-grain croutons.
Even the drinks are held to a higher standard. House infusions using Pittsburgh Seltzer Works include flavors like sweet ginger, local honey and lemon and kiwi lime (all $2.69).
Thin Man's look fits in well with the Euro-industrial feel of Penn Avenue, with its exposed brick and hoods. The second-story seating area includes three black tables with black, red and white chairs. The first floor has seating at a counter along a window overlooking Smallman Street. An old-fashioned soda fridge near the front door is packed with Mexican Coke ($2.29).
“It's old-school,” Dan Leiphart says of the decor. “The Strip is like a well-oiled machine. We wanted to look like we've been here a while.”
Thin Man Sandwich Shop, 50 21st St., Strip District, is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Details: 412-586-7370 or www.thinmansandwichshop.com.
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers safety Polamalu finds himself in tough position
- LeBeau wants to come back as Steelers defensive coordinator
- Pitt’s Donald sweeps Outland, Bednarik awards, named All-American
- Steelers notebook: Cutting down turnovers, sacks hasn’t led to victories
- Penguins notebook: Popularity with female fans brings test event to Consol
- Power play, penalty kill help put Penguins on another 100-point pace
- Kovacevic: A great day to appreciate No. 68
- Westmoreland County rail, aviation grants total $3.1 million
- High school roundup: Bethel Park edges USC in Section 4 opener
- NFL notebook: Bears QB Cutler to return Sunday vs. Cleveland
- Feds to collect public comment on plan to permit cellphone service on airplanes