Good food with a side of humor at Craftwork Kitchen
By JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
In addition to your food being served in a timely manner, you might get a side of comedy or be serenaded with a dish of karaoke at Craftwork Kitchen.
Owners Justin Janosko, Justin Rothman and John Pieranunzi have a good time creating meals. And they add a little humor as a key ingredient at the establishment nestled inside the concourse level of the U.S. Steel Tower, Downtown. Their outdoor spot on the plaza is open May through September.
“It's all about the experience,” says loyal customer Dan Daly of Peters. “They are more than a sandwich shop. They serve quality food and know the importance of customer service and having a good time.”
What started as Craftwork Catering by Janosko has grown to include the two locations. They opened downstairs Jan. 15 and the outside space in May. The lunch menu includes house-made sandwiches with the finest meats, sauces and cheeses, salads and fresh-cut French fries. Breakfast ranges from bagels and lox to eggs, tasty potatoes or French toast strata.
“This is such a great location,” Pieranunzi says. “We see and meet new customers every day, which is fun.”
“A lot of our customers are in an office and working hard all day and we like to give them time to relax and smile, if only for a few minutes,” he says. “We like to have fun with the people who come by.”
The name signifies that each meal is handmade and crafted — nothing comes from cans or has been frozen. They have fun naming the sandwiches such as the Porkgasm or Flyers Suck and often write funny sayings on the menu chalkboard.
Start your day with an Old School wrap, which is a popular breakfast item. It's bacon, sausage, eggs, home fries, sour cream, salsa and cilantro. Pair it with a cup of Zeke's Coffee.
The Yinzer salad is mixed greens, cucumber, grape tomatoes, shredded carrot, green pepper, roasted red pepper, cheddar cheese, bacon, fresh cut fries and roasted chicken served with house-made ranch dressing. The Porkgasm is slow-roasted pulled pork shoulder, crispy onions, cheddar cheese, pickle and house barbecue sauce.
Most sandwiches are $6.50 to $8.50. Add a drink and fries and your total will be less than $10. Menu offerings change monthly, but you'll always find a chicken, steak, pork and vegetarian option.
They play games such as hangman. The first person to guess the word gets a free lunch. If someone is a newcomer and/or if someone tips a horn will sound and the workers will welcome and thank them.
The food, as well as the atmosphere, keep people coming back say Kristen Williams of Sewickley and Jennifer Stevens of North Shore, who work in U.S. Steel Tower.
“It's a good combination,” says Stevens. “They use fresh ingredients, which makes a huge difference, and they add the personal touch, such as knowing our names and saying something funny to brighten our day. They make it enjoyable.”
Williams says she has had nearly every item on the menu.
“And they will customize a meal for you,” she says. “There are days I am not sure what I want and they ask me what I am in the mood to eat, and if they have the ingredients they make it.”
Matt Persic of Ross who comes from the other side of Downtown says “Craftwork Kitchen has the best food.”
“The meat is slow-roasted and is so good,” he says. “They have something special going on here.”
The owners say 40 percent of the daily clientele are regulars and they know 25 percent of them by name.
“We are all about having our customers have as much fun as possible,” says Janosko, who can be easily spotted by his signature red-white-and-blue headband. “We try to be as personable as possible. We recognize customers who are here for the first time and make them feel welcome. We stand behind our food and we also promise that you will have fun for the few minutes you are around us.”
Craftwork Kitchen is on the concourse level of the U.S. Steel Tower, 600 Grant St., Downtown. Hours: Breakfast: 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Details: 412-979-4754 or www.craftworkcatering.com
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7889.
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.
- Penguins notebook: Popularity with ladies brings test event to Consol
- Police release video of possible suspect in South Side assault
- Cranberry to offer additional parking for commuters at North Boundary Park
- Garden Theater developer says plans changing for block’s buildings
- Mich. hunter details being trapped for week in Alaska wilderness
- Motorist helps troopers arrest man near Route 22
- Feds join battle against citrus disease putting Fla. crop in peril
- Pirates claim 3 pitchers in minor league Rule 5 draft
- Board won’t disclose decision on convicted former Pittsburgh police chief’s pension
- Pirates agree with Barmes on 1-year deal
- Motivated quarterback Roethlisberger fights to prop up Steelers