Snacks N'At: Aspinwall Beans 'N' Cream
Kathy Marsico thinks the word about Aspinwall Beans 'N' Cream — or ABC, according to the shop's T-shirts — is getting out.
The restaurant has been around for about 10 years, but only the past two under the ownership of Marsico and her husband. It sometimes takes time for people to realize what's available.
“Breakfast is the big time,” she says. “We kind of have the usual crew of people on their way to work or local folks walking in, but, now, people are starting to hear about lunch, too.”
On a recent day, that early-morning mindset showed. Some tables were taken by customers more interested in having coffee and a muffin ($1.87) and discussing the Steelers than they were in heading to work.
In the same manner, there was a steady in-and-out traffic of people getting a coffee ($1.70 to $2.10) and heading on their way.
The restaurant always has used the same name, Marsico says.
She says she and her husband, Dean, bought ABC when they decided they wanted to run their own place instead of being managers at a chain restaurant.
They kept the same pop-and-rock-music decor. The walls along the seating area are filled with cutouts of guitars and posters of classic-album covers and groups mostly from the '60s. The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix are constant companions.
While the pop-theme decor is attractive, the wall behind the front counter is decorative in a more practical way. There, on panels that look like chalkboards, are the menus and items the restaurant has to offer.
Because the restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, it offers a range from biscotti ($1.87) to a light-dinner-oriented turkey sandwich, which, with bacon, is $7.
The early-morning fare includes bagels with a spread of cream cheese, butter, peanut butter or Nutella ($2.25), lox ($7) or egg and cheese bagel or wrap ($3.74).
At the other end, in the lunch-dinner category are a chicken or tuna salad ($5.37), hummus and cucumber ($3.74) or a ham or veggie sandwich ($5.37).
There also are Greek yogurt ($1.45), milkshakes ($3.50 to $4.75), veggies with ranch dressing or hummus ($3.25), or an Elvis bagel with peanut butter and bananas ($3.74).
By the way, some of the odder-looking prices are meant to reduce the need for pennies, Marsico says. Items of $1.87 come to $2 after taxes, $3.74 to $4, and $5.37 to $5.75.
ABC also offers coffees, teas, mochas and cappuccinos ($1.70 to $4.25), and bottled drinks from water to sodas ($1.50 to $1.99).
Of course, there are ice-cream items at the site. After all, the “C” is for cream. It has cones, cups and sundaes ($1.75 to $4.15) and even an espresso milkshake ($4 to $5).
The menu lists items in the style of the restaurant's name, such as Shakes 'N' Smoothies, Fresh 'N' Healthy and Lunch 'N' Dinner.
ABC also does a bit of catering, “but we keep that kind of small, because it just takes a lot of people,” Marsico says.
Aspinwall Beans 'N' Cream, 16 Brilliant Ave., is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Details: 412-781-2373 or aspinwallbeansandcream.com.
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7852.