Thursday, January 23, 2014

Small Business Saturday: Cop Out Pierogies

Pierogies are a pain.

Being both Slovak and Polish, I remember for years, a few weeks before Christmas, my mom, grandma, and aunt slaving at the dining room table, covered in flour and cursing at dough.  They roped me in after awhile...and I hated it.

Then came the dough-rolling machine - well, not automatic, but hand-cranked.  That made the rolling process much easier - and to this day, I am AWFUL with a rolling pin.

The filling of the pierogies was my weak point.  I could never figure out how much filling to put in so that it would still close, yet not be a lame-o pierogie.

Once I learned to drive, I tried not to be home on pierogie-making day.

But who doesn't love a good pierogie in Pittsburgh?  My brother and I ventured to the 1st Annual Pittsburgh Pierogie Festival in the South Side Works back in October - and it was awful.  The venue was not big enough for the event, and lines were stretching up steep hillsides.  I'm sure next year they will plan accordingly, but we tried pierogies from 2 different places and had to get out of there before we either fell on our faces or had anxiety attacks.

Unfortunately, one of the places that we could not get near was Cop Out Pierogies, which was featured in an article previewing the event.  My brother wanted to try their Buffalo Chicken Pierogies, as he is a major Buffalo Chicken fan.

So a few weeks later, coincidentally on Small Business Saturday, my brother and I had nothing to do, so we went to the zoo (we both have memberships).  Then we figured that Etna wasn't too far from the zoo, so it was the perfect excuse to check out Cop Out Pierogies, since they're only open on Fridays and Saturdays.

Cop Out Pierogies
The place is basically a counter, with visible freezers and an open view into the kitchen.  We were greeted warmly, and we told them that we had heard about their pierogies and came to check out the place.  Carl, the owner, immediately went to the back to get some samples.  When he returned, we tried the Pilgrim, a turkey dinner encased in a pierogie.  Holy crap was it good!  Turkey, stuffing, corn - we were already sold! We also tried a Breakfast Pierogie with egg and bacon.  Wow.  These were fantastic!

Pilgrim and Breakfast Pierogie samples
We each bought some frozen pierogies - knowing that I would be sharing mine with a vegetarian, I bought the Spinach & Feta, Jalapeno Cheddar, and Cottage Cheese & Chive.  My brother went for his beloved Buffalo Chicken, Mac 'N Cheese, and Sweet Potato.

I made some at home, according the the instructions provided by Cop Out, and had awesome results!  My brother liked his as well, so we convinced our family to let us get the pierogies from Cop Out for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner.

I mean, it would save time, right?

I called in the middle of the week to place a VERY large order to pick up that Saturday (other people knew we were going and asked us to get them some, too), and we drove out to Etna again the Saturday before Christmas to pick them up.

I had ordered Jalapeno Cheddar, Mac 'N Cheese, and Pilgrim for myself - I really wanted to order some dessert pierogies, too, but...I held back.  I was eating enough goodies at that time of year, but I plan on getting some in the future, for sure!

On Christmas Eve, my family enjoyed the traditional pierogies - sauerkraut, potato cheddar, and lekvar (my grandma's favorite).  I tried a lekvar myself, and actually liked it, too!

Pilgrim Pierogies
I still have some pierogies in my freezer to this day - I didn't make any over the holidays, but it's nice to have them as a meal option here and there now that it's January and I'm not going out quite as much.  The Pilgrim ones are gone, as they were fantastic, but I recently just tried the Mac 'N Cheese - I have to say, they are SO GOOD!  It may seem weird to have pasta-within-pasta, but I think maybe that's what makes it so good (you know...carbs).

Mac 'N Cheese Pierogies
There are other "different" pierogies flavors besides the ones that we bought - anything from Cheeseburger to Chicken Spring Roll to Hot Sausage.  They come in "cop dozens", which means that you get 14 instead of 12 (a good deal, I say).  Prices per cop dozen range from $7.25-$12.75 depending on the filling - and if you don't see something you like, they will even create a filling for you (with advance notice, of course).

Etna isn't close to where I live, but I will definitely make a trip out there occasionally for Cop Out Pierogies  - they're frozen, so I can stock up!

Cop Out Pierogies
350 Butler St.
Etna, PA 15223



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