Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Tringheses’ Cornersburg Italian Specialties
3381 Canfield Road, Cornersburg
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday; 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
I glance out my kitchen window onto my deck, and I see smoke beginning to rise from the stainless-steel lid of my grill. The food inside is beginning to increase rapidly in temperature. The juices of the meats on board are beginning to rush away from the heat, spreading their flavor throughout. They’re in good company as the vegetables are softening and charring to perfection.
I can see my wife rushing back and forth, setting the patio table with dishes, silverware and wine glasses.
The sun has passed over the top of our house, casting a shadow well into our back yard. The heat of the day is fading, and the cool summer night is beginning.
I blink for a second and snap out of my daydream to realize my grill has a foot of snow on top of it and my deck makes for a better igloo. Thanks, winter ... buzzkill!
That dream isn’t that far off, especially now that the groundhog didn’t see its shadow. As some of us become sluggish in the kitchen, we need inspiration or a good fix- me-up meal.
This week’s Sig Dish feature led me into Tringheses’ Cornersburg Italian Specialties looking for that fix-me-up.
I heard from my father that they make a great sandwich for those of us on the run during the workday lunch hour. I was then told that they also have a great takeout counter for dinner, so I was eager to try it for myself.
As I walked down their long food counter, I saw a few dozen things I would have loved to try that were freshly prepared.
Various cold salad side dishes to choose from filled one counter. Another was full of cold cuts that can be sliced for a quick lunch sandwich on freshly made rolls.
This is exactly what I came for, a different approach to my Sig Dish for the month. I wanted something unique, and I think I found it.
The owner, Tony Tringhese, reassured me of that unique approach as he walked me out and told me how he had just purchased the store in November. He’s been involved with the business for more than 20 years, and now it’s up to him and his wife, Pat, to add their touch to a long tradition of quality service and food.
My takeout order was fit for a king. I had a great variety of food to try, and couldn’t wait to get home as my truck filled with delicious smells.
I first dug into the cavatelli and meatballs. The sauce was a traditional thick tomato sauce. The meatballs were the star of this dish — an obvious homemade meatball mix recipe with great flavor and seasoning. I only wish they had given me more than two!
In contrast was the Pasta Agile Olio. Fresh herbs, garlic and oil gave this white pasta dish a little spice with earthy aromas. It was pleasant on the palate with a tease of intensity from the garlic.
Next, I moved on to meats. Roasted chicken legs and thighs were a favorite meal that my mother prepared when I was growing up. These chicken extremities were slow-roasted and seasoned just right. I’m not embarrassed to say that banquet chicken is my single favorite preparation of chicken, and these were spot on. They were tender and juicy as the meat slipped off the bone.
Sausage and peppers were next on my meat list. The casings were filled with fresh sausage, various pepper seasonings and a hint of heat. I could taste a smoke char, and I remember Tony telling me that they cook the sausage inside their pizza oven, very similar to my own family’s homemade version.
Even with all the great eats there were, three things that became my new obsession were the stuffed- pepper soup, pepperoni roll and Reuben roll.
The stuffed-pepper soup was hearty with a bold flavor. I could see a mix of seasoning in the broth that produced an intense flavor. I got two variations of oil taste from the meat and pepper. A hint of creaminess to the soup that I can only assume was heavy cream added to the broth to bring everything together. I quickly soaked up as much broth as I could with their great garlic herb bread.
The two rolls were out of this world. The pepperoni roll is hands- down the simplest idea of food; bread, pepperoni and cheese. The homemade bread on this was soft but had toughness to it. The pepperoni had a little kick of heat, and blended all together, it was perfect.
The Reuben roll was everything I love about a Reuben rolled up. Rye bread, corned beef and cheese achieve the same texture as the ’roni roll but had the flavor of a Reuben. It was soft on the palate, and the corned beef added that bitter taste as it flaked apart with every bite.
Tringheses’ Cornersburg Italian Specialties may not be your typical idea of a takeout dinner, but I promise you that it’s everything a restaurant can provide and more. What Tony and Pat are doing is truly unique, and the people I watched stop in after work and get takeout while I waited already know why.
It’s your turn to try something different for a change. You can even pass the meal off as your own once you get home. All this food also is part of their catering menu, and the next party I have will probably see some of these delicious foods on my table.
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