Monday, July 4, 2011

Pino Gelato (Cranberry)

Update (5/21/2013): Pino Gelato has closed.

I made two visits to the new Pino Gelato in Cranberry over the weekend when I realized I had coupons for it that were about to expire.  I do preface this post by saying that I rarely eat gelato; as I've mentioned before I'm a huge ice cream snob, and while I am well aware that gelato is not the same thing as ice cream, I have yet to find anything that rivals the amazing Jeni's Ice Creams in Columbus.  But, I'm always willing to try before I judge, so off to Pino Gelato I went.

Pino Gelato is actually a small chain of gelato shops with stores mostly in the Southeastern US and two in the Pittsburgh area.  The one in Cranberry opened just last month, and from what I understand has slightly different menu options than the one in South Side.  One thing to note about Pino Gelato is that even though gelato is their main offering, they serve a little more than just that.  The Cranberry location has various sandwich options, including breakfast sandwiches, as well as coffee from Pittsburgh-based La Prima Espresso Company.  I stopped by Pino Gelato during lunch time and got a Bruschetta Beef Sandwich Cone - which basically consists of a beef, tomato, and melted cheese filling inside a cone-shaped pizza crust.  The pizza crust was well done, not too thick and just the right chewiness.  I wish they had used a little more filling, but overall this was not too bad at all.  As I sat on the patio watching hoards of people going in and out of the Five Guys next door, I wished people would realize that Pino Gelato was a good option for lunch as well.

Bruschetta Beef Sandwich Cone at Pino Gelato
Bruschetta Beef Sandwich Cone ($6.59)

While I was waiting for my sandwich cone to be prepared, the very helpful staff invited me to try out different flavors of the gelato.  They had about two dozen available that day, and the flavors do rotate on a daily basis.  I decided to go with Coconut and Ocean Caramel on my first visit.  I had wanted to get the Nutella when I came back the next day, but alas, they didn't have it, so I went with Coconut and Mocha instead.  I didn't get a picture on my second visit because it really don't look all that different from the one I got on my first visit.  In general, I think the gelato here is pretty good.  I still prefer my Jeni's - though again, Jeni's is hard to beat in my mind.  The coconut flavor is probably what will entice me to come back again, because it tastes just like the coconut ice cream I had growing up and it fills a void created by the lack of a coconut flavor in Jeni's regular offerings.

Coconut and Ocean Caramel Gelato at Pino Gelato
Coconut and Ocean Caramel Gelato

Restaurant info:
Pino Gelato
20000 Route 19, Cranberry Township, PA 16066
On the web:

Pino Gelato on Urbanspoon