Out of the Force and Into the Frying Pan

Carl Funtal of Cop Out Pierogies

Carl Funtal of Cop Out Pierogies, Etna

Pierogi-lovers, there’s a new sheriff… er … sergeant in town.

If Pittsburgh had an official city food there would be a number of possible contenders, but let’s face it: we’d end up choosing the pierogi.  Pierogies appear on diner menus and Lenten church suppers, as caricatures on t-shirts and dressed-up at fancy restaurants.  The Pirates knocked-off Milwaukee’s racing sausages with their own racing pierogies.  Oliver Onion can never catch a break!

That said, for as long as I’ve been around, the retail pierogi landscape has been dominated by only three players: Clara’s, Gosia’s, and the babcia of them all, Pierogies Plus.

Carl Funtal was a Shaler Police officer until very recently when he retired to dedicate himself fully to his three-year-old side business Cop Out Pierogies.  “I gave up working 110 hours a week so I could work just 50 or 60,” Funtal joked with us.

He’s got all the standards covered: potato/cheese, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, and lekvar (prune). But he’s not afraid to go way new school with a menu that reads more like a pizza shop: spinach, feta, and sundried tomato; pepperoni pizza; buffalo chicken, etc.  He’s also got a whole dessert line of “pie-rogies” including apple maple walnut cheese cake, salted caramel, and “Freaking Fudge.”

To wspaniała historia, ale jak to pierogów?

dinner plate with cooked pierogies, onions, sour cream, and green peas

Answer: they are delicious

Sorry! I dropped into my ghetto Polish there. But yes, this is not just some human interest story–this is hard news! The pierogies are obviously hand made, with the same each-is-a-doughy-snowflake unique lumps and pinches and aberrations that you get from the great Polish church kitchen sales.

And, most importantly, Cop Out’s pierogies are delicious. We went rogue with the Reuben and pepper butt varieties. I’ll be honest and say that with two versions of spiced-up red meat inside a dough pocket, fried in butter, and slathered in cooked onions and sour cream, I couldn’t even tell the difference.  But next time we’ll make some choices that are a little farther afield.

Cop Out’s retail storefront on Butler Street in Etna sells frozen pierogies (14 to a “dozen”) on Fridays and Saturdays and is supplying restaurants and entertainment venues throughout the region.

Carl Funtal of Cop Out Pierogies

Carl Funtal poses with some of the shop’s pierogi art


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