Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Munch Goes to Shelly Pie Pizza

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Munch Goes to Shelly Pie Pizza

Article excerpt

For the past few decades the conventional wisdom (at least among the hockey set) has suggested that if you're making a call to Turtle Crick, the person of record to ask for is of course, one Arnold Slick.

But, with all due deference to legendary Penguins announcer Mike Lange, should you find yourself in the 15145, I suggest you make a point to seek out someone else altogether: Shelly Farren.

Though her surname doesn't rhyme with the colloquial pronunciation of the borough named for a Monongahela tributary, she is the proprietor of the eponymous Shelly Pie Pizza and has created a buzz for a business born of experience, timing and a leap of faith.

A longtime employee of Vincent's Pizza Park, Ms. Farren found herself out of work when that North Braddock institution of six decades abruptly closed in the spring of 2012. Around that same time, her old friends Mike Aiello and Jim Holland completed purchase of the former Turtle Creek VFW building with designs on turning it into storage units and a furniture store, but did a quick pivot when the idea of a pizza place -- helmed by Ms. Farren -- was broached. A year later, Shelly Pie Pizza was born.

While the building resembles a yellow brick fortress, the inside is nothing but warmth and nostalgia, and you can smell the pizzas baking from the parking lot.

The walls are lined with black and white World War II era photos of neighborhood street scenes and trolleys and nearby St. Colman Church. In the lobby, a display case of VFW artifacts and a dedication to U.S. servicemen and servicewomen, past and present.

There is a full menu of red sauce favorites -- chicken parm, cheese ravioli, stuffed shells -- made to order in massive proportion ($10.95-$14.95). I enjoyed a particularly good piece of lasagna ($12.95). The size of a brick, it was covered in shredded cheeses and served with a meatball the size of a cue ball.

Meals come with a fresh spring greens salad or a perfect cup of wedding soup; bread and rolls are from Mancini's; the BYOB corkage fee is $4 for wine and 50 cents for beer. …

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