A Mano Eatery in downtown Kittanning is a bit of a hard-to-define anomaly – only in the best way possible. Is it a bakery? Yeah. Their pastries are always top notch, but it’s more than that.
Is it a coffee shop? Not really, though they pour a great cup of Ispirare coffee.
Is it a restaurant? Kinda. They serve a limited selection of breakfast sandwiches until 11 am and a lunch menu until 2 pm.
Is it an Italian food store? Sure. A Mano offers fresh, homemade pasta, sauces, and even items to take home and pop in the oven like lasagna.
A Mano doesn’t fit into a box, and I suppose that’s the point. It can be all of these shops or only what you want it to be on a given day.
Last week, I wanted it to be a bakery, so I headed down to pick up an amazing peanut butter gob. Today, I wanted it to be a quick, to-go lunch spot. I had this menu to choose from:
The menu is eclectic, inventive, fresh, and fun takes on classic fare. Oh, yeah, and always delicious. Did I mention delicious?
I decided on the salami pie and a croque monsieur (after 3 years of high school French, I still couldn’t muster the courage to attempt calling it anything other than a ham sandwich during my phone order).
My to-go order was ready in about 15 minutes from phone call to pick up. Racing home to enjoy my lunch, the scent of the meal filled up the car to the point where I considered digging in right there in the driver’s seat. The anticipation was high.
Unwrapped at home, the excitement faded momentarily when I saw the size of the salami pie. For $5, the narrow wedge seemed a bit skimpy. The disappointment lifted with the first bite. The warm, flaky crust combined with the salty meat and melted cheese was wonderful. Even better, the addition of the veggies lightened up the dish and balanced out the dense pie.
On to the main course – the croque monsieur. What could have been a pretty mundane ham and cheese sandwich was delightfully intricate. From the seasoned ciabatta and the gruyere cheese to the thinly sliced ham and grainy mustard, this variation on the French classic was fun to each and large enough to share. For $8, the sandwich felt like a bargain.
All these months after opening, A Mano Eatery in Kittanning has never let me down, and I imagine, if you give it a try yourself, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the tasty options, the atmosphere, and the friendly staff. Whether you are looking for a cup of coffee and a pastry or a 3-course lunch, you can’t miss with A Mano’s.
Consume.Review.Repeat. gives A Mano Eatery 8.8 disappointed high school French teachers out of 10.