Smoked bacon haluski? Kimchi? Pierogies of all sorts celebrated at Kennywood |
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Rich Cholodofsky
Walter Matony, 1, Hopewell, samples a pierogi at the sixth annual Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018.

Pierogies aren’t just fried onions and mashed potatoes anymore.

Thousands of pierogi fans flocked to Kennywood on Sunday for the Sixth Annual Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival to sample and dine on of dozens of varieties and new dishes featuring the doughy pockets.

“We’re Pittsburgh people through and through, so we thought why not,” said event organizer Eileen Jordan. “It’s just grown every year. People just love it.”

Visitors were able to choose treats from more than 30 vendors, including savory offerings with pork and brisket, while others were served with more outside-the-box varieties such as kimchi filled, mac and cheese or even desserts.

Andy Winko, owner of Pittsburgh Smokehouse based in Plum, was serving customers pierogies on a bed of smoked bacon haluski and topped with a chipotle barbecue sauce.

“I’m Polish, and I do barbecue,” Winko said in explaining how he came up with the idea to match pierogies with brisket and haluski.

Pat Joyce, owner of Southside BBQ with his brother, Mike, said his Rogie Cone offering served in a waffle cone that mixes pierogies with pepper jack mac and cheese and North Carolina slaw rubbed with a secret set of spices is a fan favorite.

“We wanted something unique that no one else had, something you could walk around with a beer in your hand,” Joyce said.

Melissa Horst of Millie’s Homemade in Homewood, featured her mix of sweet potato and marshmallow ice cream, black walnuts and apple-filled pierogies.

“It’s nice flavors of fall,” Horst said.

Nick Donchess traveled from Youngstown, Ohio for a taste of pierogies.

“I think this is pretty interesting,” Donchess said. “This is my first time out, and it’s a chance to eat a bunch of pierogies.”

Sherie Desch of Penn Hills tried the pierogies in a waffle cone.

“It’s so good it should be illegal,” Desch said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]

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