531 Allegheny Avenue
Oakmont, PA 15139
As some of you know, I am a podcast junkie. I love all kinds of podcasts. I have been known to use some fun fact or interesting bit of information as an illustration in my classes. I could go on and on about all the different podcasts that I love such as This American Life or Stuff You Should Know. The other day I was listening to a very interesting story on Freakonomics about social psychology and the power of social influence. They had a professor from the University of Arizona explaining how individuals are more likely to engage in a particular behavior if they think that others are engaging in that behavior. To me this makes sense. When we don’t know how to do something the first thing we often do is look around to see what others are doing. What is interesting is that we often don’t like to admit that we are influenced by what others are doing. I think some of this has to do with our culture and how we are raised. We get early messages that tell us to stand strong against peer pressure. We have all had our mom use the question, “if all of your friends jump off of a bridge would you jump too?”, as a response for not letting you go out with your friends when you were younger. Now sometimes this is a protective response to prevent you from getting in trouble; however, there are times when doing what everyone else is doing is exactly what you need to be doing–and there are a lot of people frequenting the Oakmont Bakery. For those in Pittsburgh I am very confident that you have heard of this Mecca of treats. If you have not made the trek to The Bakery you should go, seriously stop reading this and go…now!
When you arrive there is high likelihood that you will have trouble finding a place to park, especially if you go on a Saturday morning. There is a reason that everyone is venturing to this northeastern Pittsburgh ‘burb….it’s freakin awesome. The crowds alone attest for this. Don’t let them deter you from waiting. The staff at The Oakmont Bakery are used to its popularity and move through the customers very quickly…just make sure you grab a number.
When you walk in The Oakmont Bakery you will immediately be taken back by its size. It is the largest bakery in which I have ever been. As you approach the glass cases your mouth starts to water as you see every baked treat you could possibly imagine waiting for you to make a decision as to which you will eat at this particular visit. The 2010 Retail Bakery of the Year has an amazing assortments of breads, cakes, cookies, pies, cupcakes, cake rolls, doughnuts, croissants, sandwiches, coffee/espresso, cup cakes, cheesecakes and more. It’s dessert heaven! Let me recommend one of their cupcakes and thumbprint cookie to start you off. I have already been here a few times and I cant get enough. The first time we went I got the red velvet cupcake, a fruit tart, and a chocolate thumbprint cookie. Another time we tried the carrot cake cupcake, I love carrot cake, and the Oakmonter cupcake. The carrot cake was good not too sweet topped with a cream cheese icing. The Oakmonter is a variation of a cupcake that I would recommend on your next visit. Its cheesecake, topped with chocolate ganache, topped with a brownie, topped with chocolate frosting. Super rich but so yummy! Most of their cupcakes have a bit of icing in the middle of the cake for a nice extra sweet surprise. We usually get a cinnamon doughnut hole for Gray each visit for a nice sized, easy to eat treat for him. In our most recent visit we decided to have a go at the sandwiches. I got the chicken sandwich on ciabatta and Morgan got the chicken salad on their croissant. We also got a cup of their wedding soup. Every sandwich comes with chips and your choice of a cookie. I got the iced sugar cookie, it was of course wonderful. The bread on both sandwiches was great. I think we both loved the chicken salad on the croissant the best. The croissant was so light and buttery (sorry we ate it before we could get a picture). The chicken on my sandwich was just ok. The soup was really good and satisfying.
I still plan on going back to continue trying all the deliciousness that is at your disposal inside The Oakmont Bakery. So when your mom asks “if all your friends gained 5 lbs eating at The Oakmont Bakery would you?” Answer with a resounding yes because sometimes it is great to be socially influenced.