Claussen Cafehaus pretzel shop brings an affordable and unique lunch option to Bloomfield | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Claussen Cafehaus pretzel shop brings an affordable and unique lunch option to Bloomfield

click to enlarge Axel’s Original Soft Pretzel at Claussen Cafehaus - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Axel’s Original Soft Pretzel at Claussen Cafehaus
Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield has a vibrant lunchtime economy. The thoroughfare is positioned between two large hospitals, and workers, patients, visitors, and doctors need to eat. All along the avenue, there are scores of different take-out joints serving tacos, soul food, pizza, coffee, Chinese food, and Thai dishes.

Claussen Cafehaus is a new addition to that take-out and lunchtime lineup, and its focus on artisan pretzels and sandwiches is a welcome one.

The new storefront offers four different types of artisan pretzels — including a gluten-free option — and four different types of pre-made sandwiches. Everything is labeled if it’s vegan or gluten-free. Claussen also serves espresso, coffee, matcha drinks, and other beverages. It fits perfectly into that Liberty Avenue vibe: a place to stop in to grab a snack or lunch on the go.


I tried the Axel’s Original Soft Pretzel, which is made of vegan-friendly ingredients and Pennsylvania-grown whole wheat flour. The pretzel has a good chew and the right amount of salt, as well as a crust you have to tear through with your teeth, which is something I look for in a good pretzel. It’s still soft, but solid in the middle. It’s a perfect snack pretzel, and priced moderately at $3.

The Black Pepper & Garlic Twist pretzel has a subtle, but noticeable pepper flavor, and just a small kick of garlic. It’s not overpowering, which is nice considering there is plenty of flavor in Claussen’s homemade dips, which they call hausmade. I sampled the cheese dip and herbed plant butter. The cheese dip is flavorful with a gooey, dippable texture. It’s not overly reliant on that Velveeta-esque fake cheese flavor. There is some genuine cheddar or something more nuanced in there.
click to enlarge Jambon Liberty Sandwich at Claussen Cafehaus - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Jambon Liberty Sandwich at Claussen Cafehaus
The herbed plant butter is surprisingly buttery. You wouldn’t know it was vegan if they didn’t tell you, but it is pretty solid, and more of a spread than a dip. Grab a knife and load it on for some powerful nodes of garlic and herbs into each bite. Both dips paired best with the Black Pepper & Garlic Twist pretzel, with the hint of pepper balancing out the rich sauces.

The Jambon Liberty sandwich was pre-made and wrapped, but very fresh. Black forest ham, swiss cheese, fresh arugula, herbed plant butter, and black truffle mustard were stuffed in between two artisan slides of bread that tastes like sourdough.

The sandwich was fresh and light with quality ingredients. The herbed butter can be a bit overwhelming at times, but its richness and moisture is also welcomed. The fresh arugula added necessary bitterness and a bit of crunch to the sandwich.
click to enlarge Conner Claussen, owner of Claussen Cafehaus - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Conner Claussen, owner of Claussen Cafehaus
Everything I tried at Claussen was perfectly salty. If you are looking for something sweet, try the cinnamon buttercream or chocolate hazelnut dips for a change of pace. Claussen also offers everything within a reasonable price range. And it’s extremely easy to just pop in for a minute to grab a to-go pretzel or sandwich, and a coffee. The coffee bar offers lattes, matcha, drip coffees, and other staples, including loose leaf tea from Bantha Tea Bar. My cold brew was satisfying and I appreciated the sipper lid (we don’t need straws for iced coffee; it’s not a milkshake).

Claussen Cafehaus 4615 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Tue.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. claussencafehaus.com

Comments (0)