March 1, 2014

A Day at the Strip


Good morning everyone! One of my favorite places to get up early and drive to on a Saturday morning is the Strip District on the outskirts of downtown Pittsburgh, or as us Pittsburghers like to call it...the Strip. I love everything about the couple of blocks (roughly a mile) that house some of the most interesting food stores that I have ever been in which could easily satisfy any foodie. I cannot forget to mention the many stores selling Pittsburgh merchandise like t-shirts with the Pittsburghese dictionary and 'yinzers' displayed everywhere. Finally, the Strip is particularly special to me because it is always a family event when we go and a time for my mom and I (both crazy foodies) to bond over some amazing cuisine.

We started our morning at Stan's Market where we left with four overflowing bags of fruits and vegetables adding up to only $20! From there we made our way down the street and stopped in any store which seemed interesting. The atmosphere there is simply amazing because of the many street carts and the massive, shoulder to shoulder crowd. There are usually street performers around and scents of savory food.

Wholey's is one of the most famous stores of the strip. The moment anyone walks through the doors, they are immediately bombarded with a wall of seafood stench and although it's not very pleasant, it is most certainly part of the experience. With tanks full of live fish and lobster and professionals cleaning and cutting them right in front of you, it is definitely more than just any grocery store and although they sell more than just seafood, it is what they are famous for.

Also in the strip is the Macaroni Company which specializes in Italian food. There's a massive room which houses the deli where you can get tons of fresh and amazing things like sausage, mozzarella, all kinds of olives and so much more. Every time that I come to the Macaroni Company I like to try a different kind of pasta. This time it was Orecchiette, which are tiny noodles that resemble elephant ears (they are adorable!). The Macaroni Company is also the place to get some wonderful and delicious bread...all kinds in fact. Today I left with a giant loaf of raisin bread.

In total, we spent about two and a half hours at the Strip and only made it through about half of the stores, if that. I realize that I've only mentioned three stores in particular, but don't let me fool you, there are plenty more including a grocery store for nearly every ethnicity. There's also a store devoted only to chocolate from all over the world (it's a must see!). If I took the time to tell you about every single store, I would take up your entire day! I guess you'll just have to come see for yourself.

One last thing, for lunch, we went back to Wholey's (they serve hot, ready to eat food as well) where my mom and I shared some sushi which was made right in front of us. The always charming, Andy Nguyen, is in charge of the sushi station and is amazing at what he does. Part of the enjoyment was just talking to him and of course, the absolutely to die for Eel Roll and Sapporo Maki that he made.
**An original to Pittsburgh, Primanti Bros. is home to the sandwich piled high with homemade coleslaw, tomatoes, fresh cut fries, provolone cheese and your choice of meat. The Primanti Bros. pictured at the beginning of this post is actually the original. Before the restaurant was there, Joe Primanti had a cart where he sold his famous sandwiches on the side of the street in the Strip.
Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! Thanks for reading!

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