A Little Taste of Everything: Pittsburgh's Strip District

Today we're going on another field trip. This time, a bit closer to home-- to Pittsburgh's Strip District.

No, I know what you're thinking, but never fear. This isn't some dodgy expedition involving girls named Trixie. This is something I imagine you'll be able to support happily.

Apparently "X" marks the spot, too, because the Strip District here in Pittsburgh is a food-lover's paradise.

This area of warehouses bustles on Saturday mornings, with shoppers choosing from fresh produce, Pittsburgh souveniers and delicacies from all over the world. Want seafood or meats? Pop by Wholey's Market (pronounced Wooly's), and not only will you be spoiled for choice, but you'll get treated to some guy outside on the accordian playing, "The Chicken Dance." Between the music, the street vendors and the scent of kettle corn in the air, the Strip District can feel a bit like a carnival for grown-ups.

Looking for the ingredients for the perfect pasta? Try the Macaroni Factory. Something Asian, maybe? There's no shortage there.

How about spices? I love to go to Penzey's. They have a pork chop seasoning that really makes them, in my view. This day, I ended up getting some California Paprika and an Indian seasoning for lamb and beef.

Or maybe Greek is more to your taste. Then let's hit Stamoolis Brothers. Me, I can't get enough of their stuffed grape leaves (that dill on them is so perky!). And my friend Scoobie loves their pastries, so she now has more Kataifi in her possession (it's this excellent shredded wheat pastry soaked in honey) than your average Greek Food Festival.

And speaking of dessert-- the Mon Aimee Chocolat is a favorite stop, because I can pick up imported Cadbury chocolate bars, like Flake bars.

I know my UK and Canadian readers will probably laugh at this, but our Cadbury here just doesn't have the taste and texture of yours. And this Strip District shop is only of the only places in the area we can get it.

There's also antiquing to be had. So first we hit Zerrer's Antiques in the upper part of the Strip. This shop has an eclectic mix of antiques and collectible vintage items.

I found a pair of 40s pottery candlesticks ($6), a planter from the same time period which claims to be McCoy but I need to verify (doesn't matter either way to me, really. I like the color and shape) and the sugar bowl I needed for my rapidly-growing Hazel Atlas Moderntone set.

I also found one more grape goblet for the lady I'm building the milkglass set for. This was my kind of price-- $1!

Next we go to Mahla Antiques in the heart of the Strip. This is a higher-end shop, with beautiful examples of things like Staffordshire, art nouveau pieces, mid-century modern, and more. Just walking around here is an education.

It was probably also an education for the poor woman who inadvertenly knocked something over when we were there, too. OH, the SOUND of that glass piece, whatever it was, bouncing off a piece of furniture and shattering into a billion chunks. My heart went out to her, and as she and the owners were trying to clean up the mess, there was just so much CLINKING. I have no idea what the item was, but it sounded largish and I almost wept FOR her. Mistakes like that could not have been cheap.

To her credit, she seemed to accept the accident like a trooper.

Well, with bags of sweet and savory items in hand, we headed off to lunch. And I thought you all might enjoy seeing this rather unique microbrewery we have here in the 'Burgh.

This is the Church Brew Works, a beautiful landmark that was set for demolition and instead converted into a restaurant.

Oh, I'm aware it's very STRANGE to see a church converted in this way. Guests are always shocked and entranced. (My best friend from back home, who is Catholic, joked she felt the need to genuflect on the way to the table.) But the beauty and history has remained intact, and the food is quite good. (Mm, portabello pesto pizza!)

Anyway, I thought you might all enjoy seeing it.

So that's our little adventure for this week. I'm not exactly sure what we'll get up to next week. But I'll try to whip up something to tickle your collective fancies. :)


the old schoolhouse said...

hello thank you for the lovely trip aronnd your town, i must do the same in my home town Dublin,thanks again angie

Linda said...

I loved touring with you, lots of interseting sights. I agree about the Cadbury, my friend from the UK sends me some every once in awhile and it is so much more delish than ours.. linda

Rhet said...

Oh, _yum_.... I could go for some of that portobello pizza and a nice dark beer right now.

My experience of Pittsburgh would have been so different if I'd had a car... If it wasn't in Squirrel Hill, it wasn't likely to be found in my fridge. [Of course, back then, haute cuisine consisted of Healthy Choice meals, Little Caesar's, and the Morewood Dining Hall!]

Lidian said...

This was so much fun, thank you for posting it! Pittsburgh looks like a wonderful place.

You're inspiring me to rediscover places like this is Toronto...

Carrie said...

This introduction provided a great sense of being there. I would love to shop for food and antiques in those shops.

Rosemary said...

Hi Jenn,
I loved the tour especially the converted church. How cool is that?
You got some really nice litte vintage pieces. You can't go wrong with those prices either.
What a great fun thing to do on a Saturday!
Thanks so much for taking us with you.

Debbie said...

Hi Jenn....this was a fun tour tonight! I have the same candlesticks in pink....they were made by Camark Pottery here in Camden, Arkansas....very pretty!

Cozy Cottage Gifts and Decor

Handi Dandi Mandi said...

What a great day out! Looks like you had a beautiful day for it, too!

I'm from the states too but I worked for an English company and understand the need for a proper Cadbury bar!

white o'morn cottage said...

I feel like I've been there. You really can paint a word picture(and your phots are cool too)
We have an old church that is now a hardware shop! I must take some pics of it. Really quirky and quite beautiful. cheers...Pam

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Hi-- Welcome everybody and thanks so much for dropping by and for the comments. I see I need to do some blog visiting-- so many nice new folks here. I've been sort of out of the loop because my computer died and I'm on a loaner. But I hope to get back in the swing of things again soon-- and go a-visiting. Just please know I'm not ignoring you all. :)

Glad everyone seems to have enjoyed the tours so much. I love bringing virtual friends along with me because I think it really forces a person to look at the stuff you'd otherwise take for granted-- and truly see how much fun it can be.

Glad there are others, too, who know the power of a good British Cadbury! :)

Claire said...

Ha! Did you know the cadbury factory has its own station?

We dont have aero caramel here, but I love aeros.

Flakes are the crumbliest flakiest yummiest things :)

I would love to go the church place.

I love your town, I want to see more, any pubs?

Angela Williams Duea said...

Thanks for the town tour. You sure made me hungry! That church/restaurant is really interesting. The atmosphere must be phenomenal.

I'm always worried that I'll be the poor lady breaking big, expensive things in a glass display. I have sympathy for that girl!

Rose Mary said...

Great field trip, Jenn--the best way to take one for me--no sore feet:)

All that food looks yummy! Oh, I feel so bad for the lady that broke something, too!!

You made some great finds, too.


Sher said...

Great fun - but I kinda missed Trixie...

Elizabeth said...

LOL!We went to eat fish sandwiches at Wholly's today.(I LOVE their coleslaw)and of course we had to stop by Penzey's! I spent too much money there! Thanks for posting.Pittsburgh really is a great place to live.

Greg said...

This was great...what a fun tour! That church looks totally bizarre and yet so cool.

Of course, I know I'd have a good time there, since I was forever getting into trouble for cracking up during mass. ; ) And there wasn't even any microbrew!

Chyna said...

When I get dragged to your town so dh can watch his beloved Steelers you are going to have to take me to this strip. I promise not to kill anything breakable. LOL

Hey maybe we'll find that Steeler Garden Gnome.

Antique Carnival Glass said...

Hi. The blog is very good. Thanks for taking us on a visual tour to Pittsburgh. You must have had a great time shopping there. The items you chose are very nice.