Tag Archives: strip district

Marty’s Market – Strip District

Restaurant: Marty’s Market (and Café and Coffeebar).

Atmosphere: Despite the fact that it’s basically an unadorned cafeteria that’s located inside of a grocery store, Marty’s Market still achieves the adequate amount of pretentious “hipster-foodie” coolness that I require as a card-carrying pretentious hipster-foodie.

Menu: Sumptuous cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients – which I’ve found to be much more preferable to rancid, alien ingredients.

Food: I stuck to the -unch side of the weekend brunch menu and ordered a crab cake sandwich during a recent Sunday afternoon visit. The sandwich consisted of a buttery brioche bun laden with crab meat and a creamy corn rémoulade.

I was apprehensive about the remoulade when I first saw it mentioned on the menu because I’m not a huge fan of dumping corn onto my sandwiches (unlike my son), but it turned out to be an agreeably spicy topping for the crispy crab goodness.

IMG_3847 (1)

The accompanying fries were amazeballs and instantly joined Hello Bistro and Point Brugge in a three-way tie for my second favorite fries in Pittsburgh*.

* Winghart’s are still holding down the top spot, with the Arby’s in Oakland coming in last.

Service: Not great. Our waitress was nice enough, but my wife and son’s meals came out missing the correct side items and the replacements took waaaaay too long to appear and actually be enjoyed along with their entrées. The manager did apologize and comp’d the items in question so I’m not going to complain too much*, but I will say that there’s definitely some room for improvement.

* I lied, here’s some more complaining! I ordered a beer as soon as we sat down because I’ve found that imbibing alcohol is a necessity when dining with a toddler in public. I told the waitress that I wanted a North Country Rye-PA (American Pale Ale, 6.3% ABV), and she ended up bringing me a Headhunter IPA. I told her about the mistake, which was quite understandable because I can easily see how she could have misheard me.

I watched as she took the Headhunter back to the bartender/barista and explained the issue. The bartender/barista then came over and asked me “What beer did you order?”, and I responded with “The North Country Rye-PA”. He then asked me where I saw it listed, and I answered “Um…it’s on the beer menu”.

He walked away and ended up coming back a few minutes later with the correct beer. He didn’t offer up any explanation for the confusion, but by that point I finally had alcohol in front of me so I didn’t really care anymore.

Unfortunately my #firstworldproblem reared its head again whenever the check arrived. The waitress had charged me for the original Headhunter, which turned out to cost nearly twice as much as the Rye-PA.

After bringing it to her attention, she corrected the mistake and gave us a new bill, but it was a helluva lot to go through just to get a beer. Thankfully the Rye-PA was delightful and totally worth the annoyance!

Final Call: I’d rather have great food and lackluster service than vice versa so I still highly recommend Marty’s Market as an excellent place to grab some grub in the Strip.
Marty's Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Pittsburgh Weekend Activities – September 19

Though I’m a self-proclaimed erudite and renaissance man, there are still many subjects that surprisingly I’m not that familiar with. I don’t know much about global warming, cars, menstruation, Boardwalk Empire, child-rearing, geopolitics, or One Direction. But if there’s one thing I do know, it’s that The Oktoberfest at Penn Brewery is the best annual event in Pittsburgh. First of all, the brewery is located in the North Side, which continues to resist gentrification and represents the hard-scrabble, blue-collar essence of Pittsburgh as good-as or better-than any other locale in the Steel City. Second of all, where would be more appropriate to hold an Oktoberfest than near a region known as Deutschtown? This area was settled over 150 years ago exclusively by German immigrants, and it’s Bavarian character can still be seen in the solid architecture and functionally-alcoholic people*. 

Finally, the beer! Penn Brewery’s own Oktoberfest is as smooth and delightfully intoxicating as Claudia Schiffer. Not to mention that their other nine varieties of wonderful beers on tap such as the Märzen and Weizen (my fav) are awesome as well. After a few plastic jugs of any of these offerings, you’ll be singing along with the folk songs (oompah!) even if you don’t have any German in you**. It just doesn’t get any better than walking through the friendly, heavily inebriated crowds in the Biergarten while enjoying our beautiful fall Pittsburgh weather***. This Friday night begins the celebration, which thankfully occurs next weekend as well. Highly recommended! +1

Another Pittsburgh staple is Wholey’s Fish Market in the Strip District. It is celebrating one hundred years of business with a parade Saturday afternoon and tons of other family-friendly activities. Continuing the theme of Steel City superfluosity, few experiences are as intrinsically Pittsburgh as finishing up a Saturday morning trip to the Strip District at Wholey’s. The butcher-bear, the accordion music, the no-nonsense fishmongers and delightful sidewalk treats – navigating Wholey’s leads to both great food and great people-watching entertainment. Mayor Ravenstahl will also be part of the festivities this Saturday with a planned proclamation to rename 17th Street as Wholey Way. I’m hoping he next names the stretch of Second Avenue from Downtown to the Southside along the Monongahela as “Clusterf*ck Street”. That would be very appropriate.

* Both my mother and father were born and raised in the North Side and I have plenty of relatives still living there. I mean this comment as lovingly as possible.

** Want some?

*** One more reason – admission is free! Even my unemployed cat can afford that!

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