Giant Eagle Market District in Pittsburgh
Visit to Giant Eagle Market District in Pittsburgh
I drove about 3 hours to Pittsburgh PA last December 2010 to go to the Giant Eagle Market District Store. I wasn’t even sure that it was the actual grocery store that I was going to, until I was there. (shows what a dingy I am). I just knew it was called the Market District and I also knew that I was going to do some cooking! There were five bloggers, Kim from www.Crafty Mama of 4.com and Beth from www.The Plus Size Mommy.com were both there, and they were from the Pittsburgh area.
I loved the candy section, can you tell?
and one more!
Ok… now for some healthy stuff!
The store was pretty amazing. Of course you had your normal food items, but then there were so many speciality foods – get this… they grow their own lettuce there!! They also sell other lettuce, but isn’t this cool?
This was a bin of coffee beans…oh did it smell good there. There are things like oil and vinegar bars there. You purchase your bottle and you can come back and refill it from all the different kinds of oil and vinegar. Who knew? Not I…. I don’t use enough oil and vinegar to even think about it. Obviously…. gourmet cook I’m not.
There is an entire area for cheese! I looked at what looked like some really crazy fancy dessert and asked about it.. it was a dessert cheese! Never would have thought! I am realizing I am just a regular ol’ gal! LOL
We toured around this massive grocery store, stopping at the beginning of our tour for a smoothie. I got a peach one and had supplements added of antioxidants and protein. It tasted pretty good… maybe a little too yogurtery for me (in other words…. it had that healthy taste to it – although it was still very good)
There is a restaurant in the store. You can sit down and eat a meal – tour the open food bars, get a piece of pizza or make a crepe – and then sit down with a glass of wine and eat. In Pittsburgh being able to buy alcohol in grocery stores is something unusual. But they got a permit with some very stringent regulations. The alcohol has to be rung up on separate cash registers and there has to be a separate entrance – those are just two of them, I’m sure there are others.
After our tour we went up to the cooking school as you saw on the video. That is something that I would take advantage of if I lived close. What a fun evening for a group of ladies or several couples to have a date night. They also have kid classes – we saw the beginnings of the gingerbread houses that were going to be decorated the next day by the young class.
Our cooking class was fun! There were two teams of 4 people each. We each had our own stove tops and food trays. I did some cooking, but I was having too much fun taking pictures to cook much.
My favorite was the Porcini scented mushroom risotto. I’ve never made it. After you sweat (yes sweat.. a new cooking term for me too) the shallots – you add the Arborio rice. It has to toast and the shell start to crack….you then add in the broth slowly… I mean really slowly. You add 1/2 cup and then stir, until it soaks in… another 1/2 cup…and so on and so forth – until you add 4 cups. It took us about 20 minutes to make it. Then you add in heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese.
Then cooking sous vide was of course all new too. Sealing your food in a bag… then cooking in a hot moving water bath… just seems almost simple to me. I mean, it makes me think of cooking frozen food – like vegetables. But the water bath units are very expensive, and they move the water around. The advantages – you can cook the food all the way through evenly adn uniform every time. So for the filet mignon, if 4 people want medium rare steaks – you just set the temperature to the specific temp to get that done and they will all cook the same, all the way through.
Donna was such a great hostess to us! As we toured Giant Eagle we had several people behind the counters telling us we couldn’t take pictures. All I had to say was, “I’m with Donna” and point to her. They would all say, oh.. ok. LOL
I always love to do things with Kim and Beth. We have such a good time together.
Disclosure: I was sponsored to go to the Pittsburgh store for the night I had to stay over by Giant Eagle. I also received a gift bag. I did not receive any cash compensation for the actual traveling to and from Pittsburgh. The pictures, video and thoughts are all my own.
(Reposted from 1/9/12)