How exciting to once again have a public market open in Pittsburgh to link local growers, food producers and merchants with the community! In November, 1965, the last public market on Pittsburgh’s North Side closed leaving a void in the region. Nearly 45 years later, on Friday, September 3, 2010, Neighbors in the Strip opens the new Pittsburgh Public Market in the Produce Terminal Building on Smallman Street in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. The Market’s official Grand Opening will be September 10, but this Labor Day weekend early birds can get a peek at the market and enjoy food, drinks, and handcrafted items from local businesses at this new community gathering place.
What is also cool about the Market (beyond the fact that Pittsburgh hasn’t had a centrally-located public market is decades) is that it is also serving as an incubator for new local businesses by providing the first retail space for many new businesses and an alternative space for some of our favorite local farms and producers to expand.
Like many public markets across the country, it is a perfect one-stop to get everything you need for a fabulous dinner (or quick and tasty bite for lunch). We’ve picked up a few items for a quick and delicious dinner…perfect for this weekend’s holiday celebrations.
Today we featured several vendors for a holiday-worthy spread. Most are new to the Pittsburgh food scene, and if they are any indication, the Pittsburgh Public Market will be the epicenter of culinary adventures for years to come.
Starters: Crested Duck Charcuterie. Twenty-four year old Kevin Costa returned to Pittsburgh after college and a stint in the Cincinnati restaurant scene to start Crested Duck Charcuterie. A family business, they create unbelievable cured and prepared meats as well as offer a range of game meats including elk, bison, rabbit and others. Crested Duck is devoutly devoted to sourcing local, so by savoring their products you not only support this incredible new business, but you’re supporting the entire local food supply chain. Way to go! The Pittsburgh Public Market is currently the only place you can get Kevin’s wonderful creations…so be sure to stop by!
Salad: Sito’s Foods. Leila Khalil’s family has been well known in Pittsburgh’s food scene since the 1970’s with their namesake restaurant on Baum Boulevard. Leila had her own stint in the restaurant business and after a hiatus re-emerged with her own business offering a signature salad dressing and promoting a healthy mediterranean way of eating. At the Pittsburgh Public Market, she and her sister Dalel are a gorgeous pair, lighting up the market with their engaging personalities, sharing their family’s heritage of good, and good-for-you mediterranean food.
Main Course: Rowdy BBQ. Make your way to the back of the Market, caddy corner from Sito’s, and you’ll find barbecue that rivals the best of my Kansas City hometown. After more than 16 years in Pittsburgh, I’ve found brisket and pulled pork (and other items) worthy of calling barbecue. Steve and Wendy, husband and wife team, have the magic, and it’s well known to Rowdy’s patrons at their South Hills location. The Market has given them the opportunity to expand and reach those of us who don’t live nearby (or dare venture down Route 51). Stop by and pick up a sandwich for lunch, or take home a pan-full for a crowd. You’ll be coming back for more, I guarantee!
Washing it all Down: East End Brewery. Yeah!! Our friend Scott Smith is expanding his brewery’s presence at the Market. His East End, Susquehanna Street, location is testament to what adaptive reuse of old (and I mean old), seemingly unusable real estate and passionate, enterprising entrepreneurs can do for our region’s culinary and neighborhood scene. And while for this reason alone we will still trek to the East Side from our North Hills home, it’s great to have a new, more centrally located destination where Pittsburghers and visitors can sample Scotts libations, which have a near cult following, and take home a growler (or two). We washed down our barbecue with a little Pedal Pale Ale and Fat Gary’s Nut Brown Ale. Thank you Scott for your awesome commitment to keeping us hydrated!!
Dessert: LaScola’s Italian Ice & Sustenance Rustic Bakery. Thanks to Tom LaScola, the family’s Italian ice is once again available in Pittsburgh. Originally owned by his cousin for 30 years who then moved to Florida, taking the business with, Tom re-launched LaScola’s with the same delicious recipes, made here in Pittsburgh. My personal favorite is the mango (at least for today!), but put a scoop of the lemon in a champagne flute and top with bubbly…and yum!! This elegant, refreshing drink is perfect with tasty treats from Sarah Kelby Lewis’ Sustenance Rustic Bakery. A talented baker, the Pittsburgh Public Market gave Sarah the opportunity to venture out on her own after 13 years in the business. Her creations, available currently only at the Market, use natural ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. Her carrot cake, sweetened with honey has an extra dimension with the addition of golden beets. Topped with a delicate creamy icing, its a perfect healthy ending to a divine meal.
These wonderful folks and their incredible creations are just a handful of the 40 something vendors currently a part of the new Pittsburgh Public Market. For more information on hours, parking and the farms, food producers and merchants who make up the Market community, check out the Pittsburgh Public Market website HERE.
The Pittsburgh Public Market is open year-round on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.