To celebrate Father’s Day we gave our Dada a “Daddy pick day”. He got to pick what HE wanted to do for fun and we all went along to enjoy our time together. His first choice was to go into the city and hit the strip district.
Hold on a minute there cowboy….
Get your mind out of the gutter. The strip district has nothing to do with nudity. The Pittsburgh Strip District is a section of the city where all the freshest foods are delivered to warehouses and market places. It’s about a mile long section of road that is peppered with ethnic markets, fresh seafood markets, fresh flowers, amazing restaurants full of character, and industries turned nightclub.
If your looking for something this is the place to find it. Here is a listing of all the businesses you can find there. For someone who loves to people watching I couldn’t have been happier to go for a stroll in this populated part of town and then for the hubby who loves food and cooking he was in hog heaven.
It’s not odd at all to walk past someone set up with a grill right on the street cooking an on-the-go snack for you. The smells are all encompassing from the fresh bread baking to the coffee house to the fresh ground spices to the competing grill masters offering up Asian to Mexican to anything in-between.
After parking we strolled down one side of the street meandering through flea markets, street vendors and dodging in and out of the most interesting mom and pop shops. There was so much to see. The kids were intrigued by every little detail. I found some homemade soap that smelled good enough to eat.
She was set up with a small table on one of the corners but if you’re interested she sells them here too.
Shortly there after we made our way into Penzeys Spice Shop. It’s a fairly large store that sells nothing but spices. This is the place to kick your cooking up a notch. I entertained the kids at the coloring table in the back while the hubby got to go from bin to bin enjoying the various aromas. We left there with Curry, Cumin, Adobo and smoked paprika. I see some flavorful couscous in our near future. Next was a stop at Wholey’s Seafood market. It’s fun to just watch the skill of the men and women working there as they fillet the fish. In the back you can see large tanks of live fish and lobster. In the front of the store you can order up the special of the day or go over and watch your sushi being plated. My son was thrilled to watch the toy train run its track around the perimeter of the ceiling. It was getting close to lunchtime but we decided to continue walking and see what else we came across. From here we crossed the street and slowly worked our way back down the other side of the street.
We usually have brunch at Pamela’s Diner (they have the most amazing crepe style pancakes EVER!) but this time we opted for Asian… alfresco. We came upon a makeshift restaurant Hmmm, OK, so it was an empty lot between two buildings that had a truck up on blocks and then a particleboard counter around the one side. Next to that they had a tent and some plastic lawn chairs and a folding table. Did you ever notice that place like this sometimes have the best food??? We hit the jackpot! We got sesame chicken, chicken fried rice and a few spring rolls. Everyone was very pleased with the food and we gobbled it up like there was no tomorrow.
We even shared a few morsels with the overly friendly birds that came begging for a taste.
Then we strolled through The Pennsylvania Macaroni Co (est.1902). This is a must-stop place. They have a great deli and awesome breads. There was a table set up out front with fresh baked goods and so the kids got a black and white cookie. Mmmm, three happy (and quiet) kiddos. Right afterwards we popped into Stamoolis Brothers just a few doors down.
It’s a great deli and market specializing in cheeses and olives and other Greek favorites. They are always willing to talk with you about your choices and cut from the large wheels of cheese. With left there with some yummy cheeses, grape leaves and baklava.
Which we promptly broke into and munched just outside the door.
Before we found our way to the car I got to run inside a fabric store and then into a jewelry shop. As we drove out of town at 1:45, this was the line to get into Primanti Brothers Restaurant.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned them before but I don’t know in what post. Anyway they make these ginormous sandwiches. This is a must stop if you’re ever in the strip district. (Maybe we'll go there next time).
Back home the little man and the big Daddy took a nap while the girls and I watched a movie. After naps the kids had dinner while Daddy and I nibbled the cheeses and sipped some wine. Then we made a last minute decision to go to church this evening so the big Daddy could have his Father’s Day morning sleeping in and being leisure.
After the evening mass we hopped over to another local church for their annual festival. In a quick hour there, we won a few prizes, picked up a small bag of cookies and headed back home. The hubby and I sampled the espresso we bought earlier (with a little Sambvca) while we watched the kiddos catch lightening bugs.
What an awesome day. I think we all had as much fun as the big Daddy. I hope you had a good time Bubba.