Pittsburgh Public Market
So I went today for the soft opening and have to say I was very disappointed. Not everyone was there, guessing that's because it wasn't the grand opening? The ones that were there had very small selections. I had a small shopping list and all I walked away with was a few jalapeno peppers. The mushroom vendor only had three types of mushrooms, button, portabella and something else. I can walk in to Giant Eagle and get a bigger selection of mushrooms and all this guy sells is mushrooms! I was very excited for the place, but walked away hoping the grand opening is much better.
The mushroom vendor your referring to has been selling at the Firehouse Farmer's market for quite awhile and still does with that market as a second venue. He GROWS 'shrooms but also forages locally for chanterelles, morels and others and sells to local restaurant chefs, Legume for example and other high end restaurants. You do have to check what's in season, heck what 's been able to be foraged THIS week: rain, season, weather, etc. His Criminis are the best and I've had them keep in my fridge for 2 weeks when properly stored in a dry paper bag. I've found his variety and quality to be impeccable, and far superior, if more expensive than "Giant Eagle". As for the rest of the market, there's a lot that's meritorious- try the many samples-the BBQ place tucked away in the corner, and particularly the Common Plea catering selling sauces, soups, and the like. Finally, the place won't get any better for you as it grows unless you check it out regularly, Like the rest of the strip for that matter. You have to be a regular to get the feel and the atmosphere of the whole thing. For practical shopping, try to get there on a weekday. If you're not serious about the effort to get locally grown and non-mass market food, you'll stay happy with Giant Eagle.
5550 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Common Plea Restaurant
5741 3rd St, Verona, PA 15147
I'll have to give it a shot again. I TRIED to do practical shopping there, but couldn't find any of what I needed. Needed a few chicken legs or thighs, the guy that had chicken only sold whole chickens. The locally grown thing is great, but not if you can't buy anthying you need.
It's improved greatly since the soft opening; new vendors are there every week, and the original vendors keep having bigger & bigger selections. It's not at the point where you can do your weekly shopping, but there's a much wider choice than even last week. Worth checking out!