Since the departure of Right By Nature last year, the corner of 23rd and Smallman Streets had remained vacant for months, which gave this part of the Strip District a somewhat desolate feel, in my opinion. But when Marty's Market, named after owner Regina Koetters' father, took over the space, it has brought along a sense of renewal and vibrancy. With an open design and transparent garage doors that give the shop plenty of natural lighting and a bright and welcoming atmosphere, Marty's Market is dedicated to providing natural, regionally-sourced, ethical, and organic foods to our community.
But Marty's Market is so much more than just a grocery store.
The front of the shop houses a coffee bar with a sidewalk counter. Inside, you'll find a cafe serving panini, soups, appetizers, and hot dishes, all prepared in the open kitchen in the back, with cafe seating both inside and out. Sitting prominently between the cafe and the groceries is a modern food theater where cooking demos, classes, and other events are held. Indeed, Marty's Market is not just a grocery store, but a community-oriented space where you'll want to hang out. In addition, Marty's Market is so dedicated to the local community that not only is the food sourced locally as much as possible through connections with nearby farms, but even the decor reflects the restaurants and artists of Pittsburgh, like the light fixtures made with colanders donated by local eateries and the pasty domes featuring handles made by local artists. Every single detail has been thoughtfully put together.
|The coffee bar with sidewalk seating at Marty's Market|
|Inside Marty's Market|
|Fresh produce at Marty's Market|
|Fresh produce at Marty's Market|
|Lamp fixtures in the food theater featuring colanders donated by local Pittsburgh|
|Pastry dome featuring cupcake top made by a local artist|
As if the herbicide-, pesticide-free produce and the shop's own butcher counter featuring antibiotic-, hormone-free meat aren't awesome enough, I was especially impressed by the fact that Marty's Market is the only store I'm aware of in Pittsburgh that stocks two very amazing products: Askinosie chocolate, recently named amongst the best chocolate in America by Bon Appetit Magazine, and ice cream sandwiches from Jeni's Ice Creams (in addition to Jeni's ice cream pints, of course - also considered among the best in the country). Regina Koetters is a woman after my own heart, as Marty's Market is pretty much the kind of market I would open if I were to be in the business.
|Askinosie Chocolate at Marty's Market|
|Jeni's ice cream sandwiches, available only at Marty's Market|
I've also had a chance to try out something from Chef Alan's cafe menu: Fresh fiori pasta with perfectly tender and juicy beef short rib ragout, topped with delicious fresh Burrata cheese and gremolata to round out the dish.
|Fiori pasta with beef short rib ragout, fresh Burrata cheese,|
and gremolata at Marty's Market ($15)
I mentioned earlier about the food theater at Marty's Market. Several weeks ago, my friend James whose Pgh Taco Truck will be opening shortly hosted the inaugural demo and tasting event at Marty's Market. Here are some photos of the demo in action.
|Marty's Market's owner Regina Koetters explaining that the food theater is about|
people cooking together
|James of Pgh Taco Truck makes a salsa with mango,|
pineapple, pickled red onion, and dehydrated jalapeno
|James explaining the virtue of spicing the pork (to absorb|
the juice) and not putting too much meat into the pan
all at once when cooking
|Corn tortillas are doubled up and toasted on a crepe grill before serving|
|The audience gather around the food theater|
|Regina and James serve up some tacos|
|Pork taco with mango pineapple salsa|
|Veggie taco with crumbled portabello, diced zucchini, and salsa with tomato, corn,|
black bean, lime juice, and green onion
As always, the tacos were fabulous. Attending the demo has really given me the opportunity to understand and appreciate the amount of thought and detail that has gone into every seasoning, every cube of meat, and every bite of veggie that make these tacos great. You can read more about the Pgh Taco Truck in my earlier post here.
2301 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
On the web: http://www.martysmarket.com
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Martys-Market-LLC/310946958958179
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/MartysMarketPGH
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Pgh Taco Truck
On the web: http://www.pghtacotruck.com
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pghtacotruck
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/PghTacoTruck