We discovered a real gem in the strip district- Marty’s Market during the Wet Hoptober event. Now this is the type of atmosphere we can’t get enough of! It has amazingly high ceilings and glass garage door walls. Also, it has an open floor plan that allows us to roam freely without feeling like we are cattle being herded through the aisles. It opened in July 2012 and its mission is to provide Pittsburghers with fresh, high quality food from regional farmers for a fair price.
Not only is it a great market, it also offers a coffee shop and café. Navy Veteran Regina Koetters, the founder and leader of Marty’s Market, took time out of her busy night to show us her vision of a destination store and a neighborhood meeting place. Regina mentioned an incredibly appealing feature of the store: its floor plan allows for the patrons to see everything that is going on in the store. Whether it be the cafe, coffee shop, or butcher shop, you can see exactly how your food is being handled. This idea of visual access came from her training in the Navy, which taught her that it was vital for her safety to always be mindful of others’ hands. Regina carried this idea over to Marty’s Market and she is completely brilliant for doing so. Not only can the patrons see how fresh the ingredients are, but they can also watch how the food is prepared. This leaves no room for shady kitchen mishaps like dropped food items or poor kitchen hygiene. Plus, if you pay attention, it’s like getting a free cooking class! Imagine if every restaurant granted such access, our dining out experiences would be completely different.
I got a real sense that Marty’s Market wants its customers to explore food. If you are into (or want to get into) molecular gastronomy, they sell reasonably priced containers of these ingredients so you can become a modern chef in your own kitchen. Also, they have a zillion unique spices you can try out for a couple of bucks a packet. These spices are housed in a super charming library card catalogue from a local library.
The reason for all these little packets and containers- you can explore new tastes and textures without breaking the bank. Oh, and make sure you stop by the butcher counter; they have uncommon cuts of meat like bone marrow, sweet breads, and duck breasts-just to name a few (they have the usual meat cuts as well). So grab a coffee, a bite to eat, and let your inner chef come alive. Marty’s fresh produce and eclectic food selection inspired us so much that we came up with a salsa that celebrates both Marty’s Market and Pittsburgh. Enjoy!
Check out our Marty’s Black and Gold Salsa Recipe!