Monday, August 20, 2012

Love the Place You Live: The Strip

My mom is visiting this weekend.  She knows Pittsburgh about as well as we do (not much!), so on Sunday afternoon, we did a bit of exploring.  The weather was glorious, so it was the perfect day for a stroll.


Hubby had a bicycle tour of the city courtesy of a friend, so he wanted to introduce us to The Strip district.  Inspired by DesignMom's Love the Place You Live series, I want to share our finds here.

The Strip is several blocks of fabulous grocery stores (hippie, Italian, Indian, Chinese...) and small restaurants.  Food is king in The Strip.  Apparently there is an amazing farmer's market there on Saturdays, but being there Sunday means we missed that this time.  We ate a sandwich lunch in a little bakery/cafe and then discovered two treasures I have to share with you.

First up, Mon Aimee Chocolat.  Such an inspiring variety of chocolate bars, chocolate nibs, chocolate chips (and cappuccino chips!)...  The most beautiful item I spotted was the assorted bag of giant malted milk balls.  Those things were the size of jawbreakers.  Each had a different flavoured candy shell, and the colours ranged from bright red (hot cinnamon) to green (mint) to speckled (various) to traditional chocolate brown.  They were so pretty, and I bet they are absolutely delicious!  What a gorgeous gift that would make for a birthday or a hostess.

Mon Aimee Chocolat

Alas, my two small children were tempted to inhale just about anything they could get their little hands on (and who could blame them?), so I left with one photo (by permission) and without the malted balls (though I'll be back!).

Next up was Pittsburgh Popcorn.  My mom wanted to go there after having read about it in a foodie guide.  She has a secret passion for cheddar and caramel popcorn mixed together (who knew?), and the book said Pittsburgh Popcorn had that.  Did they ever!  They had movie popcorn (butter and salt), cheddar, caramel, sour cream and chive, peanut butter and chocolate, caramel and chocolate, chocolate covered pretzel was popcorn heaven.  The shop didn't look like much from the outside, but inside was fantastic.  The smell alone is enough to pull you through the door.

  Pittsburgh Popcorn

My mom was happy with a little sample size of her treasured mix, but my girls each chose "small" (big!) bags of their favourites: caramel chocolate and peanut butter chocolate.  I may or may not have eaten some of each after they fell asleep last night.

Once school commences and I have some solo daytime hours, I will be back to explore those grocery shops thoroughly.  An Italian cheese shop caught my eye, and I am still looking for a good source for various ingredients I like to keep in my kitchen.  I'm guessing The Strip will yield new finds each time.

How was your weekend?

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