Out of Massachusetts: Exploring Pittsburgh’s Strip District

As one might gather from the photos I posted a few months ago about our trip to Philly, one of our favorite things about traveling is trying the local food. So when the time came for us to try and decide what we wanted to do during the few hours we spent in city of Pittsburgh in June, a small amount of research quickly pointed us toward the Strip District. My brother Patick was to be our ride and our guide, though he isn’t 100% familiar with Pittsburgh either since he lives about an hour outside of it. I took that as a good thing though — we’d all be experiencing something new.

Now, I’ll be real here: we did have one stop of our tour in mind already as a must-eat for the trip, and that was Primanti Brothers. The Travel Channel and Food Network sold us on it a long time ago. When we looked a little closer at the surrounding neighborhood, we figured it’d be a good starting point to see the rest of the Strip District. I opted for the vegetarian option in hopes that it’d keep some space available in my stomach for the next food stop, and if I’m being totally honest, I wish I didn’t. All that meat looked and smelled completely unreal, and I was very conspicuously ogling Brian’s brisket sandwich the whole time.

   
One of our food stops included this kabob stand (you really can’t hold us back from food trucks), which we first noticed because of the bearded man who was painting a massive bird on it. Patrick, being a novice to our travel style and not having stomachs like ours, skipped this and watched on while Brian and I indulged in a kabob and a couple spring rolls. 
   
We also passed by a couple street musicians in our travels through the Strip District. They weren’t exactly Brian or Patrick’s cup of tea, but reminded me of Ghost Mice a little bit, so I took their picture. I always love when singers seem to use their whole face or whole body to express their vocals. Look at that dude’s neck. Damn.

 

Out of Massachusetts: Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market

Visiting the Reading Terminal Market was far and away the best part of our trip to Philadelphia earlier this month, mostly because food is the one thing we will always, always, always treat ourselves to, especially when trying something new.

I have vague memories of visiting the Market when I was younger. My dad’s family is from the Philadelphia area, and is remember visiting the city right after my uncle moved from the suburbs into one of the densely-packed brownstone townhouse neighborhoods that span block after square block. My memory of this first visit is faint and consisted mostly of younger, shorter Ellie looking up at a lot of things; it’s basically a haze of sensory overload. That same sensory overload hit me again after walking into the Reading Terminal Market with Brian over a decade later. We didn’t know where to begin, and wound up eating three full meals before our two-or-so hour trip was over.

Of the three mornings we had in Philadelphia, we spent two at the market stuffing our faces. It was lovely to wake up in the morning and take a brisk 20-minute walk to the market for fresh doughnuts made by Amish bakers (the best doughnuts either of us have ever had), cheese steaks, brisket and locally-brewed beer.

Now if only we had one of these in the Pioneer Valley…

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