Saturday, November 30, 2013

Giant Eagle Market District - Now Open in Green

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. I was invited to this special event.
Last week, I was invited to participate in the grand opening festivities for the new Market District Store in Green. What an amazing store. (I should insert that I am a bit of a foodie). According to the Market District Chef Ben D'Amico, that provided us with the tour of the store, the goal is for the Market District store to be a destination, not just a grocery store.
They have several restaurant stations available within their fresh produce and deli department. They offer a full salad bar with 70 items that are hand cut/prepared daily. The options on the salad bar change seasonally. In addition to their salad bar, they have a hot bar with several chef prepared options, including many seasonal favorites. In addition to the salad bar and hot bar, which you might be accustomed to seeing in other Giant Eagle stores (perhaps on a smaller scale), they also offer a Wok Station, Sushi, Made to Order Subs and Pizza. They have several vegetarian options available within their dining area. They also offer two types of Rotisserie chicken, the traditional ones that you find at the other stores, but also a free range option. They will even let you try any of the food before you buy. I know that I enjoy having the chance to try new things and it is good to know that I can find out if I like it before I make the investment.

And, they have a really nice dining area, including a loft. The setting is so nice, I could see a group of friends heading there to relax and enjoy a nice breakfast or lunch. I might even take my team from work there for a team lunch.

As with many Giant Eagle stores, they also offer an Eagle's Nest - a great way to let the kids have fun and make time for your own shopping or lunch with friends. Eagle's Nest is a FREE service available for Giant Eagle customers' children, of ages three through nine. You have to show your license to check them in and out of the area and they give you a walkie-talkie, so they can reach you if your child needs you or needs to use the bathroom. They have games, coloring, movies and more - to keep the kids entertained while you shop with less distraction (or enjoy lunch!).

On Friday evenings, they feature a 6/$6 event - you can enjoy 6 appetizers and 6 wine samples for just $6. That really could be a lot of fun...starts at 6 of course!
I was really excited to see the variety of items on their salad bar, but was also excited about their olive and antipasti bar and generally the variety in their produce section.
One thing that I really liked was that they offered a variety of unique items and provided cut-open views of them as well as information about the produce and it's uses.  For the grand opening event, they had talented artists on site that were carving the fruit and produce to make beautiful displays.

Their bakery offers a wide variety of products. They have these really cute birthday cupcakes that look like little tiered cakes. They have several options when it comes to pastries, cakes and cookies. (we tried some of their Chocolate Chip Biscotti and my family has been asking me to buy more). They have seasonal flavors (and regular) of candy corn and have a full candy bar with fresh fudge and more. They offer bagels sourced from New York, Da Bronx, as the sign notes - talk about authentic.
Their bulk food section has so many varieties of candy, grain and more. They even have an olive oil and vinegar bar where you can choose your variety and they aren't just offering run of the mill vinegar - did you see the Blueberry Infused Balsamic that I took a picture of. I can just imagine using that to make a salad dressing.
This is one of my favorite features - a Grab 'n Go section that features the staples that you often will stop in for mid-week. I love that even though they want to be a destination, not just a grocery store, they are still catering to those that need to stop in for a few items and get back home. That is the type of courtesy that makes me feel valued at the store, whether there to explore their vast offerings and enjoy their specialty features, but also when I need just a few items.

While we were at the grand opening, we got the chance to meet Tyler Florence, who was part of the grand opening ceremonies. It was great and I will share more in a future post, but for now, here are a couple of pictures.

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. As an invitee to the blogger event at the grand opening, I was able to meet Tyler Florence, get a copy of his cookbook and was provided with a store tour to learn more about the features. I also received a gift basket to thank me.