Last year, I mentioned Pittsburgh’s Strip District in a guest post on a series called “Walking with Intention.” I republished that post here on my blog but I left the Strip District as a back story. I talked about the Strip again in a post after Faith and I visited Pittsburgh in 2014, but, since I had not yet contracted Canadian-Door-Fever, I wasn’t interested in taking photos of doors.
Canadian-Door-Fever is also known as Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors. Each week, Norm gives us the opportunity to find, photograph, publish and share photos of interesting doors. If you want to join us, you need to visit Norm’s blog, look at Norm’s doors. Well, you don’t have to look at Norm’s doors, but it would be the polite thing to do. Click on the blue frog thingie and arrive at the land of doors.
In early November, Faith and I were back in Pittsburgh for another weekend of sports. As we did in 2014, we decided to visit the Strip District, but this time we were on a mission. Well, dual missions. I wanted to get some door photos. Faith wanted pierogis and potato pancakes from S&D Polish Deli.
Ever since the early 1800s, the area of Pittsburgh known today as the Strip District has been an important part of the Pittsburgh economy. Once home to mills and foundries, the Strip evolved into a warehouse district and wholesale distribution center. There have always been a few retail-ish stores in the Strip. I added the “ish” because these stores have never been for the faint of heart. You generally had to know what you wanted before entering and, long before warehouse clubs were a thing, you needed to be prepared to purchase a larger than retail quantity of that stuff you wanted. Today, the Strip is a tourist destination, with a side of groceries.
Stamoolis Brothers is a grocer in the Strip that features food, snacks and ingredients used in Greek and other ethnic cuisines. My favorite childhood memory of Stamoolis was walking out with a 5-pound bag of Pistachios. At that time, it was common to find the somewhat little red pistachios, in grocery stores. Stamoolis carried the “jumbo” white variety. The kind you could almost always break apart with your little-kid fingers.
Right next to Stamoolis Bros. is Penn Mac a.k.a. The Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, where you can buy cheese and everything you need to wrap around cheese, put under cheese, coat with cheese, serve alongside cheese and eat after having eaten cheese. You can probably get macaroni there too. My wife buys from Penn Mac, which will put meat and cheese in a cooler, along with a few pounds of dry ice and ship it anywhere on the planet.
A little farther down the Strip is the deli Faith was looking for. More meats and cheeses on sale, but tucked away closer to the back of the store is a window through which you can order food. This isn’t fast food. This is “that’ll be about 15 minutes” food, but it’s worth every minute.
The first gallery is full of doors and photos from the Strip. Please understand that I have pared the list of photos down to as few as I can while still preserving the essence of our visit. This will result in a “Random Pittsburgh Doors” post on some future Thursday, but I didn’t want to break a record for photos in a doors post. Also, note that there is a second gallery today containing food. Food that was on sale, food that was purchased and food that was eaten. That gallery is there because, if I didn’t include it, someone would say “Dan, you can’t talk about food without sharing some photos!” You are under no obligation to look.
I’ll stop talking now. Click on any photo in either gallery to start a slide show of that gallery. The descriptions will be late, because of Internet issues.
Thanks for looking around today!