Market District – Gourmet Grocery in Green, Ohio
Normally, when I stop at the grocery store on a Friday after work, it’s begrudgingly. However, even under the given circumstance of “forgotten buns”, Market District threw me for a loop.
Not only will you find your grocery staples in the old Giant Eagle, but now the updated facility offers cafes, microbrews, made-to-order sushi and pho, in-store cooking demonstrations, free samples, a wine bar, EVENTS and LIVE MUSIC. Really. I’m not kidding. This is all under one roof.
Prepared Food and Restaurants
Want a quick lunch or dinner? Choose an entire meal, or specific entree pieces, from the Market District’s fully stocked hot and cold food bars. In the hot bar, you’ll find home-made soups, fried chicken, potatoes, vegetables, and more. Five feet over in the cold bar, you’ll find numerous lettuce options, olives (Manzanilla, Kalamata, Greek and other Italian olives), multiple salads and toppings.
Oh yeah, you can get fresh pizza over here as well. Buy the whole pie, or by the slice. (Mondays starting at 5 p.m., buy 16″ family-size pizzas starting at $7.99)
Want something that doesn’t remind you of your mom’s cooking? The in-store, Sizzling Wok will simmer up pho or toss together pad thai from ingredients of your choosing – think Mongolian BBQ. Once it’s cooked up, you have the option for takeout, or to sit at one of the many tables at the front of the store.
A sushi bar is stationed beyond the cafe and deli, in an opportune spot. You can grab pre-made sushi rolls to go (around $7.50 each), or sit at the wrap-around bar and watch the chefs whip up one of the $2.50-$5 sushi rolls. They-are-awesome.
We didn’t entertain the thought of finding a different restaurant after our wine tasting (more on that further down), because we were eager to try one of the 15+ rolls on the menu. To be honest, they were as good, if not better, than Wasabi or A1. The rolls are fresh, made to order and the two of us ate three premium rolls for $15 (excluding tip). Mind you, we had great apps previously during the tasting event, so you might want to pair your rolls with pho or pad thai.
Feel free to pair your meal with a soda… or microbrew. The beer station is in the front right of the restaurant, along with the other culinary treats, and allows guests to buy beer by the sample, glass or growler. That’s right, they’re another growler-friendly grocery store. They carry multiple Ohio brewed beers, in addition to general-crowd pleasers such as Sam Adam’s Rebel IPA. Of course, they rotate their taps to keep up with demand and different tastes.
Accompanying the beer bar, a few strides further into the store, is the wine bar. Serving different varietals, these wines are available for purchase within the store, so taste before you commit to the whole bottle. Another suggestion – try wines that you normally wouldn’t spring for; red wine drinkers, try a chardonnay, and frugals try expensive wines, the sample/glass is much more affordable than the bottle. Another lovely idea, sip as you shop.
Not into beer or wine? A coffee bar/smoothie bar awaits your order. Juices are fresh-squeezed daily, and coffee beans are roasted and ground on premise. While this isn’t revolutionary, it’s refreshing. At a regular Giant Eagle cafe, your beverage options include soda, energy drink, or water – boring. The ingredients are literally a stone’s throw away, so if you like something, buy it and make it at home. The bulk coffee/tea section is stocked full of ingredients for you to recreate your drink.
Market District hosts numerous events throughout the week, and month. Not limiting themselves to one audience, they divvy up events into various categories. Within those categories, the individual events are tailored for foodies, families, health nuts or folks who are just looking to try something new.
One of the events we scoped out was the 6 for $6, and we loved it. Every Friday, starting at 6pm (you can come later, but they close it down at 8pm) you pay $6 for a passport and wine glass. Once you have those two things in hand, you follow the numbered stations to try 6 food and wine pairings. Wines vary from white to red, sweet to dry, but are carefully chosen to go with their food mate.
In the hour or so that we wondered around the stations, we toured the outer parameter of the store and met some fun couples. I’d definitely recommend couples try 6 for $6, or a small group of girls, however there were no “dudes” in the mix, so I’m not sure it’d be a wild guys’ night out.
As for the food? It was good! We tried salad, goat cheese stuffed dates, oyster sauce asparagus, grilled salmon, guacamole and plantain chips, and finished with a chocolate covered strawberry. Each station is manned and if you ask, you can have the recipe and be pointed in the direction of the necessary ingredients.
Market District also hosts cooking demonstrations every week, showcasing seasonal and themed dishes. The experience is heightened with the dedicated cooking demo area, complete with cooktop, counter space, pots and pans, and an area for watching. The schedule of demos is fantastic; whether you’re a beginner or looking to spice up your meal routine, they’ve got you covered. Some are free, others cost money. Check out their list of events for more information.
Complementing the cooking demos, the Market District also offers educational events such as a weight loss series, food restriction education (diabetes, gluten, dairy, etc.), and general food knowledge courses.
I also encourage you to sign up for their newsletter; they do a bang up job of cranking out useful, interesting foodie knowledge, such as food pairings, upcoming events and store specials.
Exotic and traditional cheeses are plentiful in this place. Aside from laughable sizes of their cheese wheels, the cheese department is ridiculously awesome. I’ve been “that” customer who has bought 2 slices of 6 different cheeses for sliders. And the employees are totally okay with it. Not only did the girl smile as she hand-cut those 12 pieces of cheese from different 15lb blocks, she encouraged me to find more! I couldn’t believe it.
But, I’ve also been “that” customer who falls into the free-sample-turns-into-a-$5-purchase trap. Blueberry cobbler cheddar… case in point. The free samples are delicious, addictive, and available in each department.
Pair your cheese purchase with one of the many Italian or Spanish specialty meats, found in the adjoining department. Want something more substantial and meaty? Try one of their more “exotic” meats, such as bison, veal or venison. These meats, in addition to various poultry and pork items are in their own department, past the fresh seafood department.
The bulk foods section will take up a good chunk of your time – and not in a hum-drum, waiting in line sort of way, but instead a starry-eyed, what can I get my hands on next, kind of way. In the bulk section you can select from the following:
- Dried spices
- Gourmet salt and peppercorns
- Candied Fruits
- Dried mushrooms (I cringe.)
- DIY trail mix
- Coffee beans (in marvelous flavors)
- Oil and vinegar (yum, yum, yum)
The pastries and baked goods are bountiful and varied. Between the angel food cupcakes, cannoli, ombre ruffled 6″ cakes, or baguettes, you can find yourself in a carb-loaded-coma real fast. I can’t vouch for their flavors yet, but based on looks alone (shallow, I know) they have to be decadent. This section is placed before the oil and vinegar, so be sure to grab a baguette, because you’ll be sure to need it.
Of course they have your traditional pantry items that your normal grocer would carry, with a few more ethnic items than normal. The interior aisles aren’t overwhelming, or exciting, but if you stick to the outer parameter, you’ll find that’s where the fun is kept.
I won’t say I’ll give up the majority of my pantry shopping at Aldi, but I have been finding myself purchasing more cheeses, oils, spices and baked goods at the Market District that quite frankly, you can’t find elsewhere.
As a grocery store – sure! I’ll take it, but more importantly, it’s a unique culinary adventure. Between the exciting foods, beverage options, events and live music, coming to Market District is actually fun. Bonus? There are only 9 of these stores in the country – and we’re lucky enough to have one right in our Akron/Canton area. Clevelanders, you have one too! Right in the Solon area.
1700 Corporate Woods Parkway
Uniontown, OH 44685
Open 24 Hours