Cleanliness and awesomeness at Market District in Robinson


Giant Eagle Market District Restaurant on UrbanspoonI’ve written about the Market District restaurant before (& specifically about the allergen signage), and have even posted a review & photos on Urbanspoon.  I probably will again.

I feel the need to write once more to applaud their cleanliness & friendliness at the BBQ station (OK, the Smoke & Fire Rotisserie).  Bethany & I were there for dinner & grocery shopping last night on a trip to get a bunch of stuff and take advantage of the dastardly cult-like fuelperks!®/foodperks!™ programs.  (Don’t tell anyone, but Tuesday night is a great night to go shopping there.)

PRETTY PLEASE! (with a cherry on top) USE MAIN ENTRANCE ←with a cart― NOT THE ROTATING DOOR
sign for the special sort of Yinzer…

I noticed a few things.  First, I noticed a sign above the soups that said that seafood soups would be available in the seafood section.  I wish I had snapped a photo.  It may not have anything to do with allergies & potential cross-contamination, but I like it.  Keep the deadly seabugs in their own little corner.

Next and more importantly, I noticed the employee that handled my order.  She told me that she’d be with me as soon as possible while she handled the order for the people in front of me.  I had no problem waiting, but the acknowledgement of my presence was a great start.  You can’t imagine how many people behind a food counter will just ignore you, and how such a simple thing as a hello makes all the difference.

The big surprise came after I ordered my turkey sandwich with St. Loius style sauce & grilled vegetables (which are so incredibly awesome).  I watched my new favorite employee take the carving knife carving, wash it in the sink, then come back to spray/wash/wipe the cutting board, then proceed to carve the delicious turkey for my simple yet tasty sandwich.

(You mean, there are steps beyond wiping a knife with a dirty rag?  Yes, I’m talking to you, Subway.)

Such simple steps, such a comfort for someone with food allergies.  I know I go to the Rotisserie station because it’s deathfish free, but hopefully this is an insight to Market District‘s overall food prep/handling policies.  If not put in place by training, I applaud this team member’s personal dedication to cleanliness!  I wonder if they’ve looked at FAAN’s guide to welcoming guests with food allergies?  I was already a fan of the place because of other chefs there that I had talked to regarding food allergies, and this just put it over the top.

I hope to write to Market District to express my awe & thanks.  If only they would do a few more simple things, they would indeed be the most awesome grocery store ever:

Turner's Tea-Bird
Turner’s Tea-Bird

This tiny sign made my day…


It’s simple, really.  It’s a small, simple act that’s a symbolic gesture, and may be complete and total BS in all practicality or reality… but it made me feel comfortable today.  I have discussed my shellfish issues before, and have been ridiculed for suggesting that the food service industry take any more action on allergy issues, awareness, and cross-contamination than they already are.  I can’t explain why or how, but this one little sign put me at ease.  Why?  Because it was simply acknowledgment, I guess.  Maybe that’s all I want or need.  At any rate, kudos to you, Market District Cafe in Robinson!  What am I making such a big fuss about?  Not much really, just this…

Photobucket

That’s all.  No biggie.  But, to me, it means so much.  I did happen to ask the guy behind the counter about what all was cooked on the grill that I can see, and he was happy to inform me that there is indeed no shellfish that touches said grill surface.  It’s not a big deal to you most likely, but it is to me.  So I blogged about it.

In a related note…  The Market District in Robinson is ridiculously awesome… the grocery store and the restaurant side.  I popped up a review on UrbanSpoon.com, here it is…

photo prime

“It’s like a food amusement park…” by ERiC AiXeLsyD (100 reviews)

January 16, 2010 – Really likes it – I really never thought I’d be this excited about a grocery store. The team at Giant Eagle/Market District that put this place together are geniuses. It’s not the first time I’ve been to the store, but today was the first time eating in their cafe. Floor layout plan and traffic flow not withstanding, this is a great place to eat! It’s almost a cross between a food court and hospital cafeteria… with really really good food. You can choose form a bunch of little islands or counters of food… Pizza, Crepes, Rosti, Salad Bars, Hot Bar, Grill/Rotisserie station, and more that I haven’t really looked into yet.

My wife went for a really nice-looking Italian panini with the thickest slice of mozzarella, I’ve ever seen and a nice little side salad with assorted greens, and dropped it off with a Market District brand peach oolong iced tea. She really thought the sandwich was fresh and filling, and is looking forward to trying of the other options. (They had some nice-looking reubens there too!)

I went right to the rotisserie/grill/BBQ area (of course) and my eyes were drawn to the brisket. I got a combo which included the brisket & side… I chose the grilled vegetables… normally for $6, but I got $1 off with my Giant Eagle advantage card. I also snagged a roll (gotta get those carbs!) and a Boylan’s Birch Beer. I chose a St. Louis Style BBQ sauce with the brisket that was a perfect compliment t the juicy beef, and the grilled veggies were perfect. They were just vegetables, the taset wasn’t hidden with a sauce or too many spices. We got an excellent meal IMHO for just over $14.

The thing that impressed me the most was when I was asking the chef/cook behind the counter about what all was cooked on the grill due to my shellfish allergies, he was very patient, kind, and even double-checked with another employee. Then, when I got to the edge of the counter, I spied a sign noting possible cross-contamination listing all the major allergens, and how one should be sure to ask the staff about any cross-contamination. It’s an odd and very small gesture, but it means the world to someone like me who’s generally in a constantly worrisome state when dining out. I applaud their taking note, and to me it says a lot about the company & the people.

Photos of the sign & both our meals have been uploaded to the photo section.

And oh yeah… they have BEER! In a Grocery Store! in PENNSYLVANIA! Genius. I didn’t get any this time, but I saw 6-packs of Straub Special Dark for $6.97 and the wife was eying up the extra large bottles of Raspberry Lambic for only $12.99. We will be back to get some beer!

We’ll definitely be back when we’re in the area!

1 person likes this review Recommend

And, here are the photos I mentioned…

Giant Eagle Market District Restaurant

Giant Eagle Market District Restaurant