On August 18, the newly-built Market District across from campus had its grand opening. It generated so much interest that, during move-in weekend, it was a topic everyone was talking about.
My roommates and I checked it out, and its safe to say that we were immediately impressed upon walking in. Since it is brand new, every inch of the store is spotless and all products are neatly arranged.
The first floor of the two-story building holds fresh produce, frozen and refrigerated food, ready-made meals, and a Starbucks, while the second floor holds most of the non-perishable items and the Market District restaurant.
We first decided to try the restaurant, which was already packed with people. However, we were able to get a seat quickly by sitting with strangers at what the restaurant called a “community table.”
Once we were sitting down, it was easy to forget that we were inside of a grocery store. Everything about it was very fancy, from the dimmed mood lighting at each table to the modern plates and glasses.
When it comes to the menu, I found that it was limited yet still full of variety. They have everything from salad to meatloaf to fish tacos to choose from, so there is definitely something for everyone.
It took a long time for us to order and get our food since the restaurant had so many visitors. However, the amount of effort put into making each plate both delicious and aesthetically-appealing made up for this.
I ordered the Cobb salad, and it looked too beautiful to actually start eating. Once I did, though, I didn’t want to stop.
The food is also relatively affordable, despite the setting being so lavish. Some meals are priced up to fifteen dollars, but each portion served is large enough to be worth that. In fact, I ended up taking half of my salad home.
The next day, my roommates and I did our grocery shopping there. The store was still crammed with many interested shoppers and their carts, but it was an easy shopping experience as everything was organized section-by-section.
The store had a great variety of products on both floors, prices were very obviously marked, and there were a lot of great deals for Giant Eagle members.
Only two things really frustrated me while shopping, one of those was the produce aisle. While they were kept very clean and fresh, most of the fruits and vegetables were organic and expensive. This made shopping on a budget difficult.
It was also annoying having to go on an elevator with our cart to continue shopping and then again to check out on the first floor. It would have been a lot easier to get all of our shopping done on just one level.
Overall, though, our experience at the new Market District was a happy one. The total for our groceries was more than it would have been at Kroger, but we will continue shopping and eating at Market District due to the sheer quality and convenience of it.