Saturday, September 29, 2012

Crazy Vegetables and Rick Sebak

DB~ and I went downtown to the Strip today.  I've written plenty about the Strip District in the past, but let me once again say that the Strip on a Saturday (especially in pleasant weather) is a sight to behold.  There's just so much going on with all kinds of vendors on the street.

Today we wandered into the Farmers' Market at the Firehouse up the far end of Penn, past the Penn Avenue Fish Company.  There were lots of great craft and farmer stands, but one caught my eye right away. It was Mott Family Farm from Salesville, OH -- about 30 minutes west of Wheeling, according to the owner of the farm, Jeff Mott.

Sometimes, especially in the Strip, it's easy to get vegetable hypnosis.  Pretty much every stand has the same basic tomatoes, greens, eggplants, fruit, beans.  But at the sustainably and organically grown Mott Farm, he had all kinds of crazy variations on vegetables.  There were blue potatoes, all sorts of Asian eggplants, so many different types of sweet peppers, five types of garlic, a plethora of onion types, and on and on.  It also helped that Jeff Mott is probably one of the nicest guys you'll meet and eager to talk about produce with you and how to use it.

We ended getting a bunch of Japanese turnips (tasty raw, too), a head of red garlic, two Merlose red peppers, some blue potatoes, and a type of Taiwanese eggplant that was long and curly.  All that for just $8.

After that we left the Farmers' Market and headed back towards the main fray on Penn Avenue.  As soon as  we got on to Penn Avenue, DB~ said "This guy coming towards us looks like the guy from the Yinztagram app".  I knew she meant Rick Sebak, but forgot his name.  Sure enough, it was the actual Rick Sebak.  I said, "Hey, how are you doing, Rick!" and he stopped and talked with us for at least 10 minutes while holding bags of groceries.

If Jeff Mott is the nicest guy you'll meet, Rick Sebak is the 2nd nicest.  We asked him about what his new documentary was about (25 things he likes about Pittsburgh), how he likes being on Yinztagram (loves it), he told us about getting a signed program from Sir Laurence Olivier and waiting in line for autographs from London theaters, and a bunch of other stuff.

We got a picture of DB~ and Rick, with her face bright red.  He said to leave a space next to DB~ so that we could add the fake Rick Sebak into the picture.  He was a great guy and one of the more underrated Pittsburghers out there.

You never know what will happen in the Strip District.

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