The opening of the new Giant Eagle Market District at the corner of Portage Trail and State Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls was very highly anticipated by many, including me. We have another Market District in Green, about a 20-minute drive south of Akron, which I visit often just to eat their prepared foods in their dining area. I was very hopeful that this new Market District at Portage Crossing also carried the same foods, cooked to order.
There is no doubt that this Market District is big and sprawling. It’s bigger than the one in Green, and I know because I’ve paced and compared the two. My advice is to make sure you get everything you need from one section before moving on to the next or else you’ll be doing a lot of walking around the store.
Now, let’s talk about the eats in their prepared foods “cafe” section. I was very pleasantly surprised that this branch also has a Sizzling Wok. This is where they will cook some Asian food to order, including my favorite, pho. I ordered the pho (there was a 20-minute wait) and picked up a spicy tuna roll box from the sushi bar because they didn’t have any eel rolls available. After paying for the food at the cashier, I took my food upstairs where the tables and chairs were for a sit-down meal. Digging in, my first impression was that they didn’t put enough pho broth in my bowl. I should also mention that I had to direct the staff behind the counter to include the garlic, cilantro and basil in my pho. My guess is that the kitchen staff isn’t as trained as they should be at this new store. Overall, compared to the other Sizzling Wok in Green, the pho here was not as flavorful as it could be. Also, I cannot recommend the sushi here if what I had was anything to go by. Granted, it is “grocery store grade” sushi and my expectations were low, but even then I was quite underwhelmed.
In addition to the Sizzling Wok and the sushi bar, they also had other offerings like bbq, pizza, sandwiches, a hot bar and a small salad bar. I visited the store on a Monday, which was “Pizza Night” where the special was a 16″ pie with 3 toppings for only $7.99. I was prepared to order one to go until I was told that there was a 90-minute wait for one. I chose not to wait because it was an unreasonably long time.
Walking around the store, I was impressed by the large variety of “exotic” (I hate that word) food this Market District carried. For example, their seafood department had fresh eel, whole octopus, squid, mussels and even whole fish. Near the bakery, there was a gelato bar with many flavors, sold by pints and even cups or scoops. Presumably, they want people to enjoy some gelato while walking around the store grocery shopping.
One last thing I should mention is that this store is also a state liquor store (which means that they can sell 100% proof alcohol). There is a bar section within the store where customers could sit and enjoy a few glasses of wine or a cocktail or two. This Giant Eagle Market District at Portage Crossing has a very large variety of alcohol, ranging from wines to beer and hard liquor. I imagine that if you can’t find something you want to imbibe there, you probably won’t find it anywhere in the Greater Akron area.
I feel that I must make another visit to the cafe there to try their pho again. Perhaps this will happen after they’ve been opened for another few weeks and their staff has had time to settle down and learn the ropes. Until then, I will continue to patronize the Market District in Green for my dose of “grocery store pho”.