Tom Friday’s Market

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It no secret that it is especially important to have a well-balanced diet. You need your greens, carbs, and fats to give your body the fuel it needs to get through the day. In my opinion, one of the most interesting and desirable parts of a meal is the meats. You need protein and, in most cases, it comes from meat. Next time you are at a buffet line pay particular attention to what most people are talking about or looking at, most of the time it is meat of some type.

In a lot of cases, people buy meats at the grocery store. One may not think about the benefits of going to the butcher. If you investigate a little further, there are advantages! For starters, they buy animals from farms that are fed natural diets. Butchers also have cuts of meat that you may not find at a grocery store. Finally, you are going to get top-notch service and expertise to aid in your buying decision. One of these butchers that has been in Pittsburgh since 1955 is Tom Fridays Market. They are the last store in the Pittsburgh city limit that carries hanging sides of beef. Let us explore!

The foundation – Tom Fridays hand selects top-of-the-line, corn-fed beef. They pay particular attention to the marbling which provides superior flavor. This selection process also ensures that you will get meat that is super tender as well. All the meat is hand trimmed and cut in-house. They also slice their deli meats and cheeses to order.

The meats – If you are looking for beef you have come to the right place. Tom Fridays feature cuts such as the blade, brisket, chuck, fillet, flank, fore rib, leg, neck, rump, shank, thick rib, top round, and sirloin. They also have a variety of pork cuts as well such as the loin, chop, butt, ham hock, picnic shoulder, spareribs, baby back ribs, country-style ribs, tenderloin, fresh ham, cured ham, and pork belly. The cuts of chicken available include whole chicken, halves, breast quarters, split breast, boneless, skinless breast, wings, drums, mid-section, whole leg, boneless skinless leg, thigh, drumstick, and giblets.

Other items – Tom Fridays has a great selection of deli meats and cheeses. They also make custom sandwiches of your choosing. If you are looking for some greens, they have fresh salads prepared daily. If you are entertaining you can also pick up veggie, seafood, cheese, and vegetable part trays. They also have a great selection of rubs for your grilling needs.

Tom Friday’s Market Final Take:
  • Taste and Flavor
  • Portion Size
  • Affordability - Market prices


My final take – There is a certain ambience and mystique about going to a butcher. Not only are you getting quality cuts of meats and great service, but you are also supporting small businesses as well. There is nothing wrong with mediocrity, but if you want to achieve greatness sometimes you must dig deeper and go somewhere that specializes in what you are looking for, which in this case is meat. If you are looking for great meats and service, check out Tom Fridays Market. There is a good chance that your family and friends will tase the difference at your next barbecue!

Score rubric

  1. Taste and Flavor –

(1) Bland, no taste at all, under/overcooked/dry

(2) Edible, but below average, little to no spices, herbs, or seasonings, somewhat under/overcooked/dry

(3) Decent quality, spices/herbs/seasoning used. Not going to rave about the food but also not going to complain.

(4) Restaurant/dish lives up to reputation. Flavorful, it is clear spices/herbs, seasonings are used effectively. Dishes clearly thought out and well executed. What you would expect for your hard-earned dollar.

(5) Exceeds expectations. Not only are spices/herbs, and seasonings used to perfection, at this level, highest quality ingredients/meats used. Processes such as aging, brining, and marinating are used at this level. Food is cooked to perfection at this level and meat is unbelievably tender and juicy. You tell all your friends and family immediately about your food experience.

  1. Portion Size – How much food do you get, is there left-overs? 5s need to wow me.
  2. Affordability – Average cost of entree’s and appetizers
  3. Ambience – The mood or feeling of the restaurant. Decorations, history, memorabilia, etc. Is it an atmosphere you could spend hours at?

To check out more amazing restaurants in the Pittsburgh area, read my first book, The Hidden Restaurant Gems of Pittsburgh: An Insider’s Guide.

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