Chow Down at the South Park Rib & Wing Challenge

Plus the Pittsburgh Public Market celebrates its first birthday and a new Peruvian eatery opens in Squirrel Hill.

Pittsburgh Public Market photo by claramichelle on Flickr

South Park hosts rib and wing challenge
Labor Day weekend, in most people’s minds, marks the end of summer. That being said, don’t let your last weekend of warmth and relaxation (well, one of them anyway) go to waste. The holiday has long been an occasion to cook out, and one of the biggest barbecues in the region is happening right in your backyard: the South Park Rib & Wing Challenge.

The festivities will be held at South Park Fairgrounds and will feature live music by local bands, a petting zoo, games, shopping—and as the name implies, no shortage of wings and ribs. As for the "challenge" portion of the event, well, be sure to go hungry. The festivities will be topped off with a wing-eating competition Monday night, followed by the presentation of the Rib & Wing Team Trophy, awarded to the team with the tastiest wing or rib recipe, as voted on by attendees. 

Samples of each team’s eats will be available throughout the weekend, and with 18 teams (six wings and 12 ribs), you’ll need all three days to decide.

(1801 Brownsville Road, South Park. Sept. 3-5: Sat.-Sun., noon-10 p.m.; Mon., noon-8 p.m. Rain or shine. $8, presale; $10, at the door; children under 11, free. Info: 412/405-9631,
—Rob McCoy, PM Editorial Intern

Pittsburgh Public Market hosts weekend festivities
When marking a first birthday, balloons, confetti and a scrumptious cake are normally involved in the daylong event. But for Pittsburgh Public Market’s big day, the plans are slightly different: Throughout its birthday weekend, the market will host several speakers—including raw-vegan chef Hilary Zozula and Rebecca Gilbert of—and will offer samplings, live music and giveaways. Don’t fret, though: There’s still a big, tasty cake.

The three-day celebration is the market’s way of thanking patrons for their support, says market manager Tiffani Emig. With special sales and a wealth of activities, what are you waiting for? Head on over and pick up a few things—like some gourmet sweets from the Pittsburgh Marshmallow Factory.

(Pittsburgh Public Market, Smallman Street between 16th and 17th streets, Strip District. Sept. 2-4: Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Info: 412/281-4505,
—Kristina Martin, PM Assistant Editor

Casual eatery adds Peruvian flair to Murray Avenue
Aji Picante brought fresh, new flavors to the Squirrel Hill dining scene when it opened in early August. The restaurant’s Peruvian-born chef specializes in the food of his native country: Look for dishes like lime-drenched ceviche with sweet corn and glazed sweet potatoes or Lomo Saltado, a plate of stir-fried steak strips with crispy fries and garlic rice. This is a BYOB establishment (hint: there’s sangria mixer if you happen to bring wine).

(1711 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. Closed Sept. 4-5. Info: 412/422-0220,
—Kate Chynoweth, PM Food Editor,

Categories: PGHeats