Monday, November 22, 2010

Primanti Bros.

830 Clairton Blvd., Rt. 51
Pittsburgh, PA 15236

Primanti's is a staple of our Western brethren. It's their local sandwich, and they are darn proud of it. When I was asked to go for a road trip out there last weekend, I jumped at the opportunity. My only stipulation, we had to get a sandwich from Primanti's. Before you jump on me for going the tourist route, we weren't stay in Pittsburgh proper, but rather a town of 350 people, the real salt (and coal) of the earth. Plus, I hadn't had one of these sandwiches in about four years, so I was more than due. Look at the beautiful Pittsburgh sky below.

Primanti Bros. is now a chain in the Pittsburgh area, and you can even get your fix in Florida. Although their history sounds suspiciously like the history of the hoagie, but I suppose throwing things between two pieces of bread is human nature (for good reason, it's delicious).

After ordering a 23oz. IC Light, I went to work picking out which variation of this classic Steel City sandwich would fall victim to my hunger. I went with the traditional Pitts-Burger Cheesesteak. I had eaten this sandwich before, so I would have good grounds for comparison. Now before I continue, I must clear up the name. This is possibly the most egregious misuse of the term cheesesteak that exists in the modern world. There is nothing cheesesteak about this sandwich. It consists of a sirloin beef patty that is quite similar to Salisbury steak. I knew this going into it, but it could obviously be confusing to diners from the more gastronomically inclined side of the state. Of course, not leaving well enough alone, I ordered a double meat sandwich with a fried egg and fried onions. Go big or go home (quite possibly in an ambulance in this case), I always say.

This sandwich is HUGE. It is stacked about eight inches high, and piles on two patties, provolone, fried onions, vinegar based sweet and sour coleslaw, tomato, and fresh cut french fries. It is truly a challenge to eat based on size and the average persons capacity for food intake. Luckily, my strength/affliction is not knowing when to throw in the towel. Below is one half of the monster.

I ate the whole sandwich. Which is pretty impressive. But when I say that, I mean I even ate the french fries and coleslaw that slipped out of this behemoth, and then proceeded to eat half an order of the boneless buffalo wings. I am not proud of my actions, but hey, I was on vacation. The worst part? The boneless wings were just okay, and I still put them down after my sandwich.

The pastrami was a good variation to the cheesesteak and I actually helped polish that thing off later, after a long night getting to know the intricacies of a town where beers were $1.25 and mixed drinks were $1.50. For shame.

Overall, the sandwiches are pretty good, in a novelty kind of way. They are more about the experience than the actual taste/logistics of eating one. It makes me thankful for a real cheesesteak, but gives me something to crave until the next time I find myself ensconced in the Steel Curtain.

My gracious host below.

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