Gi-normous Sammies at Primanti Bros.

“Sandwiches are wonderful.  You don’t need a spoon or a plate.”  Paul Lynde

Primanti Bros., Market Square (photo by Tony Byers)

Eatery:   Primanti Bros Bar & Grill, 2 S. Market Square, Pittsburgh, PA

We did NOT choose to stopover in Pittsburgh en route from New York to Ohio just because of the “almost famous” Primanti Bros.  Even though that is exactly the sort of thing I would ask my poor husband to do, such are the whims that my foodiness generates.  Having arrived in Steel Town for other reasons, it was a must-try.  The business has been around since the 1930’s and is legendary for its sandwiches.  What’s so great about them? The menu offers a variety: fish, steak, pastrami, corned beef, egg, turkey, etc.  What makes all these distinctive is what gets added to them:  tomato, cheese, a heap of coleslaw and a pile of French fries.  That’s right – French fries grace each and every sandwich.  And, if you’re worried about your cholesterol or waistline, well, there is one comfort:  the slaw is made without mayo (Primanti Bros uses an Italian-style dressing of oil, vinegar and a bit of sugar).  That clearly makes up for the French fries…..right?

Corned beef & cheese at Primanti Bros. (photo by Tony Byers)

So, how were they?  Husband had steak while I went for corned beef.  We each had an egg added because, well, it just seemed like the right thing to do.  Husband tore through his right away, despite saying, as we entered, that he wasn’t particularly hungry.  He loved it.  I liked mine, too, though I found the coleslaw to be a bit too plentiful.  The white Italian bread was surprisingly soft (I somehow expected it to be toasted or otherwise firm in texture), though it struggled to hold up to the massive pile of ingredients on the sandwich.  The most surprising things, though, is that it wasn’t especially messy.  Sure, stuff fell out of it as I consumed it.  But I fully expected to have sandwich juice running down my hands (which I hate though I am conflicted by this, since the juicy goodness this results from is always welcome).   The neat freak in me was grateful, however.

Price:  Corned beef & cheese, $6.69; black Angus top sirloin steak & cheese,  $7.29; egg added to sandwich, $0.50 each.

Destination Sandwich:  Yes.  You’ve got to try one at least once in your lifetime.

Fat/Calorie Worthy:  Yes.

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