I was in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. A place that I had never, ever been and hadn’t really given much thought to. But, ever since we have moved to a medium size city in Southwest Florida–I crave any chance to get out to a real city and some elevation change. Not to mention a chance to get out of the humidity.
I had no idea what to expect. I knew it was home to enthusiastic sports fans— almost everyone on the flight was wearing a Steelers jersey. The pilot even gave out games scores over the intercom and when it was announced that Pittsburgh beat Atlanta–there was cheering. ( We just so happened to be flying from Atlanta to Pittsburgh).
My friend Nicole, is from Pittsburgh–and she going to be at the same meeting. And she was bringing her new baby along (who was already 2 years old!) That alone was worth the trip.
And, one of my favorite bloggers, Michelle, from the Brown Eyed Baker, is also from Pittsburgh and always posts about how much she loves her city –so I thought it must be an okay place.
Everyone I talked to about my trip (which was really only a couple of people) said that while in Pittsburgh, I must eat at Primanti’s.
According to their website: ” Back in the 1930’s, Joe Primanti opened a cart in the Strip District selling sandwiches to truckers on the go. It was decided that he should expand to a small restaurant on 18th Street. The hours were 3am to 3pm to accommodate truckers and the like. “One winter, a fella drove in with a load of potatoes. He brought a few of ’em over to the restaurant to see if they were frozen.I fried the potatoes on our grill and they looked pretty good. A few of our customers asked for them, so I put the potatoes on their sandwiches.” And the rest is history. The Primanti Sandwich: a true taste of Pittsburgh.”
Yes, Primanti’s is a sandwich place. A sandwich place that serves meat (of your choice), coleslaw and french fries sandwiched between two thick slices of white bread.
I ordered a turkey sandwich with cheese and the works (coleslaw and french fries). And a Diet Coke.
I would say that if you are in Pittsburgh—-you should try the sandwiches. They were good—- I liked the combination of the coleslaw, fries, grilled turkey and I liked their bread. But, it was HUGE! (Lately, I have been kind of disturbed by giant portions. No one needs that much food in one sitting–unless maybe they are a Olympic swimmer in peak training.)
I also really liked the feel of the location I went to. It wasn’t touristy at all—more like a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop that you just ‘discover’ on a quiet street.
Primanit’s has recently been on shows like, “Man v. Food” and even on National Geographic. The restaurant chain was named an American Classic by the James Beard Foundation. People love this place. I have a feeling that it can get quite busy but I was there at about 3:00 pm on a weekday. It was empty.
I agree with the recommendations— If you are in Pittsburgh make sure to check out Primanti’s. It is part of the history and culture of the city. You will get a sandwich that you enjoy. You will leave full.
My only advice: Go for a nice long walk along the river afterward—all about balance.