In looking around Pittsburgh for a tasty place to eat, while staying up in the University area (Oakland), my co-worker and I came across Primanti Brothers. It looked interesting from the outside, and he and I both like holes in the wall, so we popped in.
First, the music was straight out of the late 90s. Stone Temple Pilots (Lady Picture Show). No Doubt (Spiderwebs). Alice in Chains. Better than Ezra. The music wasn’t so odd, by itself, but it was the fact that it was the ONLY music that was played. Either they were on satellite radio, getting a 90s feed, or someone in their early 30s had their iPod hooked up to the sound system.
It wasn’t “my kind” of music, but it was all from my high school years, so I didn’t bother me at all. In fact, the nostalgia was kind of nice.
Otherwise, the restaurant had almost a diner feel. We seated ourselves in a quiet corner. There were several flat screens playing sports. Our server, Jess, came over. She was friendly. We asked for menus, but she said that the menu was on the wall. I thought that was interesting. We looked up, and sure enough, the walls had the menu on them.
Clearly we weren’t locals. She stated that all sandwiches come with tomatoes, cole slaw, and fries on them, and asked us to just call for her when we were ready to order.
Wait wait wait… tomatoes, cole slaw, and fries ON the sandwiches?
Tomatoes, cole slaw, french fries ON the sandwiches.
Like… between the bread?
Not LIKE… Between the bread.
Huh. How ’bout that?
Well, I ordered an Iron City Pilsner, which I had never had before, and a capricolla and cheese sandwich, hold the cole slaw. The beer was cool, crisp, and thirst-quenching; just like any authentic pilsner should be. The sandwich came out shortly there after the beer, without cole slaw, but with tomatoes and fries ON the sandwich, as promised.
It was excellent. It was regular white bread, high-quality meat, and tasty cheese. The tomatoes were good, and the fries were excellent. We settled up our bill, and resolved to come back when we go back to Pittsburgh in early October (this week).
The food wasn’t spectacular, but the ambiance, price, and food combined to get a solid recommendation. If you’re in the Iron City, make it a point to swing by a Primanti Brothers.