I call this place a deli, but yunz could classify it anyway you want - pub, italian, fast food.
For those of you who have only heard of Primanti Bros. sandwiches, they are part of Pittsburgh tradition.
Imagine a slice of fresh Italian bread with a meat of your choice - most popular = cheesteak, hot sausage, capicola, pastrami - a slice of melted cheese and then french fries and a vinegar-based cole-slaw piled on, all topped with another slice of Italian bread, then sliced in half.
I have taken many out of towners there and it seems the ones that have tried their first Primanti Bros sandwich at 2am or later (after several cocktails) seemed to enjoy the experience more so than those who tried a sandwich sober during the middle of the day.
This place serves up gut-buster specials, so if you are on a diet, or don't enjoy a good greasy sandwich every now and then, stay away.
I NEVER leave Pittsburgh before I have at least one Primanti Bros sandwich. Since they have a location inside Heinz Field, I usually grab one before kick-off at a Steelers game.
Favorite Dish: Hot Sau-saaaaaaaaaaage sandwich. The hot sausage at Primanti Bros.s is your typcial excellent Italian variety found throughout Pittsburgh.
Primanti Brothers have been in the restaurant business for 70 some years. Their eatery in Pittsburgh's Strip district is legendary for towering sandwiches in a pubby atmosphere.
We spent Easter with our family recently and wanted to have lunch at Primanti's before departing for Texas. I ordered a humungous fish sandwich and my husband ordered a stacked ham and cheese--both were stuffed between thick slices of bread.
This is what Primanti's is known for, but if you add french fries to the sandwich, that's what makes it a stand out. We opted for the fries, but on the side.
The only menu is on the wall, where cheese steaks, knockwurst and cheese, capicola and cheese or sweet sausage and cheese sandwiches are featured along with other favorites. You won't find hamburgers or hotdogs here.
A breakfast special seems almost too good to be true: for $4.99 you get two eggs, ham,bacon or sausage, potatoes, tomato, cole slaw, toast, juice or coffee and is served from 6am-10:30 each day.
Primanti Brothers has been a sandwich institution in Pittsburgh since the early 1930s but took on particular prominence when it started putting french fries on those very sandwiches. With 15 locations in the greater Pittsburgh area and three in the greater Fort Lauderdale area, it may not be a chain but it's force to be reckoned with! Oddly enough, it did not start serving pizza till the late 1990s and that is what it's primarily noted for in Florida. I should know, we live in Fort Lauderdale and even though I'm a Philly boy at heart, I would have to stay, Primanti Brothers makes the best pizza in our new hometown.
Favorite Dish: We went to the Moon Township location, very close our local friends' house and it was a very bustling obviously local bar. The “pie” was every bit as good as in Lauderdale, maybe even better. We had a 14 inch cheese pie ($10.99) and a 14 inch white pie with spinach ($12.00). They had Sam Adams Oktoberfest on tap and that went perfectly with the great pies. This is a crispy pizza that you eat with your hands. Anyone using a knife and fork may as well write tourist on their forehead.
Similar to the original Primanti's at the Strip District, the Market Square location is just a tiny corner restaurant and bar with seating for about 30. The old fashioned tile floor, stainless steel counter, and of course the signature giant cheese steak sandwiches all lead to a great dining experience.
The menu at all 5 downtown locations is the same with the hot sandwiches topped with fries and slaw, along with a few other simple dishes such as chili, salads, and chicken fingers.
Unlike the original, the Market Square location is only open from 11am to 11pm. It is located just one block from PPG place and maybe 3 blocks from the cultural/theater district (Liberty Ave).
This is possibly the most non-pretentious, enjoyable restaurant in town. There are a few locations around town, including on in PNC Park. It's diner-style, where you can choose to sit at the counter or at a little table. The staff is friendly, but the place gets packed late at night (especially in the Strip District) so be prepared for a wait.
Favorite Dish: Cheese Steak Sandwhich (not your Philly Cheesesteak): Italian bread, steak, cheese, coleslaw, french fries, tomatoes (I'm sure I'm missing something). Add some hot sauce on top.
A Pittsburgh tradition. This sandwich is huge. French bread with your choice of meat and coleslaw, fries, tomato, and cheese - all in one! I'd give $50 for a hot corn beef right now. The thing that makes it most unique is definitely the size of the sandwich. It is enormous.
Favorite Dish: Corn beef of course. It is good because of the combo of ingredients. The heat of the fries, the crunch of the cole slaw done just right (none of that mayo business - oil, vinegar, salt & pepper only!). I find it is best to eat after it has been wrapped to go. That way the sandwich is more compact, not so messy, and you lose less of it as you TRY and fit it into your mouth.
If you have never had a Primanti Bros. sandwich then you my friend have been missing out. Their sandwich's are huge, and are between two grilled pieces of bread topped with coleslaw and fat french fries. They're awsome.
Primanti's is known for their sandwiches. There are other tips about this restaurant, but what is interesting about this place is how the sandwich came about. Located in the Strip District, teamsters and rail workers needed a place to grab a meal after working. Primanti's came up with the creation of a sandwich that provided a whole meal! You get the meat, cheese, coleslaw, french fries, tomato between 2 slices of Italian bread. Ummmmm good. Still open all night, and part of the fun is watching the preparation of your meal at the grill!
Favorite Dish: Any sandwich from here is great. Come see for yourself!
I have the honor of dating a Pittsburgh girl (The most beautiful woman in the world.), and on a recent trip to western PA she had us stop in at the local Primanti's to initiate me properly. You may want to skip the appetizer and go straight for the sandwiches here, they're a meal in themselves. As a matter of fact there's only enough room in this review for the sandwich itself. OK I lied, the atmosphere is pretty much standard sports bar, now on to the star attraction! The Primanti's sandwich holds a legendary status among Pittsburghers. Originally crafted to curb the hunger of mid-shift steel workers you've got everything you need crammed between two slices of thick soft bread. I opted for corned beef (My New York roots are showing) with the works. When the sandwich came I quickly realized I needed a plan of attack. There's probably 3/4 lb of meat topped with cheese, french fries, cole slaw (Sweet and sour, it's more a marrage of slaw and kraut), and tomatoes. I was told I had to "Commit to it, once you pick it up don't put it back down. You won't be able to pick it back up in one piece again. Slide your pop close enough to be able to lean over and drink from the straw." Armed for battle I took my first bite and have been hooked ever since.
Favorite Dish: The sandwiches, no doubt. A lot of people I've described them to have trepidations regarding the fries being on the sandwich, but trust me on this, it works!
We went to the Primanti Bros. in the Strip based on the recommendations of other VTers. Despite being initially daunted by how busy the place is and the long line, we persevered. It was worth the wait. For lunch hubby and I shared an order of cheese fries and a cheesesteak sandwich, with a dill pickle of course. The server was a bit gruff, but it was one of those cases where it is part of the charm and atmosphere of the place. Rather than plates, sandwiches are served on a piece of waxed paper. For me, the most interesting aspect of our lunch was having coleslaw right in the sandwich. That was a first for me, and surprisingly tasty. Because it is warmed up, it's almost like sauerkraut.
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