I don't think you can talk about Pittsburgh without mentioning Primanti's (or the Steelers, for that matter, but it's not football season...just you wait).
Primanti Brothers is world famous (or at least we like to think that) for their greasy sandwiches, stacked high with your meat of choice, fries, tomatoes and cole slaw...yes, cole slaw. We've never claimed to be culinary geniuses in Pittsburgh, but don't knock it 'til you try it.
My personal top choices for sandwiches are the Pitts-burgher Cheesesteak, Capicola & Cheese, Turkey & Cheese, Roast Beef & Cheese, and my Lenten favorite, the Deluxe Double Egg & Cheese. All range from $4.99 to $6.49.
When I was home last weekend, I went to the Primanti's in the Strip District at 2am post-bar...the real way to go. The Primanti's in the Strip District (Read: not a community of strippers, but rather a strip of old school Italian and Polish grocers, butchers, Steelers pride shops, and restaurants amidst the old warehouse section of Pittsburgh) is the original location that has been in the area since the 1930's. It's a gritty little restaurant with a lot of charm and later-added murals of Pittsburgh icons covering the walls. It's open around the clock to accomodate truckers and workers in the area...and that also makes it a very convenient stop-over on the way back from the bars, haha.
There are a few other Primanti's outposts throughout the city, and vendors in the Pittsburgh stadiums, but then almost 10 years ago, they began expanding into suburbia with sit down restaurants and expanded menus.
Now it seems every time I go home, there are more Primanti's locations that have cropped up. There are currently 14 locations throughout Pittsburgh and 2 in Florida...Florida?! It almost seems like Primanti's is on it's way to becoming the Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks of Pittsburgh, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.
Nothing beats the original. Nothing beats being in the Strip District at whatever hour of day or night, and having the cranky man behind the counter fry you up a huge, greasy, falling apart with deliciousness sandwich...
No trip to Pittsburgh would be complete without a visit to the Primanti's on the Strip. Yum.
Primanti Brothers - Strip District
46 18th St. (at Smallman St.)
Pittsburgh, PA 15222