Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage

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buffetbuster
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2010/10/18 15:51:24 (permalink)

Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage

Talking with my 13 year old twin nephews recently, I was shocked and dismayed to find out they have never been to Primanti Brothers before.  Not only that, they had never even heard of it!  How sad it is that these kids know so little about their french fry covered culinary and cultural heritage.  The only possible explanation for this is that I am the world's worst uncle.  Needing to do something about this, we visited Primanti's last Thursday night.
 
On the drive down to the city (of course, I had to take them to the original Strip District location), Andrew told me about the history of the sandwich and how it was named after a real person.  I told him about the history of the Primanti's sandwich, how it was a way for truckers to eat a meal with one hand (which is why the cole slaw, french fries and tomato are between the bread, just like the meat and cheese), while still working or driving.  We paused outside long enough for a photo. 

Alex, on the left has always been a huge eater and told me years ago that when he gets older, he wants to go on some eating trips with me.  Andrew has always been the much shorter of the two, but has recently caught up in height and appetite.
 
Even though it was close to dinner time (5:30PM), we got a seat right next to the menu board.

Andrew asked which of the sandwiches came with the fries and slaw on it and he seemed surprised when I told him all of them.  He must have been thinking it was just one type of specialty sandwich.  Since it was their first time, I did point out how the cheesesteak is labeled the #2 seller and made them guess what was #1.  Nobody ever guesses right that it is Iron City beer.  An old Pittsburgh joke, I assume.  Alex ordered the cheesesteak and Andrew asked what I was getting.  When I told him my favorite was the capicola w/cheese, he decided that's what he wanted, too.
 
To kill time, we checked out all the famous Pittsburghers on the huge wall murals.  Explaining to them who Shirley Jones and Barbara Feldon are just made me feel old.  In no time, we had our sandwiches.  Obviously, the boys were not prepared for how big the sandwiches were.  Alex exclaimed, "Now that's a sandwich!"  I had hoped to get the three sandwiches lined up for a group photo, but before I knew what happened, Andrew was well into his third bite.  Oh well, here are some shots of my capicola w/cheese.



 
We discussed what made the sandwich work so well and we agreed that not one single element is necessarily a standout, but it was the way they all work together.  Personally, I love how the spiciness of the ham, the vinegary tang of the slaw and the hot on the outside, creamy on the inside fries play off of each other.  Here are some action shots of the boys enjoying their food. 
 

There was no concern at all that the sandwiches were too big for them and Andrew in particular, hammered his down in record time.  Here is proof of what a fine job they did.

Of course, I wouldn't have left any extra spilled fries or slaw on the wax paper, but for first timers, they made me proud!
 
Before we left, I had them pose next to the famous Pittsburghers mural.  

Who knows, maybe they will do something special enough to get their own likeness of the wall.  Maybe invent their own sandwich!
 
This excursion was only the start.  The boys have never tasted fries from the "O", ice cream from Dave & Andy's, pierogies from Pierogies Plus or a turkey devonshire from anywhere.  We have some more trips to the city planned in the next few weeks!
 
MOD. NOTE- PHOTOS EDITED AT REQUEST OF ORIGINAL POSTER.
post edited by mayor al - 2010/10/25 11:53:59
#1

55 Replies Related Threads

    billyboy
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/18 16:11:45 (permalink)
    To paraphrase the Russian comic, Yakov Smirnoff, "What an uncle!!"
    #2
    bethgrd
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/18 16:19:56 (permalink)
    Cliff...love this!  You are indeed a good uncle; they will always remember this!
    #3
    Mosca
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/18 16:22:33 (permalink)
    Trivia note: years ago, back in the late '60s/early '70s, the #2 seller was sardine & egg sandwich.
     
     
     
    #4
    joerogo
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/18 18:03:04 (permalink)
    Move over Cousin Johnny, these Boys are bringing an appetite!
    #5
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/18 18:25:13 (permalink)
    There's a ' . . :the Next Generation' joke in there somewhere.  Nice outing Uncle Cliff!
    #6
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/18 18:36:16 (permalink)
    The expression on your nephews faces after the meal are priceless!-
     
    Looks like they're ready for a good nap- just like their uncle!
    #7
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/18 19:35:41 (permalink)
    You done good!
    #8
    mar52
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/18 19:45:13 (permalink)
    Cute boys!
     
    Why is the bread upside down?
    #9
    ayersian
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/18 20:09:46 (permalink)
    Cliff, I am envious.  I've got two nephews and a niece but their taste buds haven't quite developed yet to handle/appreciate the onslaught of Roadfood that I have planned for them.  After we got back from Route 66 last summer, the older nephew told me that he'd like to go on an eating tour with us one day...thus my brainwashing is working.      Chris
    #10
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/18 20:12:24 (permalink)
    mar52

    Cute boys!

    Why is the bread upside down?


    Because that's the way the sandwich maker put it there.
     
    By the way, I personally cannot stand those sandwiches with fries and stuff on them.
    post edited by Michael Hoffman - 2010/10/18 20:13:57
    #11
    Curbside Grill
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/19 11:02:25 (permalink)
    Granted BB is a good Uncle, but my question is where are the parents in raising their kids to local haunts.
    jump on me, but my father showed me the way, and I showed my siblings the way. they know. Now it is there turn to show theirs the way . every time I visit they show me places, so I am confident the way has been set.
    #12
    1bbqboy
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/19 11:04:17 (permalink)
    The parents are at the Applebee's on Long Island.
    #13
    Curbside Grill
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/19 11:22:28 (permalink)
    having had a escort/pilot car service for many years, had one couple that pushed  the driver to the next town because a 'BEE was there or stop early. that is unreal.
     do not like the sandwich, but the atmosphere is great.
    #14
    Foodbme
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/20 02:26:26 (permalink)
    I do something similiar with my Granddaughters. We call it the "Hole in the Wall" Lunch. (Sometimes it's Breakfast).
    I find a "Hole in the Wall" AKA Roadfood joint and don't tell them where it is or the type of food served and surprise them. So far, they've had a Ball! As one said, "Better than Burger King!"
    post edited by Foodbme - 2010/10/20 02:28:04
    #15
    agnesrob
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/20 07:15:39 (permalink)
    Great report! Looks like you all had a good time!
    #16
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/20 09:12:29 (permalink)
    I am just a little bit curious about what's going on at home...is it all Spaghetti O's and jello?
    #17
    1bbqboy
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/20 09:26:48 (permalink)
    Uncles are supposed to be cool.
    stop slagging on the Parents. Jeez, we might as well morph this into the "where did everybody go" thread.
    #18
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/20 14:31:29 (permalink)
    bill voss

    The parents are at the Applebee's on Long Island.

     
    bill voss

    Uncles are supposed to be cool.
    stop slagging on the Parents. Jeez, we might as well morph this into the "where did everybody go" thread.


    Hello, Pot.  Meet the black kettle.
    #19
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/20 14:41:28 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    I do something similiar with my Granddaughters. We call it the "Hole in the Wall" Lunch. (Sometimes it's Breakfast).
    I find a "Hole in the Wall" AKA Roadfood joint and don't tell them where it is or the type of food served and surprise them. So far, they've had a Ball! As one said, "Better than Burger King!"


    What a great idea. Really terrific!
    #20
    1bbqboy
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/20 14:43:57 (permalink)
    The Travelin Man

    bill voss

    The parents are at the Applebee's on Long Island.


    bill voss

    Uncles are supposed to be cool.
    stop slagging on the Parents. Jeez, we might as well morph this into the "where did everybody go" thread.

    thanks, papa.

    Hello, Pot.  Meet the black kettle.


    #21
    mr chips
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/21 23:13:37 (permalink)
    Wow Cliff. That is a cool thing to do. Shows how even a trip to a familiar place can be memorable .
    #22
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/21 23:34:20 (permalink)
    Where do I sign up to be Cliff's relative?
    #23
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/22 06:34:35 (permalink)
    Very nice!
     
    #24
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/23 13:12:45 (permalink)
    Nice job of educating the younger generations on the blessings of real food!
     
    P.S.: When are you ready to adopt some more RF members as family?  I'd like to get in on that action.
    #25
    mayor al
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/25 12:08:31 (permalink)
    Nice report Cliff. Sorry about the edits, but I agree with your decision.
    #26
    ann peeples
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/25 12:53:42 (permalink)
    I love to take my nieces and nephews to roadfood places or introduce them to new types of food.Their parents want to kill me sometimes because their palettes no longer satisfied with the typical fast food places.But we sure enjoy eating together now!!!Good for you, Cliff!
    #27
    Foodbme
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/25 20:15:46 (permalink)
    Do you know why Aunts/Uncles and Grandparents/Grandchildern get along so well???
    They have a common enemy!! 
    #28
    DirtDude
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/28 23:00:03 (permalink)
    I liked this place a lot, but I did not like the version of the cheesesteak I got. Have to perfer the one from the eastern side of the state. Your capicola looks pretty good though.
    #29
    jimcfs1
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    Re:Discovering their (Pittsburgh's) culinary heritage 2010/10/29 09:21:53 (permalink)
    I've been doing a similar thing with my 9 year old son Tanner.  We did the original Primanti's this summer (after having eaten at suburban locations in the past).  Other than for filling up on a separate order of fries before our sandwiches came, he really enjoyed his salami and cheese sans slaw.  ;)  I'm a Colossal Fish kind of guy myself, as it reminds me of a Buffalo Fish Fry in a sandwich.
     
    I have a group of friends based of NC that we meet from time to time for BBQ in various places in the north state.  This has exposed Tanner to the joys of the pig.  He really likes the infamous Roadfood-reviewed Ridgewood near Bristol, TN.
    #30
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