Salad topped with french fries in PA

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clambo
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2005/01/11 15:24:02 (permalink)

Salad topped with french fries in PA

Traveling between Connecticut and Indiana on I-80, we often stop for lunch at diners, truck stops, etc. in Pennsylvania (Poconos/Alleghenys part of the state). In a number of such places, my wife has ordered a salad, which arrives at the table with a liberal topping of french fries. We've never seen this anywhere else. Anyone else experienced this? Any insights as to the origin?
#1

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    Jennifer_4
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2005/01/11 15:25:54 (permalink)
    All I know is, they like to put fries in their sandwiches, has to be a PA thing.
    #2
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2005/01/11 15:42:56 (permalink)
    This is very much a Pittsburgh thing. Steak Salad is very popular there and the salad is generously loaded with French Fries and Provolone. It's not actually a "Pennsylvania Thing" If you ordered the same thing in Philly they would think you are "on drugs"
    #3
    brookquarry
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2005/01/11 15:45:13 (permalink)
    I live 10 miles from the Poconos. and frequent many diners in that area. I've never seen this. Wouldn't be surprised if it happened in Western Pennsylvania, given the Primanti's influence.
    #4
    jm199
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2005/01/13 17:47:15 (permalink)


    It's been a Pittsburgh thing for 40+ years, at least that's how long I can remember. Fries, fries and more fries.

    #5
    CarolinaBill
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2005/01/25 15:19:31 (permalink)
    Certain things you can always count on with a Pittsburgh dining experience:

    1. Fries on salad (usually steak salad)
    2. Parmesan ANYTHING (Veal Parm, Chicken Parm, Shrimp Parm, Fish Parm, you name it)
    3. When picking your "potato" with your meal, you will always have a spaghetti choice offered as well.
    4. Friday means fried fish, slaw, and sometimes mac and cheese. And there is NO PLACE that makes better fish sandwiches than Pittsburgh (preferably Wholey's, Benkovitz, or any good tavern restaurant)
    #6
    lleechef
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2005/01/25 23:27:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by CarolinaBill

    Certain things you can always count on with a Pittsburgh dining experience:

    1. Fries on salad (usually steak salad)
    2. Parmesan ANYTHING (Veal Parm, Chicken Parm, Shrimp Parm, Fish Parm, you name it)
    3. When picking your "potato" with your meal, you will always have a spaghetti choice offered as well.
    4. Friday means fried fish, slaw, and sometimes mac and cheese. And there is NO PLACE that makes better fish sandwiches than Pittsburgh (preferably Wholey's, Benkovitz, or any good tavern restaurant)

    Yep, yep, yep and yep!!! According to local folklore, the steak salad with fries was "invented" by some tavern/restaurant in Rochester, PA. I have no factoids to back this up but for sure it was in the Pittsburgh area where they are want to put french fries on everything! Just go to Primanti Brothers........you'll see! There is more pastrami on the sandwich but the fries are definately the SECOND ingredient!
    #7
    luv
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2005/05/07 00:56:09 (permalink)
    i'm a PA gal, near pittsburgh. we love fries on our chicken or steak salads and in our sammiches. try it! it's good!
    #8
    -Tricky-
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2005/05/30 14:01:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by CarolinaBill

    Certain things you can always count on with a Pittsburgh dining experience:

    1. Fries on salad (usually steak salad)
    2. Parmesan ANYTHING (Veal Parm, Chicken Parm, Shrimp Parm, Fish Parm, you name it)
    3. When picking your "potato" with your meal, you will always have a spaghetti choice offered as well.
    4. Friday means fried fish, slaw, and sometimes mac and cheese. And there is NO PLACE that makes better fish sandwiches than Pittsburgh (preferably Wholey's, Benkovitz, or any good tavern restaurant)


    There are restaurants who actually call these salads "Pittsburgh Chicken Salads" and "Pittsburgh Steak Salads". It sounds particularly unappetizing, as do Primanti's sandwiches, but these are two cases where the food absolutely outperforms the expectations. No, the salads aren't particularly classy, but sometimes they hit the spot. I actually had a Pittsburgh Steak Salad yesterday for lunch with my Mom. I missed my salads with fries when we lived in Columbus, OH. That is until I found Braddock's.
    #9
    carlton pierre
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2005/05/30 20:47:27 (permalink)
    I used to spend a lot of time in western PA and really loved the salads with fries. I thought it was cool, and actually quite good.
    #10
    stanpnepa
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2005/05/30 21:41:21 (permalink)
    1. Fries on salad (usually steak salad)
    2. Parmesan ANYTHING (Veal Parm, Chicken Parm, Shrimp Parm, Fish Parm, you name it)
    3. When picking your "potato" with your meal, you will always have a spaghetti choice offered as well.
    4. Friday means fried fish, slaw, and sometimes mac and cheese. And there is NO PLACE that makes better fish sandwiches than Pittsburgh (preferably Wholey's, Benkovitz, or any good tavern restaurant),


    In the Northeastern part of the state...#1 would be a no-no, #2 is popular, but not on fish, #3 in mostly Italian restaurants only and #4 is quite common (this is a very Catholic area) but pizza is more dominant here.
    #11
    Earl of Sandwich
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/04 20:58:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    This is very much a Pittsburgh thing. Steak Salad is very popular there and the salad is generously loaded with French Fries and Provolone. It's not actually a "Pennsylvania Thing" If you ordered the same thing in Philly they would think you are "on drugs"


    I was quite surprised the first time I had one, but I loved it and they are quite good.
    #12
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/04 22:18:00 (permalink)
    You mean all you others DON'T put fries on your salad!!!" />
    #13
    GNeedles59
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/05 09:34:31 (permalink)
    Why don't I just put ice cream on my salad. I'm sorry, the point of ordering a salad is to eat a salad, if you want fries, order fries. That's just me.
    #14
    leethebard
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/05 09:49:05 (permalink)
    I agree...sounds like a bad mix!!!!
    #15
    soozycue520
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/05 11:01:41 (permalink)
    Actually, there's a place in Cincinnati, called martino's which is owned by a family from Pittsburgh, and they put fries on salads. You can, of course, order your salad w/o fries, but really, it is nit as bad as it may sound. It 's only putting potatoes on a salad. Not bad at all.
    #16
    Neesie
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/05 11:19:02 (permalink)
    I've never been anywhere near Pennsylvania, let alone Pittsburgh. But imagine my surprise while in Ft. Lauderdale I stopped in to the Priamanti Brothers diner and ordered a burger with cole slaw and fries. To my surprise, they were ALL inside the bun! To my knowledge, it hasn't spread any further than that....
    #17
    Earl of Sandwich
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/05 19:16:22 (permalink)
    Steak...as well as the fries...in your salad. it's a regional thing, but it's really quite good.
    #18
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/05 20:28:24 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    Now y'all are making me wonder... what would a livermush sandwich with slaw and fries taste like? -- I've tried the livermush and slaw, but never the livermush and fries, nor all three at once. Holy Mohandasz Mogzhsrdu, Batman! That sandwich would indeed be a double handful.
    Think I'll opt for something more mundane tonight.
    Mushing Ever Along, Ort. Carlton in We've Even Got Scrapple -- But No Goetta Athens, Georgia.
    P. S. Do not let my salutation dissuade any of you from coming to Athens. Or, as the old song goes, "Don't Goetta 'round mush anymore." Groan.
    #19
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/05 20:34:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by GNeedles59

    Why don't I just put ice cream on my salad.
    Mmmmmm, ice cream on my salad!
    #20
    jellybear
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/06 08:38:16 (permalink)
    Thats the reason for so many Fat Bottoms up there.
    #21
    ChicagoIrish
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/15 19:58:53 (permalink)
    It kinda sounds like they are too lazy to be bothered with an extra dish or two, so just toss all the pieces of a steak dinner in a bowl and be done with it. Plus since it's a "salad" it must be good for you.
    #22
    GNeedles59
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/16 09:13:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ChicagoIrish

    It kinda sounds like they are too lazy to be bothered with an extra dish or two, so just toss all the pieces of a steak dinner in a bowl and be done with it. Plus since it's a "salad" it must be good for you.


    Remember the "true men of genius" bud light commercial when they praised the inventor of the taco salad?

    #23
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/16 09:18:38 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jellybear

    Thats the reason for so many Fat Bottoms up there.


    In Pittsburgh????

    Most of the women I knew were relatively height weight proportionate (and coming from me you know that means something) Actually I reached my heaviest weight when I lived there (6'2" and 300lbs) and although they considered me "very tall" I wasn't considered "that big" lots of big guys - many weighing in excess of 300 lbs (and not that tall too)

    I think alot of it had to do with the ratio of men/women. Probably one of the few places I lived where there were more women than men.
    #24
    sgtboots
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    Re:Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/27 13:40:36 (permalink)
     It's rare not to see french fries on steak or chicken salads in this area.  It's not that bad, but if there is another choice, I will take the other.
    #25
    Ev1L
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/27 19:30:47 (permalink)
    wanderingjew
     Probably one of the few places I lived where there were more women than men.


    Take me to your leaders. And I'll have a salad with french fries while I wait


    #26
    jimcfs1
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    RE: Salad topped with french fries in PA 2008/12/28 17:26:43 (permalink)
    There is an Irish pub in Massilon OH called the Irish Exchange that serves a steak salad topped with fresh cut fries.  They also do good wings (as good as in Buffalo we think) and a good fish fry.
    #27
    foundthegoodlife
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    Re:Salad topped with french fries in PA 2012/05/22 13:57:40 (permalink)
    The steak or chicken salad, topped with french fries and shredded cheese, was invented at Jerry's Curb Service in Bridgewater, PA (next door to Rochester, PA, as indicated elsewhere in this thread and just up the road from Pittsburgh).  It is one of the few remaining car-service restaurants around -- pull your car in (the older/hotter/faster the better) and a car hop will be right out to take your order.  Jerry's was demolished and rebuilt in true retro style a few years ago and still serves great burgers, fries, Dorsey's and those world-famous steak salads.  Google Jerry's Curb Service and you'll find their website (now selling franchises!) and this ditty about how it all began:
     
    It was on a fateful night in the early 1960's that the now famous Steak Salad was born. A customer placed a rather unusual order - a steak sandwich, hold the bun, add fries and salad dressing. Not one to disappoint a customer, Donna Reed placed the order. She noticed the man cut up the steak, mixed in the fries and poured the salad dressing on top. Curious about this rather odd concoction, Donna decided to try it for herself, but with one small change. Donna placed her sliced steak, fries and salad dressing atop a fresh bed of lettuce. Creating what is now a staple in the restaurant industry - the Steak Salad!
    In honor of that nameless customer who inspired Donna to create the classic Steak Salad, Jerry's Curb Service still offers the original order - sliced steak and hand cut fries with a side of salad dressing.
     
    #28
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Salad topped with french fries in PA 2012/05/22 14:04:55 (permalink)
    I've been to Jerry's Curb Service many times and had no idea they take credit for inventing the steak salad.  Thanks for the info foundthegoodlife.  And welcome to Roadfood!
    #29
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Salad topped with french fries in PA 2012/05/22 14:41:28 (permalink)
    It was my understanding that the steak salad (an abomination if ever I've seen one ) was "invented" at the Hilltop, between Adams and Jefferson streets, in Rochester, Pennsylvania, not Jerry's. But I've never been closer to Jerry's than Bruster's for fudge ripple.
    #30
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