Thursday, June 21, 2012

Robinson Township, PA Edition: Primanti Brothers

Primanti Bros. is an institution in Pittsburgh. It has even been featured on TV (Man vs. Food) (Travel Channel) and in print (National Geographic). It's greasy good with a surly attitude. But the Strip District expanded to nearby suburbs that are more sit-down and less surly. One such location is in Robinson Township. A few friends and I ventured here. We walked in and told the hostess how many were in our party, which is way different from the original location.

The walls are coated in sports memorabilia and their menu. It's very sports bar-like inside. We were sat in a booth, and our server asked if we had been there before. When I shook my head, he explained the menu briefly to us. This location has everything from appetizers to wings to salads to Italian dishes to pizza, and of course, their sandwiches.


We put in an appetizer of a crispy chicken bowl, which is their "famous" cheese fry boat topped with chicken fritter bites, BBQ sauce, sour cream, bacon and tomato. It wasn't really an appetizer since it came out the same time as our meals, which was...

The #2 Pitts-Burger cheesesteak - "the original almost famous sirloin beef patty sandwich that feeds the spirited fans of Pittsburgh." The sandwiches are served on fresh Italian bread with fresh-cut fries, cole slaw, tomatoes and provolone cheese. The #2 best-seller is actually a local joke - the cheesesteak is their best selling sandwich. There's no #1 seller listed on their menu. Their #1 seller is their beer (Iron City, specifically).

The sandwiches don't take too long to make, despite the monstrous two-hands-required meal. My sandwich was served wrapped in wax paper and nestled in a plastic basket with a few stray fries around the edge. I unhinged my jaw and took a bite - quite tasty. The towering mass of meat, fries and tangy cole slaw was sandwiched, literally, between two hunks of Italian bread. The vinegar/oil slaw is crunchy and goes well with the softer, salty fries. The meat, well-seasoned, added a solid base for the sandwich. Top it with tomato, and you have a Pittsburgh original. I do wish the bread was toasted, but it's delectable nonetheless. It's a must-try.

Oh, almost forgot about our chicken bowl. It really was an afterthought at this point. But fries slathered in cheese, topped with some BBQ, bacon and sour cream can't be bad. I wish it had been a little heavier on the sour cream, lighter on the BBQ, but hey, if you like fries, this can't be a bad choice. It wasn't bad overall, but after stuffing myself with the sandwich, there's really no need for anything else.


Grade: A
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