Primanti Bros. sandwiches are a Pittsburgh classic. I talked about them last year in my post ‘Pittsburgh, in a Sandwich’ – as a refresher (and as you can see above), they make a nontraditional sandwich that is topped with French fries and coleslaw. If you’re a Pittsburgher and you have out-of-town visitors, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll take them to Primanti Bros at some point during their stay. Not everyone goes gaga for these sandwiches, but I absolutely love them. I don’t eat them often, maybe once or twice a year, but they are such an awesome treat. About five years ago when I was living away from Pittsburgh, I got homesick for a Primanti sandwich, so I went about creating my own. I couldn’t believe how close I got to the taste of the original – it even smelled the same! – definitely something you can enjoy at home!
The key components to the sandwich are the fries and the coleslaw. The French fries are not super crispy, but rather have that natural cut taste and texture to them, which I achieved with my recent Easy Homemade French Fries. My sister even asked me where I found the Primanti fries recipe! That’s how I knew that French fries recipe was absolute perfect for the homemade Primanti Bros sandwich. Next is the coleslaw. They use an oil and vinegar-based coleslaw, not a mayonnaise version, which is a very important distinction. It wasn’t exactly a coincidence that the homemade French fries and Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw made back-to-back appearances right before this sandwich ;-)
Now, let’s assemble the sandwich! Since this is such an unusual sandwich, I wanted to document the building process :)
Start with two slices of thick-cut Italian bread. Good Italian bread and really thick slices are key here. Then, layer on your meat. My all-time favorite Primanti sandwich is the pastrami, but you could use whatever you like. For some ideas, you can check out the Primanti menu.
Next goes the provolone cheese. (Two slices are ideal. I think I may have snuck a piece while building the sandwich, oops!)
Then a nice handful of fries.
Followed by an equal amount of coleslaw.
Topped with a couple slices of tomato.
And the rest of the bread.
This is pretty much the king of all sandwiches. And the homemade version certainly satisfied my craving for the real thing. If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, I highly recommend stopping by a Primanti Bros. location (they have multiple downtown and suburban locations) and trying one of these sandwiches!
If you’re from the ‘Burgh or have had them before, what’s your favorite Primanti sandwich??
Build your sandwich by layering the pastrami, provolone cheese, French fries, coleslaw and tomato on a slice of bread. Top with the other slice of bread. Cut the sandwich in half and enjoy with some extra fries!