Pitts-Burgher in Paradise

The Primanti Bros. sandwich is going nationwide. Do we want to share?



That noise you heard in the middle of winter wasn’t the din of the mayoral vote being split into three as Michael Lamb joined the race. No, that was the sound of numerous Pittsburghers collectively gasping as they learned Primanti Bros. had acquired an investor that would take the sandwich seller nationwide.

There are few things as ’Burghy as a Primanti’s sandwich. In fact, there are two things you can safely bet on seeing during any nationally televised home Steelers game: (1) an aerial view of the Point and (2) an action shot of a Primanti Bros. sandwich being expertly assembled.

To many in the world, that’s what Pittsburgh is — football, steel, rivers, Primanti’s.

That the sandwich many consider to be as much a part of our identity as the Terrible Towel will soon be available all over the country isn’t sitting well with some ’Burghers.

“A chain restaurant? The beginning of the end for Primanti’s,” said one local.

Before we make up our minds about this development, it would be wise to examine it more closely. So let’s set aside our angry Yinzer attitude as we go point/counterpoint on the subject.

POINT
“You can’t get Mancini’s in Iowa,” one reader commented on Facebook. And that’s just the start for many, as they worried that the bread will change, the quality will suffer — and, before long, it won’t be true to the original recipe, causing a once-unique Pittsburgh flavor to become a diluted copy.

COUNTERPOINT
As reader Daniel Casciato wrote, “How difficult is it to mess up two slices of Italian bread, coleslaw, fries and a slab of meat?” He’s right. Coq au vin this is not.
 

POINT
As VH1’s Jim Shearer (a Pittsburgh native) asked, “Who and what will go on the wall in Philadelphia? An Eagle? A [gag] Flyer? And what about Boston — Tom Brady?! Let’s not forget that the Bible has prohibitions against Tom Brady’s face appearing on the wall inside of a Pittsburgh-famous sandwich shop. It’s right after the scripture that says, “Thou shalt not ask for a Pitts-Burgher with ‘fries on the side.’”

COUNTERPOINT
There is no counterpoint. Under no circumstances shall the likeness of any current or former Flyer, Cowboy, Eagle, Patriot, Raven or Bengal be displayed on a wall inside of a Primanti Bros. shop. Can we get President Obama to sign an executive order saying as much?
 

POINT
We’re no longer going to be in the dark about how many fat grams, carbs, calories and cholesterol units are in each menu item. It’s easier to order a Kielbasa Egg and Cheese when you can fool yourself into believing you’re not consuming a two-month supply of Weight Watchers Points in one sitting. A national chain will need to publish the nutritional facts, and you and I are going to be faced with the artery-hardening truth.

COUNTERPOINT
Again, there is no counterpoint. No good can come from knowing. Either we take the “La-la-la-la, I can’t hear you!” route, or we start running ultra-marathons in the thousand-degree Australian outback to work off caloric content in the quadruple digits. I’m pretty sure you can guess which route I’ll be taking. *plops down on the couch*
 

POINT
Now you’ll be able to get a Primanti’s anywhere. Ugh.

COUNTERPOINT
Now you’ll be able to get a Primanti’s anywhere! Ex-pats, rejoice!
 

POINT
The original Pittsburgh locations are going to lose their notability.

COUNTERPOINT
I disagree. Sure, they might not remain the tourist magnets they are today, but they will be as special as we make them. Primanti’s will still be the place where we made memories — and where we’ll choose to make new ones. No pristinely clean, salad-offering, franchised Primanti’s in Phoenix with a wall painted full of Arizona Cardinals is ever going to change that.

No matter what.

… one nation, under God, with french fries and coleslaw for all.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Best Restaurants 2017

Best Restaurants 2017

This year Pittsburgh Magazine's independent Restaurant Review Panel recognizes 34 establishments as our regions's top restaurants. Our list includes All Arounders, Killer Casual, Fancy Night Out, Best Budget and Classic Comfort establishments.
Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Bill Fuller’s portfolio includes overseeing five specialty restaurants — Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen and Wine Bar, Soba, umi and Kaya — as well as 14 fast-casual Mad Mex restaurants and a full-service catering operation. Even in an increasingly competitive environment, his restaurants remain in-demand and relevant.
Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Apteka, operated by Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, is a vegan eatery that draws on Lasky’s sixth-generation Pittsburgh roots and Skowronski’s Polish heritage.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Watch: How Will You Remember Kunitz's Overtime Winner?

Watch: How Will You Remember Kunitz's Overtime Winner?

Check out three versions of the goal that sends the Penguins to the Stanley Cup final for a sixth time. (Hint) We think we saved the best for last.
Dinosaurs Storm the Pittsburgh Zoo

Dinosaurs Storm the Pittsburgh Zoo

Eighteen life-like, animatronic dinosaurs will spend the summer in the Steel City.
He Loves the Nickname: They Call Him Dr. Yuk

He Loves the Nickname: They Call Him Dr. Yuk

In the 45 years since coming up with Mr. Yuk, Dr. Richard Moriarty, now 77, has met many grateful parents who told him he saved their kids’ lives.
Getting Started with Startups: A Peek at Alphalab Demo Day

Getting Started with Startups: A Peek at Alphalab Demo Day

Technological innovators present what could be “the next big thing” at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homewood.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Best Restaurants 2017

Best Restaurants 2017

This year Pittsburgh Magazine's independent Restaurant Review Panel recognizes 34 establishments as our regions's top restaurants. Our list includes All Arounders, Killer Casual, Fancy Night Out, Best Budget and Classic Comfort establishments.
Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Bill Fuller’s portfolio includes overseeing five specialty restaurants — Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen and Wine Bar, Soba, umi and Kaya — as well as 14 fast-casual Mad Mex restaurants and a full-service catering operation. Even in an increasingly competitive environment, his restaurants remain in-demand and relevant.
Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Apteka, operated by Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, is a vegan eatery that draws on Lasky’s sixth-generation Pittsburgh roots and Skowronski’s Polish heritage.
Can the Restoration of a Church Lead to the Revival of a Town?

Can the Restoration of a Church Lead to the Revival of a Town?

A small group of dedicated residents sees the restoration of their church in Tarentum as a window to the potential rebirth of their once-booming community in suburban Pittsburgh.
Remembering Henry Hillman

Remembering Henry Hillman

Reflecting on the impact of the businessman, civic visionary and philanthropist.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch: How Will You Remember Kunitz's Overtime Winner?

Watch: How Will You Remember Kunitz's Overtime Winner?

Check out three versions of the goal that sends the Penguins to the Stanley Cup final for a sixth time. (Hint) We think we saved the best for last.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pittsburgh Bartenders Give Back By Keeping Time

Pittsburgh Bartenders Give Back By Keeping Time

The Pittsburgh chapter of the USBG partners with Campari USA to create a calendar that will benefit Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Vital Happy Hour Alert: Great Cocktails at the Wigle Tasting Room

Vital Happy Hour Alert: Great Cocktails at the Wigle Tasting Room

The third outpost of local distillery Wigle, found in the Omni William Penn Hotel, is an instant destination for cocktail fans.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Frightened about Game 7? You Should Be

Frightened about Game 7? You Should Be

A win will send the Penguins to the Stanley Cup finals for a second year in a row and re-write team history.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

The Strip District-based woodworker's cutting boards can be custom made with the wood of your choice.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
If Only the Baywatch Team Could've Saved Us From Jack Sparrow

If Only the Baywatch Team Could've Saved Us From Jack Sparrow

Reviews of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" and "Baywatch," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
New York Bridal Designer Shares Her Secrets

New York Bridal Designer Shares Her Secrets

Pennsylvania native Jaclyn Jordan brings her newest collection to the Blanc de Blanc Bridal Boutique in Carrick.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Get to the North Side for Home & Garden Tour, Epic Yard Sale

Get to the North Side for Home & Garden Tour, Epic Yard Sale

Explore lavish homes and gardens with the West Allegheny Historic District’s annual Tour and Tasting, or go on the hunt for hidden treasure during The Great Mexican War Streets Yard Sale.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Explore Your Future with Point Park University

Explore Your Future with Point Park University

The university will host three summer workshops for high school students from July 17-20.

Comments