We couldn't go to Pittsburgh without eating at the famous Primanti Brothers sandwich shop. Located in the Strip District (a neighborhood of markets and other foodie delights - more on that later), the restaurant started out as a lunch stand in 1933. Apparently the lore is that they sold sandwiches to truckers on the go. One day, a trucker drove up with a load of potatoes that he worried had frozen in his truck. So Mr. Primanti fried up a few of the potatoes, determined that they were good, and went ahead and put them on the guy's sandwich. And thus the perfect trucker meal was born - an entire meal between 2 pieces of bread.
I ordered my sandwich with knockwurst and cheese, redneckhunter got pastrami and cheese. All Primanti sandwiches are served on thick slices of Italian bread, with tomatoes, french fried potatoes, and homemade cole slaw. Cheese is provolone only - no American, no cheddar - just provolone. And Italian bread only - no wheat, no rye - just Italian. For me, the cole slaw is what made the sandwich. Instead of mayonnaise, the slaw is vinegar-based, and was the perfect thing to go with salty meat and starchy potatoes.
46 18th Street