Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Road Trip - Primanti Brothers

My apologies for the confusing title of this post as Primanti Brothers was never featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives ("DDD"), but rather, the restaurant was featured in Travel Channel's Man vs. Food. I wanted to keep my blog post titles for this road trip consistent since my intention of this road trip was to visit as many DDD places as I could. However, Primanti Brothers is an extremely popular chain of sandwich shops throughout Pittsburgh so it would be wrong of me to not pay this place a visit.

When I was on Primanti Brothers website, I looked around and it was then that I noticed that they were on Man. vs. Food. I thought that works out perfectly as it kinda fits the "theme" of my road trip, which was basically "going around eating a crazy amount of diner food in a span three days".

Watch this Man. vs. Food video. Primanti Brothers is known for putting fries and coleslaw in their sandwiches.

The Primanti Brothers that we went to was located in Pittsburgh's Strip District and is the original Primanti Brothers before it expanded to a chain restaurant (this location was also where the Man. vs. Food episode was filmed). Primanti Brothers has been around since 1933 and has now expanded to Fort Lauderdale as well.

We went around 7:30PM and it was packed. We waited around 10 minutes for a table - you basically just sit down at any empty table you see. I think there was only one server at this whole place.

Primanti Brothers only do sandwiches and not much else.

Very old school with the neon lights.

My boyfriend wanted a pickle, so we got a pickle.

We initially ordered fries too, seeing that advertise them as "award-winning hand-cut fries" but to our disappointment, our server came back and told us they ran out of fries and asked if we would like to choose another side instead. We chose the chili, which turned out to be really delicious and thick - it was spicy with lots of beef.

Although the chili was good, I was still very disappointed about the fries. How can Primanti Brothers run out of fries? It was Saturday night at 7:30PM (they open 24 hours). I really can't get over the fact that a sandwich place that are known for putting fries in their sandwiches can run out of fries. Doesn't make sense to me. Are they saving the fries for the sandwiches? Are people in the kitchen refusing to make anymore fries? Did they run out of potatoes? Or does the server not like us or something ("NO FRIES FOR YOU!"). I dunno, I still don't get it.

Anyway, we ordered two sandwiches that were featured in the Man. vs. Food episode.

Colossal Fish Sandwich

Okay this sandwich came wrapped, and when I unwrapped it, I was soooooooooo disappointed. This sandwich was not colossal at all. It was so much smaller than I imagined it to be; likewise, it also looked a lot bigger in that Man. vs. Food episode

Pictures are deceiving here because I know from these pictures, this sandwich looks really big. But  I assure you, it really was not big at all. My McDonald's Quadruple Filet-O-Fish Sandwich was probably double the size of this.

As well, the reason why the sandwich may look big is purely because of height;  there was so much fries and coleslaw inside. The actual piece of fish was really thin and small.

In the picture below you can hardly see the fish; that stuff in the middle are fries, not fish. In the video they had a really big piece of fish (precisely at the 1:19 minute mark where the fish is so long that it literally sticks out of the sandwich) but evidently, not the case when I had it -  I could hardly even taste the fish actually.  

It also didn't help with all that coleslaw and fries in the way (by the way that lone slice of tomato totally does not belong in this sandwich, tastes weird on top of the coleslaw). It was really hard to eat too because the bread were so small compared to all that filling so everything keeps on falling out. I don't mind sloppy if what I'm having is good, but what I was having was not good. If somebody told me I was eating a veggie sandwich I would have believed them - the fish was almost non-existent.

Still took a picture with it. I'm all smiles here but inside my head I was really thinking "Colossal my a$$!"

Capicola and Cheese Sandwich

This was normal size, not as much fries and coleslaw inside compared to the Colossal Fish Sandwich. The sandwich featured on the show was actually "Capicola & Egg" but when we were there they only had "Capicola & Cheese".

Well still a lot of coleslaw but I guess this was nothing compared to the Colossal Fish Sandwich. Again, not impressed. Two piece of thin cured ham with some melted cheese and lots of fries and coleslaw on top with a lone slice of tomato again. Although this sandwich was mediocre, it still had more taste compared to the Colossal Fish Sandwich simply because there was the saltiness from the ham. I couldn't taste much of the cheese either.

The Damage

I could've easily ate another sandwich but I did not want to stuff myself with these "coleslaw + fries" sandwiches.

When we were about to leave, the place was suddenly empty. 

I am so disappointed with the sandwiches I ordered, and these were the only two featured on the  Primanti Brothers Man. vs. Food episode. I felt betrayed and deceived in a way! I'm confused as to how the fish sandwich could possibly be on Man. vs. Food because as you probably know, the show usually features huge steaks and ribs, or just ridiculous and over-the-top portions of whatever meat they had. And what do I get from  Primanti Brothers? A thin piece of fish / ham, piled high with tons coleslaw and fries >_< *Sigh* I should have stuck to my DDD restaurants.

What disturbed me as well was the fact that  Primanti Brothers use styrofoam cups. Food is served on paper plates but the water and chili were served in styrofoam cups and bowls. Why? So bad for the environment =(

All I gotta say is, if you love fries and coleslaw, you will love these sandwiches from Primanti Brothers (actually I love fries and am OK with coleslaw, but somehow both together in a sandwich just does not work for me). I find that the amount of fries and coleslaw totally overtakes the whole sandwich. The host actually proves my point: if you watch the the video, precisely at the 4:20 minute mark when Adam Richman talks about the sandwich he just took a bite out of, he only talked about the bread, the fries ,and the coleslaw...and that's it. He didn't even say one thing about what sandwich he was having.

Primanti Brothers (Strip District) on Urbanspoon

Other Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Road Trip posts you may have missed...
Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives Road Trip (Introduction)
Grover's Bar & Grill