Sunday, February 6, 2011

Steeltown Sandwiching

My a product of the post-graduate school selection process, I am a Steelers fan. My parents got married and then tried to get accepted at the same places for grad school. My parents elected for UPitt over Berkley, giving me the name Jesse instead of Moon Apple and making me a 2nd generation Steelers Fan.

As such, Rubin and I took a little Football Aliyah, to Heinz field for a Steelers vs. Jets game in Week 16. What better time to write about it, the day that the Steelers take on the Packers in the Superbowl!

Stop # 1: Steel City Sandwiches
We stopped midway to Pittsburgh and a Steelers themed joint called Steel City Sandwiches in Erie, Pennsylvania deep inside Browns territory.

The place is famous for having Primanti Bros style Sandwiches (more on that below).

With my Williamsport Cheesesteak fresh in my mind, I ordered another.

The Bun was very good. Nice and squishy. Unfortunately the meat felt more like steakums then diced ribeye. Decent provolone, but nothing to write home about.

Rubin ordered a mixed Hoagie that looked a lot better.

Overall Judgement:
6.75/10 Opas

(but extra points for all the Steelers tchotchkes' )

Stop #2 (Essie's) The Original Hot Dog Shop

While falling clearly into the Quasi-Sandwich category, this was way to good not to write about.

The Hot Dog Shop is a neighbourhood stable that dated back to my Dad's years in Pittsburgh. Located in the heart of the neighbourhood of Oakland, this place has been a pillar of the community.

With amazing hot dogs like these its no surprise how they could become such a permanent fixture. You get your choice of an Original (Pork and Beef mix) or Kosher Style Pure Beef. Ever the indulgent treyfe Jew, I opted for the Original, with Chili and Onions:

The Dog itself is fantastic with a great 'snap' from its natural casing, and great taste of meat throughout. The chili was a nice, almost Cincinnati style Chili with some smokiness and a bit of bite to it.  Could have used a better quality bun though.

The dogs are griddled until they get delicious grill marks as seen here:

They are also known for their Mountains of fries. This is a small: (it goes up to XL which looks like a Pattater-horn)

Overall Judgment: One of  THE best Hot Dog I have ever eaten.
9/10 Quasi-Sandwich Opas

Stop #3: Primanti Bros

I have aspired to eat at this place, since my 2nd entry in this blog.

Primanti Brothers is a local legend for their Sandwiches. As the Sign notes:

No matter the Sandwich, it comes stuffed with freshly-made French Fries, a heap of coleslaw and think tomatoes, served on their fresh Italian Bread.

I opted for the Pastrami, instead of their famous "2nd best seller Pitts-burger Cheesesteak".

When doing my pre-trip Sandwich research, I worried that it would be too bread-y. It seemed just to thick for proper balance. Luckily the French bread was nice and squishy, allowing you to choke up on your mega-Sandwich

The fries added a nice salty crispness. The coleslaw was nice an vinegary-y and the tomato was particularly fraiche.

My only major 'beef' with the Sandwich was that the Pastrami did not seem properly proportioned with the rest of the Sandwich.

I wanted at least a 40:60 type ration and got more like 25:75.

That being said, the Fries and Slaw added a great element to an otherwise excellent Sandwich.

Overall Judgement: 8.25/10 Opas.

No comments: