A Journey Through the Sandwiches—Primanti

Look at that plating, man. Fries on the sandwich. This is always controversial, to me—I like to separate my carbohydrates. Imagine a sandwich simply made of sliced potato. Something doesn’t work, there. Or like, a pile of rotini, drenched with oil, served on rye. Eesh. Heavy.

Of course, sometimes this is necessary. Sometimes the goal is just to get it in you. I can accept that shoving the French fries into the sandwich is a way of signaling a sea change—an all-hands-on-deck, damn-the-torpedoes measure. Grab us a fresh white napkin, fellas, because this one’s about to face a ketchup deluge.

One of the few ways that a human being can truly attain immortality in this life is to get something named after them—multiple things, as many things as possible, no matter what the cost. A doctor’s discoveries in the field of disease can lead to his name living on as a scourge against earthly existence—”Acquired Sarah Syndrome”. A disease which slowly makes the skin translucent; the eyes harden into diamonds; the torso narrows to the width of a straw.

The Primanti brothers of Pennsylvania, Joe, Stanley, and Dick, secured infamy enough to share. Their eponymous restaurant was founded by Joe in the city of Pittsburgh in 1933; this sandwich was invented during the Depression. Oh shit yes, motherfucker—that’s how you know this’ll be good. No one was sitting around inventing bullshit during the Great Depression. You feel me? This was a time when the joy of invention was being thoroughly subsumed by the overarching need to survive on the day-to-day, and time spent tinkering on your “projects” was time wasted. So if you had an idea, and committed to an idea, and brought that idea to fruition during the Great Depression, then it was almost certainly a wonderful idea—otherwise you wouldn’t have stuck with it. It must’ve felt so good. I imagine this line of thinking is where the fry-in-the-sandwich convention comes from. Carbs-on-carbs, in this context, make sense.

In addition to the French fries, the Primanti is a hearty deli sandwich, composed of grilled meat, tomato slices, and a slaw of some sort, preferably with Italian dressing. Wedge it all between Italian bread. Say “bada-bing”—boooaash! ‘Ey, I’m walkin’ heah! Ya dum sonuvabitch! 

Get a load of this sandwich! Eyyy!




Photo Credit: New-Burghers Food Blog