Saturday, December 20, 2008


Because Charlie is so enthusiastic about my Pittsburgh series, I've decided to do a post in his honor.

I haven't had a chance to focus on one of the things that distinguishes any region: food! While there aren't many Pittsburgh-only foods that I'm aware of, there are a few that come to mind.

Pittsburgh, like many places, is home to a wide variety of ethnic groups (with particularly large Irish, Polish, Greek, German, and Russian populations) and naturally the foods of each group will follow. Pittsburgh is famous for pirogies, but those are by no means unique to Pittsburgh.

There are two companies that make very unique products that can only be found in this region. The first is my very favorite, Isaly's (in Pittsburghese: "ahhhs-lees") chipped ham. Isaly's is a Pittsburgh institution and I'm fortunate enough to have one of their restaurants in my very own little corner of the region. The ham is cut up into very thin disorganized pieces and is perfect for just about any sandwhich (in my opinion).

The other, and more famous, institution is Primanti Bro's sandwhich makers (in Pittsburghese: "Primanny's"). Primanti's is almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks in many parts of the city. While similar to many small sandwhich makers, Primanti's has a very unique way of serving their sandwiches: with the fries and coleslaw right on the large oversized sandwiches. It's a greasy unhealthy delight, and something you should be sure to have if you're ever in the region.

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