In the 'burgh, fries are as likely to be on a sandwich as next to it, especially if you're at Primanti Brothers, which is to Pittsburgh what Geno's and Pat's are to Philadelphia. The sandwiches are served on thick slizes of Italian white bread, layered with vinegary coleslaw, tomato, French fries and -- if your a true 'burgher -- a fried egg. Every table has a bottle of Trappey's Hot Sauce for splashing on this king of all sandwiches. You can get any of a number of deli meats as your base...but my all-time favorite is the "pastrami with egg."
Adding fries to a sandwich may not seem that big a stretch. As kids, many of us added potato chips to sandwiches (or Doritos even). But one Pittsburgh-centric use of fries truly shocked Nena the first time we ate out in Pittsburgh a few years ago -- the Pittsburgh Salad.
The Pittsburgh Salad isn't all that different from a typical garden salad you can get anywhere. Iceberg lettuce is usually the base, with other assorted vegetables added to the mix. But then you add shredded provolone cheese (still not weird, but stay with me) and -- you guessed it -- French fries.
I love Pittsburgh Salads, especially with grilled steak and no-frills ranch dressing. There's something about the contrast of the cold, crips salad, the hot fries and the cool dressing that is almost like comfort food. My favorite spot for one is actually in the suburbs (and right near my high school) -- the Log Cabin Inn. (Nena loves their peanut butter pie)
So there you have it...a delicious sandwich (which Kate adapted in a post this week) and a much-less-than-healthy salad. It's a 'burgh thing.