The Rivalry Issue: Food Fight | Restaurant Reviews | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Rivalry Issue: Food Fight

In the battle of signature sandwiches, it’s Pittsburgh’s own Primanti’s sandwich vs. Cleveland’s Polish Boy

Primanti’s sandwich - CP PHOTO BY JOHN COLOMBO
CP photo by John Colombo
Primanti’s sandwich

Primanti’s sandwich

I’m actually sort of embarrassed for you, Cleveland. You brag about your “signature sandwich?” You open up a package of Hillshire Farms, slip it into a hot-dog bun and slap some Bullseye BBQ sauce on top. “Sad!,” as our president would tweet. The Primanti’s sandwich is a work of art starting with the two best slices of Italian bread your pollution-muted tastebuds can imagine. Then you put those fresh-cut fries, vinegar-based coleslaw and fresh tomatoes on top of proteins ranging from corned beef and pastrami to steak and sardines. Also, you know we’re right because you have a shitty rip-off joint called Panini’s. Bottom line: If the Primanti’s sandwich had a mouth and fully functioning digestive tract, it would eat the Polish Boy alive and crap it out in the middle of Public Square, which really doesn’t matter because it looks the same coming out as it does going in. 

Seti Martinez serves up another Polish Boy at his food truck. - CLEVELAND PHOTO BY KEN BLAZE
Cleveland photo by Ken Blaze
Seti Martinez serves up another Polish Boy at his food truck.

Polish Boy

The Polish Boy transcends the already-sacrosanct word “sandwich,” becoming in Cleveland an “experience” for all ages. It’s messy, and often requires at least a half-day off work simply to deal with the post-consumption buzz alone. Shout out to Seti’s, where we eat Polish Boys at a truck on the side of the road and love it. For you uncultured Pennsylvania hillfolk, a Polish Boy is a sausage topped with coleslaw, fries and barbecue sauce, all tucked neatly in a bun. It’s beautiful. And not to get off-topic, but we’ve already got the excellent Panini’s, so we don’t need no rip-off Primanti Bros. to come around here thinking they’re hot shit n’at. Pass the napkins, please.

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