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Dec 26, 2008 04:40 PM

Primanti Brothers Type Sandwich in Baltimore

My boyfriend's been watching the Food Network & Travel Channel too much and is now obsessed with Primanti Brother's sandwiches. While the idea of piling on french fries and coleslaw on top of tons of meat & cheese is pretty revolting to me, what can I say...he puts up with me and my Roaring 40s blue cheese obsession. Since driving to Pittsburgh is not an option, could anyone advise if any establishments in the greater Baltimore-area offers such a guilty pleasure? Thanks!

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  1. No idea on the sandwich, but Graul's hasn't had the Roaring Forties lately. Care to divule your source? It's my favorite too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Anna323

      I saw some roaring 40's at the Wine Source in Hampden the other day.

      1. re: Anna323

        Whole Foods in Mt. Washington carries it sometimes but Wine Source in Hampden stocks it regularly, making it my primary source.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Well, it isn't in Baltimore, but it's closer than Pittsburgh: Liberty Tavern in Arlington's Clarendon neighborhood offers a Primanti Bros. style sandwich, with the fries where they should be, in the middle of the sandwich with the meat, etc. That said, Liberty's version is entirely too civilized. As Twain might have said, it's got the words right, but it doesn't quite have the music. I agree with Joe H: for this you have to go to the original Primanti's, in the Pittsburgh Strip. I can't put my finger on the exact differences--perhaps it's the bread or that the fries are a little too perfect or that the slaw isn't, um, slawy enough. And for the full treatment, you need to be eating at a stainless steel counter where the waitress slams the sandwich down in front of you on a sheet of wax paper and asks if you want it cut in half.

          BTW, the Primanti's sandwich does not have "tons of meat & cheese." It's ample, but not nearly as big as a reuben or hot pastrami from one of those touristy delis in Manhattan.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Gonzocook

            Love the Mark Twain reference. I definitely got the feeling that part of the magic of the Primanti Brother's sandwich is the experience of eating it there.

            1. re: Gonzocook

              Having eaten both, the atmosphere is a little different in Pittsburgh, and the sandwich isn't quite as Gourmet, but Liberty does do a pretty good rendition, the fries are really close, so is the bread, the meat is a little more high class, but it is really good. I would say it is the closest thing to the real deal you will find.

            2. Not quite the same but head to Dundalk and get a whole cheesesteak sub from Captain Harvey's(the one on Merritt Blvd in Danvile Square not Logan Village) and see if that might satisfy his craving for a sloppy sandwich. And make a bet to see if he can finish it off in one sitting!!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Hue

       need to start training for Competitive Eating! But I have heard good things about Captain Harvey's subs. Dundalk's not too far off from Towson so I may have to put that on the weekend's agenda. Thanks!

                1. re: Hue

                  Sorry, but Captain Harvey's cheesesteaks are absolutely atrocious. They've made a name for themselves by piling sandwiches with dry tasteless meat that the flimsy bread can't hold. Last time I had one of their sandwiches, the bread was crumbling and the cheese was not melted. Now, on to Primanti's. I definetely think its worth a visit to Primanti's in the Strip District. I went to Pittsburgh last summer for absolutely no other reason than to see what the city looked like and leave (I do those types of things from time to time). While I was there I had lunch at Primanti's. It was packed; can't say it was the best sandwich in the world but it wasn't bad. I believe I ordered the corned beef sandwich and it was piled, as promised, with french fries, cole slaw, tomatoes, meat, and cheese. It is an experience that I think should be enjoyed in Pittsburgh at least for the authenticity.

                  1. re: jharris

                    The classic sandwich combo there is sweet (or hot) sausage and provolone.

                    I also like their chili, if for no other reason than it reminds me of the kind served in the high school hot lunch programs of my youth. I wish Liberty would try that, but their cred with Texans would plummet.

                2. The Purple Goose on Washington Blvd used to be a Steelers bar and did a pretty nice Primanti Bros sandwich. They changed hands about a year ago, so I have no idea if they still have the same menu (it's a Ravens Roost now, so I'm thinking probably no Primanti sandwiches). Good luck in your quest.