Primanti Bros., the famous chain of sandwich shops located mainly in Pittsburgh, Pa., announced Thursday that the sandwiches will now be delivered nationwide.
For the uninitiated, Primanti Bros. sandwiches typically feature Italian bread, between which is your choice of grilled meat, provolone cheese, cole slaw, tomatoes, and, of course, french fries.
Started in 1933 by Joe Primanti as a sandwich cart catering to truckers in Pittsburgh's Strip District, it soon expanded to an actual storefront when Primanti was joined in the operation by his two brothers and nephew. Since then, Primanti Bros. has changed ownership and continued to expand throughout the region. Today, it has 17 locations in the greater Pittsburgh area and three in Florida.
Open 24 hours a day, Primanti Bros. stands as a city staple. For Pittsburghers sports fans to late-night party-goers, the sandwiches hold symbolic value for – think Chicago deep dish pizza or Philadelphia cheese steak. At the James Beard Foundation Awards 20th anniversary in 2007, Primanti Bros. was honored as one of "America's classic" restaurants.
While this slice of Pittsburgh history will now be available for order at the click of a mouse, the restaurant chain has a key demographic in mind: Pittsburgh sports fans.
"It's significant to every Steeler tailgate party that happens outside of [Pittsburgh]," says Lilia Prezioso, marketing director for Primanti Bros., referencing Pittsburgh's football team. "Steeler nation resides everywhere."
The new delivery service is a result of a partnership with gourmet delivery company Goldbely. Each sandwich pack will come with a loaf of freshly baked Italian bread; a recipient's choice of fresh cut Pastrami or Capricola; provolone cheese; french fries; cole slaw; hot sauce; tomatoes; and a Primanti's T-shirt. But it will come at a cost: $109.
This service is not unlike other local eating establishments that also export their product around the country. Famed Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich., for example, ships its sandwich kits throughout the country and counts President Obama as a patron.
The sandwiches are pure Pittsburgh, says Mayor William Peduto.
"Primanti's sandwiches – designed originally for busy truck-drivers – have always exemplified a city on-the-go. This is a natural next step," Mayor Peduto said in an e-mail.
But for all yinz who find yourselves craving a bit of western Pennsylvania, take note that these shipments consist of make-it-yourself party packs. Translation: these sandwiches will not be arriving ready made. So, to help people out, the packs come with an instruction card, giving careful steps as to how to layer the ingredients. 'Cause don't think you can just slop on those ingredients any old way.
"Construction does matter," Ms. Prezioso says with a laugh.