The Steel City and good satisfying food is what defines Primanti Bros., a Pittsburgh Pennsylvania institution since 1933 that has also been a Fort Lauderdale favorite since 1970. It is certainly the best pizza in town when compared with other local eateries, but the big attraction to Primanti Bros. are their huge Almost Famous Sandwiches.
Restaurant folklore has it that when the brothers Primanti opened their original location in the warehouse district of Pittsburgh, they created a sandwich that included side dishes of fries and coleslaw between two super thick slices of Italian bread. The concept suggested that the sandwich and sides could be eaten by truckers with one hand after unloading their beds and getting back on the road.
These unique sandwiches come in the usual variety: Genoa salami, Italian sausage, bacon and egg, cappicola, turkey breast, roast beef, tuna fish, pastrami, corned beef and your basic burger. It is all mounted with melted provolone cheese. The resulting sandwich is easily three-inches thick, with the slaw and fries alone making for a good inch. It’s messy and gooey and heaven on earth in my opinion. The sandwiches range in price from $6.29-$6.69, so it’s easy on the wallet, especially considering that it’s a two-meal serving.
The Lotsa Mozzarella Cheese Oven Baked Hoagies is also a great buy. Served on a crispy crust 9” Italian bun, my favorite from this group is the Sicilian Cheesesteak, which costs $6.99. This traditional favorite includes premium cut sliced beef with grilled onions, mushrooms, and a ladle of marinara sauce all smothered in mozzarella. The sauce is what makes it Sicilian, but the taste is what makes it my favorite.
As if to prove that it’s more than just a pizza joint, Primanti offers up full course meals like spaghetti and chicken parmigiana with house-made bread and a side salad. All at very reasonable prices.
Another recommendation is the Chicken Marsala, which costs $11.79, served with pasta. The chicken is sautéed in Marsala wine with mushrooms, and busting with flavor that’s both subtle and defined.
My dinner group also enjoyed the Home-Style Baked Cheese Raviolis; this delivered a wonderful spin on the Italian standard. In the Primanti version, the raviolis are like mini-lasagnas with their ricotta cheese filling. The fresh marinara sauce is prepared with fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers and onions, and all for ($10.99).
Primanti Bros. has a 24-hour restaurant at the beach, located at 901 N Atlantic Blvd. as well as locations at 516 E Oakland Park Blvd. Tel: 954-565-7100 and 2019 N University Dr. in Sunrise. Tel: 954-578-3900. At the non-beach locations, Tuesdays and Thursdays are Family Pizza night from 5 p.m. to closing. On those nights, $16.99 gets you an 18” pizza with three-toppings and a pitcher of soda. The delicious single Big Slice Pizza, which costs $2.49, may just be the best bargain not only in Primanti Bros. but in all of Broward. It measures full 12-inches along the top crust, and only the hungriest will be able to consume two.