Well… Once again I found myself in the great Pittsburgh v. Philadelphia debate, a Happy Valley tradition that may be as old as the University itself. If you’re like many Penn Staters you grew up with loyalty to one of these places and are quick to defend its title as the better Pennsylvania powerhouse city.
I’m one to consider myself lucky to have grown up and worked in the Philadelphia metropolitan area , and yes, I can be pretty stubborn when my friends from the west side of the state try to outshine my beloved city. Legends such as Will Smith, Ben Franklin and The Legendary Roots Crew, who all come from the City of Brotherly Love, and having the freedom there to get your cheese steak “Wit” or “Wit Out” are pretty much reasons in themselves that Philly is better. (And did Elton John Sing a #1 hit about Pittsburgh? …I didn’t think so.)
Since the death of State College’s iconic “ G-man” this past summer (sorry frat boys) the student population has been buzzing about the new Primanti Brothers restaurant that would be opening on the Heister street location. The establishment prides itself in its “ Almost Famous” Sandwich which is two slices of Italian bread with meat, fries and coleslaw stacked in between.
I will be honest when I say I was unsure about the hype, and the thought of putting fries on the sandwich confused the heck out of me. My Pittsburgh friends raved about their food; it was like they couldn’t understand why I had been on earth for this long without having tasted the goodness that was a Primanti’s sandwich. So for the sake of journalism and pure curiosity, I decided to check the place out.
I must say that they did a good job decorating. I expected to see banners and signs everywhere that glorified the Steelers and the Penguins, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of Penn State logos. Nineteen TVs line the perimeter of the bar and dining room, which could make this place a State College hot spot come game days. Owner Greg Dubois seemed to have realized the State College location would be a mix between these cities and even went on tell statecollege.com, “We’re branching out from Pittsburgh and embracing everybody.”
Near the back of the restaurant was a mural that included the faces of famous people representing the state in its entirety, including famous Philadelphians such as Donovan McNabb, Dr. J and Tina Fey. ( Yeah! You go Greg Dubois.)
One of my favorite things to get at a sports bar is cheese fries because how can you go wrong with cheese fries? The waitress recommended that I get the “ Smallman St. Fries” consisting of Chili, Nacho cheese, bacon, Jalapeños and sour cream.
Yup, that’s me way too excited about fries.
The basket of fries came out to our table in, no kidding, less than 5 minutes. It cost roughly around $4 and was more than enough for two people. The only downside was that they gave us paper plates to share them with; I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to their recent opening, but I thought that was a little odd.
One thing that really caught my eye was their daily drink specials: $2.00 bottles on Fridays and half-price Happy Hour specials that run from 10 pm-midnight on Monday through Saturday.
Considering I was still clueless about what to order for my main dish, I asked the waitress to give me the most popular sandwich on the menu and we would go from there. So the Pitts-burgher it was, and for only $6.89, what did I have to lose?
The Pitts-burgher is a combo of fries, coleslaw and a cheeseburger all in one. YASSS.
Alright, Pittsburgh, you can pat yourselves on the back because this sandwich wasn’t too shabby. It was so big that I couldn’t even finish the whole thing. The only thing is, next time around, I’m going to stick to what I know and get the fries on the side. What can I say? There’s only room for a little bit of the ‘Burgh in this Philadelphia girl.
Location: 13o Heister Street State College, PA 16801
Hours of Operation: Sun, Mon, Wed: 11 am – 2 am and Tues, Thurs, Fri: Sat 11 am – 3 am
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