Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lidia's & Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh

Haven't been able to cook much the last few weeks, but I did get to try a couple of new restaurants while my Mom has been in the hospital in the Pittsburgh area.

No, this is not poutine. But it could be its cousin. French fries are in the sandwich, not beside it!
It's a tradition in the Pittsburgh area, originating at Primanti Bros., back in the 1930's. My cousin, Sue, took me to one of their suburban locations. I chose the Pitts-Burger which is a beef patty, fries, cole slaw, tomatoes and provolone cheese on soft, fresh Italian bread. Like poutine, I'm not sure I'd order it again, but I am glad I tried it.



On the other hand, I would definitely go back to Lidia's Pittsburgh, located in the Strip District. The food is classic Italian -- Northeastern Italy --- with Slavic influences --- simple and straightforward. Not fussy.


There were 7 of us and we were treated well. It's not stuffy at all; everyone enjoyed their choices; and the service was welcoming. I got to say "hello" to Lidia. She was in town for a PBS fundraiser.

Good bread makes a difference.

Loved my first course from the special March menu. Then I had the pasta trio, made fresh each day, which was yummy.

My brother and my nephew enjoyed the Grappa.


To tell you the truth, I had to do a little research on Lidia when I got home. I know who she is and have seen her show on PBS from time to time, but haven't really followed her. My sister, Jane, recommended her restaurant and I am glad she did.


Wikipedia has a good summary. I was surprised to learn she was born in 1947.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidia_Bastianich

This Easter menu of hers looks good -- Roasted Lamb Shoulder
http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/entertaining/partiesevents/easter_lidiabastianich
This is her official website
Lidia's Italy
http://www.lidiasitaly.com/

And here's the restaurant website, which includes more photos and menus.
Pittsburgh Lidia's
http://www.lidias-pittsburgh.com/

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