It all started during the Great Depression – with Joe Primanti operating a small sandwich cart in Pittsburgh’s now-historic Strip District, an area that even in 1933 was a bustling hub of activity. Strong sales allowed Joe to open a storefront that year – feeding hungry truck drivers and shift workers at all hours of the day.

Inspiration Meets Opportunity

The story might be half hazy memory, half lore – but it’s all true. According to Joe’s nephew John DiPriter: “One winter someone drove up with a load of potatoes. He brought them over to the restaurant to see if they were frozen. I fried the potatoes on our grill and they looked pretty good. A few customers asked for them – so I tossed them on the sandwich.” The sandwich was an instant hit – allowing all of the drivers working near the restaurant to eat with one hand – and drive their truck with the other.

Source: Almost Famous, Always A Favorite. Since 1933! | Primanti Bros.