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Three Foods to Try at PNC Park

As I state in the interesting, informative and necessary PNC Park E-Guide, there is something special about the way Pittsburghers do sandwiches. There are no rules.

I’m not sure why this is some sort of thing that is somewhat unique to Pittsburgh, but the home of the Pirates is starting to reflect this in a big way, and like at most ballparks these days, fans can sample great city favorites without leaving the venue.

1) The Primanti Bros. Sandwich. Some locals will tell you that the iconic Primanti Bros. sandwich is not as great at the ballpark as it is at the several Primanti locations around the Burgh. Less food for your dollar and the slaw is less tasty, I’ve read. If you believe that, by all means try a Primanti Bros. location elsewhere.

But if you don’t have that option, the Primanti sandwich is a classic taste of Pittsburgh at the game.

I’ll describe the sandwich for you. At PNC Park you have a choice of steak, capicola or roast beef, covered with cheese and on airy Italian bread. French fries and Cole slaw are included, and they just happen to be piled into the sandwich.

It is indeed a unique and delicious sandwich. I do recommend sitting down at a nearby picnic table to eat one though. If you eat it at your seat you’ll be picking fries out of your lap, and that just isn’t baseball.

2) The Cracker Jack and Mac Dog. It may not be as crazy as the Froot Loops dog in Cleveland or the Burgerizza in Atlanta, but the Cracker Jack and Mac Cheese Dog is pretty imaginative as far as baseball food goes.

The Cracker Jack and Mac Dog features a dog on pita bread, with mac and cheese, pickled jalapenos and yes, Cracker Jack piled onto it.

I'm normally against putting anything sweet on a hot dog, but in this case I like the idea, because Cracker Jack is baseball food and I can only eat so much of it. I can pick off the Cracker Jacks and then have a tasty dog with mac and cheese and jalapenos, and all is well.

3) The Polish Hill Cheesesteak. Pittsburgh is way too great a food city to feature Philly staples in their ballpark, so it’s kind of disappointing to see a Chickie’s and Pete’s fry stand, great as their crab fries are. But at least they created a cool Pittsburgh version of the Philly sandwich.

The Polish Hill cheesesteak, featured at the Hall of Fame Club in the outfield, is just like a Philly version in that it’s grilled with peppers and onions and slathered in a gooey cheese sauce. But instead of shaved beef, it’s shaved kielbasa. How did that take so long to get on the menu?

If you want the Philly beef version you can actually get one at the Chickie’s and Pete’s stand. But come on, this ain’t Philly. You’re in the Burgh. Live it.

That’s just a few food items in PNC Park; but there’s also the Abso-Bac’n-Lutely Burger, the Pierogi Stacker, the Quaker Steak wings, the Reuben dog and much much if you’re going to get your grub on at the home of the Pirates, you’ll need one of these!

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