Ambience, Cheap eats, Ingredients, Neighborhoods, North Side, Traditional


Help me out here.

When a certain Steelers quarterback was in deep trouble he got himself into, I kept hearing people disown him.

It’s about the team, they’d say. The team has integrity. The team has class. That’s what’s important. Any player who messes with that doesn’t belong in Pittsburgh.

OK. But how to explain this.

I’d been into the Peppi’s in the Strip District a couple times. I love a good Italian hoagie and their Sicilian ain’t half bad. Someone told me I needed to go to the main one on Western on the North Side.

Pretty good. Nice contrast of temperatures on the New Yorker sandwich I had — a nice balance between the cold lettuce and tomato and the hot steak, bacon and American and provolone cheeses. Rich, smooth, plenty of everything you’re actually paying for on a sandwich like that.

The bread — kind of eh. Good flavor but the texture wasn’t what I’d like. I prefer more of a crust and this was a little soft for me. Piling all that meat and cheese and drippings on bread like this can make it a little soggy.

Good sandwich. I’d go back. Could be better, is all I’m saying.

Anyway. I saw owner Jeff Trebac working the flat-top grill. I asked him about the infamous Roethlisburger — ground beef, sausage, onions, scrambled eggs all on a roll.

“I would have thought someone in this city would not want to be associated with that man’s meat,” I told him.

He laughed.

“People never stopped buying it,” he said. “As long as they come in the door and bring me cash, they can have whatever they want.”

And as long as people order it regularly enough, it stays on the menu. Jeff’s not supporting the man, as he sees it. Just his customers and his own bottom line.

Different kind of principle. I respect that.