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The ingredients of a perfect sandwich. Great fresh baked French bread that will actually hold the together the guts of the sandwich. Tasty peppery coleslaw, with just enough olive oil to add flavor without being too greasy (don’t worry there’s more grease later). Awesome fries, fried to perfection to give it that perfect crispness that would normally be reserved for something like onions. Melted cheese, the only thing better than cheese is melted cheese. Gilled meat from the world famous Molinari deli.
Though the "all in one" sandwich is sometimes billed as a gussied-up Philly cheesesteak, this gut-busting concoction definitely deserves a class of its own - two slices of soft Italian bread stuffed with grilled meat, provolone cheese, oil-and-vinegar coleslaw and, if that's not enough, a handful of french fries.
At Giordano Bros. in North Beach, a blackboard on the wall is emblazoned with eight
"answers to your Q's" about the "all in one" - the best of which is left for last:
"The sandwich has been made the same way for over 70 years, so we suggest you don't
try to change it."
Despite the grumpy protestations on the blackboard menu, the folks at Giordano Bros. do let you choose your meat. Though most newbies opt for the steak ($6.75) - which is actually more like minute steak than the thinly sliced beef of a Philly cheesesteak - regulars come back for the coppa ($7.25) and Italian sausage ($6.75).
For big eaters who still have room, the rest of the menu features sports bar fare, such as chicken wings ($7.50/$13.50) and onion rings ($3.50/$4.75). A well-edited beer list includes craft brews like Deschutes Black Butte Porter ($5), Blue Star Wheat ($5) and Shiner Bock ($5).
Opened by Pittsburgh expats homesick for their local specialty (the "all-in-one" sandwich), this immaculate little diner, with counter seating and high tables at which you perch on a banquette or stools, features only one thing: thick sandwiches on fresh-baked Italian bread that include a layer of french fries and coleslaw along with your choice of grilled meat (Italian sausage, coppa, and pastrami, among other options). The meatless egg-and-cheese makes a swell breakfast. Inexpensive and delicious.
At Giordano's you can choose from a few different meats: Italian sausage, hot coppa, pastrami, cheesesteak, smoked turkey, double egg and cheese, or just cheese. My favorite is the sausage. I think this is the best value meat-wise and the flavor is excellent. I also recommend the hot coppa but to get the full flavor meat effect you may need to add extra meat for $2 more.
The slaw is light, crispy, and a bit zippy. It's olive oil, vinegar and black pepper, no mayo here. The fries are fresh cut, fresh fried, and fresh tasty. The meat is grilled with provolone cheese on top which melts up oh so nice. The topper and bottomer is the Italian bread, oh so soft. It makes a perfect holder for the fillin's, and doesn't get in the way of all the goodness.
The all-in-one is great before, during, and after a night of North Beach drinking. You can also hang out at G. Bros. and have a bucket of beer -- Sierra Nevada is $20 for 6. They have a couple tables on the sidewalk, where you can enjoy the sights, like a bachelorette party across the street.
It is worth a trip to North Beach just for the Giordano Bros. all-in-one sandwich. The folks there are nice and will treat you right. I recommend you get over there immediately so you have time to go again tomorrow.
PITTSBURGH IS NOT San Francisco, and when I politely pointed this out to my Pittsburgh friends, all of whom have lived in San Francisco, they unanimously agreed.
The Steelers are 10-1. The Niners are 1-10. There are other reasons, but they have too much to do with geography, physics, metaphysics, and parking spaces – subjects about which I know very little, compared to sports.
And food. Well ... what's for lunch, at any rate. Giordano Bros. would be one idea. It's a Pittsburgh-style sandwich shop in North Beach, corner of Columbus and Broadway. I watched a Steelers game there one Sunday with Binko and Mica, at which time sandwiches were eaten by us.
"Pittsburgh-style" means modeled after Primanti Brothers, the famous steel city all-night hangout, where the assumption is you're too drunk to count to three, let alone distinguish between french fries and coleslaw, so they slop it all onto your sandwich.
In other words, Italian sausage (or pastrami, cheese steak, turkey, eggs, or hot coppa), provolone cheese, french fries, and slaw – packed in between two big slices of Italian bread. They call it an all-in-one sandwich, and it tastes as great as it sounds.
Plus it's good for you. You know how I know? Because the fries are fresh-cut, and the slaw is dressed with olive oil and vinegar. No mayonnaise! Or: good for you. If it doesn't have mayonnaise, it's health food. In my book.
"Go Steelers" chant Pittsburghers who feel at home at this bargain, North Beach, hunger-fix that fans call the best place this side of the Allegheny. Cheer your team over beers and fantastic All-In-One sandwiches stuffed with meat, tasty slaw and fries. The friendly staff knows how to win guests over, adding to the warm, fun atmosphere.
Pittsburgh natives Jeff and Allison Jordan decided to bring their hometown's legendary All-in-One sandwich to North Beach---Italian bread piled high with grilled meat, melted provolone cheese, french fries and coleslaw, it's an all-in-one meal alright, but surprisingly not heavy. Try the hot coppa, Italian sausage , cheese steak or pastrami versions, or have a double egg and cheese after a long night on the town. The french fries are hand-cut and fried to order, the bread is baked daily and the meats are from top purveyors, but the secret ingredient is definitely the tangy olive oil and vinegar coleslaw which ties the whole sandwich together for a unique taste of Pittsburgh by the Bay.
The focus of a recent trip to San Francisco was food. There were visits to Marin County to watch cowgirls Sue and Peggy produce their Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, to McElvoy Ranch for an olive oil tasting and to Hog Island Oyster Farm in Point Reyes for a lesson in oyster farming. There was a whole morning spent wandering through the organic produce market that covers the wharves of the San Francisco Bay ferry service every Saturday. There were dinners in legendary restaurants and Sunday morning dim sum in Chinatown. There were winery visits in Napa and a drive through Castroville, the artichoke capital of the world. But to top it all off and to remind me that my food life is firmly rooted in Pittsburgh, there was lunch at Giordano Brothers. Lunch there is called the "all-in-one sandwich."
Giordano's has become a popular lunch spot with both white- and blue- collar workers from the neighborhood. Most of the dinner crowd are neighbors who live in North Beach. Just like Primanti's, Giordano's has become a favorite with local chefs who frequently stop by for an All-In-One after finishing duties in their own kitchens.
If you are looking for Pittsburgh on the Pacific, head directly to Giordano Brothers on Columbus in the heart of historic North Beach. One diner there told me, "When I come here, I'm not from Pittsburgh, I'm from Canonsburg." Someone across the room piped in, "Yea, what part of Canonsburg?" When you have finished your All-In-One, you can stroll next door to the landmark City Lights Book Store and meet the ghosts of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his Beat generation literary pals. Chinatown and Telegraph Hill are also within easy walking distance.
Giordano Bros. All-in-One Sandwiches on Columbus makes the sandwich to end all sandwiches.
Sometimes wretched excess is just the thing—when that’s the case, head to Giordano’s. There, the signature sandwiches are served “Pittsburgh style,” with your choice of meat (options include pastrami, capicola and sweet Italian sausage), provolone, hand-cut fries (yes, in the sandwich) and olive-oil-and-vinegar coleslaw, all stuffed between two thick slices of Italian bread made daily in North Beach. (about $8)