Serious Eats: Talk
Native Pittsburgh foods to cook at home?
I am in a cooking club that meets monthly, and every month there is a theme. We are supposed to follow the theme, but it's usually very broad and we get to interpret it our own way. For example, "Reds on the Beach" resulted in everything from a Cuban arroz con pollo (because they are Communists and have beaches) to grilled shrimp to fruit soups (because you could pack them for a beach picnic, and they were based on strawberries or watermelon) to overturned nubs of cheesecake (the bottom resembling sand) with raspberries pinned to the top with a paper drink umbrella. I was traveling for work unexpectedly so my plan for tomato tart (already did one this season and had many requests when I posted pix on my blog and FB) was bagged in favour of "octodogs" because I could swing by the grocery on my way back to town and I remember eating them on the beach as a kid.
Next month's theme is "Pirates". I'm tempted to make something from Pittsburgh because I am a sports nut. I could wimp out and obtain local brews, but I'm more of a cook than a drinker. I did some looking-up and most of the suggestions don't scream "Pittsburgh" to me: Halušky and Kielbasa, Pierogis, Klondike Bars. I did see reference to deli sandwiches with coleslaw and fries inside, but I don't know if I will be able to make fries at the home we're at next month. I also saw references to "city chicken" which might be an option.
Then I thought I'd ask the greater SE-scape if y'all have any suggestions. My quick search found passing (or maybe passing-over) references to food in Pittsburgh, but someone has to have substantive information for me! I used to go to Pittsburgh annually but we mostly picked up food at the grocery store to cook where we were camping. A friend was at a convention there last year and sent back a review of a brewpub, but that's not much help for cooking. Does anybody know which sandwich won to become the signature sandwich for 2011 at PNC Park? Any other suggestions? Recipes?