How to Make PS7’s Primanti Brothers Sandwich

If you’ve been to Pittsburgh, chances are you’ve heard of Primanti Brothers. The chain, which has roots as a Depression-era truck stop, is best known for sandwiches piled with knockwurst or capicola and topped with vinegary slaw and—the crowning touch—a fistful of French fries. One regular at PS 7’s in Penn Quarter craves them so much that he schlepped one back to DC for chef Peter Smith. Smith declared it the “best sandwich in the world” and came up with a sopressata-on-sourdough version topped with hand-cut fries and pepper slaw ($7.50) for his lounge and lunch menus. The customer said, “Dude, this is as close as you’re going to get.”

Check out the recipe and how-to video below. 

PS7’s “Primanti Brothers" Sandwich

Makes four sandwiches.


8 slices sourdough bread, approximately ¾ inch thick
8 ounces thinly sliced soppresatta
4 eggs
2 russet potatoes, cut lengthwise and fried as French fries
4 ounces gouda cheese, sliced
Pepper slaw, as needed (recipe below)

Pepper Slaw

½ head green cabbage, shaved
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
¾ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar
½ tablespoon ground black pepper
½ tablespoon celery seed, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon oil

Combine all ingredients. Let sit for a minimum of five minutes. The slaw can be made in advance.


Heat the sopressata in a skillet. Separately, fry the eggs to over-medium, turning once.

Cut a large piece of heavy-duty brown paper or butcher paper to approximately 18-inches square. Place it on the counter. In the center of the paper, place one slice of sourdough bread. Top that with ¼ of the heated soppresatta, ¼ of the sliced gouda, one fried egg, and ¼ of the pepper slaw. Top with a second slice of sourdough bread.  Press the sandwich down with moderate firmness. Roll it very tightly in the paper and keep pressing down. Slice the sandwich in half, exposing the center of the sandwich, but retaining the paper for holding. Repeat the process for the remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.