We're all tempted by them: those bad ideas that manage to convince us that they're rational -- the bad ideas that simultaneously radiate allure and guilt. Right up there with deep-fried butter
or a two o'clock booty call are the Pittsburgh-style all-in-one sandwich at Giordano Brothers:
slices of Italian bread overstuffed with grilled cold cuts, provolone, French fries, and an oil-and-vinegar coleslaw.
Incredibly, the sandwich manages to transcend its excesses to make for a tasty, filling, and inexpensive meal. Most surprising is how well-integrated the fries are -- not just in terms flavor, but also adding the necessary structure to keep the sandwich from falling apart.
The one difference between Giordano's all-in-ones and the ones at Primanti's, the 77-year-old Pittsburgh institution that created the sandwich, is the lack of tomato slices. It's not a deal breaker, since the tomato isn't.
Two-buck beers during happy hour (4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday) only sweeten the deal, and the restaurant broadcasts Steelers games for their fans. Located at Columbus and Broadway, Giordano Brothers offers the one guilty pleasure in the neighborhood that won't leave you with traces of cheap fragrance and glitter.
Giordano Brothers, 303 Columbus Ave (at Broadway).