Rivalries go all the way back to the Stone Age, when Grog battled Gorg for the hand of the voluptuous Raquel. Today, we think of most rivalries in politics, or regions, or sports. Democrats and Republicans, the North and the South, men and women even New York pizza against Chicago deep-dish. Call it a challenge, competition, jealousy, even an enmity. It is still two foes going head to head in the mud and the blood and the beer.
This brings us to the classic NFL rivalry. Of course Green Bay and Chicago head the list. About one-hundred ninety meetings between these two blue-collar teams. But the gridiron titans of the American Football Conference are poised to meet again with the one-hundred twentieth meeting between these turnpike rivals.
The Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
These two clubs have been going at it since 1950. Jim Brown, Terry Bradshaw, Chuck Noll, Paul Brown, even “Big Daddy” Lipscomb and Joe “Turkey” Jones. 10 NFL championships, 19 NFL conference championships and butt load of Super Bowls.
Only 135 miles apart, the proximity between Steelers and Browns fans has made these two cities ugly twin sisters. And not only is rivalry confined to Heinz Field or Browns Stadium, it extends to the food as well.
I have covered the food scene in both towns and I think if you were to personify food in Steel Town and the Forest City you would come up with Steve’s Lunch in Cleveland and Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh.
Steve’s Lunch has been sitting on an almost abandoned block on Lorain Ave. near the Shoreway since 1955. All
Beef skinless franks are cooked on a flattop grill in the window. This is old school, urban hot dogs ladled with
Cincinnati- style chili. Toss on some shredded cheese with mustard and diced onion and all dawgs go to heaven.
Steve’s also offers up killer slaw dogs 24/7. I think sometimes they close on Christmas Day, depending on the
And speaking of slaw, anyone who has been in the Iron City knows of the Primanti Bros. This historic landmark has
been serving up famous a famous fried potato and coleslaw sandwich over deli meat since 1933.
The secret to both Steve’s and Primanti Bros is the coleslaw, lightly dressed and a bit tangy, just like the women of
Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Head on over to Primanti Bros. where they’ll serve you up twice-fried potatoes and
coleslaw over ham with provolone on a soft Italian bun.
My prediction this year? Browns in a rout of course and I’ll have a sandwich topped with Primanti Bros. fries and
slaw to go.
Happy football everybody.