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Old 09-26-2017, 10:42 PM
 
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Hi all
I just relocated here from philly a few months ago for work. I'm living in a rental in point breeze. I'm loving exploring the city so far and getting to try new things.
I am missing home (born and raised 31 years outside Philly) - mostly some of the food. Hoping you can help me figure out where to find some of these, or else I will have to pick them up next time I'm home.

- hoagie rolls for sandwiches. Market district doesn't sell loose Italian sandwich rolls ?
- cheesesteak
- tomato pie

Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:47 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
20,680 posts, read 20,022,638 times
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Hoagie rolls can be had at Labriola's in Aspinwall
Cheesesteak is best at Peppi's if you want something as good as Philly. That is your only real choice IMHO. Get the Ultra.
Don't know about tomato pie.
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Old 09-27-2017, 04:49 AM
 
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First of all welcome to Pittsburgh! Secondly, I spend a lot of time on the eastern half of the state with family in Philadelphia and Norristown, and sadly these are the three things (and add to that list a good roast pork sandwich) that I stock up on while there because they are much better there than here or, in the case of tomato pie and roast pork, aren't even available here unfortunately.

Hoagie rolls should be available in most bakeries or supermarkets but they won't be the kind you're used to. When I first moved here the best I could find were still "squishy" to me.

Cheesteaks are hard. The closest I had found was Southside Steaks when it first opened but it kind of went downhill and now it's reopened under a new name. I think The Groove. Haven't tried it though. I want to love Peppis but it's nothing like a steak sandwich from eastern PA. Stingy with the meat and again, the roll is too bready.

People look at you funny here when you mention tomato pie. Nobody's heard of it afaik.

For the record I'm comparing the hoagie rolls/tomato pie to Corropolese in Norristown, cheesesteaks to Dalesandros in Roxborough and roast pork to John's.
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Lebanon Heights
285 posts, read 322,391 times
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The name "tomato pie" is new to me, but in looking at some articles and pictures online, it looks a lot like what (among all the paisans up in Ellwood City) we'd call "grandma-style" pizza. In fact, it looks a lot like what the local Italian-Catholic church would serve at its annual summer carnival. There was a shop in Wampum up through the late 80s at least, that served a variation of that style of pizza as well (although, again, I can't be sure that it's exactly the same as Philly's tomato pie).


I suspect there is some shop, somewhere in the region, that is still making this style of pie -- although this is arguably a style that could be best re-created in a home oven.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Brookline
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The only tomato pie I have ever had was from Sam's Italian Market in Willow Grove. As someone who loves most foods, this was not something I would ever try again. This was room temp served sold off the shelf crust with tomato paste on it. If that is the tomato pie you are looking for you are not going to find it around here.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Lebanon Heights
285 posts, read 322,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PghYinzer View Post
This was room temp served .


I conveniently ignored this aspect of the online descriptions of tomato pie that I reviewed -- I just didn't want to believe it. None of my examples (thankfully) were served at room temp, although this frozen pizza available from Augustine's (image 13 of 14) bears superficial resemblance to the authentic Philly-style tomato pies that I see pictured online:


Our Products | Augustine's Pizza
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:42 AM
 
1,509 posts, read 966,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doowlle34 View Post
I conveniently ignored this aspect of the online descriptions of tomato pie that I reviewed -- I just didn't want to believe it. None of my examples (thankfully) were served at room temp, although this frozen pizza available from Augustine's (image 13 of 14) bears superficial resemblance to the authentic Philly-style tomato pies that I see pictured online:


Our Products | Augustine's Pizza
i had something like that in warren ohio. not sure where though. it was pretty bad.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:00 AM
 
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The best tomato pies have a very, very soft dough. Not like a frozen pizza shell. And the tomato on top is thick, sometimes paste-like, but should have a lot of flavor to it, not just like tomato paste out of a can. Good ones can be really good. They're basically like a "party" food. Imagine something that a Pittsburgher would show up for and bring buffalo chicken dip. That's where tomato pies are most prevalent.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Brookline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtl-Cns View Post
The best tomato pies have a very, very soft dough. Not like a frozen pizza shell. And the tomato on top is thick, sometimes paste-like, but should have a lot of flavor to it, not just like tomato paste out of a can. Good ones can be really good. They're basically like a "party" food. Imagine something that a Pittsburgher would show up for and bring buffalo chicken dip. That's where tomato pies are most prevalent.
That is exactly what I experienced. It was for a summer bbq, so they ran down to the local Italian market and grabbed a "pie" off the shelf. Thick crust, thick paste, and a little parm on top. All of the locals devoured it as the Pittsburghers looked on in horror.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,249 posts, read 1,058,550 times
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groove in Southside is probably your best bet to get something close to a true Philly cheesesteak.

Pepis can be very good, but probably not going to remind you much of one from back home.

embrace the differences of our food here. I suggest stopping by fatheads and grabbing a headwhich ( and a beer). Welcome to Pittsburgh.
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