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Primanti Bros Restaurant & Bar (Novi)

November 14, 2022

  • 43335 Crescent Boulevard
  • Novi, MI 48735
  • (248) 344-4852
  • Website
  • Menu

Like I’ve said recently, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road.

I picked up a Saturday shift a couple of weeks ago that brought me to Detroit. I met a colleague from Grand Rapids which means I didn’t have to go pick him up. I could take my time, grab food where I wanted, and go home via I-94 without having to detour to drop him off.

It was a long day in Detroit. I got to town around 6:45 AM and was packing up to head home around 6:30 PM.

My day actually ended in Southfield. We finished up what we needed to do then he headed to Grand Rapids while I headed back to Kalamazoo.

I hadn’t eaten since a truck stop burrito at around 5:00 AM. I got on the Googles to see if I was close to a Primanti Bros. I was so I put in an order and started the trek home.

There are two Primanti Bros restaurants in the Metro Detroit area. One in Novi and one in Taylor. I was closer to the Novi one and it was too far out of the way so that’s the one I ordered from.

Primanti Bros in Novi is in the Novi Town Center not too far off I-96. The restaurant is on Crescent Boulevard just to the south of the I-96 interchange with Novi Road. This a really, really commercial area of Novi so it’s not hard to find chain restaurants all around it.

So far, I’ve been writing this blog like everyone knows what Primanti Bros is. If you don’t, I actually stopped for a meal at the original Primanti Bros in Pittsburgh when a colleague and I drove to Washington D.C. a few years ago. Primanti Bros. is a really well known restaurant in the Strip District in Pittsburgh which used to be a warehouse district.

Like so many restaurants that chain out from a super popular original restaurant (Buddy’s Pizza comes to mind), the chain versions of Primanti Bros are nothing like the original in atmosphere but do offer up pretty similar takes on the food that made them famous.

I put in an order online for the New Yorker and an order of fries. The total was a little over $16. I was about a half hour from the store when I ordered and they gave me a 20 minute pick up time.

The restaurant has a real chain restaurant feel to it. The original is a lunch counter with a few tables squeezed in to the remaining space. This restaurant is huge with a big bar in the back of the space. There are large booths, pub tables, and four tops. I stopped in around dinner time on a Saturday night and there were quite a few people in the restaurant and it still looked empty just because of the size.

The restaurant is localized with decor from Detroit sports team and the big local universities. There is definitely a sports bar feel to the place as opposed to the blue collar lunch spot the original has.

I went to the bar and grabbed my food. A Primanti Bros sandwich is not one you can eat while driving so I went back to my car and just unwrapped it all on the hood. I use the hood of my car as a table a lot.

The New Yorker is one of the “Tall Boy Sandwiches.” All of the sandwiches start with an amazingly soft but firm Italian bread. This sandwich has pastrami, corned beef, Swiss cheese, a special spicy beer mustard, sweet and sour coleslaw, fries, and tomatoes. The deal with Primanti Bros is all of their sandwiches area come with slaw and French fries on the sandwich. It’s the thing that makes them unique.

This sounds like a really hard sandwich to eat, it is. But it’s totally worth it. All of those things together shouldn’t be good together but they are. I don’t even really like cole slaw but I like this slaw. It’s vinegar based, not mayo so it stays crunchy. You do have to eat fairly fast or the fries tend to get a little soggy but the first few bites of a Primanti Bros sandwich are damn near heavenly

Yes, there are fries on the sandwich and yes, I chose to get an order of fries too.

The Fresh-Cut Fries have options to load them up but I was going to be in the car and I knew I’d eat these while driving. I chose to get a side of fries just because they’re so good. It’s important to keep the fries on the sandwich because they are part of what makes the sandwich so unique, but the fries are also really, really good on their own. So good, I needed to get a side.

Primanti Bros. was always a bucket list restaurant for me and I was so excited to drag a co-worker on a little detour to Pittsburgh a few years ago so I could cross it off my bucket list. Yes, you need to go to the Original but the chains serve up some pretty tasty food. The two Detroit locations have been there for a few years but I’ve never had time to get to one when I was over there. I’m happy I finally got that chance. The sandwiches are just so darn good.

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