Triangle Bar has subs to destroy your hunger

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, July 1, 2010

This Battleship might give you a sinking feeling in your stomach ... if you eat the whole thing.

It's a 24-inch sub made famous by Triangle Bar and Grill in Swissvale, piled high with 1 14 pounds of meat and cheese -- salami, ham and provolone -- as well as a generous helping of lettuce, tomato, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano.

For $12.25, it can be yours. If that's not enough, there's a Super Battleship with 1 34 pounds of meat for $13.25.

"Everything here is good and the price is good, too," says Rick Evans from Hays, a customer for more than 20 years. "The battleship is too big to eat by myself, so you might want to share it. I have eaten pretty much everything on the menu, and it's all been really good. I love coming here because every customer is treated well."

The Triangle Bar isn't the fanciest place in town, but it is an establishment that brings together people from all walks of life.

"We like to think of this place as eclectic," says owner Tom Crombie, 44, a Swissvale native who still lives there. "Look around and you will see people in shorts and others in business suits. We cater to every kind of customer. And everything is made to order, so tell us how you want it, and we will make it your way. The best-seller is the Battleship."

"I think what makes us successful is everything is fresh from the meat to the toppings to the bread," Crombie says. "It was crazy. We cut all the meat and prepare all the toppings daily. Our slicers are going all day long. We get bread from Gigante's in Swissvale, which is really fresh. And I try to be out meeting customers every day because my dad taught me that there is nothing better for business or for anything you do in life than talking with someone face-to-face."

Crombie learned from his late parents, Robert "Bones" and Judy Crombie. They purchased the restaurant in 1982 from the Catezano family. Tom Crombie took over operations fully in 2002.

"We didn't change much, because it had been working well, so why change it?" Crombie says. "We still have the countertops that were installed in the '50s. This place has character and people come here from all over."

There is no parking lot, but Crombie says finding a spot is part of the charm. The name Triangle comes from the appearance of the building from the outside. It looks like it's in the shape of a triangle.

In addition to the two Battleships, there is a Destroyer (12 inches long for $7) and a Torpedo (6 inches for $4.25).

"It's the people who come here who make this a fun place to work," says general manager Jason Stewart. "We get some crazy requests for sandwiches but we make them whatever they want. That's the way a restaurant should be. Every customer is important to us."

In one year, the Triangle Bar goes through 100,000 pounds of salami, 70,000 pounds of provolone cheese, 65,000 pounds of ham, 1,200 cases of lettuce, 1,400 cases of tomatoes and 5,000 pounds of onions.

The names of sandwiches are believed to come from a former owner who was in the Navy.

Other sandwiches include a roast beef, capicola or chicken salad for $5.50 in a torpedo size and $17.25 in battleship size. Cheese steaks are big seller at $5.50 for a torpedo and $17.25 for a battleship. Butcher Boy (fried bologna) is $5.50 for torpedo and $17.25 for a battleship size.

Sides include soup, chili, macaroni and potato salad, and coleslaw for $2.25 to $2.40.

Additional Information:

Triangle Bar and Grill

Location: 2122 Monongahela Ave., Swissvale

Hours: 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays; 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sundays; 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m. on Steelers game days

Details: : 412-271-9885

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