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Brooklyn bar adds a taste of the 'Burgh

| Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, 9:28 p.m.

Brooklyn now is on the menu of places that offer a taste of Pittsburgh.

At least until the end of August.

Mike Poiarkoff, a Beaver County native who is executive chef at Brooklyn's Char No. 4, has added a stacked-high-with-slaw-and-fries sandwich to the offerings there.

“We have a themed Wednesday,” he says, “so I came with the idea of a Primanti-like sandwich for August. We'll have it to the end of the month, or maybe longer if reaction is extraordinarily great in the next two weeks.”

Reaction has been fine so far, Poiarkoff says, so it could stick around.

“It has been a little encouraging,” he says. “At first it seemed a little foreign, but then people started taking to it.”

The Pittsburgh Sandwich, as it is called there, has a slightly different take on the Burgh's classic sandwich. Char No. 4, a whiskey bar with more than 150 bourbons, scotches and other distilled delights, is a farm-to-table establishment.

The sandwich is served either with a hangar steak that is butchered on-site or pork sausage made there, along with fresh fries, slaw and pickles. The bread is “comparable to Mancini's,” Poiarkoff says, and is baked “down the street, about six hours before serving.”

The sandwich and pickles come with a beer and a whiskey for $22.

It is another case of Pittsburgh food favorites hitting the road. Primanti's, known for this sandwich's original form, has three restaurants in Florida, an addition to the hefty handful across Western Pennsylvania.

In Los Angeles, Mt. Washington native Taylor Funkhouser is spreading the flavor of the 'Burgh with her Steel City Sandwich Truck that has joined the lunch-time fleet in that city.

Poiarkoff, 25, grew up around the catering business his father owns, but attended Seton Hill University in Greensburg to study writing and art.

He joined a friend in New York City 2 12 years ago and began working at Char No. 4, working up to executive chef about two months ago.

At this point, he does not think he will be taking his Pittsburgh Sandwich anyplace else.

“I think I'll be staying here for a while,” he says.

Find Char No. 4 at 196 Smith St., Brooklyn. Details: 718-643-2106.

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bkarlovits@tribweb.com or 412-320-7852.

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