I'm Talkin' Primanti's, Pamela's, And Pierogies

I'm Talkin' Primanti's, Pamela's, And Pierogies

Wait, you DON'T put french fries on your salad?
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The other day in the dining hall I got excited because they had Honey Nut Cheerios. That is how deprived of good food I am. I was literally excited for Honey Nut Cheerios.

I come from a land of amazing, culturally-rich food. Food that is celebrated, traditional, made with incredible seasonings and unique pairings that make an outsider's eyes (and mouths) widen with awe and say, "I never knew food could be prepared like this!"

I'm not talking about Chinese or Italian or even New Orleans food - I'm talking about good ole' Pittsburgh food.

At first people think, "Oh, Pittsburgh? So like, Philly Cheesesteaks?" Ugh, gag me. First of all, Pittsburgh is AT LEAST six hours from Philadelphia, depending on how far you drive. They are in the same state, but NOT the same city. Second, I'm not sure what's more disgusting - Philly Cheesesteaks or Philly itself. All they have is a giant bell and sub-par sports teams.

I'm talkin' Primanti's, Pamela's, and Pierogies. And not normal pierogies - pierogies that literally race each other.

Here is some of the best, most authentic food you can get in the 'burgh:

Primanti Bros

This is the sandwich place that puts all other sandwich places to shame. Why, you ask? Because they INVENTED the "fries on the sandwich" sandwich. No further explanation needed (but even their PIZZA is good. They literally can do it all).

Fries on top of everything

Speakin' of fries, Pittsburgh people put french fries on literally everything. Sandwiches, chilli, eggs, even salads. Yup, if you go to Pittsburgh and order a salad because you're trying to be healthy, make sure you specify "no fries," because fries is a as standard as lettuce. Even if it's not in the salad's description, you can bet it comes with fries on top. Even my high school cafeteria put fries on the salad, despite Michelle Obama's devious ways.

Pamela's Diner

Speaking of Michelle Obama, she frequents the Pittsburgh classic, Pamela's Diner, and so does Barack! The most charming part of this local chain is that after your brunch, you can go pick up your meds at the pharmacy side of the diner! It's hard to go wrong with anything on the menu at Pamela's, but the best are the pancakes, waffles, and milkshakes. The pancakes are thin and the size of Josh Peck's head, and rolled up like a burrito filled with every mix in you can think of. Barack loves them, and so do I.

Smiley Cookies

Eat n Park's the place for smiles, literally. From the smiles on the pancakes to the smiles on the waitress's face to the smile I get when Oreo is the pie of the month, there are smiles everywhere in this place. But no smile is bigger than the smiley cookie's smile (these cookies are huge and delicious and feed my nostalgic sweet tooth).

Iron City and Yuengling beer

Pittsburgh beer is GOOD beer. I feel sorry for people who can't get IC Light at literally any bar they go to, and I feel even more sorry for the people who can't get Yuengling ice cream dahn at the Gian' Iggle.

Heinz Ketchup

My friend's looked at me like I was crazy when I asked a waitress for ketchup, but then handed the bottle back when it wasn't Heinz. Non-Pittsburgh will just never understand. Does Giant Eagle even sell non-Heinz ketchup?



Cover Image Credit: Primanti Bros

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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The Springfield City Ordinance You Need To Know About

Do you live in Springfield? Do you love hammocking? Boy, have I got news for you.

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For many residents of Springfield, the nice weather has brought lifted spirits and high hopes for what the season will bring. Many students in the surrounding colleges have used the weather as an opportunity to study outside and take a break from stuffy classrooms and noisy hallways.

Families have been able to return to regularly visiting parks, and parents have been getting a chance to let their children blow off some steam once they get out of class. For many, this weather feels like the breath of fresh air people need in order to finish all of the things they need to do before the summer starts.

If you're like me, the first thing you want to do when the weather is nice is go hammocking. Students at Missouri State University are lucky; our school has put up stands to hang hammocks on, so there is more room to spread out and study. Once their school day is over, some students will head to the park and hang up their hammocks, hoping to finish up some leftover assignments while they relax.

This could be an issue, considering that hammocking is illegal in Springfield parks.

In Chapter 82 of the Code of the City of Springfield, the park rules are outlined. One of the rules focuses on hanging things from park trees. The rule states: "it is unlawful to attach wires, ropes, placards, notices or other contrivances to any structure, tree, shrub, plant, or utility lines without prior written permission of the park board."

Unfortunately, this includes hammocks.

So, what are the consequences of breaking this law? You won't get arrested for trying to relax in your hammock, but you might get fined. Breaking a city ordinance typically leads to receiving a ticket from someone on the park board.

Now, while this ordinance may seem absurd, it's actually for a pretty solid reason. The park board is trying to protect their trees and other greenery from being accidentally damaged. Each tree in the Springfield parks are cataloged and looked after by the park board, who cares very much about their trees.

So, before you get frustrated at not being able to hammock in a Springfield park, pretend it's Leslie Knope who signed that ordinance into action. Who could be mad at her for trying to save some trees?

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