day 7 – chicago to pittsburgh

today is my last full day on the road.  and it would be another long and full day of driving and excitement.

my first stop today was detroit for lunch @ slows bbq with a b school friend of mine.  since detroit was 4 hours from chicago and i would also lose an hour bc of the time zone change, i had to hit the road extremely early and i wasn’t a happy camper.  it also was slightly annoying to go to detroit before heading to ann arbor since i would be backtracking.  but the extra driving time was worth the trip to see a familiar face while also creating an opportunity for symmetry/closure to my west coast experience bc i had dinner with his wife in NOLA while driving out to SF.

arriving in detroit, i was somewhat surprised on how nice the city was.  yes, there was a lot of rundown/abandoned buildings but there were also a ton of nice new office buildings and two new-ish looking casinos.  slows bbq was not far from downtown and amongst a few other good looking restaurants.  i ordered the combo plate (smoked chicken, pulled pork, brisket) with sides of mac & cheese and coleslaw.  the pulled pork was by far the winner of the plate with the brisket in a close second.  i wasn’t a big fan of the sides or the chicken.  but if i lived in detroit, i could see myself coming to slows for a pulled pork sandwich and a bourbon (their bourbon selection was impressive).

Slows

though it would require me to backtrack, i wanted to make a stop at ann arbor to check out umichigan’s campus and more importantly the big house.  the campus is ridiculously huge and i honestly don’t know how kids could make it from class to class on time if they were on opposite ends of campus.  i drove up to the stadium hoping i could check it out and take some pics but found out its not open to the public.  but there was one gate open and i thought to myself that i could sneak in quickly and take a picture and then sneak back out.  that plan was quickly squashed when an employee drove up after i walked thru the gate and asked me wtf i was doing and then proceeded to kick me out.  fail.  but alas not all was lost bc i hit up one of the stores and bought a crapload of michigan gear.

what i could have seen if i didn't get kicked out
what i could have seen if i didn’t get kicked out

back on the road, i had about 4.5 hours to get to pittsburgh.  awaiting for me was the famous primanti’s sandwich.   primanti’s has been touted by many food bloggers/writers as one of the best sandwiches in america (if not the best).  the sandwich consists of your choice of meat, vinegar-based coleslaw, tomatoes, and french fries all stuffed between two slices of homemade sourdough.  the story behind this sandwich is that years ago truckers would stop in for a sandwich and would request everything shoved in between two slices of bread so it would be easier to eat on the go.  and as the saying goes, the rest is history.  i opted for the corned beef & cheese sandwich.  the sandwich was big but by no means huge.  it was the perfect symphony of meat, cheese, crisp french fries, and sharp coleslaw.  the coleslaw is what really brings the sandwich together, providing some texture as well as bite to cut thru the richness of the meat, cheese, and french fries.   and the cherry on top is that the sandwich is extremely affordable (~$7).

Primanti's

with a full belly, i drove around town to check it out.  i was shocked on how developed pittsburgh felt and that it had such a solid downtown area.  it makes sense since this city was a hub of action back in the day since three rivers (ohio, allegheny, & monogahela) converge at downtown pittsburgh.  driving to the shore shore up mount washington, you can get an awesome view of downtown pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh

tomorrow is my last day on the road.  i will make a lunch stop in philly to grab some philly cheesesteaks before reaching my final destination of New York, NY.  i honestly don’t know if i’m ready to face the “real world” but its time to nut up or shut up.

miles driven today: 624
total miles driven: 3308 

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