Giordano Bros. Restaurant - San Francisco

A Pittsburgh-style sandwich emporium expands

It could be the well-muscled, backward-hat-wearing server who emigrated from Steel City just three weeks ago. It could also be the overstuffed Pittsburgh-style sandwiches, piled high with meat, melted Provolone, French fries and Italian-style coleslaw.

At Giordano Bros.' new location, both contribute to the disorienting sense that you are not in the heart of the Mission but in some sports bar-cum-East Coast stronghold.

For fans of the original North Beach location, the formula here is not so different. As at Pittsburgh's legendary Primanti Bros., sandwiches are made with plush slices of Italian bread, soft enough to hold your fingerprints but somehow robust enough to hold the ample filling.

The aforementioned server recommends salami, endorses pastrami and shrugs disappointedly at the mention of turkey. You can also have kielbasa or coppa; where appropriate, the meats are first griddled, so the edges curl and crisp.

The menu at the new location has expanded moderately to include pierogi (skip) and battered and fried pickles (order). And because these sandwiches are, without a doubt, best with beer, Giordano Bros. has 24 varieties on tap, including Magnolia's K├Âlsch ("I tell guys it comes in a tiny glass," says our server) and Scrimshaw Pilsner, served in a man-size mug.

Giordano Bros., 3108 16th St. (at Valencia St.), 415-437-2767; and 303 Columbus Ave. (at Broadway), 415-397-2767;