Thursday, July 5, 2012


I work downtown. While it's a bear to drive in and a fortune to park, I consider myself blessed. Why? Because of the FOOD. I love having the opportunity to pop out for lunch and enjoy the day at Market Square. Not long ago, I finally convinced a few F.O.R.Ts to join me after work for a few juicy burgers at Wingharts.

It was a Wednesday evening at 5:30, and the tiny, narrow bar was already packed. We snagged a wobbly 2-top and fashioned it into a 4-seater in a slightly uncomfortable but totally necessary way.  There are no 4-tops anywhere in this bar. If you don't snag one of the two tables outside you wait for a seat at the bar or you take your burger to go.

Service was atrocious, but then again, we weren't lucky enough to be seated at the diner-style bar. Our server was pleasant and sweet and I don't blame her for how busy it was, but nearly nothing we ordered was remembered and we didn't receive our meals (ahem...burgers) until more than 30 minutes after we ordered them.

I take that back, E1 ordered a woodfired pizza - Rachael's Trip to Greece - which came in 20 minutes and which she stared at for another 10 until we told her to go ahead and eat it already.  I will admit, it was delicious. It looked and smelled amazing and she let me have a bite when she caught me drooling with hunger pangs in my stomach. It was like Greece exploded in my mouth. The feta, artichoke and olives were the absolute perfect cure to my "starvation."

Rachael's Trip to Greece, $9.75

When our burgers finally made it to the table, it goes without saying that we dug right in.  The burgers were enormous and juicy as could be.  Mine - a Denny Double Bleu with bacon - crumbled in my hands and was very difficult to eat, but despite it's messiness, it truly was delicious and packed with flavor.

Denny Double  Bleu, $8.75

Both PID and Tb ordered the Shipwreck burger made with Brie (yes, Brie!), carmelized onions, bacon, arugula and a white truffle aioli.  The boys were in heaven.  Not a single word was spoken as we each devoured every last bite.

Shipwreck Burger, $12

We had to ask three times for the coleslaw and french fries (with cheeses) we'd ordered, but they didn't disappoint in taste, either.

Restaurant Information:
Wingharts Burger & Whiskey Bar
Address: 5 Market Square, downtown Pittsburgh
Phone: 412-343-5600
Hours:    Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - midnight
               Sunday hours vary (opens at noon)
Reservations: Not taken
Price: $$

Cliffs Notes:
2 Shipwreck burgers @ $12.00
Denny Double Bleu @ $8.75
Rachael's Trip to Greece @ $9.75
2 hand-cut fries @$2.75

Overall Opinion: 
As frustrated I was with the service, I know better than anyone that kitchens can get crazy sometimes - even if the kitchen is a brick oven and a large skillet right in front of your face - and chances are good that it won't be that bad the next time I go.  But regardless of the service, the food made up for it. My burger was a bit crumbly, but I ate every single crumble. If you're going, just make sure to get there early to snag a seat - or consider taking your meal across the alley into the market square cafe area. I look forward to a time that I can go back and sit at the bar, chit-chat with the bartender and watch my burger come to life before my very eyes.

Winghart's Burger & Whiskey Bar on Urbanspoon

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