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Friday, April 26, 2013


Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the food at 1311. They offer frozen cheese sticks, pizza, chicken tenders, french fries and the like. HOWEVER, there is no bar I'd rather drink at in the entire world. The bartenders are really hot (love you Adrienne and Kristy), the beer is cheap as sin and the specials are incredible. I'm talking about daily $1 beers and $5 pitchers of mixed drinks! My favorite is $1.50 blue moon night on Tuesday.  1311 is one of those reasons I'll never leave Pittsburgh. When beers are a dollar, why would anyone want to move to Austin, Portland or New York? Suck it America.

I frequent 1311 so often there are many stories to tell. One time I dropped my phone in the toilet and some man berated me to hurry up and grab it before it was too late. It was too late. Another time I was interviewed for some sports TV show with Anna Ranyovich. (Naturally I killed it.) And yet another time some nice Mexican lady lost her virginity in the alley to one of my friends. 1311 is where the dreams happen.

I love you little league baseball pizza from 1311.

1311 on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Harvard and Highland (Union Pig and Chicken)

Discounted Happy Hour Wings

I continue to be really impressed by Union Pig and Chicken. The first time around I wasn't positive that it was my scene. Afterall, they are charging an awful lot of money for bbq food. Additionally, on my first visit they were out of brisket and I hated the ribs. I still hate the ribs. I think they are a bit too chewy, and in general I'm just not the biggest supporter of the St. Louis style back rib. I'm a baby back man. But I do not have my baby back, she moved to Texas with some dude. (I am totally over it though and not spiteful.)

The bbq scene in Pittsburgh has always been somewhat dismal. With the emergence of Yinzburgh BBQ and Union Pig and Chicken, I would say we are improving. However, most southerners would probably still be disappointed.

The smoked chicken wings, pictured above, are the best smoked chicken wings I've had in the city. I usually find smoked chicken wings to be dry compared to their deep-fried brethren, but these wings were perfectly prepared and well paired with some house made blue cheese. They had a pleasant amount of smoke with just the right texture.

Some of my other favorites at Union Pig and Chicken/Harvard Highland include the pork shoulder, the fried chicken and the chicken pate. In case you are out of the loop, Harvard Highland is just the bar that is situated directly above Union Pig and Chicken. The bar has a very nice glass facade with a glorious view of east liberty, beach seating and a new backroom with a pool table. If you were wondering, no the bar is not cheap, and yes it can take a while to get a drink as the bartenders are always doing something fancy. Pro tip: drink in your car beforehand. For my money I honestly prefer YinzBurgh bbq. However, Union Pig and Chicken has some nice advantages such as seating, sexy decor and a bar tended by pretentious twenty-somethings who probably read Ayn Rand.

Union Pig and Chicken on Urbanspoon YinzBurgh BBQ on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sonny's - Bloomfield

Sonny's is an oddly charming hipster shithole where the kids in skinny jeans go to kiss each other on the lips in the smoky dark light emanated from dart machines. They are one of those bars that has more character crammed into the secret-basement-employee's-only-bathroom-where-they-might-let-you-poop than most bars have in their entire repertoire. The people make the scene. Every cool kid I've ever met seems to drink here, including a Polish cowboy that I know.

The food is terrible. The chicken tenders were the second worst I've ever had, only second to Blush downtown. They just tasted wrong, but the problem was corrected with ranch dressing, hot sauce and beer. The french fries were acceptable, but the pizza tasted like old cardboard. I actually think it might be possible to make better pizza out of old cardboard. The crust had the composition of a used up catchers mitt and I think the cheese was made from local dog's milk. The locally sourced food movement has failed us.

Worst pizza time ever!

Despite my complaints about the food, I think this is one of the greatest bars that we've visited this year. Darts, pool tables, good company, cheap drinks and pretty girls! Pro tip, beware of the old curmudgeon who lives in the white house next door. He gets all upset when people use his ally like a frat house bathroom. THIS IS AMERICA BRO!
Sonny's Tavern on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cupkas II

A picture of some food I didn't eat.
Cupkas II is a real Pittsburgh bar. The portions are gigantic, you can smoke in one of the back rooms, the majority of the patrons are named Donny, Shawn or Peggy and the cole slaw tastes like shit. The fish sandwich in particular is so large that it is not physically possible to consume it in sandwich form.

I've never really understood fish sandwiches for this exact reason. It seems like every restaurant goes out of their way to just try and make the thing as large as possible. They remind me of a middle school competition to see who has the biggest... fish sandwich.

The food at Cupkas II is your run of the mill bar food. Burgers, fried stuff, huge sandwiches and pizza boats. It is all palatable and a great bargain for your buck. I think the selling points are the outdoor patio, the smoker friendly atmosphere and the low prices. Cupkas is easily one of the cheapest dates in the Southside, not to mention their giant throbbing fish sandwich.

Cupka's II Cafe on Urbanspoon