220 N. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206
FIRST, A BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO “T” for getting accepted into her Doctoral program!!! YIPEE. That’s right, it’s “Doctor T” for you guys!!!
T’s first round of drinks after finding out that she is going to be a Doctor! M knows how to celebrate for her girl!
The celebrating commenced at the Union Pig and Chicken.
Located in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Union Pig and Chicken was a great way to spend the afternoon celebrating our way across the city. The restaurant has 2 floors; the eating area is a casual, picnic style table with an urban twist and the second floor is the craft bar; specialty cocktails only in this urban meets casual adirondack chair bar. There are two sides of floor to ceiling glass windows, which gives a great view of the neighborhood and part of the city scape. Fun, relaxing, warm and inviting were the elements of our new endeavor. We took the advice of our very friendly and super helpful waitress, Celine, and ordered the “Choose 2″ pork ribs and beef brisket, which comes with 1 side and cornbread. Well, we did more than 1 side. Add the brussels sprouts, mac & cheese, and another order of the “meaty mac & chesse!”
Did I forget to mention the alcohol? SORRY, you know how it is when I get excited about food! Celine chose a cocktail for me that loosely emulated a Cosmopolitan. The translation was a fabulous pink concoction of la licious alcohol….mmhmmm GOOD! It tasted like the islands!!!! Pink, deep flavored booze with hints of cinnamon and coconut. I do not even care what was in it, it was a great diversion from the cold grey weather we have been experiencing here in central Pennsylvania. The restaurant features a whiskey menu, craft bar, and a draft beer selection that changes daily. I found it to be a unique, fun and hip twist to my dining experience.
Yes, YES, YEEESSSS to all the scrumptious sides. The ribs and brisket were accompanied by a trio of sauces. Celine was gracious as she described the three unique and homemade sauces: the vinegar sauce was reminiscent of an East Carolina sauce straight from North Carolina, the sweet molasses flavor in the barbeque sauce was straight out of Kansas City mixed with a little Memphis, and the habanero – well that’s just Texas. Having access to the three made the dining experience all the more interesting, you could travel the different regions of our country as you switched out the sauces – It was great! Now, I am constantly in pursuit of the “perfect bite”. As other “perfect biters” know, you can attain that status with a variety of mixtures. The sauces added to the flavor explosion on my palate.
From Left to Right: Vinegar Sauce, Barbeque Sauce, and Habanero Sauce.
T and I experienced a little palate boredom with the regular mac & cheese. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it was missing some oomph. Celine recommended the habanero sauce for that mac and cheese and WOW was she right, the sauce really brought a great element to the dish. Celine then went on to describe what the “meaty mac & cheeese” had in it. Well, T & I were sold. We ordered up a bowl of this rich, meaty, creamy, flavorful melody of cheesy goodness. Three bites later, we were wishing our stomachs were bigger than our eyes. Needless to say, we took the rest to go!!! YUMMY, cheesy meaty goodness for breakfast!!! LOL
Have I talked about the meat yet? MMMMMM, foodgasm!!! Tender, moist, manly meat with the perfect blend of onion powder, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper and smoke…LA LICIOUS. Now, I am not a big “eat off the bone” kind of girl, T is, but I took that perfectly cooked rib and stripped it clean from the bone with a simple swipe of my fork! If memory serves me correctly, I think that meat was so frightened by our ravenous energy that it literally fell off the bone for me!! Ya, that’s what happened. It was simply succulent and I would have had seconds and thirds, despite the time at the gym that it would add to my schedule.
Butter bread, oh sorry, I meant cornbread. It was AWESOME!!! The edges were a bit dry, but you will have that. NO complaints. As you slide past the edges into the buttery abyss of a mouth watering perfectly balanced bite, the flavors all come together in a harmonious symphony.
I want to tell you about my last known memory of brussels sprouts. It was the 70′s, I was a young girl. My mother had made brussels sprouts (frozen brussels sprouts) again! UGH. The smell alone made me nauseous. Imagine my fear as that stinky, smelly, bowl of buttery green balls were placed in front of my 5 year old eyes. I wanted to cry. Long story made incredibly short, I gagged, there was an episode, and I never ate another brussels sprout until my 46 birthday celebration in January 2013! I am NOT JOKING. T made me brussels sprouts in January. After years of T’s gentle nudging, I gave in and requested them for my birthday dinner. She did a great job welcoming me back to the brussels sprout world as visions of my nasty childhood memories disappeared down the kitchen sink. I actually liked them and was interested in the Union Pig & Chicken’s rendition of the dish. Can I have more please? Those la licious green balls were cooked in pork fat with beautiful crispified pieces of pork body. I could have eaten them all day long! It’s true.
After all of that eating, they packed us our to-go bag and the chef still threw in some whoopie pies into our bag (on the house) for dessert. Union Pig and Chicken has our hearts, stomachs, and our business.
The Upstairs Craft Bar:
For a more detailed view of their menu, go to: http://unionpgh.com
We suggest all of our readers give this restaurant a try if you are ever in the Pittsburgh area. It will be some place that we will be returning to often. Just make sure you have a solid day to go to the gym in the coming days, this southern style restaurant is not for the faint of heart (add butter, butter, cream, more butter)….
Let us know in the comments if you liked this review and if there are any other restaurants in the area that you would like us to review. You can also email us at: email@example.com
Enjoy eating out!
~ M & T