Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winghart's Burger and Whiskey Bar (Downtown)

Having friends who know and love good food can be dangerous sometimes...

Burgh Gourmand has been pretty active on his blog lately, with an exceptionally persuasive post on a new taco joint in the South Hills, Casa Rasta, and a photo update to an earlier post on Winghart's Burger and Whiskey Bar.  Today was the first day that I've finally felt close to normal after a stupid cold pretty much knocked me out for a week and a half.  My plan today was to tidy up the mess I've accumulated while sick, unpack my bags from San Diego (finally!), and catch up on all the work I didn't do while I was resting in my living room recliner this past week.  I did some of that, but by the afternoon I just didn't feel like being cooped up at home for another minute.  I needed to get out.

And of course, I couldn't stop thinking about BG's posts.  It was a really close call between tacos and burgers, but in the end I listened to my stomach and it was calling for a burger.  I've been meaning to try Winghart's for the longest time anyway, and it was about time I finally dragged myself there.  Tacos at Casa Rasta will just have to wait, though probably not for long.

Winghart's occupies a narrow space at the southern corner of Market Square and has mostly bar seating - perfect for hopping in for a burger and a drink.  I didn't need to read the menu - I knew I wanted the Shipwrecked Burger, which BG recommended. Named after one of the owners, "Shipwreck," the Shipwrecked Burger is topped with brie cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, and white truffle aioli.  Hmm...brie on burger.  Who could say no to that??

Shipwrecked Burger at Winghart's
Shipwrecked Burger ($12)
BG's photo is better as it was shot in gorgeous natural lighting. Really makes you drool.

It was as delicious as everyone has said.  The topping combo was a great compliment to meat that was fresh (ground in-house), juicy (despite being well done), and well-seasoned.  It is a very flavorful burger - and when I say well-seasoned, I mean it.  Three hours later, I can still taste the seasoning in my mouth.  Could be too much for people who don't feel like chugging water for hours after eating.

As if the pirate theme hadn't tipped anyone off, Winghart's has a decidedly hip character.  Winghart's may have opened as part of the gourmet burger movement that started in Pittsburgh in 2010, but having patronized a few of these new burger joints, I can say that Winghart's atmosphere is the most distinctive of all.  The staff, too, is extremely friendly.  Sitting at the bar, I got to meet "Hippy" and "Three" (the latter who made my burger) and spent some time chatting with "Fallout," who has a drink named after him that consists of orange liquer, ginger liquer, and spiced rum (I believe).  Though the drink sounded tempting, it will have to wait 'til I'm feeling 100% healthy again.  While enjoying my burger, "Shipwreck" himself stopped by to say hi and chat for a little. I urged him not to move to Key West.

"Three" cooking up some patties.

Winghart's is a great place for a fun and casual meal.  Just don't bring a large group; the charm is in its intimacy.

As an aside, Winghart's will be opening a second location in SouthSide soon.  The previously planned Warrendale location, however, is no longer happening.

Restaurant info:
Winghart's Burger & Whiskey Bar
5 Market Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
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