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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wingharts Burger and Whiskey Bar

Winghart's Burger & Whiskey Bar on Urbanspoon

Better quality burger places have been opening around the city for the last couple of years, and I really welcome the change.  Tessaro's in Bloomfield was always one of the few places that would grind and mix their own meat mixture on a daily basis, but now their are many choices.  I've personally tried Burgatory in Fox Chapel, Burgh'ers in Zelienople, BR'GR in East Liberty, Bubba's and Sauce in Bridgeville, and several others.  All are very good...But Wingharts just might be the best.

Wingharts is in Market Square downtown.  It's a small restaurant along with a full service bar specializing in a wide variety of whiskey.  I don't know anything about, or really care about whiskey so I'll just talk about the food. Our server was very knowledgeable about the different cuts of beef used and the preparation of the patty's and was very helpful in all of our questions.  I ended up ordering the Market Square Burger, which is loaded with bacon, mushrooms, gruyere cheese and a honey mustard dressing.  This may be the best burger I've ever had.  It was just tremendous.  And while the toppings are all fresh and top notch, it's not the toppings that I'm referring to.  The quality and flavor of the beef is what makes these burgers so good.

The menu also offered a Double Blue Burger with dried blue, along with blue cheese dressing.  The Hula Burger with pineapple, BBQ sauce, cheddar, and caramelized onions.  There is also a chicken sausage burger, a veggie burger (for you vegetarians that frequent burger restaurants) and even one with chipped ham and cheese!  Here's the description from the menu: Oly Cah! Chip chop’ am n beer chhese?! On a burger?! Git aht a than! Yinz guys gotta see dis...

This is the Shipwreck Burger, loaded with Brie cheese, caramelized onions with bacon, arugula, and white truffle aioli.

Winghart's is located in Market Square downtown and a new location just opened right on Carson Street on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ridgeview BBQ, Bristol TN

I don't usually write about restaurants that are very far outside of the Pittsburgh area, but every once in a while I stumble upon a place that happens to be unique enough that others just might find it interesting too.  I've been to Bristol Tennessee several times over the years, and recently found myself there for a brief business trip.  Usually when I'm in the South, I like to hunt out local BBQ joints, not only because they're always good, but they make their BBQ with a unique sauce that I've always liked.  Whether it's the vinegar based sauce prevalent in the Carolina's or some mixture of sweet tomato, vinegar and mustard that seems to blanket the south-east US, I usually like all of them.
I've been told about Ridgewood BBQ, (in Bluff City) several times on my previous trips, but never had the time to go there.  This time I made it a point, and I'm glad that I did!  They offer both pork and beef and I decided to go with the BBQ pork sandwich.  The pork is sliced and heated on a flat-top, then mixed with their great sauce and topped with slaw to make a huge sandwich. 
I also got an order of their BBQ beans which were also really good.  The super friendly server sucked me into a southern sweet tea with her southern hospitality...I hate sweet tea, but I forgive her for that!
As is with most BBQ places in the South, Ridgewood doesn't have bar service and is kind of diner like, but that's OK.  Is Ridgewood the best BBQ I've ever had?  Naw, but that's only because I love several styles, including Texas style beef and the sweet Memphis we have out West.  I do think it may be the best Southern style that I've tried...But I do intend to keep on trying!
Ridgewood BBQ is located at 900 Elizabethton Hwy in Bluff City,TN

The Original Ridgewood Barbeque on Urbanspoon