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Winghart's - Market Square, Pittsburgh

I'm always on the lookout for a good burger, and I love whiskey. So I was looking forward to the opening of Winghart's Whiskey and Burger Bar in Market Square, tucked into the little corner space by Starbucks that used to be occupied by Buon Giorno Cafe. I think they opened earlier in the week, and I decided to give them a try today.

Sadly, there is no whiskey, yet. They are still in the process of obtaining their liquor license.

Otherwise, everything exceeded expectations. This is very much a no-frills burger bar. The narrow space opens slightly toward the back, allowing for a few tables; otherwise the place consists of the bar, with the cooks working the grill and wood-fired oven on the other side.

The burger itself was fantastic. I ordered the Market Square Burger, which came topped with gruyere, bacon, sauteed mushrooms and a homemade mustard, and was perfectly cooked to the requested medium. The 1/2 lb patty was juicy and packed with flavor. The one cook was telling me that each burger comes from the same cut of beef, which is ground in-house daily. The bun was lightly buttered, slightly toasted and stood up well to the deliciously juicy mess of beef, bacon and cheese inside.

All I got was the burger, and I left absolutely satiated. Actually, I was stuffed, but it was so good I simply had to finish it. They also make 10" thin crust pizzas in the wood-fired oven, which looked and smelled fantastic. The guy sitting next to me had an order of their fresh cut fries, which looked really good too.

Unfortunately, I think it may be a while before I get to try the pizza or fries. The burgers are too good, and I will almost certainly make my way through a number of different combinations before I move on to the other goodies. It will be tough for me to resist heading over there sometime later in the week for a good old-fashioned cheeseburger.

Verdict: I know it treads on blasphemy, but the burger at Winghart's is every bit as good as Tessaro's. Much advanced testing will need to be done, but I think Winghart's could even be better. I do know this much: Winghart's burger is the best I've had in the Central Business District. It certainly exceeds the offerings at Capital Grille or Ruth's Chris. It probably isn't as good as Eleven's, though, which I consider to be the gold-standard for burgers in the 'Burgh. In any event, if you find yourself in downtown Pittsburgh jones-ing for a burger or are looking for a new lunch spot, definitely check out Winghart's. I think you'll be pleased with your choice.

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Tessaro's Restaurant
4601 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

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  1. Thanks for the tip. I wasn't even aware of this place, but I'll visit soon!

    http://burghfeeding.blogspot.com/

    1. This is a good review: it makes me want to eat here. The name kind of blew right past me before; I thought it must be a wings place, and wings are "meh" if you're me.

      Does medium allow for any pink at all?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jay F

        Yeah, there was definitely some pink in the medium burgers I've had there. Both were cooked perfectly.

      2. Well, I learned one thing, they are not open on Sunday!

        http://burghfeeding.blogspot.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: Burghfeeder

          Disappointing. I ended up stopping by Friday for lunch and was equally impressed with my second visit. In fact, I think the burger I had the second time was better. The Shipwrecked Burger: 1/2 lb beef, brie, carmelized onion, bacon, arugula and white truffle oil. It was excellent.

        2. Someone on another forum (non-food) I frequent had this to say about burgers in Pittsburgh:

          "1) Capital Grille- expensive, but worth trying the real thing
          2) The Carlton- another downtown burger that is a must try
          3) Eleven- ok, I haven't even had this one myself, but it's among the best restaurants in the city. They also make their own hot dog, which I can't wait to try!
          4) Nine On Nine- among the best restaurants in the 'Burgh. Anything you get here will be quite extraordinary.
          5) Brgr- located in the "new" East Liberty right beside sister restaurant, Spoon. Brgr also has terrific spiked shakes!!"

          6 Replies
          1. re: Jay F

            That's a good list. This is where I end up:

            1. Eleven - Topped with braised veal. Only at lunch.
            2. Winghart's - New School
            3. Tessaro's - Old School
            4. Ruth's Chris - Only at lunch.
            5. Sharp Edge - Either the Belgian or Buffalo
            6. Brgr - Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded
            7. Capital Grille

            I've been underwhelmed with The Carlton since their reopening and really haven't been there much in the past couple years. It's been far too long since I've tried their burger. And I didn't even know that Nine on Nine had burgers! I stop in there for lunch every few weeks and have never even considered the burger. I don't remember ever seeing it on the menu. I'll have to give it a try next time I'm in.

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            Nine on Nine
            900 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

            Sharp Edge Restaurants
            288 W Steuben St, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

            Tessaro's Restaurant
            4601 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

            1. re: MonMauler

              What does that mean, "New School," in reference to Winghart's? Thanks.

              I live near the Sharp Edge, and I've never been there. I ought to correct that.

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              Sharp Edge Restaurants
              288 W Steuben St, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

              1. re: Jay F

                New School may have been slightly off the mark. It is a burger bar, and like Brgr, they specialize in burgers, so they have a wider selection of toppings and combine those toppings in more creative ways than the other restaurants on my list, most of which serve and focus on a multitude of dishes in addition to putting out a great burger.

                I would definitely recommend Sharp Edge. I've only been to a few locations - the one on West Steuben, the one in Friendship and, most often, the one downtown, on Penn. Most everything I've had is good. If you're not in the mood for the burger try the Buffalo Bites (boneless fried chicken) or the mussels. The frites are good. So are the Belgian waffles. As for burgers, in addition to the Belgian (lamb & sirloin) and Buffalo (buffalo & sirloin), mentioned in my post above, the Ostrich Burger (ostrich & sirloin) is also very tasty. By far the best thing on the menu, though, is beer. Belgian beer, specifically. At the downtown location, at least, they offer half-price Beligan drafts during happy hour (4:30-6:30). It is a very happy couple of hours.

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                Sharp Edge Restaurants
                288 W Steuben St, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

                1. re: Jay F

                  The beer at the Sharp Edge (East Liberty / Friendship) is pretty good. The food, tho, is nothing short of pathetic. Overpriced, and straight off the Sysco truck. There's not a whiff of anything local or seasonal.

                  I'm definitely going to check out Wingharts. Also, Burgatory in Aspinwall is pretty good.

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                  Sharp Edge Restaurants
                  288 W Steuben St, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

                  1. re: jacktanner

                    I ate at Sharp Edge once, and probably would never return. The worst mussels I've ever had.

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                    Sharp Edge Restaurants
                    288 W Steuben St, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

                    1. re: Whigsboy

                      I finally got around to eating at the Friendship Avenue Sharp Edge, and I was less than impressed. I haven't been back. I don't even remember what I ate, just that it was covered with either FFs or chips.

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                      Sharp Edge Restaurants
                      288 W Steuben St, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

            2. I went to Winghart's finally, and it is terrific. They make burgers as good as my mother and father used to when they'd grill them outside. They even grill the rolls just right. Perfect medium rare each time. Fun place. Fun people. Very highly recommended.