While I don’t know if I could eat Southern food all the time, on occasion it is honestly the best cuisine ever, with meals at Mary Mac’s Tearoom in Atlanta and the Hickory House in West Virginia confirming this. When I first heard about Union Pig and Chicken through the Pittsburgh food vine, I was immediately intrigued. Fried chicken, corn bread, bbq-it all sounded divine. It wasn’t until I saw a Groupon advertising it that I finally decided it was time to go. For whatever reason, a Groupon will spur me to try a restaurant a lot faster than my own thinking initiative. I’m not sure why this is but I will say that Union Pig and Chicken is worth a visit, Groupon or nor Groupon.
Union Pig and Chicken is located in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood, an area that has definitely changed for the better with gentrification but still has some work to do. The Groupon required you to make reservations and while we had attempted to dine there on a Saturday, the only times available were 4:30 PM and after 9 PM, so we tried again for another week, making reservations plenty in advance for the time we wanted. It’s not a large space-there is seating downstairs, which appeared to be more “walk in” communal style, and also upstairs, which seemed to be where people with reservations were seated as the tables were private.
The menu is a carnivore’s delight, offering everything from brisket, ribs, pork, and both fried and bbq chicken. (Don’t worry, tofu is an option too with servings for a 1/4 lb, 1/2 lb, and even a pound-who would eat that much tofu I do not know.)
I probably went a little overboard on the ordering but as it was my first time there and no one loves leftovers more than me, I got everything I wanted (and then some). While I was tempted to go with the brisket, I stuck with my original hankering which was a 1/4 lb of fried chicken-$8 (for the 1/4 lb selection you had the option of either white or dark meat, which I liked).
For my sides I went with the cornbread ($3), mac and cheese ($4), and baked beans ($4).
D ordered even more food, opting for 1/2 lb of ribs ($10) as well as 1/4 lb of bbq chicken ($8). It was prepared in the Carolina way, seasoned for cooking but then the bbq sauce applied post-cooking. The restaurant had multiple bbq sauces to choose. For his sides he also ordered the baked beans and a corn on the cob ($4) which just looked fantastic.
We both ordered some libations-I went with the night’s special, which was an utterly delicious watermelon mojito (hand me a mojito and I’m happy).
And because he couldn’t resist, D also ordered a funnel cake for dessert which did look like a lot of fun, but I couldn’t even contemplate consuming anything else by that point.
The food was utterly delicious (and coma inducing), service was attentive and amiable. While dining at Union Pig and Chicken is not something I could do all the time, it is probably the best place for some good ol’ fashioned comfort food here in Pittsburgh.
220 N Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206