Union Pig and Chicken has opened in East Liberty, Kevin Sousa’s latest restaurant project in the East End. The menu features barbecue and fried chicken, assorted sides, as well as draft beer, and a quality selection of whiskey.
The restaurant, which seats about 48, offers full dine-in services at four large, communal-dining tables. The barn-like interior makes use of reclaimed wood, and other rustic details like bare, hanging bulbs.
And although the menu certainly shows its Southern influences, general manager Jessica Keyser says the restaurant isn’t trying to specialize in any specific region’s cuisine.
Keyser says the word Union has a three-fold meaning, representing Pittsburgh’s Northern and working-class roots, as well as a marriage of various styles of regional barbecue, all under one roof: St. Louis ribs, brisket, chicken, and pork shoulder.
Union Pig and Chicken also hopes to be the first restaurant to serve Pittsburgh’s own Wigle Whiskey
, from the city’s first distillery since prohibition. Bottles of white whiskey are expected it to be in-stock in the coming month.
But Union Pig and Chicken isn’t the only barbecue joint to have opened in the East End. Yinzburgh BBQ opened just two weeks ago on Baum Boulevard, and is now serving barbecue six days a week.
Owned and operated by Richard Coursey, a native of southeast Georgia, Coursey left his career to devote himself to the barbecue trade. And although this currently means consecutive 90-hour work weeks, he says, “I’m living my dream.”
Yinzburgh’s meats, including beef brisket, pulled pork, baby-back ribs, and chicken, are smoked over a combination of hickory, apple, and cherry wood for up to 12 hours. And on weekends, Coursey is experimenting with smoked tofu for vegetarians.
Three sauce types, which are tomato, vinegar, or mustard based, are served on the side. Yinzburgh is primarily take-out, but does have a few places to sit. Sides include collard greens, black-eyed peas with spinach, mac and cheese, and coleslaw.
, 4903 Baum Boulevard, 15213. 412-621-YINZ (9469). Open 11:30 to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Union Pig and Chicken
, 220 N. Highland Avenue, 15206. 412-363-PORK (7675). 5 p.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday, with lunch service beginning soon.
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Jessica Keyser; Richard Coursey