Wing Night at Highland Bar
It’s been a while since my last wing night in Pittsburgh post, and my last wing night in general. As it turns out, eating wings that frequently gets kind of boring and makes you fat. So I took a break. Luckily, I decided to get back in the wing night game by checking out a local West View establishment called the Highland Bar. It’s appropriately located at the intersection of Highland Avenue and Perry Highway, just up from the main shopping district in West View. It is a bit of a local hangout, as well as a bar that allows smoke, so be prepared to feel possibly alienated while also getting second hand smoke.
Wing night at Highland Bar is every Monday and Wednesday night. Wings are a mere $.35 each, making them one of the cheapest specials in the area. Not only that, but you also have the option of picking however many wings you want in whatever flavor combinations you desire. That makes it a great choice for variety as well as for those picky eaters who can’t handle the usual serving of a dozen wings (sigh… people like me). There are no waitresses that come to take your order, so do keep in mind that you will need to place your order with the bartender if you sit at one of the tables around the establishment (we didn’t realize this at first and spent a good bit of time just sitting there twiddling our thumbs). They do bring your food right out to you, however.
Wing night at Highland Bar actually had a surprising amount of flavors for a little neighborhood dive bar. Because I like typing, I will type them all out for you:
DRY – Cajun, Lemon pepper, Old Bay, Ranch, Seasoned, Sriracha garlic
MILD – Asian ginger, Barbecue, Caribbean jerk, Garlic, Garlic Parmesan, Honey mustard, Maple bacon barbecue, Mild, Teriyaki, Thai chili
HOT – Berry habanero, Blazing blue cheese, Blazing ranch, Boom boom bam, Hot, Hot garlic Parmesan, Hot honey garlic
EXTRA HOT – Extra hot, Habanero, Ice cream, Nuclear, Sweet Hawaiian, Casper
I have no idea what some of those flavors are… ice cream? Casper? Regardless, there were definitely a good amount of flavors to choose from. Since I didn’t realize we could get unlimited flavors until it was time to order (I’m not good at making split second decisions), I went with two trustworthy choices: six hot garlic parmesan and six teriyaki. Drew was a little more adventurous as always, and got six Asian ginger (which I would have tried if he hadn’t) and six Caribbean jerk. I also convinced him to go with an order of fries, because fries.
Nearly immediately after ordering, we received a healthy dose of carrots and celery, along with a side of ranch. I’m not really a fan of celery, so I passed that off to Drew. However, I munched on my carrots, somewhat dismayed that they were simply baby carrots and it was clearly store-bought ranch dressing. Not letting this initial impression get to my head, I finished off my carrots and waited for the main course.
The wings actually arrived shortly thereafter, making me think that they are not cooked to order. However, even if they were cooked beforehand, they were still piping hot, meaning that perhaps they were flash-fried before they were served. A bit hesitant, I took my first bite of the hot garlic parm. Delicious! Despite possibly being cooked some time ago, the outside skin was still crispy and saucy, while the inner meat was juicy and tender. The sauce itself was garlicy and had a little spice, but not really too much. The coating of jarred parmesan cheese on top was copious and fulfilling. It certainly wasn’t the most delicious garlic parm sauce I’ve ever had, but it was a good interpretation of the basic staple.
Next, I moved on to the teriyaki wings. They were also flavorful, but perhaps not as good. It tasted like a basic teriyaki sauce without many alterations made to it.
Next, it was time to try Drew’s wings. I was most anxious to try the Asian ginger wing, as it sounded delicious. And you know what? It was! It had that distinctive Asian flavor with the ginger kick at the end. I was less enthralled about Caribbean jerk, and my intuition proved to be correct. I liked this flavor least of all. It had some kind of sweet taste paired with the traditional spices that didn’t really leave my mouth happy.
Overall, I think I decided that my favorite flavors in sequential order were hot garlic parmesan, Asian ginger, teriyaki, and Caribbean jerk. Drew was pretty much the exact opposite, as he liked the Asian ginger, Caribbean jerk, hot garlic parmesan, and teriyaki.
As for the size, they were of a decent quality. There were some tiny wings and some giant wings, but overall there was a consistent wing size that didn’t disappoint. Sauce distribution was also appropriate. The wings weren’t soaking in sauce, but they were fully coated with enough extra to dip the bare spots.
Now, on to my favorite part of wing night… the fries!
Well… these fries were sadly, just ok. They could have been greatly improved if there had been salt to season them or fresh ranch dressing to dip them in. As they were, they were really kind of bland. They did appear to be fresh cut, which is always nice, but they lacked flavor. Also, they were a bit soggy and could have used a few more seconds in the fryer to crisp up. However, the portion size was large, and for only $3.50, it isn’t a bad deal.
- Can choose as many flavors as you want
- Can choose as many wings as you want
- They are quickly prepared
- Great prices
- Good selection of sauces
- Good sauce distrubution and size
- Flavors lacked a gourmet taste
- Fries were soggy and bland
- Ranch dressing wasn’t homemade
- Veggies weren’t freshly cut
- Wings were probably not freshly prepared
Overall, I really do think these are some solid wings. They are the perfect choice for when you want a quality wing for a cheap price. We ordered two Yeunglings, 24 wings, and an order of fries, and our total was only $16.90! The large variety of sauces ensures you never get bored. Both me and Drew seemed to agree on this one, as we both gave Highland Bar a 3.5 on our wing scale!
P.S. Check out my Pittsburgh Wing Night calendar for up to date information on wing nights in the area! It runs on Google Calendar, so you can easily add it to your own schedule to keep track of wing nights.