After a day of exploring Pittsburg together, we had nine hungry friends looking for a place to grab dinner. We had walked down to Point State Park to get a good view of the rivers. Point State Park is the tip of the “Golden Triange” and is where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio River (hence the term, “three rivers”).
I had wanted to go to Pork & Beans, a recommendation from my dad. However, we were unable to get a table until after 9 pm. We did some research and ended up finding another barbecue restaurant that could take us much earlier.
Twelve Whiskey is a barbecue restaurant on the South Side that opened in 2014. The menu looked delicious, and the restaurant was rather large. Based on the limited crowd on a Saturday night, I would have expected this restaurant to be much newer. Perhaps, this is not a popular area or it was just a slow night, but I would guess this is not the most favored place to get BBQ in Pittsburgh. The online reviews do average 4 out of 5 stars, so I did have an expectation for a good experience.
We were able to make a reservation online as we were walking, but honestly, we did not need it. We could have walked in and been seated right away. We got this neat high table in the back, perfect size for our group.
I loved the aesthetic of this restaurant. The pig murals on the wall might have been my favorite part. It had the feel of a modern dive bar. I could see this being a popular spot on game day to gather and watch the game with some brews.
The service we had was decent. We had a large group, but there were not that many other people there. The server forgot to take one person’s order from the group. I believe we all did get what we ordered, except for one order where the side got switched from macaroni salad to macaroni and cheese (an understandable confusion).
I had trouble deciding what to order. I was between the Gold N Smoked Burger and the Pig Mac. The burger was enticing because it was topped with “smokey cheddar, a slice of 16 hour smoked brisket, house Carolina style mustard BBQ sauce, and apple Brussel sprouts vinegar slaw.” I thought that sounded amazing. If I ever go back and that is still on the menu, I would totally order that. I was planning on getting it with a side of mac and cheese, because I just can’t resist my favorite food.
Instead, I got the Pig Mac. It was a bowl with mac and cheese and corn bread topped with BBQ pulled pork and bacon. I chose this because it seemed more mac and cheese focused. I also felt it was best to get pork at a Carolina BBQ place, since that is what they are known for.
I suppose I may never know if I made the better choice, but what I got was delicious. I ate the entire bowl (and helped a couple others finish theirs). The pulled pork was melt in your mouth goodness. I loved the house BBQ sauce better than the mustard style one. The macaroni and cheese was fantastic. It had a great cheesy base, and they used cavatappi pasta. In my humble opinion, that it the best pasta to use for mac and cheese.
After this meal, I think we were all starting to feel the heaviness of Pittsburgh food. I realized that I hadn’t had a vegetable all day, except for the cole slaw on the Primanti Bros. sandwich. I pretty much only ate meat and carbs all day.
Our friend Anthony was going to take a walk back to his car downtown and offered for a few people to join. I volunteered because I had just ate this big meal, and I wanted to push myself a little. Since I switched jobs at work, I am now slowly getting back to a fitness and activity routine, but getting that start it hard. I wanted to take this walk to prove to myself that I could do it.
It was much harder that I thought it would be. My body really struggled to keep up with my much taller and fitter friends. My back started to hurt, and I was grotesquely sweating. I did make it, and I was proud of myself for doing it. I did feel defeated though that this was so hard because I know I was the one who did that to myself with how I have been dealing with my stress and anxiety.
Having my friends around though helped me stay positive. Chris was there encouraging me the whole way and stayed back to walk at my pace. I think having a support system in these times is super important, especially since I am always the person most hard on myself.
My reward for surviving this walk was that I got to see a gorgeous view of Pittsburgh. Anthony has the much better photos, as he is a photographer and has a real camera. I did manage to get this shot my my outdated iPhone though.
Overall, I feel we had a positive experience at Twelve Whiskey (although no one actually got whiskey to my knowledge). We were a group of DC tourists lost and looking for food. What we found was unexpected and delicious. If I lived here, I certainly wouldn’t mind going here again.
By the way, Twelve Whiskey serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The brunch menu looks glorious and worth checking out if you are in the area.