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Dining – Tailgaters – Downtown – Pittsburgh

Dining Review- Tailgaters by Suz Pisano

Tucked away in the corner of Washington Plaza, yep that’s the giant white building with the big red “W” on it, right above the new Consol Energy Center is…….. Tailgaters…….our newest find that’s that you’re gonna love.

Owner Jackie Horvath knows a great location when she sees one and jumped at the chance to open a sports bar with a  traditional “bar food” menu but surprisingly a place where everything is homemade.   Tailgaters, of course offers a full bar with beer on tap but I have to tell you about the food.  Chef Tom Chojnacki serves up all the familiars but we wanted to try everything on the menu because everyone loves Nachos Grande ($7.95) or a Quesadilla ($6.95).  We literally could not stop eating the nachos.  They were piled high with homemade salsa, jalapeno peppers, and shredded Monterey Jack & Cheddar cheeses,  sooooo good with a beer after work.  We even tried the Warm Soft Pretzel, ($3.25) better than any pretzel served in sporting arenas!  Then they brought us the Wings (6 – $5.95, 12- $9.95 & 18- $13.95).  Definitely try the Hippie Sauce- it was finger licking good!  The wings were perfectly crispy and I was soooo hoping that there would be at least 2 left so that I could take them home… There was, and I was so happy to share them with my husband, a self-described “connoisseur of wings”.  Such an unusual but seemingly addicting wing sauce…. I’m going to say no more- you’ll just have to try ‘em & let me know what you think.  I love good wings.  (I will have undoubtedly been back there at least once by the time you are reading this!)

Okay, so now we were intrigued – Burgers were definitely on the menu and we tried a basic homemade Cheeseburger ($6.95 + toppings).  Very delicious and served with some great fresh cut fries.  I truly believe that we’re on to something here.  Toppings for the burgers are plentiful and there’s surely something to satisfy every taste.  As far as sandwiches – Tailgaters also offers Fish & Chicken Sandwiches, but I want to tell you about the Wraps.  They look pretty straight forward on the simple black & white menu but the Buffalo Chicken Wrap ($6.95) was really rockin’!  Even when I heated up the half we couldn’t finish the next day – it was still very delicious.  Portions are generous and the wraps are big, the served with fresh cut fries.

Salads are offered – we shared the Steak Salad ($10.95) which was mixed greens, Rib Eye steak, grilled onions, roasted red peppers, cheeses, tomatoes, & cucumbers.  Are you recognizing the simplicity?  Tailgaters certainly covers all the bases, they even make Pizza!

Grilled Pizzas with golden char-grilled crust range from Traditional ($7.99), Margherita ($8.99) Veggie Delight ($8.99) or Steak Deluxe ($8.99).  Fresh ingredients reign over top of fresh dough dusted with cornmeal and flame grilled.  This is not your ordinary pizza.  Then again, this is not your ordinary sports bar! You will love knowing about this place when hockey season starts again or when you want to grab a bite before a concert.  It’s a hidden gem for now that’s sure to be a familiar destination or perfect meet-up spot.  Outdoor seating is also available.

You may wonder where to park – free parking is included at Washington Plaza or for the time being across the street at the Civic Arena upper lot (until construction or destruction begins).  Take advantage of this out-of-the-way Downtown establishment.  Be sure to stop in & say “Hi” to Jackie & Chef Tom.  He’s a familiar face with an extensive restaurant resume.  Together they make a great team at an up and coming place where team sports will certainly be the focus!  Open daily for lunch at 11:30 and until 2 am most nights, not open on holidays.

Tailgaters 1420 Centre Avenue, Washington Plaza.  412-745-8245 – Tailgaters Website

Be sure and tell them your friends from Nightwire sent you…. your gonna love this place!

Tailgaters Sportsbar & Grill on Urbanspoon