Quaker Steak and Lube - PNC Park

115 Federal St
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
(412) 323-5000
In the arena, behind sections 109 and 322. Open during all sporting events and most special events. Limited menu   available.

I know. It’s a little backward reviewing the Quaker Steak inside PNC Park before reviewing a brick and mortar QS&L proper. But that’s just the way it’s gonna be.

My past experiences with QS&L inside PNC Park have not been exactly stellar. As a rule, the wings are usually barely warm, sometimes chilly, without enough sauce or with too much sauce, and never crispy. If it weren’t for the sake of writing this review…I probably wouldn’t have bothered to get wings on this night. However, if I had opted for some other ballpark fair then I would have missed out on the best PNC/QS&L wings possible. Tonight, they nailed it!

To be fair…what could anyone expect? They fry these suckers in advance. Sauce them. Fold ’em up in wax paper and syrofoam lids, shove ‘em under a heat lamp and serve them 15 minutes (or more) after cooking. It’s not exactly a recipe for delicious success. Hell, I don’t even think they fry them long enough or make ‘em crispy enough at a full scale Quaker Steak. So why should the PNC Park locations be any different?

Well, today they were different. There are exceptions to every rule.

The sauce selection is pared down from the usual QS&L menu. I think they call it an “Express Menu.” Here you get your choice of one of seven sauces. And I think the selection is a good one. Two choices from traditional buffalo flavors include their medium and hot sauces. They also include four of their unique/famous flavors, including TaiRcracker, Lousiaina Lickers, Golden Garlic and Arizona Ranch. Rounding out the selection is a traditional BBQ.

There are only three choices on order size. Single order, half bucket, or full stadium bucket. From past experience, I think the single order has 11 wings.  Ranch or bleu cheese will cost you 50 cents extra. And the available sides are fries and rings.

This time I got a single order of hot. I got ‘em before we even found our seats as there was no line and I figured this was my best shot at the freshest wings possible. Looks like I was right.

Single order - 13 large wings!
Overall, my order was beyond my, albeit low, expectations. The wings were all large to x-large in size. They were meaty and juicy. The meat pulled off the bone with ease. I also got a perfect mix of drums and flappers. And to my surprise, I had 13 wings in my order.

Individually, each wing was coated well with sauce. And…as unbelievable as this may sound…I swear to ya…they were actually crispy! Each wing from start to finish actually had little bits of crispy skin. I was shocked. Maybe they went “off program” and actually fried this batch for more than 10 minutes. Whatever they did…they should do it more often.

Bottom line? Tonight I had the best Quaker Steak and Lube Wings I’ve ever had at PNC Park. Nigh! The best wings at any Quaker Steak anywhere. Ever. Yeah, that’s right. Trouble is…you’re not gonna have the same experience. I’m gonna estimate that I’ve eaten wings at least 20 times at PNC Park. So…go twenty times and you’ll have an excellent experience exactly once.  Not quite a rave review, is it? But tonight…TONIGHT…they did it right. And until I go again…and get let down…tonight’s experience is what I’m reviewing.

Note: Pirates won 2-0 over the Reds after a pair of rain delays: 55 minutes and 83 minutes!

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:05 PM

    I went to get wings on 5/13 and the QS&L on the first level was out of "chicken" with no ETA on when they would have wings ready!

    ReplyDelete