I’m declaring Pittsburgh a fried chicken town. The Eagle is the latest addition to the many fried chicken joints to open up in the city over the last few years. I welcome this latest addition with open arms and an open mouth. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to try out the food at The Eagle during their soft open. The food was fantastic and not too expensive and the restaurant is well designed with lots of seats ready for a crowd of people to enjoy a good meal.
The Eagle is the latest in a small chain of fried chicken and comfort food restaurants which started in Cincinnati by Thunderdome Restaurant Group, who also brought Bakersfield to Pittsburgh. This location is a long time coming as it was first announced in 2019 and construction started soon after. Unfortunately due to the pandemic and economic related setbacks, The Eagle did not get to open at its original expected date of March 2020. Finally, in April 2021 we get our latest edition to the Pittsburgh fried chicken scene.
First thing I noticed arriving at the restaurant is that the bar is the focal point. There is a giant 27 seat bar in the middle with many overhead TVs. around the bar is seating for over 100 diners. Floor to ceiling windows surround the outer wall facing up Penn Ave and they can be opened up during the warmer months. There is also a private party loft which overlooks the whole restaurant. But enough about the space. Let’s get talking about the food.
We ordered a couple of apps to get things started before diving into the fried chicken. The Brown Sugar Bacon was delicious with a heavy glaze of brown sugar and a little bit of a kick from some cayenne. We also shared an order of the Hush Puppies, which were perfectly fried balls of corn, jalapeno and cheddar.
The focal point of the food at The Eagle is the fried chicken. They brine their chicken overnight. The chicken is batted and then pressure fried on order. This creates a light and crispy breading with very soft and juicy chicken. For the table, we ordered the ½ chicken which allowed us to try out both the dark and white meat. I prefer white meat and this was delicious for fried chicken. I could tell it was brined overnight because of how it was so juicy. I decided to get another ¼ order of white meat just for myself. I typically also like a crispier breading, but it was really hard to beat just how much flavor was in this light breading and how much moisture was retained in the meat.
We also got a bunch of sides. Comfort food isn’t just about the main course. We ordered the mac & cheese, cornbread, sweet potato crock and homemade biscuits for the table. I also got the cole slaw and cheddar grits for myself. They were all great but my favorites were the sweet potatoes and the grits. I’m totally biased because grits are my favorite comfort side.
To wash down all this food, I got two of the house cocktails. The first was Maple Bacon Old Fashioned made with Four Roses Single Barrel, Gran Marnier, maple, pepper ginger bitters and garnished with glazed bacon. This was a good twist on the old fashioned. Then I ordered The mule, which was a massive Moscow Mule served in a beer stein. The Eagle also has 14 beers and a non-alcoholic root beer on tap and cider.
Overall The Eagle is a fantastic new addition to Downtown Pittsburgh. The food is delicious. The prices aren’t ridiculous. There’s plenty of options for drinks. They have lots of seats. I definitely see The Eagle as becoming one of my regular places for fried chicken and just a good place to eat and drink.
The Eagle is located in Downtown Pittsburgh at 737 Penn Ave.