Bird on the Run is a small fried chicken joint in Pittsburgh's East Liberty that boasts late night hours, extra hot chicken, and frozen cocktails for those wanting something just a bit different with their meal.
We went to this one after having drinks in the neighborhood and are really pleased to say that this is not just another a formal sit-down restaurant!
Bird on the Run's Menu is Small, But Packs Great Flavor
The first thing you'll notice when entering Bird on the Run is that the space is small- just a few tables and a counter to order from.
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The restaurant's menu follows this trend with just a few items, notably a chicken sandwich, Lil Chunky's deluxe chicken sandwich, a fish sandwich, and chicken nuggets or tenders. For mains, that is it. Toss on some sides and frozen cocktails and you've rounded out the menu entirely.
As we had just come over from drinks at Lorelei, we skipped the cocktails on our first visit. But with frozen concoctions like a Froze, Aperol Spritz, or Lemongrass Margarita we're going to have to come back.
We opted to try the straight chicken sandwich was well as the chicken tenders in order to put the fried chicken to the test with minimal accompaniments. You can order your chicken on a five point heat scale ranging from zero (not hot) to five (“hot af”). Naturally, we opted for the sandwich to be a three (“xtra hot”) and the tenders to be a four (“damn hot”).
The chicken sandwich comes out on a brioche bun and is topped with mayonnaise and a pickle, and was more chicken than bun- something we can certainly appreciate. The chicken had a beautiful fried texture that is crispier than your average fried chicken, and the level three was hot enough to get a bit of a burn but not too much.
Overall, the chicken cutlet was a perfect size to get a nice balance between meat and the batter, and worked well in the sandwich overall.
The chicken tenders were cut into smaller chunks than we anticipated which allowed for even more of the hot fry batter to be served. When you order something damn hot, more of it is never a bad thing, but we'll be the first to admit it definitely made us tear up just a bit from the heat. (We're going to have to try the “hot af” in the future out of curiosity now.)
All things being equal, having these two side by side certainly illustrates the diversity you can have with fried chicken as just altering the meat to batter and heat level really resulted in two distinct dining options.
A Late Night Dining Option in East Liberty
One of the best parts about Bird on the Run aside from its delicious chicken is that it is open late- 11pm on weeknights, 1am on Friday and Saturday, and 10pm on Sunday. So if you are heading out for a late meal in East Liberty but do not know where to go, this one is for you.
Now we just need to return to Bird on the Run for the loaded sandwich and those delicious looking frozen cocktails.
Bird on the Run is located at 128 S Highland Avenue in East Liberty.