At the corner of Gervais and Main, The Whig is known to many as that unknown downstairs something. Only a few know what is really down there. Only a few have bravely walked down the stairs, through the mysterious brick corridor, and pushed open the heavy metal door into The Whig. Sunday night the curiosity of Capital City Eatz finally got the best of us, and we decided to go in for a new culinary experience.
The atmosphere of this grungy basement bar engulfs you with the dim orange lighting provided by vintage lamps, wooden accents, and retro jukebox. Probably the coolest atmosphere we’ve seen yet (maybe too cool…). Upon walking in, I quickly consulted my trusty pocket thesaurus; cool: unsociable, uninterested, and my personal favorite, phlegmatic….yep, pretty flippin cool. You may experience the feeling that you are unwanted here. Don’t worry, this is natural, and will soon pass. Just make sure to bring your own friends and you will be ok. All good-natured ribbing at the hipster crowd aside, who found this great bar waaaaaaay before you (it is underground), this place has some great offerings for the thirsty and hungry alike. After finding a seat in a wooden booth, we walked up to the bar to place our order (it only took about two minutes for us to figure out the whole no waiter thing). A plate of cherries replaces the traditional peanuts, a nice touch. A long, smoky curl of incense drifts toward the ceiling before wafting it’s pleasant aroma around the bar area. The bartender took our order on a napkin and we made our way back to our seats to await our meal.
So I have a huge weakness for BBQ cheeseburgers, and because of this, my eyes were immediately drawn to the only one on the menu. The diverse color pallet you see above consists of the “Chipotle BBQ Burger” with sweet potato fries. An artful squeeze of chipotle BBQ sauce, cheddar, and two thick trips of bacon on top of a well-done burger pattie. The bun was thick and toasted and did a great job housing the cheesy and BBQuewy goodness. Despite the rather dry burger patty, the sauce and cheddar contributed to a pleasant texture and great taste. The fries had a uniform crisp on every wedge and perfect thickness. Throw a sprinkling of brown sugar on these and you have yourself a winner, maybe a few slices of red onion, lettuce, and tomato on the burger, but I wouldn’t dare tell a chicken how to lay its eggs…
The Bruschetta Pizza. White sauce, basil, sliced tomato, and minced garlic. I usually reserve a preference for thin crust, but this take on the classic anitpasta dish from Italy was spot-on with the thick, slightly crispy crust. The flavors of the
tomato and garlic were very notable and pleasant. Great introduction to a white sauce pizza for someone who is partial to the red stuff.
Overall, the food warranted a return trip and the atmosphere was unique. The Whig has some great deals including $1 slices and $2 drinks on Monday, 50¢ tacos on Tuesday, and $2.50 pints on Wednesday, not to mention happy-hour 7 days a week from 4-7 (take $1 off any drink). Check out their website here and be sure to give it a try! The Whig is definitely worth a visit!