At Back to the Foodture on 5th, the service is so slow they need an actual time machine


Photo by Jake Dabkowski

Exterior of Back to the Foodture on 5th.

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Editor-In-Chief

After reading the Pittsburgh City Paper’s front page story on the opening of Back to the Foodture on 5th, I was very excited to try their wings. Downtown especially is a place where a quality wing is difficult to come across, and the opening of a place well-regarded for their wings was a welcome one.

The original Back to the Foodture is in the South Side and is a relatively well-liked restaurant. Unfortunately, when I went to the new location next to PPG Paints Arena, I was incredibly disappointed by the food, but even more so my experience in the restaurant.

First, the food. As an appetizer, an order of onion rings delivered a delicious and dynamic start to a meal that would quickly turn to disappointment. The onion rings were crispy, flavorful, and well seasoned, as all good onion rings are.

Between ordering our entrees and being delivered our entrees, a long wait occurred. Now, I am incredibly forgiving and understanding, especially when it comes to food service. As someone who has worked in food service, and other service industry jobs, I consider myself to be more understanding than a lot of people who, if we’re being honest, just like to complain.

In that same vein, I do not like to complain. I’ll take what I can get when it come to dining out, and I almost never am bothered by service.

The substantial wait between ordering our food and getting it was already a red flag to me. The restaurant wasn’t just uncrowded, it was practically empty. It was a Saturday afternoon, and it doesn’t make sense to me that the service would be as slow as it was. At the same time, it’s a newer restaurant, so once again I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I ordered a half dozen wings and a side of cajun fries, and the person I was with ordered a burger and fries. Fries are not included with any entree, and are not a high enough quality of fry to warrant that pricing. While I did not have the burger, I can confirm that it appeared unappetizing. According to him he would prefer a McDonald’s hamburger.

The wings I ordered were fine. I opted for Hot Honey Garlic, but they ultimately tasted relatively generic. The menu boasts an incredibly expansive number of wings, but they have clearly opted for quantity over quality. That being said, the number of sauces and dry rubs that they offer is impressive.

After finishing our meals, we waited… and waited… and waited. Our checks were not brought out for a very long time, which is when it finally became apparent that the service was definitively terrible. I mean no disrespect, but they could use an actual time machine.

The long wait was bothersome because, as I said before, there weren’t very many people in the restaurant, and most of the time our server was on their phone. It was a frustrating experience to say the least.

I will give them some benefit of the doubt, they’ve just opened up the location. But at the same time, first impressions are important, and unfortunately they did not make a good one on me. I can’t say that I’ll be returning to Back to the Foodture anytime soon.