Pinky’s Westside Grill has changed my whole perception of what a burger should taste like. I’m talking about their Pterodactyl Burger Ding Dong style. Doesn’t sound like any burger you’ve had before does it? Well it’s not.
Forget about lettuce, tomato, and ketchup. Not even close. This 5-ounce beef burger is topped with crunchy peanut butter, honey-cilantro slaw, and hot sriracha sauce. A little strange huh?
I ordered it mostly out of curiosity. I was feeling brave and I had no expectations of liking it. And I didn’t like it. I loved it and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Admittingly, this burger is not for everyone. But if you love Pad Thai and you’re open to new flavor combinations, there’s a good chance this burger will rock your world. It’s a delightful spicy-sweet marriage with crunch from the slaw, a nice soft bun, and a well-seasoned burger patty.
I have to stop thinking about it before I get in the car and drive back for another.
Opened a year ago by the former chef of The Penguin, Pinky’s Westside Grill is serving up all the favorites from the old Penguin (fried pickle chips, burgers, dogs) plus some new items as well (like the aforementioned Ding Dong Burger).
The restaurant is located out Morehead Dr where it intersects Feedom Dr. With an old VW Bug on the roof and a dinosaur out front, you can’t miss it. Don’t plan on parking by the restaurant, there are only 6 parking spaces out front. But there is plenty of parking across the street. Crossing the street can be a little hairy.
The inside of the restaurant is bright and airy compared to The Penguin with high ceilings and tall windows. You can get a pretty awesome view of Uptown Charlotte from the front of the window.
Standouts on the menu are the beloved fried pickle chips, the Pimp’n Fries (homemade pimento cheese melted over waffle fries $5.95), and The White Trash Burger (provolone, fried pickles, onion rings, and spicy ranch sauce $4.50). The crab puppies are also quite good made of sweet crab folded into 13 golden fried hushpuppies for $5.25. The fried squash is thinly sliced with a light, crisp breading.
There are lighter options on the menu too including salads and a number of vegetarian options. People rave about the vegetarian corndog as well as the White Bean and Rosemary Hummus with marinated artichokes, calamata olives, red onion, lettuce, and tomato served with toasted pita chips.
The prices are incredibly inexpensive and the portions are large. They also have a large menu of nicely priced drinks. I had a fresh Ginger Margarita and it was the best Margarita I’ve had in a long time. And at $5 it was a steal.
Service is very friendly and attentive, although a little unorganized. Instead of assigning one wait staff to a table, they seem to have a system where everyone helps out. You definitely won’t feel forgotten.
Pinky’s Westside Grill
1600 W Morehead St
Monday – Thursday 11am-11pm
Friday and Saturday 11am – 12:01am