Saturday, April 23, 2011

BRGR (East Liberty)

My neighbors and I had been trying to get together for dinner for a while (hi Chris and Nicole!) and we finally made it to BRGR - pronounced Bee-R-Gee-R - in East Liberty last week.  After my visit to Burgh'ers just a week prior, I had been craving another burger, and BRGR was one of the new gourmet burger bars I had been looking forward to checking out because they serve a blend of Angus beef made of NY strip, sirloin, and ribeye that is especially ground for them up in Erie, PA.  (Read: ground beef I'm willing to eat.)

BRGR doesn't take reservations, but the wait wasn't too bad on this particularly Friday night.  The fact that they've just opened the upstairs patio probably helped.  The atmosphere is upscale and contemporary; with several large TVs broadcasting sports games lining the main dining room, BRGR is a bit like sports bar meets fine dining.  I love how tech-savvy they are, too:  When you put your name down they take your cell phone number and text you when your table is ready.

For my meal, I got the Shroomz burger, with mushrooms, caramelized onions, brie, and a mustard aioli:

Shroomz Burger at BRGR
Shroomz Burger

It was a solid burger.  The meat was juicy but not greasy, and the sauce and the toppings were good as well.  I liked it a lot.  I had also hoped to try their famous spiked shakes, but alas, they do not have lactose-free milk, so I got the sangria instead:

Shroomz Burger and Sangria at BRGR
My Shroomz burger with my sangria.

Nicole did order the Salty Caramel spiked shake as a dessert and liked it a lot.

Everything is a la carte at BRGR, so we ordered a side of fries with our meal:

Fries at BRGR
A side of fries, with Parmesan cheese and herbs.

And finally, breaking my rule of posting only pictures of what I have eaten, here's a picture of Chris' Average Joe burger that he wanted me to take, so I figured it'd make him happy if I posted it. ;)

The Average Joe Burger at BRGR
The Average Joe Burger

The Average Joe is basically your standard burger, with tomato, onion, and lettuce, and you have the option of adding cheese and bacon as well, as Chris did here.

I have already been asked which is better, Burgh'ers or BRGR.  I think that's a difficult question to answer because it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges.  If you're looking for a more casual, down-to-earth atmosphere or are specifically interested in grass-fed beef, then you should go to Burgh'ers.  On the other hand, if you are looking for something more upscale, in a more hoppin' neighborhood, and grass-fed beef isn't a must, then BRGR is your choice.  If you're just looking for a good burger, you can't go wrong with either.  Keep in mind, too, that Burgh'ers and BRGR are a good 35 miles apart, so maybe the location will end up being the major factor.  A comparable meal will likely cost you a little more at BRGR because you have to order sides separately and the valet parking will cost you a few bucks as well.  A more relevant comparison may be BRGR versus Burgatory in Aspinwall, but I have yet to visit the latter, though I'm hoping that it'll be the destination of my next burger adventure.

Restaurant info:
5997 Penn Cir S, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 362-2333
Valet parking available next door at Spoon for $3

BRGR on Urbanspoon