Sunday, May 29, 2011

Burgatory Bar (Aspinwall)

As I have mentioned in my previous blog posts featuring Burgh'ers and BRGR, I am quite picky when it comes to ground beef.  I had sworn off beef burgers for almost two years, and am thrilled about the recent gourmet burger trend in Pittsburgh because for the most part these new restaurants serve beef burger that I consider "edible."  Burgatory Bar had been the next burger joint on my list to visit (they serve hormone-free beef burgers that are especially ground for them daily), and I was excited to finally have the opportunity to pay them a visit this past week.  Burgatory is located in the Waterworks Mall in Aspinwall, near the cinemas.  Waterworks is a large strip mall that's a bit out of the way for most Pittsburgh folks, and one might never have guessed that such a cool burger bar decided to open its doors here.

I missed out on getting a spiked shake when I visited BRGR so I was ready this time around.  I went for the Monkey Business, a "Bananas Foster Shake spiked with Dark Rum and Banana Liquor," with little bits of banana inside.  It certainly tasted as good as it sounds!  I was impressed.  In addition to their spiked shake options, there are also "virgin" shakes and a number of beer and cocktail options.

Monkey Business at Burgatory Bar
Monkey Business ($7.50)

As for my burger, there were several options on the menu that sounded mouth-watering, including the Phat Patti's Veggie Burger (a ground cremini mushroom burger), the Buffaloed Bison Burger, and The Crab Shack (lump crab burger topped with Sriracha remoulade and creamy coleslaw), but as part of my quest for beef-I-can-eat, I had to go for the Morty's Steakhouse: "Peppercorn Crusted Beef Burger with Horseradish Cheddar, Haystack Onions and Cabernet Sauce."

Morty Steakhouse Burger at Burgatory Bar
The Morty's Steakhouse Burger ($10)
Served with a gigantic steak knife

Morty Steakhouse Burger at Burgatory Bar
Another view of the Monty's Steakhouse Burger

The burger was really, really delicious, and certainly deserves all the hype it has received.  The patty was flavorful without being dry, and the crispy onions added an interesting element.  I had a bite of R.'s Phat Patti's Veggie Burger and it was tasty as well.  I should also add that if none of the menu options grab you, you can always create your own burger.  Several people in our group did just that and they seemed to appreciate the freedom to do so.  For your side that comes with the burger, however, I might recommend getting the fries instead of the chips.

Overall, I enjoyed my burger and my shake at Burgatory Bar.  I hesitate to make a choice among Burgh'ers, BRGR, and Burgatory and call it a winner, as I think you can't go wrong with any of these places.  BRGR and Burgatory, in particular, are very similar on many levels, although BRGR does not offer the option of customizing your own burger, but it does have a trendier feel.  Burgh'ers, as I mentioned in a previous post, is more of a casual neighborhood joint, and does not serve alcohol, although you are welcome to BYOB.  However, of the three, Burgh'ers is the only one that serves grass-fed beef.

I think the next stop on my Pittsburgh gourmet burger tour will be Winghart's Burger & Whiskey Bar.

Restaurant info:
Burgatory Bar
932 Freeport Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15238
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