Sunday, October 30, 2011

BRGR (Cranberry)

A few months ago I visited one of the new gourmet burger bars in Pittsburgh: BRGR in East Liberty.  Since then, BRGR has opened a second location up in Cranberry Township, where I visited twice recently.

The Cranberry location is in the back part of the Cranberry Mall, next to the Cranberry Cinemas, and is not visible from Route 19 so may be a little hard to find.  But it will be worth it. The restaurant in general is spacious and comfortable, with large-screen TVs everywhere guaranteeing that no one will miss the game regardless of where they sit.  Patio seating is also available in the warmer months.

Aside from beef burgers, BRGR has some intriguing non-beef options.  On my first visit here I tried the Kamikaze Burger: ahi tuna patty, avocado and wasabi puree, pickled cucumbers and diakon radish, chili aioli, sweet soy sauce, and tempura crumbs.  Our waiter assured me that it is sushi grade burger and that it would be fine to order it rare, so I figured, why not?  Rare it is.

Only it wasn't rare when it came out:

Kamikaze Burger
Kamikaze Burger

But you know what?  It was so delicious I didn't bother saying anything about it.

During my visit to the East Liberty BRGR, I had missed out on ordering an alcoholic shake, so this time I made sure I got the Salty Caramel...or what I call 3,000 calories in a glass:

Salty Caramel Spiked Shake
Salty Caramel Spiked Shake

OK, so I don't know if it's really 3,000 calories, but it sure tasted like it.  Spiked with bourbon, sea salt, and vanilla bean, the Salty Caramel is thick, rich, and served in a cocktail shaker cup that you pour into a pre-caramelized glass.  You get two glasses out of your order, so it's definitely a lot of shake.

Salty Caramel Spiked Shake
Salty Caramel Spiked Shake

It was 3,000 calories of awesomeness.

On my second visit, only a couple weeks since my first, BRGR had already changed some of the items on its menu.  The Kamikaze Burger is no longer available, though I hope they bring it back in the future.

I guess I was unconsciously going along with the Asian burger theme 'cause the one burger that caught my eye this time was the Thai Pork and Shrimp Burger.  The patty is made with pork and shrimp, and it is topped with a pickled cucumber and diakon radish salad (mmm...sound familiar?), chili aioli, cilantro, and mint.  I only realized later how similar this burger is to the Kamikaze, and not surprisingly, I liked it quite a lot.  The patty has an interesting-in-a-good-way, crisp, almost "bouncy" texture thanks to the shrimp, though I was a little confused at first when I bit into my burger and the patty is pink on the inside.  I thought perhaps the patty wasn't thoroughly cooked, but turns out it's just the pinkness from the shrimp.

Thai Pork and Shrimp Burger at BRGR Cranberry
Thai Pork and Shrimp Burger

I also tried some of this unique slaw:

Slaw at BRGR Cranberry

I washed down my meal with the Tomato Diablo, otherwise known as BRGR's own Bloody Mary.  It's definitely got a nice kick.

Tomato Diablo at BRGR Cranberry
Tomato Diablo

The Cranberry rendition of BRGR is a great addition to the North Hills!

Restaurant info:
20111 Route 19, Cranberry Twp, PA 16066
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