Pittsburgh has been invaded. Invaded by burgers. And not just any burgers, gourmet, top of the line, eat until your trousers don’t fit right burgers. While there are many competitors swirling, it’s hard to look past Burgatory as the shining beacon of burger in Pittsburgh right now. Winning the Burger Business A1 2013 Burger Brackets and riding high with success, Burgatory is planning to expand in and outside of the area, something most people couldn’t be more excited for. While I’ve been here a handful of times before, it’s always good to give a place a fresh look and present it to the world.
Burgatory exists in two and a half locations currently in Pittsburgh. The original location in the Waterworks Mall, up alongside one of the worst highways in the known world (Rt. 28), the second full location in Robinson Town Centre, and one open during Penguins games in the Consol Energy Center. Excessively popular and known for being small, weekend trips can potentially lead to 2+ hour waits. Luckily, Burgatory is quite intuitive and provides great customer relations by using the No Wait App system which lets you leave your phone number and then receive a text whenever you table is ready allowing you the freedom to wander around to your heart’s content.
Burgatory is known for their “Helluva Burgers” and “Heavenly Shakes”. They use fresh, local, and organic ingredients whenever possible and get their ice cream from a local dairy. Typically I’ve found that these types of ingredients also taste the best. Weekly special shakes, daily special burgers including a wild game one on Saturdays, a create your own burger category, and a continuously changing craft beer lineup make this place feel new every time you go.
On a recent visit for special occasion (my bachelor party), the Burgatory staff graciously sat us right away and my party went to work oogling over the menu. While they actually do have other things besides burgers, such as salads and appetizers, I’ve never considered them. Going straight for the paper custom burger order can be potentially overwhelming if you’re not prepared. Meat choices are a plenty with their standard hormone free beef, wagyu beef, bison, crab, chicken, and veggie options, it seems like Burgatory has something for everyone.
Adding on differing rubs, veggies, cheeses, and a vast array of toppings your burger can go hundreds of directions. Fresh toppings include guac, caged free eggs, onion straws, peppers of all sorts, avacado, and of course, bacon. This particular time I decided to go with a Western Style burger with bbq sauce, horseradish cheddar, onion straws, banana peppers, and bacon on top of their standard beef medley.
House made chips come with the burgers standard or you can get the fries for an upcharge. Everything is priced out on the create your own listing and it’s pretty easy to spend $14 on a burger. I also got the truffled aioli on the side after hearing numerous ravings about it.
My food, as always was a grade above great. Even though it’s the cheapest option, the standard hormone free beef is juicy, flavorful, and very evidently fresh. The flavors emanating couldn’t possibly come from frozen. All of the ingredients are top notch, with crispy bacon, smokey cheese, sweet and sassy sauce, and a load of onion straws. The portions are nice and big too, with the burgers weighing in at a similar size to my already large head. The fries were crispy, salty, and went down smooth as an accompaniment. The chips are solid, but I prefer the fries.
Moving on to dessert, it feels like you have to get a milk shake, no matter how full you may already be. I opted for the Campfire S’mores variety, with the taste of chocolate and graham cracker floating throughout the chocolate ice cream. You even got a large toasted mallow on top. The straws are big, ready to deliver you the nice chunks of graham found throughout.
Other varieties include Coffee and Donuts, Caramel Pretzel, and some leaded varieties socked up with booze. As a word to the wise, I’d get your milkshake and eat it with your meal so you can pace yourself accordingly. Otherwise, you might be chock full of burger and try to force yourself to ingest all of your $6 shake, which could definitely lead to some discomfort.
Overall Burgatory is a cut above the rest. We’re gonna be reviewing all of their competition including Wingharts and BRGR, but for now Burgatory’s mix of fresh ingredients, ever changing specials, amazing taste, and friendly atmosphere is a sure fire hit for any meal. Eat up!
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11AM-10PM