MVBRB travels to Pittsburgh to check out the Burgers at Melange Bistro Bar
By Anthony M. Fuda
. The gauntlet was laid down by Melange Bistro Bar for the Mahoning Valley Burger Review Board (MVBRB) in the form of a burger challenge — the Stacker. And board member Eric “the Eliminator” Clark stepped up and accepted. The rest of us accompanied him on his venture so we could see how good Melange’s burgers are.
. Melange is owned by Bobby Bilder and has been in downtown Pittsburgh for three years. The eatery is accessible after any sporting event, theater showing or just for the hungry passerby. The upscale bar/lounge has a modern look with its hardwood floors and suspended lighting and black and white photos. There are tables running the length of the bar for your dining pleasure and comfortable leather couches in the back lounge area. If you go on a Monday during football season, you might see some of the Steeler players catching the Monday Night Football game.
. Melange’s menu sticks to simple dishes, and Bobby classifies his food as “unhealthy,” meaning the emphasis is on flavor. He uses rich ingredients like butter and cream, which add a lot of taste to his dishes.
. The Board members made our way in, and waitress Jenny Gress seated us in front of the two large picture windows so we could see the Pittsburgh nightlife as we enjoyed our burgers. On nice evenings, the windows open, so jazz music from the bar can spill out to the streets and entice customers in.
. The menu offers six half-pound handmade burgers, ranging from $9-$10, and each complemented by a generous portion of steak fries.
. Eric already knew what he as in for with the Stacker — 15 quarter pounders, 15 slices of cheese, 3 potato and onion pierogies, pickles, onions, tomatoes and a handful of fries. ($25, or on the house if you finish it!)
. The rest of us made our choices, going with: the Pittsburgher (American and Swiss cheese, pickles, cole slaw and a fried pierogi), the Yinzer (red peppers and onions, fries, portabella mushrooms and Swiss cheese), the Screamer (Melange’s homemade hot sauce and crumbled blue cheese) and the Big Kahuna (Swiss cheese, bacon, pineapple and guacamole).
. Our burgers arrived, and we enjoyed the juicy flavored beef with the toppings piled high. The buns were freshly toasted, but some of us had to eat our burgers with a fork because the meat and toppings were so abundant.
. The portabella mushrooms on the Yinzer were very hearty and added a nice extra flavor to the tasty seasoned beef.
. Greg went with the the Screamer and said. “The flavor was very good. I’m a spicy food masochist and would have liked the screamer to be hotter, but for a normal person’s taste buds, they will feel the heat.”
. As we finished our burgers, we were all anticipating Eric’s challenge. Bilder brought the undefeated Stacker (16-0-1) and the challenge began with the simplest of rules — “You have one hour to finish it.” It was a closely fought battle, and you can read about it by clicking the picture of “The Stacker.”
. If you are heading to Pittsburgh definitely stop by Melange and enjoy one of Bobby’s tasty burgers, and you might even run into one of the Steeler players. And if you are extra adventurous, take the Stacker’s 15 burger patty challenge.
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Melange Bistro Bar
136 Sixth Street
Pitsburgh, PA 15222