Burgers in the ‘Burgh

By Anthony Fuda
Every once in a while you have to step outside your comfort zone — Yes! Even for burgers. My comfort zone is the friendly confines of the Rust Belt, where all my favorite restaurants and chefs are there waiting for me to place my next burger order.
Well, JT and I took a giant leap outside of the Rust Belt and ventured to Pittsburgh to try some of their finest burgers. We’ve had several requests to try burgers in Pittsburgh — for the people who travel there quite often — and we felt it was time. We picked five of the suggested burger joints that were in close proximity to one another.
Why just five when Pittsburgh has so many great burger joints?  This is just our starting point for the ‘burgh. Our next road trip we’ll hit some of the places a little farther out, such as Tessaro’s and Smoke. 
Time to get down to business and some judging! At each place, we asked what was the most popular burger, ordered it, and then split one burger between the two of us, and from there we formulated our opinions, and this is our Pittsburgh Burger rankings – so far!
#5. BRGR
DSCF0393
5997 Centre Ave
Pittsburgh, PA  15206
Phone: 412-362-2333
Hours:
Mon-Thurs: 11:30 am – 11 pm
Friday & Saturday
11:30 am – midnight
Sunday
11:30 am –  9 pm
Menu: 16 burgers, and a BYO ($9 – $13.50)
Website: brgrpgh.com
IMG_8507 BRGR Steakhouse Burger    At the modern, rustic BRGR (pronounced: bee- are – gee – are) we were told the Steakhouse Burger (8 oz dry aged prime beef, blue cheese, onion straws, arugula, A1-horsey aioli) was the burger most ordered.
     We thought the burger was well seasoned and the horsey aioli had a refreshing bite, which took the entire sandwich up a level — and the arugula added a nice flavor to this burger. Sides are extra here if you want chips or fries.
     JT said, “this burger was slightly overcooked but it was still juicy. The bun was good and held up very well, and the blue cheese was pronounced, but not overpowering.”
 
 
#4. Burgatory
DSCF0420a342 North Shore Dr
Pittsburgh, PA  15212
Phone: 412-5865846
Hours:
Sun-Thurs 11am – 10 pm
Fri – Sat: 11 am – 11 pm
Menu:  burgers ($9 – $13.50)
 
IMG_8522 Burgatory Morty's Steakhouse Burgera     The factory for burgers called  Burgatory was spacious, simplistic and modern in decor. If you read the walls, they will tell you exactly what you are there for, or get you directed to your burger of choice. Our server, Shavelle Rodgers said the most popular burger was Morty’s Steakhouse (peppercorn crusted beef, horseradish cheddar, caramelized onions, haystack onions, Cabernet sauce).

 

     This burger is definitely highlighted by the horseradish cheddar and the Cabernet sauce, which adds a nice bite, and that’s a good thing. It is sided with pub chips which were fresh and crispy.
 
 
 
#3. Winghart’s Burger & Whiskey Bar
w1
5 market Square
Pittsburgh, PA  15222
Phone: 412-434-5600
Hours:
Sun – Thur : 11 AM – Midnight
Fri : 11 AM – 2 AM
Sat : Noon – 2 AM
Sun : Noon – Midnight
Menu: 11 burgers ($10.50 – $15)
 
IMG_8497 Winghart's Shipwreck Burger     Nestled in the corner of Market Square stands the cozy confides call Winghart’s. You can tell this place has a lot of history in those walls with its gritty, eclectic design. We made it through the very cozy seating area and chose the second floor to try their favorite burger, which server Kelly Tatton said was the Shipwreck (arugula, brie cheese, white truffle aioli, caramelized onions and bacon).
     The burger arrived at our table within minutes of ordering. We agreed the burger was a bit heavy, but it was flavored well and each of the toppings were very pronounced, but also worked well together with each bite. The arugula really tantalized our taste buds and combined with the aioli and Brie cheese, made for an interesting, yet satisfying, bite. The toppings were unique and had a good/different taste when blended together after each bite we took. If you want fries, they are a la carte here.
 
 
#2. Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36
DSCF0416393 N Shore Dr
Pittsburgh, PA  15212
Phone: 412-224-6287
Hours:
Sun-Thurs: 11am-12am
Fri-Sat: 11am-2am
 
Menu: 8 burgers ($10 – $14)
 
   

IMG_8515 jerome bettis' grille 36 Hall of Fame Burger

  The most ordered burger in this spacious, high-end modern sports bar, er, make that Jerome Bettis’ Pittsburgh Steelers sports bar is a burger called the Hall of Famer (signature house blend of short rib and chuck, infused with bacon). The walls are adorned with sports memorabilia, and it is mainly Pittsburgh and Jerome Bettis related.
     We were in agreement this burger could have used a little more juice, be it fat from a lesser cut of beef to add to the beef blend, or maybe cheese or BBQ sauce. The beef was tender, seasoned very well and had a nice crispy char. The burger was sided with thick cut fries which also tasted good. The bun was lightly toasted, soft and airy in the middle, which kept those juices from being wasted left behind on the plate.
 
 
#1. August Henry’s Pittsburgh’s  Burger Bar
DSCF0349946 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA  15222
Phone: 412-765-3270
Hours:
Mon – Thurs: 11am – 9 pm
Fri – Sat: 11 am – 11 pm
Menu: 6 burgers, and a BYO ($14 – $18)
 
IMG_8485 August Henry Chipotle Burger    And, in our opinion of the 5  restaurants we reviewed,  Pittsburgh’s best burger belongs to August Henry’s Burger bar, and their Chipotle Burger (8 oz 100% Angus reserve burger, Pepper Jack, bacon, fresh jalapeño, lettuce, tomato, onion straws, chipotle sauce, brioche bun).
     This burger looked and smelled amazing, and it tasted just as good. As soon as it hit the table, I knew we were in for something special. The beef was cooked perfect and the toppings were garden fresh. With each bite, the bacon, and jalapeño stood out for me, highlighting an already great tasting burger, and then taking it to that next level. There was just enough kick from the jalapeños, but nothing that will make your head steam.
     JT said the burger was cooked a little more well than expected, but still was an excellent burger. “I can see why this is one of the best burgers in Pittsburgh.” He added that, “the pub chips were the best pub chips I’ve ever had. They were amazing.”
 
     So, if you heading to Pittsburgh for a game, or just doing some shopping in the ‘Burgh, these burgers will keep you filled until the game is over, or the second round of shopping commences. We would recommend any of these burgers for quenching your hunger.
     If you know of a better burger in Pittsburgh, let us know because we’d really like to try that one.
 
     For judging purposes. And remember, we picked the restaurant’s most ordered/ most popular burger, which might not be our personal favorite, but here is our ranking for these burgers.
 
1. August Henry’s
2. Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36
3. Burgatory
4. Winghart’s
5. BRGR

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