Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Everybody probably has a friend like this...a guy who's always doing a million things and is impossible to meet up with, but when you do it's worth it because he's funny and interesting. Well, my friend that is like that emailed me last week about going to dinner tonight (Tuesday) and asked if I would like to go to BRGR in East Liberty. Since DB~ and I tried to go there a couple of months ago on a Saturday night, but the wait was 2 hours, I said "Sure, let's do it" and thought it would be a perfect night to scope it out.

Mostly I wanted to see how it compared to my restaurant-crush of Burgatory. Let me give you the executive summary on this one -- if this were a boxing match, Burgatory would have won this one by a technical knockout.

Nearly all of my restaurant reviews on this site involve me and DB~ or the two of us with some "side dishes" like her sister or my friends or our respective parents. But for a long time, it's involved DB~ in some sort of capacity. Well this trip was just me and my buddy, who also happened to be the person I last went to and reviewed a restaurant without DB~.

This friend of mine is my oldest friend -- I've known him since 4th grade and we went to college together. So I know him well. He's habitually late and I'm habitually early. This collided tonight when he was 30 minutes late and I was 10 minutes early. BRGR's effeminate host informed me that when my "entire party" was present, I could be seated. Look....I understand that on a Friday or Saturday night and you don't want to tie up a table, but this was a cold Tuesday in February in a half-filled restaurant. So I had the pleasure of standing and watching the video slideshow that they project onto one of the walls on a continuous loop. It's basically a food porn Powerpoint, but with random scenes of Dust Bowl/Tom Joad-esque people, dilapidated buildings, and rusted out cars. I have no idea what theme or demographic they were going for here.

Also, between the host, the bartender, and some of the servers there were a huge quantity of bushy, unkempt beards in BRGR. Between here, Whole Foods down the street, and Borders across the street, there's no need for Gilette or Bic to even send a delivery truck to this part of the city.

When we sat down to eat, I instantly started comparing the menu to BRGR. BRGR has some great gourmet burgers, like a burger with braised short ribs, but they lack the "custom creation" aspect of the menu that wowed me at Burgatory. I went with a Shrimp Po'Boy burger, which is a fried shrimp patty with argula, tomato, and a cajun remoulade sauce on a brioche bun. It was very good, but not stunning. Everything was a la carte, so my friend and I split a side of fries for $4 extra (they're big enough to split for 2 people).

I also got a milkshake to try, but here at BRGR they are just plain vanilla or chocolate or espresso flavored milkshake. No S'mores milkshakes that make you want to take your shirt and slather the milkshake on your chest hair so you can savor it later. And at BRGR it was $5 for a good-not-great milkshake.

I liked BRGR, but I won't rush back. It was more expensive and more high-falutin' than Burgatory and frankly, it just didn't taste as good.


  1. The title of this post is hilarious. Totally. I'm happy Burgatory is still in the lead! ~

  2. I'm glad I stumbled onto your blog. I'm just getting started, myself. Check me out...email me. I'd like to chat sometime.

  3. So....if I wanted to get out my red pen and correct spelling and grammar should I do that here, or email you? :) (The post title is excellent. I will grant you that.)

    When my wife and a couple of our friends ventured to Spoon a few months back we "waited for our table" at BRGR(sic...can't help it. It's just pretentious BS to me). Weren't as many beards there that day, and I sure as hell don't recall the "Grapes of Wrath" PPT presentation. Sorry I missed that.

    We did see a few things on the menu that we thought we might try if we went back, but I have to admit that Burgatory's menu sounds better. A lot better.