Restaurant Review: Burgatory in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Our latest trip to Pittsburgh found us near the Mall at Robinson around dinner time.  Actually, it was rather late for dinner for us--so, we had hit the dreaded "kids-have-waited-way-too-long-to-eat" situation.  Since our hotel was within minutes--we decided to look around at the mall for a "new to us" restaurant in that area of Pittsburgh. We discovered Burgatory.  Burgatory.  Hmmm.  With the name--we were pretty sure that it was going to be a place all about burgers.  The sign on the front referenced "Helluva Good Burgers and Heavenly Shakes."  We were hoping for the best.  We like burgers and the girls like sweets.  What was our review of Burgatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania near the Robinson Mall?

The Location of Burgatory.  Burgatory is in a little strip mall with a few other chain restaurants near Pittsburgh's popular Robinson Centre Mall.  There are so many food options in the Robinson area--from large chains to local chains to smaller eateries. This little strip was easy to access with a lot of adequate parking for the number of shops in the spot. I'm not sure if you can see the little cows on the restaurant front....but, they represent that "middle"....umm..."B"urgatory ground..with a Devil's tail and Angel's halo on each one.

First impressions of Burgatory.  Burgatory was much smaller on the inside then we had envisioned; but, that would also explain the heavy-duty wait time and line at the door. Initially, it was chaos inside the restaurant. I'm not sure if the young ladies doing the check-ins were just not paying attention to the door; or,  if we just didn't know what we were supposed to do (and most everyone else there were "in the know" that night).  The hostesses ignored us for several minutes, and we were not really close enough to the "check-in" area to speak up without pushing inside through the several patrons already "on the list".  It just wasn't a very comfortable start to the evening--especially when people entering the doors minutes after we arrived were, not only greeted--but seated, and we were sort of lost and confused (with two hungry...not so happy little people in tow).   Eventually, we became a name on the wait list and were officially waiting for our table.

Apparently,  you can phone in your seating/reservation requests to be put on the waiting list--and then they will text you when your table is ready.  If you are "in the know" just walk in the door, around the line and get seated.  You may also leave the hostesses your cell number when you check in and you can expect the same. This convenience is really nice for families (and not common yet in our Columbus, Ohio, area) because you don't have to stay within a few feet of the restaurant while you wait.  You can go out, walk around--even go over to the mall, etc.  Our wait time was estimated to be about 30 minutes--but, we had our table after about 15 minutes.

What about the food?  This is the most important thing about Burgatory, right? 

The Drinks
I had to try the Ginger on the Block.

It was probably the most locally made cocktail on the menu.  I love ginger beer, and this combined a spicy, non-alcoholic, one from Natrona Bottling Company with Maggie’s Farm Rum and muddled berries with lime. The drink was ginger-spicy.  The ginger hits you immediately--but, it was delicious, and I would certainly recommend it for ginger beer fans.

I failed to make note of my husband's drink choice.  I do know that he was contemplating a sweeter, unfamiliar, draft--and after a drink sample, *which is always nice*; he selected, I believe, a porter of some sort.  At any rate; the moment he seemed a bit hesitant on his drink choice--the server offered a sample and it probably guided him toward a more pleasing drink choice!

The Burgers

Burgatory has an extensive burger menu.  We had actually done a quick Twitter conversation with Burgatory before we headed off on our road trip to see what we should order so that we didn't miss their "specialty" while we were there.

It was suggested that we try Morty’s Steakhouse Burger 

This is a peppercorn-crusted beef burger--with horseradish cheddar cheese, haystack onion straws & a Cabernet sauce.   The Husband and youngest opted to share this burger with some house chips.
We also ordered a "custom" burger....

Since our middle daughter is not a huge "order-from-the-menu"-burger fan, we decided to build our own burger to share--and the Burgatory options for the build your own burger were unbelievable.

Our hormone free, beef burger came with bacon and lettuce, rubbed with "Angel Dust" (salt, pepper, and garlic powder), and topped with white cheddar cheese, banana peppers, and truffle aioli on the side.....but you could also get an all natural chicken burger, natural bison, dry aged wagyu , wild crab, grass fed elk, or a Phat Patti Veggie burger... with a host of other burger rubs, cheeses, and topping choices.

It was truly the ultimate, build your own burger....YOUR way... kind of place.

What about the Sides, Condiments, and Extras for the Custom Burger?  We all had the choice of chips, fries or another side dish from the menu.  The chips are included with the burgers, while the fries and the other sides cost a little extra.   Some of the condiments for the custom burgers are free while some of the others cost extra as well.  The options and prices are clearly labeled on your "custom burger form".  You fill out a little form with all of your custom made burger options and give it to your server.  I think that really helps with any errors in ordering as there are SO many choices during which accidents and misunderstandings are bound to happen.  I do wish that the rubs had been "written out" for us.  We had to have the server detail the rub ingredients....and I think my middle one would have opted for something beyond the basic house "Angel Dust" if the options had been written out for her to contemplate (and investigate the ingredients) !

How did the Burgers Taste?

I will be honest; I was expecting larger portion sizes.  I think our girls and I could have eaten a full serving of these burgers....which isn't usually the case for us.   The burgers were very, very good; however, we demolished them rather quickly.  Usually--the girls share meals with us when we dine out.  Portions are huge and they have hit that "grown up palate" point.....without the appetite, nor the need, for 1,000 calories at dinner.

We Skipped the Kids' Menu....

 ...and opted to share our meals.   The burgers and chips we chose were hits with adults and kiddoes alike....but, they just weren't as large as we expected.


Dessert was a hit.  We didn't try the shakes--simply because everyone couldn't agree on sharable items and the servings were destined to be too much for any one of us! We did try the Ginormous Cookie Sundae and it was absolutely ginormous.  There really was a huge, warm, chocolate chip cookie hidden beneath those mounds of ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup.

Would I recommend Burgatory? The burgers were good, the drinks were good, and the dessert was good.  The atmosphere was very modern and up-to-date--probably more of a younger sort of crowd than a 35+, family sort of crowd--but, there were a few families dining on that Friday night and the menu was certainly suitable for kids.  It was very nice that there were all-natural and vegetarian options on a burger-place menu!  All natural....vegetarian....seafood burgers...those options are great....and (even today) not always easy to find in one, family friendly spot.  You are going to pay for those extras and options--but, they are nice to have if they are on your meal radar!

I would certainly eat there again and I would recommend it for those seeking a break from the many chain spots in the area--or looking for a restaurant to suit a variety of tastes and dietary needs.  I think it would be a good choice for those seeking a family friendly, casual dining experience--providing a bit of a step-up, local (healthier) choice than the nearby chain spots.  

Learn More about the Restaurant Featured Here:
Burgatory Website | Twitter

300 McHolme Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15275

Burgatory Bar on Urbanspoon

Disclosure:  We were not compensated for this review.

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