Tag Archives: casual dining

Comfort Food, All the Way @BurgatoryBar

6 Mar

I planned to do a post that is actually not about food today, but then the snow came pouring down, and it’s so cold and dreary out, that I just couldn’t help myself.  It’s time for comfort food.

When Pittsburgh jumped on the burger craze bandwagon a couple years back, the local burger mainstays of Tessaro’s and Fat Heads were joined by the likes of BRGR, Burgatory and Wingharts Burger and Whiskey Bar.  I’ve diligently made my rounds to all of them, and must say that Burgatory is my favorite.  The downside of Burgatory is that it seems to be everyone’s favorite.  The last time I wanted to go there for dinner on a Saturday night, I looked up their online reservation page and the wait was five hours.  Suspecting that this absolutely must be some kind of website glitch (why would a restaurant even keep a five hour waiting list?) I called. It wasn’t a glitch. The wait really was five hours.  Needless to say, we didn’t get dinner there that night, and we don’t have the opportunity to go very often.

On the way home from the airport on Monday evening, I needed Burgatory. Like to my very core. There would be no making it home if there was no stop at Burgatory first.  Lucky for us, at 7 pm on this Monday evening, there was no wait whatsoever. 

I spend entirely too much time reading and drooling over the specials listed in Burgatory’s twitter feed.  I was dying to have the Chai shake that was on special for last weekend, but sad for me, the weekend shake specials really are limited to the weekend.  I was brokenhearted, but opted for the Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte shake instead, spiked nicely with Amaretto.  It was sweet and creamy and everything that makes an excellent shake excellent.  I’m usually a chocolate shake drinker, but the almond flavor of this shake was delightful.  My only complaint about the shake is that I can’t finish it without getting ill.  The shake is enormouse milkshake size, and comes with the mixer cup with even more shake in it.  It’s perfect for sharing, but Mr. Beez and I don’t have matching shake tastes. It would be perfect if they could offer a 12 oz mini shake.  Until then, I’ll just have to leave a lot of shake pathetically un-drunk. Ah well.

I love that they offer a make-your-own burger option, with a huge variety in toppings, sauces, rubs, etc.  Too bad for me that I get too excited about ALL THE TOPPINGS and want everything, and inevitably end up with some disgusting combination of like guacamole, pancetta and a fried egg with kona coffee rub.  Yeesh.  Mr. Beez goes for the pick-your-own menu, and since I am unskilled at such selections, I stick to the menu.  I went for the Meat Your Maker burger, which featured dry aged wagyu beef with a sweet onion crust, gruyere, roasted tomatoes, field greens and truffled shallot aioli.  It was heavenly. I could go for another one right now.

Because Mr. Beez and I fail at parenting (or from Baby Beez’ perspective, we are awesome) we let Baby Beez have her own vanilla milkshake.  This meant that she totally ignored her hot dog, carrots, and chips. But I guess it’s not all a loss. She got plenty of dairy that night from the shake. Healthy bones, healthy teeth, folks!

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Restaurant Week Lunch @MartysMarketPgh @PghRestaurantWk

6 Feb

Following the fantastic blogger dinner at Alma, my pal Lisa and I decided to meet up for a Restaurant Week lunch.  We picked Marty’s Market, since neither of us had been there before and were both eager to try it out. 

I got there a little early and kicked things off with a latte.  Marty’s Market is serious about their coffee, both in the quality of the product and the execution of the drink.  The barista was SUCH a barista! He had a beard and a jacket with suede elbow pads. I wanted to take a picture of him making the drink because it was just so stereotypical coffee house (of the friendly variety, he was not snobby), but I didn’t want to be a creeper.  The latte was delicious and pretty and everything wonderful.

Lisa and I both opted for the price fixe lunch, and actually made the same selections for each course.  The first course was a beet salad.  From the menu, I assumed it would be a salad made primarily of beets, not a green salad with beets on top of it.  Even though I was confused about the dish, it was a good salad.  I’m always happy when a green salad is not the same old iceberg/tomato/onion song and dance, and this salad was made of fancy curly lettuce and was generously portioned.  While generously portioned entrees put me in a battle with my waistline, I’m always thrilled to get a generously portioned salad.

The entree was boef bourginion (spelled incorrectly, I’m sure).  Let’s just say French beef stew.  The noodles were fresh and cooked perfectly.  The stew as a whole was hearty and a good tummy filler for this cold day.  Although Marty’s has a good start on this recipe, it does need a little tweaking.  The broth needed a stronger flavor, probably more onions.  I added salt to the dish, which is something I very rarely do.  It was not a bad dish by any means, it just needs some work before it can be considered a really great one. 

The finale really stole the show.  The pot au creme was just delicious.  I’m wary of cacoa nibs because I don’t much like dark chocolate, but they, along with the dollop of creme fraiche, perfectly complemented the thick, flavorful pudding.  The dish was perfectly portioned that your sweet tooth was completely satisfied, but you’re not overwhelmed by too much dessert. 

I would happily return to Marty’s Market cafe.  The food was high quality, the service fast and attentive, and it was an all around great place.  I like that there is a parking garage right there, so you won’t have to drive in circles around the strip district to park your car.  Also, since it’s not a parking garage exclusively for Marty’s, you can park there, grab a bite at Marty’s, then go wander down to the strip for more shopping.  Marty’s recently has been offering a number of events like butchering demonstrations and wine tastings.  I need to get there soon, because I’m sure they are excellent.

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