Burgatory sends some mouths to food heaven
The owners of Burgatory, a burger bar that opened in January in Waterworks Mall, obviously had fun developing their business. The playfulness of the name continues throughout the menu. But what they serve is driven by serious personal enthusiasms.
"We're really into burgers," says co-owner Michael Hanley. "In traveling to New York and Los Angeles, every once in awhile we'd run into a super great burger that took the burger bar to another level, actually taking seriously what some people consider leftovers or fast food."
Other items on the menu show no less enthusiasm, such as the milkshakes, including hard shakes.
Hanley and brother-in-law and partner Jerry DiLendo also had fun decorating Burgatory as a modern tavern with warmth from natural woods. The lightly upbeat music adds a faintly collegiate air, and is programmed by Hanley's son, Ryan.
Hanley and DiLendo are co-owners of several Uncle Sam's Subs, including the one next door to Burgatory. They expected to open their new place kind of quietly in the dead of winter, but Hanley says they've been very busy from day one. When there's a wait for a table, the front desk will offer to text or call to let you know your table is ready. Since there are nearby stores worth browsing, such as Barnes & Noble books, it's not a big burden.
Burgatory's beef burgers are made from a custom blend of four cuts -- sirloin, short rib, brisket and chuck -- that are freshly ground every day and then grilled to your choice from rare to well done.
The menu lists two finished beef burgers, Standard Deluxe, $8, and Morty's Steakhouse, $10. There also are six non-beef burgers, such Buffaloed Bison and The Crab Shack, $8.50 to $10. Phat Patty's Veggie, $9, is Hanley's wife's recipe (the name is an inside joke because she's trim).
But Hanley says the most popular burger choice is Custom Creation. "There's an order pad on every table. People like taking a pencil and creating their own burger. They love being creative and the idea of being in control."
Custom creations start with choosing from six kinds of burgers and six kinds of buns, $6.50 to $10. A choice of six rubs, 13 toppings and 17 sauces are free. Adding one of eight cheeses costs $1. An additional 17 toppings are $1 each, such as bacon, chili, brandied peppercorn or roasted red peppers.
Among the appetizers is pale onion rings, $6.50 for a very large order that you'll probably want to share with a friend. They're served with peppercorn cream and chipotle horseradish dipping sauces.
Burgatory will make the standard vanilla, chocolate or strawberry milkshakes, but they didn't make it onto the menu. The menu does list five "classic shakes" -- caramel pretzel, campfire s'mores, PB&J, milk and cereal, and coffee and donuts, all $5.50 -- and five hard shakes ($7.50), such as Bailey's Irish Cream gone wild. The Peppermint Patty includes double chocolate vodka, peppermint schnapps, frozen peppermint patties and chocolate sauce.
"We make our own ice cream every day, churned by hand in the kitchen. It's one of the reasons the shakes have become so popular. We serve them in a 16-ounce glass and bring the mixing cup, which ends up being 18 to 20 ounces of shake," Hanley says.
The menu includes other expected side dishes, such as French fries, big plates for sharing with friends, and a children's section. Beverages include soft drinks, a wide selection of domestic and imported beers, cocktails and wines.
If the food at Burgatory is sinfully good, it's a minor sin. Anyway, once the food arrives, you aren't in limbo any more.
Location: 932 Freeport Mall, Waterworks Mall, Fox Chapel
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers will make small strides this season
- Not to be left behind, speedy Steelers are on the fast track in NFL
- Starkey: Bucs still battlin’
- The IRS scandal: Do the Lois Lerner emails still exist?
- Steelers have plenty of new faces at wide receiver
- Monroeville firefighters hope hot photo calendar will help raise money
- WPIAL coaches, QBs have concerns about using newly-approved footballs
- Poll shows Wolf’s lead over Corbett widening
- Arizona Uzi shooting that accidentally killed instructor ‘just stupid’
- Poll: Parents uncomfortable with youth football
- Why Steelers will — or won’t — snap out of their funk