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Monday, December 9, 2013


Burgatory Bar on Urbanspoon
I love a good burger and over the past few years a ton of new up-scale burger restaurants have opened around the Pittsburgh area.  At least they are as "up-scale" as a burger joint gets.  I've touted the great burgers at Winghart's, BRGR, the Union Grill, and of course my favorite, Tessaro's.  Well, I have a new favorite-Burgatory.

I recall making the trip to the original location in Fox Chapel.  When we got there and realized it was in a shopping center we made the decision to have lunch down the road at Bob's Garage (another great place too!).  Turns out, leaving the shopping center was a mistake.

This time we went to the newest location in Robinson Township.  The restaurant is a comfortable, modern decor with a mix of tables surrounded by booths and a large bar in the middle.  While they offer full bar service it appears to me that this place is mostly about the food.  The menu offers 10 burger selections or you can build your own from a checklist where you choose each ingredient to create your own custom creation.

Stacy and I ordered off the menu and went with the Standard Deluxe and the Morty's Steakhouse.  Here are the descriptions from the menu:

All Natural Beef Burger with White American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion & our House Burger Sauce.


Peppercorn Crusted Beef Burger with Horseradish Cheddar, Haystack Onions & Cabernet Sauce. Like the greatest steak dinner you’ve ever had reincarnated as a burger

When you order, instead of the ambiguious rare, med rare, med, med well, and well you simply choose to have you burger cooked either red, pink, or no pink.  I like that.  In addition, the burgers are served with homemade potato and sweet potato chips.  Of course fry's and a variety of other sides are available.  There are also a few salads and a veggie and crab burger, but none of those options were considered by us!

Both of us loved our burgers.  Really loved our burgers.  To the point that we each think these may have been the best we have ever had...(sorry Tessaros).  Since it was only one trip, I'm not going to rate it the best, but I'm going back, for sure.

Burgatory is located near the WalMart in the Robinson Town Center.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Christmas Toys!

 The All Clad Factory sale is currently going on at the Washington County Fairgrounds, just South of Pittsburgh.  I usually go every year and search for values.  The problem with cookware that lasts forever, is that pretty soon you run out of things you need.  Then you start to buy stuff like a roasting pan with a 3 tier rack.

You could say that when you buy a roasting pan with a 3 tier rack, you already have too much All Clad.  I choose to not think so.

I have had some people ask me if the sale is worthwhile.  First off, you will have to wait in line, but if you go at the right time the wait will be minimal.  People tend to get there in the morning thinking the selection will be better, but I've found that going at 2 or 3 in the afternoon works best.  As far as selection, the nice folks at the sale restock the sales room continually throughout the day, so selection is pretty much the same.  

This is an example of one of my purchases this year.  It is an 8 quart, stainless stock pot.  The list price for this is $380.00 while the sale price was $89.99.

Realistically, I don't think many of these are sold for $380, but I did see this one in Macys for $259.99.

You may think that even with a serious discount, spending almost a hundred dollars for a stock pot is crazy, and you may be right, but these are really great kitchen utensils that provide great performance and will last a lifetime.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nied's Hotel

Stacy and I went to Lawrenceville last night to catch some music and decided to stop at Nied's Hotel on Butler street.  Nied's has been a landmark for many years, and it's been so many years since I've been there that I couldn't even remember which door served the restaurant and which one went to the bar.  We chose the right one, and had a great view of the band (Jimmy Alder Blues Band) from our seats at the bar.

I was hungry and couldn't resist the fish sandwich which is the house specialty.  So typical of Pittsburgh fish, it was great!  Pretty big too.

The menu was interesting with notable choices in addition to the fish such as Fried Jumbo, Pierogies, and Braunschweiger on Rye.  All at rock bottom prices.  This really is a great local restaurant and bar.  A few years ago, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette called Nied's "Perhaps the most perfect neighborhood bar in a city full of 'em".

Nied's is right on Butler Street in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh.
Nied's Hotel on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 22, 2013

The winter All Clad factory sale is almost here!  This year it will be held on December 6th and 7th at the Washington County fair grounds, which is about 30 or 40 miles south of Pittsburgh.  If you are a fan of their cookware and are in the area, it's worth the trip.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Imported Seafood!

Just thought I would share this.  It's one of the funniest menu notes I've seen.  I'm not going to mention the name of the restaurant...Actually it's one of my favorite places, much more for the atmosphere than the food though!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

It's pumpkin time again, and one of my favorite treats is roasted pumpkin seeds.  I've tried several different recipes, but here is my favorite.  The flavor should be a bit sweet, and a bit spicy at the same time.  Be careful not to use too much cayenne to start...You can always add a bit more!

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Take about 1 1/2 cups of washed pumpkin seeds and spread on a lightly oiled baking sheet, lightly salt and bake for 25 minutes.

While they are baking, mix together in a bowl two tablespoons of sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, ginger and cumin, then add just a pinch of ground cayenne pepper and set aside.

When the seeds are baked, add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil to a frying pan along with 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the pumpkin seeds and cook until the sugar starts to caramelize and the seeds are slightly brown.  Stir the caramelized seeds into the spice mixture in the bowl.  Taste and add a bit more cayenne if desired. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sugar and Spice, Waterford PA

Sugar N Spice Incorporated on Urbanspoon
Sugar and Spice is a little restaurant in the Northwest PA town of Waterford. Although I have not been there for several years I was in the area last week and decided to stop for lunch.  It was just as good as I remembered.  The food is advertised as Amish home style.  I remembered seeing the fish sandwich on a previous visit.  I also remember that it was huge, so Stacy and I decided to split one. As you can see, it was big!  The fish was probably two feet long!!!  Pretty good too.  I can't wait to go back and try some of the more Amish style food.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I know this doesn't have anything to do with 'Burghfeeding but it's interesting!  This week we had a GIANT RUBBER DUCK arrive in Pittsburgh.  I'm not sure why, but you can read the following story to get some insight:

My sister and I went down for a late lunch/early happy hour, and by chance the Duck was making it's way up the river toward us, and gave me the chance to snap the picture above.  Pretty awesome!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

When I was much younger, there were a number of White Castle restaurants in and around our city.  They are all gone now, but as I travel across Indiana I passed a number of them.  After my GPS failed to locate me a restaurant (that was still open), I gave up and decided to stop at White Castle.

As I waited in line, the woman in front of me ordered 30 burgers!  The famous sliders are as remembered...About an 1/8 inch of beef (maybe 3/16" but that's generous), onions, and pickle slice on a soft bun.  Great? not even close, but I'm still glad I stopped.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I was travelling through Northern Pennsylvania this week and stopped for lunch in Bradford.  While the town doesn't have a lot of choices, Kelly's stood out on the main street.  It was a bit of a treat because I noticed immediately that they served one of my favorite sandwiches that we can't get around Pittsburgh, Beef on Weck.  This is served all over Buffalo, and is usually sliced beef on a weck bun which is a soft bun with kosher salt and caraway seed on top.  While the beef at Kelly's was chopped, not sliced, it was still very good.  Usually these are served with au jus and horseradish.  Excellent!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Tavern on the Square, New Wilmington Pa

The Tavern on the Square on Urbanspoon
While travelling from Erie Pa back to Pittsburgh, we decided to stop at a restaurant that I haven't been to for many years.  The drive from the interstate is beautiful country, busy with Amish buggy's.  The route also takes you through the beautiful country town of Volant.  When we arrived, the exterior looked familiar.  The building is quaint, and hold a lot of history, including being a part of the Underground Railroad.
The interior is as I expected.  Nice, kind of country kitch but that's OK, this isn't supposed to be elegant dining...It's comfortable dining.

I ordered the "Giant Cod Fish Sandwich", and Stacy went with a Roasted Red Pepper Chicken sandwich.  I found the description of the fish a bit humorous.  Here is the menu description: 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Skyline Chili

Over the years, I've traveled to Cincinnati on fairly frequent occasions.  One of the oddity's, as least as its related to food, is the proliferation of chili restaurants all over the city.  The two most well known are Skyline Chile, and Gold Star Chili.  I don't know how many Skyline restaurants there are, but they seem to be on every corner. 

The standard chili is called Three Way, which is chili over spaghetti, and topped with cheese.  Four way also included either beans or onion, and Five way is loaded with everything.  I, of course, went for the Five Way.

Is this the best chili ever? Not even close.  But the unusual combination of spaghetti, chili, cheese, onion, and beans makes it regular stop whenever I'm in the area.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Thin Man Sandwich Shop


Thin Man Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon
I've been meaning to stop into the Thin Man Sandwich Shop in the Strip District since they opened a few weeks ago.  We usually go to the strip on Saturday or Sunday mornings, and after wandering around in the cold, Stacy and I were ready!
Thin Man is a serve yourself/order at the counter kind of place.  The menu is on a large chalk board behind the counter, and boasts a few signature sandwiches along with seasonal selections.  Today, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Albacore Tuna and a Lamb Kofta Pita were on the menu, along with scrumptious sounding sides such as Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Beets and a Potato Kale soup.
Stacy settled on The Smash, which is chicken breast marinated in goat milk, with avocado, alfalfa and pickled green onions.  I went for The Thin Man, which is chicken liver mousse, Penns Corner bacon, and frisee on a baguette. 
Let me tell you, these are some great sandwiches!  I can't wait to get back to try a different one.
Thin Man is on 21st Street, in the Strip District area of Pittsburgh.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

E Town Bar and Grille

E Town is well known for their huge fish sandwich.  It's pretty tasty and rivals the best around, including Kretzler's on Babcock Blvd,  and Pipers Pub on the South Side.  I stopped there a couple of weeks ago, and that reminded me that it's that time again...

It's fish sandwich time again in Pittsburgh!  Fish frys are being held at church's all around the city.  Some serving a simple fried fish sandwich, and others offering a much wider variety of seafood speciality's.   On Friday, I stopped at Saint Mary's in Cecil Pa.  Of course the sandwich was tremendous! According to the attached fish-fry guide, St. Mary's offers: Seasoned panko-breaded cod deep-fried in heart healthy tri-fry oil that is cholesterol and trans-fat free. Other healthy alternatives include baked cod, salmon and Maine lobster rolls. Also, homemade crab cakes, pan-seared scallops, shrimp in a basket, jumbo shrimp, and cabbage and noodles.  See the following list to find a fish fry near you.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Route 40 Diner

I was driving back to Pittsburgh from Virginia on Saturday, and came across the Route 40 Classic Diner in Brownsville Pa.  The place is classic stainless steel with old style booths and a counter with swivel stools.  50's music completes the classic feeling.  The menu is typical diner fare, but I didn't look long.  As soon as I saw the burgers, I knew what I was eating.  The Fat Burger, is aptly named.  Check this out...1/2 pound of beef, topped with an egg, then hash browns and on top of that, bacon.

Tasty!  This diner would make a nice afternoon day trip from the city. 

The Route 40 Classic Diner is located right on 40, in Brownsville Pa.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Delallo Italian Marketplace


In the past month I've had reason to spend a few days in Jeanette Pa.  I know this area is a little difficult when it comes to finding restaurants, but Jeanette does have one of my favorite foodie stores. 

Delallo Italian Marketplace, or just Delallo's as the locals call it, is a tremendous local market with freshly baked bread, meals and sandwiches to go, a full olive bar and a nice market with a new produce section displaying some beautiful fruit and vegetables.

Fresh bread and olives!

As I was busy, all that was needed was a quick sandwich.  I went for one with mortadella, salami, and prosciutto layered about 2 inches thick on great fresh bread.

This sandwich is really top notch.  If you don't care for the salami type meats, they have a nice variety of other choices.

Delallo's is located 6390, Route 30 in Jeanette Pa.  Here is their web site:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Half Moon Restaurant and Saloon

Half Moon Restaurant & Saloon on Urbanspoon

The Half Moon Restaurant in Kennett Square Pa has been featured on a number of different food shows and is known for their variety of exotic wild game meats.  I was staying in the area and decided to pay them a visit.

The place is casual, comfortable with a long bar as you enter and a dozen or so tables and booths to the rear.  It was lunch time, so the menu was somewhat limited.  I decided on the Kangaroo Burger.  While they offer a nice choice of toppings, I wanted to keep it simple and went with just a slice of provolone and lettuce and tomato.  My lunch partner went for the Bison Burger with Exotic Mushrooms and American cheese.

The Bison was very tasty and my friend reported that the mushrooms were a great touch. The Kangaroo was cooked a perfect medium rare, and was very lean (dry) but had a good taste.

I'm glad we stopped.  The lunch was good but a pit pricey at $42 for two burgers and one drink.  It seems a bit much to charge an additional dollar for a slice of cheese when you are getting $18 for the burger in the first place!