Burgatory, the perennial burger favorite of the Pittsburgh region and the 2013 winner of Burger Business’ Burger Bracket champion, has been expanding their dominance for years.  With their new North Shore Location set to open tomorrow, September 17th, the 412 burger chain continues to spread out their craft burgers and glorious shakes to new areas.  Their 5th standalone location, 7th if you count spots in Consol Energy Center and Heinz Field, is part of a new development in the North Shore of Pittsburgh in between Heinz Field and PNC Park, near the Stage AE concert venue.  Two days before the grand opening, they opened for staff training, inviting family and friends, including yours truly as a humbled guest.  

As part of the training, patrons were asked to order one entree per person and to split a shake or an appetizer.  Bringing along my wife for the ride, we both tested out our typical go to custom creations.  While some burger joints have opened up a solo location to moderate success, the true trick is to amaze people at one location and then somehow recreate the seemingly unique effect at other locals.  Burgatory has mastered this, with the recently opened Homestead location (a short 10 minute drive from our home) becoming our favorite to frequent.

The North Shore location features all of the classic qualities you’ll notice in the other Burgatory locations, including the location themed flow chart. Really nice touch, poking fun at the rival Cleveland Browns as well as the nearby Rivers Casino.  The whole right side of the building can be opened up for Summer nights to create a nice indoor/outdoor feel and there is a good sized bar surrounded by huge TV’s, perfect for fans of the teams playing in the nearby stadiums.

So how does the food stack up? Despite it being a training night, we couldn’t have been happier.  Great service was provided by our waitress Emily, who came across knowledgeable of the new menu items and constantly came around to see if we needed anything.  The food was exceptional.  This was nothing new, but noteworthy on a pre-opening night.  My customized burger came out cooked medium (as requested), with Burgatory’s signature blend of sirloin, chuck, brisket, and short rib. The essence of quality exudes through everything Burgatory puts together, using local and organic ingredients whenever possible and it always shows when you bite into their burgers.  The sea salt herb fries that we added to our meals came out to a great overall crispiness and I’m a huge fan of the new pretzel bun option. The Truffled Shallot Aioli is out of this world, making for the perfect sandwich addition or fry dip. Also, be sure to try the new Piggy Butter & Jelly Burger, which features peanut butter (yes) and habanero jelly, it sounds wild but it will make your taste buds dance.

The night was topped off by trying out the new Cookie Monster shake. While it may have taken the place of our former favorite Coffee & Doughnuts shake on the menu, the Cookie Monster is packed with chocolate chip cookie taste, forever amazing me that something that comes in liquid consistency can have so many tasty pieces in each sip.

So there you have it, Burgatory is set to open another location, in another amazing spot within the Pittsburgh area.  Sports fans and workers in the North Shore area will assuredly populate this location starting tomorrow and they won’t be disappointed.  Shout out goes to Meredith and the other wonderful people at Burgatory for having us and being generally awesome.