[Review] Burgatory

Dear Reader,

Helluva Burger, Heavenly Shake” — this is true. If you are in the Pittsburgh, PA area and you want to try an exceptional (and, frankly, high-caloric) meal, do consider Burgatory.

I find Burgatory to be special for a few reasons. First, the company works with local dairies, butchers, and other producers to make fresh food. Second, the menu is wild (I’ll explain). Third (and super importantly), it is delicious.

Founded in 2010 (2011?) by entrepreneurs Mike Hanley and Jerry Dilembo, Burgatory has blown up into a regional chain and is known for its decadent, sometimes eclectic, and customizable dishes. Like the tagline at the top implies — Burgatory is highly rated for its burgers and shakes. The restaurant offers more than just your all-natural beef burger. Patrons can also order chicken, bison, and elk burgers (oh my!) as well as the meat-free Impossible burger. There are vegan options with veggies in place of the patty as well as kid’s options.

If the pre-constructed selections do not suit your fancy, it is very easy to customize your order. Instead of asking the waitstaff about all the options and substitutions (and then dictating your wishes back to said waitstaff, and, then, the once-again, self-same waitstaff subsequently jotting down your specifications), you can simply check off your burger customization options with a pre-filled list that sits right on the table. From the top, you start with your bun option (with “topless” and “lettuce” being acceptable choices). The toppings, condiments, garnishes, and sauces, both included and at a premium are also listed here so you can easily mark everything you would like on your burger. Chips (much better than Lay’s!) are always included, but fries can be added to the order for an additional charge.

I do not often order dessert at restaurants anymore, but Burgatory is a huge exception for me. If I had to describe Burgatory shakes in two words, they would be “flavorful” and “thick.” My favorite selection is the caramel pretzel milkshake, which is a vanilla milkshake infused with pretzel bits and topped with the creamiest of whipped toppings and caramel syrup. Burgatory did not invent the caramel pretzel milkshake, but the addition of the heavy whipped topping makes this already sweet-and-salty combo a particularly decadent innovation of this already fine idea. If you’re feeling edgy, you can also inject a shot of vodka or other liquors into your shakes for an additional charge.

Aside from the burgers and the shakes (which—on a “judgy” side note—are the staple and probably the reason why you should visit), Burgatory has a wealth of typical pub-fare offerings including wings, chicken tenders, nachos, and even salads. They serve alcohol, but the joint is also suitable for kids — everybody wins (save for the fish lovers, uber health conscious, and those that dislike hype on principle).

I wish I could talk more about Burgatory, but, frankly, I usually end up ordering the same burger and shake whenever I go — so, I’ve got nothing more! If you want to learn more and low-key torture yourself with images that will make you salivate, check out their social media pics (those shakes, oh my goodness, those shakes…).

Burgatory has a handful locations across the greater Pittsburgh area — so, if you’re around and want to try something regional and different — do give it a try! 😊



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