Bro Council has set out to find the manliest restaurant in Pittsburgh. Our only requirement for the restaurants is that they make "the manliest thing they can think of" for our judges. From there, we review each meal based on four things: Taste, the Service/Staff, the Atmosphere, and of course...the "manliness" of the meal.
This week we're reviewing BRGR in Cranberry. This week's judges were Bro Council President Ray Abel, and Super Bowl Champion Justin Hartwig. How did Amanda, Brian, and Jesse at BRGR (pronounced Bee Arr Gee Arr) measure up? Let's find out...
This was a fun challenge for sure. BRGR is located near the Cranberry Mall at the site of the old Bar Louie. Upon arriving, Restaurant Manager Jesse greeted us along with the Owner Brian Pekarcik and asked what we'd like to try. We told them whatever they thought was manliest and they ended up doing it up right. Brian told us an awesome story about getting a cease and desist letter from In-N-Out Burger because he called one of his own burgers the "Double-Double Animal Style", and then sending them a letter back letting them know that he changed the name of the burger to the "Cease and Desist". There's also a burger made with foie gras that is being protested because people don't like the way that it's prepared. Brian's response? He'll stop selling it when people stop protesting. That's Bro Council, Approved. We tried both of those burgers along with the "Troy Polamalu" which is a new burger with beef, sriracha sauce, pineapple and more and the "Gobble Gobble" which is a turkey burger with stuffing, pickled green beans, cranberry aioli, and gravy. Oh, and we had chili cheese fries too.
Hungry yet? Time to break it down by category...
Ok, full disclosure time. I was really pumped for the "Cease and Desist" and I was surprised to see them bring us a turkey burger for a manly food challenge. The end results, though? The order in which I liked the burgers went like this: 1) The Gobble Gobble - 2) The Troy Polamalu - 3) The Cease and Desist - 4) The Kobe Beef with Foie Gras. I was surprised that the turkey burger stood out so much, but really - it tasted just like Thanksgiving dinner. It was a truly outstanding burger. The Troy Polamalu was a close second with a nice blend of heat and sweet with the sriracha and pineapple. The grill marks on the pineapple were, to say the least, impressive. The Cease and Desist will probably be the burger I get when I go back - it's a half pound of beef and it's $8. Read that again...$8 - you can double it up for $7 more, but you can barely get a fast food burger for $8. The Kobe was well cooked and I'm glad we got to try the foie gras...I would probably have it without the foie gras next time though. They do get bonus points for not giving into the protestors though.
Great move on BRGR's part to have Amanda as our server. Fun, nice, helpful, and very knowledgeable - the bar was set high for the remaining contestants. Brian and Jessie were great people to work with, and seemed excited to be a part of the competition. And we even got to meet Dom, who was the creator of the Polamalu as well as an appetizer on the menu that is a pierogi stuffed with Philly Cheese Steak ingredients. Next time I'll rock that while I wait for the Cease and Desist. They also gave us free drafts from their selection of over 20 beers on tap which leads me to the next category...
An awesome bar, an open layout, and a friendly staff are all good things. When you add in the fact that they have Church Brew Works and East End Brewery beers on tap it gives it a great local feel. Plus, it's hard to find good places to go for people in their 20's and 30's in Cranberry - BRGR has that potential.
The "Manliness" of the Meal:
4 burgers, 5 patties, a Thanksgiving dinner, protested meat, and cheese fries on the side. Manliness approved. We couldn't even finish all of the meal, so there was plenty of carnage afterwards.
BRGR (not to be confused with burger…its pronounced B-R-G-R) definitely satisfied my deepest innate craving for carnage. The staff was very friendly and informative, and seemed to want to please our cravings for manly food as much as possible. We got there and we smashed 4 burgers each along with chili cheese fries. The chili cheese fries were ok, but the burgers were outstanding…and ultimately that’s all I cared about. They were almost what I would call ‘designer burgers’, as opposed to your regular greasy burger shack. The hamburger patties were very lean and flavorful. Overall I was very pleased with my meal at BRGR, and will definitely be back.
…yes, those are my sausage fingers holding up all the burgers in the pictures. The burgers were all large and in charge. The buns weren’t necessarily memorable, but the meat and toppings on every burger was. The foie gras burger was different. I can tell it is an acquired taste. I took two bites and moved on. I seriously had a three-way tie for first with the other three burgers. They were all uniquely amazing. Its hard to pit them against each other, but the Cease and Desist had to rate #1 on the man meter. They all tasted good but that burger was all business. The Polamalu was a great change up that you won’t find at any other burger shop. The Gobble Gobble was the most unique creation I’ve ever had on a bun. I might skip all the hassle of Thanksgiving dinner this year and just go to BRGR. Are they open?
They definitely rolled out the welcome mat for us. We were greeted by the manager/the head chef/and surely the cutest and sweetest bartender in BRGR history. The service was very attentive.
It is a classier place for a burger spot. I see it attracting a middle aged, white collar, happy hour crowd. It’s a great place to kick it and watch a game or meet a date. I really like the darker ambiance. The draft beer selection set it off for me.
The "Manliness" of the Meal:
I left stuffed and satisfied…lots of meat and carnage.
BRGR was more than worthy as our first competitor in the challenge. We still have a couple spots open - if you're interested, contact us.