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BRGR with Mark Pavic

BRGR with Mark Pavic

How do you spell it? B-R-G-R…

For a restaurant that removed all the vowels from its title dish, the same certainly doesn’t apply to any other aspect of the place.  If anything, BRGR (pronounced as you would say each individual letter), is a restaurant that only adds the flavorful, the unexpected, and the unique to its menu items.  The entire menu is artfully crafted, with signature and classic burgers topped with the likes of foie gras, bbq-chipotle aioli, or marinated feta cheese.  And you can rest assured that the milkshakes aren’t missing anything either, especially with names like “Death by Chocolate” or “Oatmeal Cream Pie” (or my favorite, Salty Caramel!)  Overall, what BRGR lacks in vowels, it makes up for in so many other ways.  Of course, a restaurant like this is worthy of only the best of friends, so my pal Mark Pavic was my go-to for this burger paradise.BRGR with Mark Pavic

AtmosphereBRGR with Mark Pavic

The atmosphere of BRGR is very flexible: sliding garage doors can be opened, letting in cool breezes across a display of desert art during the summer.  During the winter, the doors can be closed, and the music turned up for a cozy club-like space.  Either way, the comfortably spaced seating, and plentiful bar space is perfect for a variety of occasions.BRGR with Mark Pavic

Service

The service was friendly, but much too prompt and overwhelming for us to enjoy our meal in enough time.  By the time we were two bites into our appetizers, our main course was already out!  Timing is something the staff needs to work on for sure.

Quality

The quality of nearly everything was superb.  My Salty Caramel (spiked) milkshake was rich and delicious.  The appetizer (poutine) had a perfect ratio of cheese curds to gravy.  And my burger (The Steakhouse), in addition to being very tasty, held its weight without being too big to bite.BRGR with Mark PavicBRGR with Mark Pavic

Price

For a gourmet burger, fries, and shake, the price is what you expect, although not necessarily what you would want to pay.

Rating

8.1/10

Translation

BRGR is an exceptional hamburger restaurant, spinning a unique take on classic dishes.  I would highly recommend a visit to anyone of their locations (even in PNC Park!)

Mark’s TakeBRGR with Mark Pavic

I’m not sure if it’s because I was starving or because the shake was really that good, but the Death by Chocolate Shake was the best milkshake I’ve ever had.  The chunks of brownie mixed in really added to it—I definitely plan to go back just for the shake.

When it came time to order food, we order the Grilled Cheese Bites as one of our appetizers.  Compared to the rest of the food, these weren’t the best—but that could have just been because everything else tasted really good.  Overall, I can’t really think of anything else that needs improvement.BRGR with Mark Pavic

I would call BRGR an “upscale Burgatory” [another local burger chain, review coming soon].  Really it can be a restaurant for anyone looking for a good burger and hangout joint, but it fits really well into the college/young adult vibe that East Liberty has been attracting recently.

For my meal, I ordered the Smokehouse Bison burger.  I requested it be cooked medium with the jalapenos on the side.  Burgers are usually my go-to when I go out to eat, so I have a lot of burgers to compare it to!  This burger definitely falls into my top five.

Mark is originally from Johnstown, PA and is currently a Junior at the University of Pittsburgh pursing a double major in marketing and supply chain management with a certificate in digital media.

BRGR is a funky and refreshing take on the hamburger restaurant, serving up delicious burgers, fries, shakes, beers, and more in 5 different locations around the Pittsburgh area.  To learn more about the menu, check out their website: http://brgrpgh.com/

Whitfield at the Ace Hotel

Whitfield at the Ace Hotel with Judith Cassel and Ken Morrison

Intro: The Best Restaurant in Pittsburgh?

Whitfield at the Ace HotelI suppose the overall goal of this blog is to find the best restaurant in Pittsburgh.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe I found it, and in no other place than the Ace Hotel Pittsburgh.  Not only is this one of the coolest hotels in the city (they converted an old YMCA building to make the hotel), but also one of the best restaurants is found on the ground floor of the building.  The entire hotel attempts to stay true to its original purpose, renovating the gym to function as a event space and the old workout area now functions as the lobby/restaurant.  I figured there would be no other people to try such an interesting venue with than my parents!

Atmosphere

Whitfield at the Ace HotelThe atmosphere is significantly different from other upscale hotels and restaurants in that the vibe is much younger and new aged.  From the DJ blasting tunes in the lobby, the young wait staff, and the original fixtures dotting the walls, this was a restaurant and a hotel that spared no expense to earn that extra cool feeling. It was a tad bit loud, as we were right next to the DJ, but overall it was a fun affair and I really enjoyed all the activity.Whitfield at the Ace Hotel

Service

Our waiter, Jack, did a standout job of explaining everything.  He was quick to respond to any need we had and extremely sincere in his recommendations of what to order.  It’s not too often you get such fabulous service in the type of new and young venue we went to.  However, this was also an international boutique hotel brand, and I expected and received nothing less than 5-star service.

Quality Whitfield at the Ace Hotel Whitfield at the Ace Hotel Whitfield at the Ace Hotel

Superb quality on all fronts.  This is a tavern style restaurant without compromise, meaning that the chefs go all in on big steaks, large sides, and exceptional drinks.  The butcher’s plate of charcuterie, while really diverse and large, including a pistachio pate and a duck liver mousse, was not as good as other places serving similar choice meats.  Other than that, Whitfield now holds the title of “Favorite…” for a lot of different items (Moscow Mule, ribeye with Béarnaise sauce, carrots au gratin)  The steaks and sides are all served family style, so coming with 2 or 3 really hungry people is the best way to prepare for all the food you’ll get.  I cannot stress enough the quality of everything we ordered; this is truly a restaurant that sources locally whenever it can and delivers on exceptional tastes and flavors.

Price

We paid a hefty price for not only all the food we ordered but the specific dishes we ordered too.  The porterhouse alone will set you back $80, so coming in with a budget and an idea of what you’re hungry for (instead of indiscriminately ordering steaks and sides like we did…) is the best way to not lose your head and your money when ordering.

Rating

9.5/10

TranslationWhitfield at the Ace Hotel

My favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh so far.  Period.  I have never been more delighted in this city with the quality of the service, food and atmosphere, and all in a really unique hotel.  Folks may disagree with me, but I am committed to this restaurant and its amazing food and service, which in opinion makes it the best I’ve seen in Pittsburgh so far.

Judi’s Take

Amazing!!  From the moment you step into this restaurant you feel like you’ve been invited to sit at the cool table.  The music, sourced from a D.J., is loud enough to start your heart pumping but somehow conversation is not at all impeded.  The wait staff is not only friendly but entertaining.  The tables are spaced so you feel like you are in a very popular place without feeling like you “family-styling-it.”  The food was so delicious.  From the lobster macaroni and cheese to the steaks that were nearly a quarter of the cow, everything was done to perfection and with the maximum amount of flavor.  The ambiance stimulated conversation.  The food is some of the best I have tasted in Pittsburgh (and perhaps anywhere else).  I would definitely return for another taste.  This is a place I would take anyone (and everyone) for dinner.  You absolutely cannot go wrong at the Whitfield.

 

Judith Cassel is a partner at Hawke McKeon & Snicak LLP and practices regulatory law, including representation of medical marijuana clients.  You can find the websites for each practice here: http://www.hmslegal.com/ and http://cannabislawpa.com/

Whitfield is a tavern style restaurant focusing on the Western Pennsylvania flavors and culinary traditions of Polish, German, Italian, and Jewish immigrants.  The menu is seasonal and the venue, located in East Liberty, is very popular, especially during the different events held throughout the year.  Check out their website for menu and reservation details: http://www.whitfieldpgh.com/