I love seeking out new places to eat in Pittsburgh. There is so much happening in this fair city! My main sources for finding the newest spots are the Post Gazette, other blogs (I have added a blog-roll, check it out!), Urbanspoon, and word of mouth. Sometimes my ‘to try’ list grows and grows while I frequent some of the same places over and over. Other times, I find my groove, hitting up fresh and exciting places one after the other.
Burgatory – Waterworks, Aspinwall
I visited Burgatory on a Friday night after a loooong work week. Burgatory is one of the main contenders in the burger-war that seems to be brewing in Pittsburgh (see also my visit to BRGR). It is a pub/lounge style place serving some serious meat.
On the night I visited, the wait was a manageable half hour or so and I spent the time running errands within Waterworks (Burgatory has a text message waiting system – very convenient!). Burgatory is definitely cool and styled but comfortable. They have a pretty straightforward menu with some great sounding options. I went with the ‘Phat Patti’s Veggie’ burger and my date went with the ‘Buffaloed Bison’ burger.
In the end, I was slightly underwhelmed with my veggie burger. It was clearly homemade and while that is a definite plus, the texture was a little too soft for me. I would try a different burger if I went again. My date appeared pretty enamored with his burger though and happily demolished it. At one point I remember scanning the room and seeing a petite 20-something girl literally licking burger juices off her forearm as she crushed a huge burger. Nice. I like a place that can bring that out in someone.
We ended up getting a ‘Campfire S’mores’ milkshake to go. I was entrusted to hold the milkshake for the drive home and was given the evil eye when I took any type of prolonged sip. My date declared it delicious and I would have to agree – great texture from graham cracker crumbs and a perfect creamy consistency. I would love to go back and try a spiked shake.
Overall, solid effort by Burgatory and I would return.
Kanok – South Highland, Shadyside
Kanok is a new Thai restaurant that has replaced the old Typhoon on S Highland Ave. The interior of the restaurant has remained pretty much unchanged but the menu is new and the price point is lower. Kanok is also BYOB.
I visited Kanok on a Monday night and the place was about one third or so full. It kind of felt like they did not have the AC on, which was interesting. My internal temp seemed to adjust though, especially when I cracked open the chilled white wine I had brought along. The interior of this place is actually very nice, with big windows looking out on S Highland. While waiting for my date, I entertained myself by watching the meter maids ticket all the poor people that don’t know the parking meters go until 10PM in parts of the city now. Lovely.
We ended up with a sweet potato square appetizer and entrees of tofu pad thai and tofu kee-mao. The food was all around satisfactory and nicely presented and plated. The pad thai definitely was not the same as Typhoon’s – less veggies, and the tofu seemed a little over-fried. However, I still cleaned my plate and appreciated the nice atmosphere, BYO, and reasonable prices.
I am not sure I would make a special trip here but if you live in the neighborhood, it is a nice little BYO spot you could drop into without reservations for a quick weekenight meal or last minute Friday night out. I like that.
I will be back for shortly with information on visits to two other new places as well – Chica Loca Taco in Shadyside and Tin Front Cafe in Homestead!