Bee Are Gee Are?

December 2011

When I first began my Bikram practice, I really focused on myself and my health.  I would return from yoga and eat a mound of raw vegetables.  The time it took me to consume my dinner nearly doubled or quite possibly tripled, as I sat chewing my way through crunchy carrots and leafy green after leafy green.  The transition to the yoga lifestyle happened at a major transition point in my life.  The combination of increased physical activity, a growing mental clarity and an even more wholesome approach to food really put me on my feet again.  The combination caused me to stand tall and stand on my own.  Then the craving hit!

I hit day five of yoga and vegetables, and my entire being craved a hamburger.  I swear it wasn’t mental.  It was the betrayed genetic code of cowboys, farmers and ranchers past, for I am a lady of Midwestern roots via an East Coast upbringing.  I am a lady who believes fat and protein aren’t the enemy, but gigantic quantities are.  I am a lady who believes in listening to her body, and on that fifth day, I ate a hamburger.  Hell, I probably ate a cheeseburger!

Granted, my latest hamburger craving was far more mental than the cry for protein my body made many months ago, but I went to the same source for my fill- BrGr.

A few general thoughts in no particular order…

1.  I’m still not 100% sure whether the name is pronounced “Burger” or “Bee Are Gee Are.”  I prefer the first pronunciation, but I usually say the latter, as that is what I have heard more frequently.

2.  I have made my way around the PGH burger scene, and BrGr wins my vote for best quality of beef.  Their burgers could really stand on their own, but the fixins are a bonus!  Their beef is a handcrafted blend of sirloin, chuck, rib eye and strip specially ground for them daily and delivered from Curtze Meats in Erie.

3.  The BrGr website plays music.  Why does anyone still think that’s a good idea?!?

4.  My first time there, my dining companion had a spiked milkshake, which is by no means small.  Upon finishing, the waiter asked if he wanted a second.  I burst out laughing, but then I realized he was serious!  The fact that he asked if my friend wanted to glutton out completely and slurp another giant milkshake into his system (along with a burger and fries) signified to me people actually do this!  Then I remembered I live in Pittsburgh, which sadly, is not famed for svelte bodies.  I have yet to consume my own milkshake here, so I have little to report, but the options are enticing and the ice cream comes from a local staple- Dave & Andy’s.

5.  The waiters really run the gamut.  On one visit, we had a real rapport forming and nearly had a comedy routine rolling.  Most recently, our waiter wanted us gone before we had even arrived.  I swear, I’m really fun, but he wasn’t looking to make friends.  That’s for sure.  We were going to order the Great Pumpkin Milkshake for dessert, but the check had already arrived as the last bits of burger were falling to the trays.

6.  PB&J, Meat & Potatoes, Fish ‘n Chips, Burgers & Fries…these are things that go together, but somehow BrGr didn’t receive the full memo.  Burgers are served solo unless you request a side of fries, which is definitely big enough for two people and maybe even three (unless you’re one of the two milkshake people- see thought #4).  The fries come tossed with Parmesan and herbs, and I look forward to them every time- not too crisp, not too mushy.  They’re golden slices of spud perfection!

This Time Around…

My companion in protein consumption went the Manhattan route, while I sipped the featured cocktail- a warm blend of apple cider and bourbon!  Yes please!

Once upon a BrGr time, I was faithful to the local Jamison Farm Lamb burger, but then the chef went down a delusional path and removed it from the menu.  I exchanged words with the friendly, comical waiter (the words were something like a pained, “OH GOD WHHHHHHY??!?”), and hopefully, we, the passionate local lamb consumers, will be heard.  We want our local option back!

In the meantime, I have sampled more of the menu, so please, learn from my samplings…

KOBE BEEF
pickled red onions, arugula, creamy bleu cheese, oven-roasted tomatoes

Granted, I probably ate this version with the addition of saliva.  I ordered medium well, and a very cooked burger returned from the kitchen.  I inquired if that’s how a medium looked, and for the record, the waiter was the one who suggested the darkened meat be sent back.  A far pinker burger returned.  I have to say, I was disappointed with this burger, not to the point of total dissatisfaction, but to the point of a deliverable not living up to its description promise.  The burger itself was flavorful, but I doubt it was Kobe good.  The bleu cheese was more of a cream sauce, whereas a stronger, firmer bleu cheese would have added far more flavor.  For the record, this menu item does include an “add foie gras” option, which is tempting, but it costs the same as the burger itself, so it wasn’t that tempting.

SHROOMS
forest mushrooms, caramelized onions, brie, cheese, mustard aioli

Yes!  That’s all I need to say.

BUTTON BUSTER
braised beef short ribs, white cheddar cheese, béarnaise aioli, crispy onions

We were thinking the braised beef short ribs would replace the burger bit in this buster, but we were thinking like modest people.  What arrived was a burger with a topping of braised beef short ribs.  It was over the top and delicious!  If the chef still refuses to acknowledge his Jamison lamb mistake, this is the burger I will order on my next visit!

There ya have it!

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  • One of my favorite food writers, Adam Kuban always feel that Kobe burgers are inevitably doomed on account of the texture. So I’m not sure I would put the foie on top of that but supposing it’s the same piece of seared foie from spoon, they should offer it as a side.

    3. Haha, agreed. Spoon’s site is a rare exception for me.
    4. True, and gross. You have to remember the primantis demographic n’ at.