The Burgh’s best burgers: Burgatory Bar at Waterworks

By: Saúl Berríos-Thomas | Layout Editor

We set out to find the best Burger of the Burgh.Features - Burger 1 (zb)

The last stop on our search produced it. My vegetarian buddy and I went to Burgatory in Aspinwall and when we approached the front door we were greeted by their slogan on the window: “Helluva burger + heavenly shakes.”

The artificial flames follow that theme. The art on the walls plays to the same theme by using religious symbols to talk about their burgers.

The restaurant is comfortable for whatever atmosphere you are looking for. The booths and tables are intimate and the lighting is perfect for dining. The bar also captures the essence the restaurant. The high tables offer a middle ground that suits some customers’ needs as well. The music was calming and did not draw any attention to itself.

We were seated immediately thanks to their website’s no-wait system. The system allows customers to make virtual reservations and also tells them how long the wait is when they arrive. On our way we checked the site, which told us there was no wait and sat in a booth in the back.

The waitress was quick to get our drinks, a Coke and a water. The menu may look small, but it is packed full of options. Luckily we were there during happy hour, which meant half-priced appetizers. We decided to go for the Pale Ale Onion Rings. The rings were bigger than any onion rings I had ever seen. They were served with two delicious sauces: a spicy homemade ketchup and a chipotle horseradish. They were fried to perfection and the onions inside were fresh.

Although they offer lots of burgers and entrees their specialty is the custom creation. There are sheets and pencils on each table that allow customers to make their burger anyway they choose.

The sheets offers choices for every component allowing the customer to craft their perfect burger. For the patty they offer beef, chicken, bison, wagyu (a Japanese beef), elk and vegetarian. I got the beef patty and my friend got the veggie. They offer several different types of buns and cheeses, but we both played it safe and stayed with normal options.

One of my favorite aspects of the custom creation is picking a rub for your burger. The rub is the combination of spices that the patty is prepared in. I chose the angel dust, which is garlic powder, salt and pepper. The other options include the Kingston jerk, a Jamaican mix, sweet onion, which my vegetarian friend got, and Diablo dust, which is spicy thanks to jalapenos.

The sauces are everything from extravagant to classic. They have banana ketchup, truffled shallot aioli, Dijon mayo and Sriracha remoulade, a spicy mayo, which my friend got. I went for the house sauce, which was similar to a thousand island dressing. The toppings are similar to the sauces in variance. I got iceberg lettuce, onion, tomato, mayo and applewood smoked bacon. My buddy got the same sans bacon. Some of the more robust toppings include caramelized onion marmalade, bacon jam, southern pulled pork and maple cured ham.Features - Burgers 2 (zb)

For sides, I got the sea salt and herb fries, which were a fantastic addition. My friend got the quinoa salad, which was not what he expected.

My burger was by far the best burger I have had on this endeavor and my vegetarian friend who has tagged along the whole way agreed.

So the journey to find the Burgh’s best burgers ended where it should, at the pinnacle of taste. All the places were really impressive and delivered high quality burgers, but each with their own drawbacks. At the end of the day, I would recommend each one to anyone who enjoys meat packed between buns.