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Dec 4, 2011 10:37 AM

BRGR cranberry

we stopped in to BRGR before the "Sid the kid return to hockey" the other night. We were excited to attend the game and felt like a new place would be fun. We arrived at 440pm. early with only 2 other tables of 2 in the entire place. The space looks cool with dark colors and a fire place. The bar has 20 drafts and over all looked good on first impression. We sat at the bar (the only ones) and watched as batenders and waitresses walked around for a good 10 minutes before we were asked about a drink. I suspect the bartender may have worked at AAA before BRGB if you know what i mean. anyway we wanted a spiked milkshake and ordered 2 different ones. My buddy got the Dude Abides. way too sweet for me but very flavorful with alot of vanilla. I had the Salty Caramel. It was great with the bourbon more of a subtle hint then overwelming. The shakes were large and I would split one with someone to be honest. we were so full from it we actually split our burger. Funny we asked the bartender if we should have a beer first then add a shake after the food. he said (after ignoring us for awhile) to have it first. bad decision. have food and a cocktail or beer then have the shake. after the shake its almost lights out because they are so heavy.(good but not if you want to try different foods. We had the fried pickles and liked them a nice sauce made them a good small starter. We split the Shroomz burger and it was great.The mushrooms onion and aioli worked well togerther. similar to a bachi burger in Vegas if you have ever been.(Bachi is better but this was close). The burger and shake will bring us back but probably to the other location in Shadyside. a final note the bartender ignored us and i thought maybe he was waiting until 5pm happy hour to place our order. but he came over at 3 minutes to 5 and placed our order. he charged us full price(the money is not the point here) and said it was before 5pm(technically it was) . First impression is hugh to most people and this first impression wasnot a good one.

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  1. "I suspect the bartender may have worked at AAA before BRGR" hahah. Thanks for the report, and sorry to hear about the ass behind the bar.

    I once had trouble with service at Spoon and emailed chef/owner Brian Pekarcik, to let him know that despite great food, the service really took away from the experience. He was obviously upset by the mention, and assured me he was personally looking into it. I actually got the same server (and I never mentioned a name) on a return visit, and things we're drastically different.

    1. I have heard/read numerous bad reports about the Cranberry location, both food wise (overcooked, tiny burgers) and poor service. I live out that way and have avoided it so far because of those reports. Unfortunate, 'cause had a great burger at the Shadyside location.

      Hoping that when Tamari ever opens out here that it won't fall prey to the same problems.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Whigsboy

        Hm, I've been to BRGR Cranberry 3-4 times and haven't found that to be the case. The service has been attentive as I remember and food once ordered comes out quickly. Haven't sat at the bar, though. We always get a regular table. Maybe that's the difference? Also, we tend to purposely not try to go in there at what we're sure are the busiest times (Friday or Saturday nights, etc) so that may help too. Anyway, based on my own visits I would suggest you test it for yourself. Which isn't to ignore kevin25's bad experience above, that is lame for sure. I'm just thinking it might not be the norm, based on what I've experienced.

        Tamari seems to be taking forever! At this rate Winghart's will be open first. Which is good, because then we'll have another good choice for burgers up there. I've had several at their downtown shop. Not sure which I like better between them and BRGR; they're both good in their ways. Spiked shakes are always fun. I hit up Burgatory out in Fox Chapel once, and I wish that were closer, really. They do special burgers of the day, etc. which is fun.

        1. re: CrazyOne

          whigsboy, i enjoyed the burger and would go with Crazyones advice of a table not the bar. The burger i had was a nice size and done the way i liked it.(not over cooked at all) also Crazyone did you like burgatory better than BRGR?

          1. re: kevin25

            I think I might have, but it's hard to say since I've only been to Burgatory the once and I've been to BRGR about 4-5 times (plus once in E. Liberty) and have had Winghart's I don't know how many times now, 10+ times. It's not like it's somehow miles better though. They are all good as far as I'm concerned, somewhat different from each other but all worthy. One interesting thing about Burgatory is that the shakes are chunky, or at least can be. Like the one I tried had chunks of bacon and apple I think along with the booze and ice cream (check the menu, it's still on there). I'm not sure I really prefer that; I remember thinking I probably wouldn't have that kind again. I like BRGR's salted caramel OK, but I was going to see if they'd do it with the chocolate ice cream as I had a plain choc shake once that was really quite good. Burgatory sometimes runs some unusual specials like game (I follow their specials, I think I've seen venison, ostrich, elk, not sure what else).

            Also go out to Burgh'ers in Harmony if you haven't. I really liked that one too but have also only been there once. I thought that burger was quite good, they use very local grass-fed beef. Main problem with that for us is my dining companion is veggie. At BRGR you can get a nice veggie burger that they make. Not so at Burgh'ers where they do offer a portabella but she doesn't care for those (me either). Ah, well. Winghart's and Burgatory make a good veggie burger as well. Here's another thing I remember about Burgatory: it's packed even in the middle of Saturday afternoon, which is when we went there the one time. I think BRGR in E. Liberty is like that too. The Cranberry one is significantly larger. The good thing though (for both places) is they take your cell number then text you when your table is ready. Excellent new system; you don't have to be within range of the stupid old pagers.

            1. re: kevin25

              I may give it a try b/w Christmas and New Year's, although will likely have the kids in tow, so will definitely be at a table during the week.

              1. re: Whigsboy

                went back to BRGR last night with 4 other friends. Burgers were excellent deep fried pickles light and fresh tasting. salt carmel bourbon shake(split this time) fantastic. the service was excellent(new bartender). much better experience than first time. Will go back

        2. Finally ate at this location. Just lunch by myself. Kobe burger. Good, but not fantastic by any stretch. Burger was cooked a little more than my liking, closer to medium than medium rare. Bun left a little to be desired. No fried pickle. Next time.

          Did get the seasonal slaw. It was... okay. Non-creamy slaws, which I generally favor, have begun to proliferate, and I continue to be unimpressed. At BRGR, the idea was nice: big hunks of cabbage, thin carrot slices, golden raisins, etc. But it was under-dressed and just not enough to bring together into a real slaw. At least it was better than the one I had at Echo, which was downright terrible. How anybody let that thing out of the kitchen was beyond me.

          I guess I could be faulted for being nitpicky. But, I'm sorry, if I'm paying $4 for some slaw (at BRGR), it better freakin' be good.

          That said, I'll probably go back. Free wi-fi, a decent burger, and a good beer selection is enough to get my occasional business.