Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Show & Dinner

SP & I are not New Year's Eve celebration people. We gave up on having 'nice' dinners out because they were 1) too crowded and/or 2)prix fixe, which we don't especially enjoy (and in some cases can really add up once drinks, tax, and tip are added on), and/or 3) the food was sub-par compared to visits on other nights of the year. So we weren't planning on going out this New Year's Eve.

But then we decided to go see 'Memphis' at Heinz Hall. We opted for the 2 pm showing since we really, really did not want to be downtown during the First Night festivities. First Night is just not the kind of event we enjoy. But then, of course, we ended up wanting to have a bite to eat after the show before going home. But where to eat? We nixed anywhere downtown. But then it hit me: we had the time to drive north to Burgatory. I had never been there and we still had a small gift certificate. SP quickly agreed because when he was there in October, he really enjoyed it.
So off we went to Waterworks Mall, which I have visited maybe once before. It's not exactly near our home in Robinson. I knew there would be a wait at Burgatory, but they use No Wait so we figured we could browse through some stores while we waited. We arrived around 5:15 pm and were told it would be a 45-60 minute wait. Not too bad. We were seated around 6:15 pm.

Burgatory is known for two things: amazing burgers and amazing milkshakes. I was dead set against ordering a milkshake even though I have heard wonderful things about them. For one, SP wanted to share a shake, but I know what it's like to share something not-so-healthy with SP. I feared the shake being like the fries at Bocktown: he really wants some, but only a wee taste, so we order fries, which are not one of my favorite things, and then he eats maybe 5-10 fries and I am left with the other 100+ fries. Or they get tossed out.

I did not want to be stuck with 80+% of a milkshake because since my mid-20's, I have noticed I do not do well with dairy like milk and ice cream. I no longer drink milk except in coffee. As for ice cream, I have discovered that if I eat homemade or an expensive/high quality ingredient ice cream, I am OK. If I eat a regular grocery store ice cream (Edy's Friendly's, Turkey Hill, Breyer's), my stomach gets sick. My stomach aches, it rumbles and grumbles, and I will eventually need to dash to the bathroom as my stomach rebels. Not fun.

I knew he'd try to get me to order one. He doesn't play fair. He started lobbying for the Coffee & Donuts milkshake. He figured I'd cave in to donuts and coffee flavor. I refused. Then our server appeared and she told us the specials for the day. There was a special milkshake. A celebratory New Year's milkshake. It was champagne, strawberries, and pizzelle bits.

I think you know what happened next. I had to have the shake. It was huge. It came with 2 fat straws and a pizzelle wedge. It was magical. I have no other words. I am pretty sure I drank more than half the shake. So good.
I have no idea what makes it so magical, other than they must use really high quality ingredients and sprinkle in magic dust. I'm serious. Even before my dairy issues, milkshakes were not something I ever really enjoyed. I always wondered how something as good as ice cream could end up tasting so... disappointing and gross. To be fair, I started out with shakes from McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Wendy's Frosty shakes. Then I moved on to milkshakes at King's, Eat N Park, Friendly's. Then some places that made their own ice cream. And I never, ever truly enjoyed a milkshake. It was one day in my mid-20's, after I slurped up a Frosty while driving around and then felt the familiar bloating and sick feeling, that it hit me: I don't like milkshakes. So why did I keep ordering them? I'm stupid. From that day on, I never had a shake.
Until now. I'm telling you: this shake was magical. And all the whipped cream - I can't believe I nearly forgot to mention how amazing the whipped cream was. We may have fought over the last bits of whipped cream. Fat straws: genius. Especially for slurping up the pizzelle bits. I know, maybe I'm out of the loop on modern milkshakes and maybe they are all served with fat straws nowadays, but back when I was stupidly slurping them up, the straws were always skinny, which made slurping difficult if not impossible because they were just too darn thick for a skinny straw. Did I mention that this shake was not thick or grainy but super smooth and creamy? Yum.

We also ordered iced teas, which were tasty and freshly brewed.

On to our burgers. It's not all about beef burgers at Burgatory. There are other burger options, like chicken, bison, crab, veggie, and wagyu. We pretty much ignored the menu and went right to the custom creation notepad.
For me: beef burger (well done) on brioche with smoked gouda, bourbon BBQ, bacon (of course), sauteed mushrooms, arugula, cucumber, and tomato:
 Look at it! Beautiful.
It was enormous. I could barely fit it in my mouth. In spite of me wanting it well done, the burger was not dried out. I'm not a burger connoisseur. I rarely eat them. And I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to calling this the best burger ever. But for me, it's definitely top 2 or 3 ever.

SP's custom card:
SP went a little... well, crazy. His burger ended up costing $18!!!! He indulged. To start, since he doesn't eat beef, he chose bison on a whole wheat bun, bottom only, no bun top. Add black peppercorn rub, buffalo cheddar, whole grain mustard, sauteed mushrooms, grilled onions, guacamole, field greens, arugula, tomato, poblano peppers, cucumber, and dill pickle slices.
Look at how big it was! Oink. Since it was topless, he ate it with a knife and fork. Yes, there really was a burger under all those toppings:
I cannot believe he ate the whole thing! He loved it.

I don't remember much about the decor. There was a bar area, some booths, some tables, pendant lights, concrete floor, silver chairs, a couple of huge heaters by the windows, some TVs showing football, small pencils and custom creation pads on the table along with ketchup, etc. Our server was very friendly. More than willing to answer questions. She seemed happy to be there and enthusiastically endorsed the special milkshake. We were not rushed despite the people waiting for a table.

No complaints. Just a full belly. And a bit of wishing we'd ordered a second special shake. Definitely worth the drive.

*I forgot my real camera, so the photos are from either my cell phone or SP's cell phone, which takes much better photos than my cell phone.

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