Burgatory – Aspinwall Borough
Much like the esteemed actor Peter North, Burgatory is appropriately named. The restaurant does not take reservations so my friends and I had a lengthy two hour wait before being seated on a recent Friday evening. We began our stay in Burgatory purgatory by perusing the surrounding strip mall businesses which are an interesting cavalcade of dollar stores mixed in with the discount designer stalwarts TJ Maxx and Marshalls. My friends found a great deal on snorkeling gear at Marshalls and I almost bought a Shake Weight but at the last minute I remembered that I’m married and therefore should start caring less about my personal appearance.
As our second hour of waiting began we headed to Barnes and Noble. This bookstore is a great place to kill time, and I love leafing through the variety of magazines on their newsstand. Barnes and Nobles goes above and beyond the standard periodical fare to include such obscure selections as Witches and Pagans Monthly, Gramophone, Weed World, and Knitscene. I’m not sure if a real company publishes these or someone just puts the issues together in their basement and then sneaks them into the store and leaves them on the rack. Either way they are entertaining to look at.
After finishing off the latest issue of Cat Fancy, we anxiously headed back to Burgatory to try and find a spot at the bar and start imbibing alcohol to quell our raging appetites. I got a Coronado Red Ale (5.7% ABV - American Ale) which was refreshingly tasty and light enough to not hit my empty stomach too hard. Right when I finished my beer we got a text alerting us that our table was ready and we were finally seated. My wife and my buddy’s wife Valerie ordered ‘shakes at the bar but they did not arrive before we got to our table. The bartender said she’d let the waitress know that we had already paid for the drinks and to bring them out when they were ready, but it would be another twenty minutes before they arrived. A center-to-quarterback fumble took place and I blame the quarterback for this one. Our waitress was hectically running around due to the brisk business pace and she kept forgetting to bring over the drinks even after reminding her. I’m glad I grabbed a beer before we sat down so at least I was taken care of and that’s really all that matters.
Despite being tempted by the fish sandwich I decided to stick to the house namesake and created my own custom burger with hormone free beef, a brioche bun, angel dust rub, sharp provolone and roasted garlic mayonnaise. By this point I had been hungry for hours so it looked delicious when it arrived but it turned out to be underwhelming. It wasn’t bad but it was far from memorable and really failed to live up to the anticipation that was built by the lengthy wait.
Final Call: The location is lackluster, the food was unremarkable, the service was forgettable at best, and the wait to be seated was painfully long. Unlike the aforementioned Peter North, Burgatory just didn’t deliver in the end.