This past weekend I created and conquered a Pittsburgh achievement — The Burgatory Hat Trick!
Burgatory is one of the best places to grab a burger and a shake in Pittsburgh. There are three locations in Pittsburgh — Fox Chapel, Robinson, and Consol Energy Center.
This past Friday Kim and I made plans to go to Burgatory in Robinson for dinner. I’m pretty sure the only reason Kim runs marathons is so that she can eat burgers on a regular basis and not gain any weight. So we went for happy hour, had a few drinks, created our custom burgers, and enjoyed our meals. I went with a simple medium-rare burgers with egg, mayo, pickle, tomato, and lettuce.
On Saturday my friends Josh and Nick were coming into town for a show and wanted to grab some food beforehand. They had heard good things about Burgatory and wanted to check it out. They met up with some friends in Lawrenceville, so we met up at the Waterworks location. I wasn’t in the mood to create a burger this time so I stuck to their creations and went with a Morty’s Steakhouse: Peppercorn Crusted Beef Burger with Horseradish Cheddar, Haystack Onions and Cabernet Sauce. Like the greatest steak dinner you’ve ever had reincarnated as a burger. I washed it down with a Dale’s Pale Ale.
Sunday I was headed to the Pittsburgh Penguins game vs. the New Jersey Devils with Ross, Mike, and Paul. We went to Tailgaters for drinks and food before the game. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to order from their menu. I wanted pizza, but I wasn’t keen on ordering pizza from a bar. I jokingly mentioned that I should get a burger so that I could eat three burgers in three days when it hit me… There’s a Burgatory in Consol! I could eat at all 3 locations in 3 days! Thus the Burgatory Hat Trick was created. During the first intermission I ran over to the burger and shake stand and placed my order, a Standard Deluxe: 8 oz. All Natural Beef Burger with White American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, and Burgatory’s Secret House Sauce.
So there you have it, the Burgatory Hat Trick! Eat at all 3 locations within 3 days. You could go for the natural hat trick and eat all 3 in one day, but that might bit too much!
Burgatory acknowledged my feat via my Tweets and are sending me a coupon for a free milkshake! MORE CALORIES!!!
As of January 12th, 2013 Parkway Center Mall located just off the Parkway West in Pittsburgh, PA is closed. I grew up in the area and spent a lot of time at the mall in the 90s and with the closing of its doors I started reminiscing about some of the memories I had at the mall… how American of me! Here’s an old layout of the mall that I found so that you can play along.
The arcade in Parkway Center Mall provided some of the fondest memories of my youth. That’s where I first learned about arcade etiquette and placing your quarter on a machine to reserve your turn. I remember standing by for hours to play Mortal Kombat 2 for the first time, then getting pummeled by some teenager who knew every combo already. Speaking of gaming, most of my video game purchases and trade-in ripoffs came from the FuncoLand on the lower level. I didn’t just waste my time on video games at the mall, I also learned how to play pool at Mr. Pockets. Part of me was always a little bummed that I was too old to play at Dino Kingdom.
I bought my first album at the Phar-Mor attached to the mall, Green Day’s Dookie on cassette My brother and I pooled our money together so that we could afford it. I’ve held onto that cassette all these years and it’s still part of my record collection.
I also purchased my first two CDs at the National Record Mart (NRM) located in the lower level of the mall, Jock Jams Volume 1 and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins. NRM was a second home to me as a teenager while I started really getting into music. I would spend my allowance and grass cutting money there every week. I loved digging through the “Various Artists” section browsing for cheap punk and ska comps. They were usually under $5, so it wasn’t that big of a deal if one was a dud. I discovered a lot of great bands that way! I could probably dig through my record collection and tell you every CD that I bought at that NRM. I’m not sure when, but a CD Warehouse eventually popped up in a building adjacent to the mall, I spent hundreds of dollars there as well once I had a real job.
Before I devoted all of my money to music I would spend my hard earned allowance on hockey cards and comic books. Most of my hockey cards came from the flea market, but the comics were all from Phantom of the Attic on the upper level of the mall. I was (and still am) a Marvel guy, Amazing Spider-Man and the X-Men were what I read back then. Phantom of the Attic was one of the last stores at Parkway Center Mall, the shop relocated and currently resides down the hill at 2351 Noblestown Road. When Pogs were a thing, I remember buying most of mine at a kiosk across the hall from the comic shop. I mentioned that I mainly purchased my hockey cards at the flea market, but I do remember collecting the “cards in a can” at K-Mart. They were literally sports cards in a CAN!
The food court was a frequent hangout for my group of friends. They had great hot dogs and amazing french fries! The first time I met someone from the Internet was at the food court… of course it was a girl. Remember when that was taboo? We were safe and pretty cautious about the meet up though, having known each other for a few months prior, talking on instant messenger and the phone. I don’t remember everything we did that day, but I do remember buying Punk-O-Rama III at NRM! Although it wasn’t part of the food court, I’m still a little upset that Chi-Chi’s no longer exists — nothing beat their churros and hot chocolate sauce!
From my youth until now I’ve always been fascinated by computers and every week when the Sunday paper was delivered I would spend the morning looking at every product in the CompUSA circular. I loved analyzing the specs of the computers that I dreamed of one day owning. 2gb hard drives! 64mb of RAM! 8x optical drives! Anytime I went to the mall I always made a stop at the CompUSA on the 3rd floor. I could spend hours playing with all of the demo computers and looking at software. I fondly remember pining over the Creative Nomad Jukebox (one of the first MP3 players with a large hard drive) for months. It was only fitting that I would eventually work for CompUSA. Sadly, I didn’t start working there until after they moved away from Parkway Center Mall to Robinson Township.
Remember Club Zoo? No, not the former music venue, I’m referring to the under 21 dance club. Before it moved to Harmarville it was located in the lower level of the mall, by the Giant Eagle entrance. I was dragged there a few times by my friends in high school. Dance clubs definitely weren’t my thing though — I don’t think Offspring t-shirts and JNCOS really fit in there, heh.
Currently, only Giant Eagle survives on the ski slopes known as the Parkway Center Mall parking lot. Who knows what will come of the site, but hopefully the great location doesn’t go to waste.
- Japandroids - Celebration Rock
- Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
- Metz - Metz
- Frank Ocean - Channel ORANGE
- Dope Body - Natural History
- Grimes - Visions
- Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
- Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
- Hot Chip - In Our Heads
- The Men - Open Your Heart
Top 25 Songs of 2012
- Japandroids - “The House That Heaven Built”
- Cloud Nothings - “Stay Useless”
- FIDLAR- “Cheap Beer”
- Metz - “Headache”
- TNGHT - “Higher Ground”
- Grimes - “Oblivion”
- M.I.A. - “Bad Girls”
- The Walkmen - “Heaven”
- Frank Ocean - “Pyramids”
- Dope Body - “Weird Mirror”
- Dirty Projectors - “About to Die”
- Tanlines - “All of Me”
- Tame Impala - “Elephant”
- Holy Ghost! - “It Gets Dark”
- Twin Shadow - “Five Seconds”
- The Men - “Turn It Around”
- The Shins - “Simple Song”
- JEFF the Brotherhood - “Six Pack”
- Hot Chip - “Night & Day”
- Sleigh Bells - “Comeback Kid”
- Animal Collective - “Today’s Supernatural”
- Zammuto - “F U C-3PO”
- Titus Andronicus - “Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape With the Flood of Detritus”
- Kanye West, Jay-Z & Big Sean - “Clique”
- The Front Bottoms - “Flashlight”
I love stats, so here are some lists based on stats from my Last.fm profile:
Most Played Artists of 2012:
- Weezer (562)
- M83 (510)
- Jens Lekman (495)
- Hot Chip (420)
- Beck (349)
- Cloud Nothings (344)
- Frank Ocean (340)
- Sleigh Bells (332)
- The Gaslight Anthem (318)
- Animal Collective (313)
Most Played Albums of 2012:
- M83 - Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (315)
- Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE (276)
- Metz - Metz (258)
- Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror (215)
- Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory (201)
- Japandroids - Celebration Rock (193)
- Grimes - Vision (184)
- Dope Body - Natural History (167)
- Hot Chip - In Our Heads (156)
- Jens Lekman - Oh You’re So Silent Jens (148)
Most Played Songs of 2012:
- Sleigh Bells - “Comeback Kid” (58)
- Cloud Nothings - “Stay Useless” (54)
- M.I.A. - “Bad Girls” (51)
- Grimes - “Genesis” (51)
- Grimes - “Oblivion” (50)
- Poolside - “Slow Down” (47)
- TNGHT - “Higher Ground” (46)
- JEFF the Brotherhood - “Six Pack” (46)
- Zammuto - “F U C-3PO” (45)
- Twin Shadow - “Five Seconds” (45)
Best Concerts of 2012:
I’ve been trying to come up with a list of my favorite concerts of the year, but 1-10 ended up being The Weezer Cruise, so how about…
My Favorite Concert Moments of 2012:
- Weezer playing “Blast Off!” on the cruise: Every listen to a song so many times and KNOW that you’ll never hear it live? Then somehow the stars align and it actually happens? Good times.
- Andrew W.K. performing “I Love Giant Eagle” in Cleveland.
- Cloud Nothings at Pitchfork Festival: I’ve been to going to festivals for a few years now and I’ve always feared the rain. I hate being soggy, muddy, and wearing glasses in the rain is awful. Cloud Nothings changed all of that, what a set. Click the link to watch their set, the ending is the best.
- I got to see REFUSED!
- Metz at Brillobox: I went to a show by myself, drank a few beers, and had a great time.
- Seeing Against Me! with Laura Jane Grace fronting the band. Awesome.
- M83 at Carnegie Music Hall: That light show was crazy.
- Pilfers / Spring Heeled Jack in Washington D.C.: Road trip for a ska show? The year is 2012 right?
- Seriously guys, the Weezer Cruise! I got to see my favorite band on a boat in the middle of the ocean! They played the Blue Album, Pinkerton, and a ton of rare songs. Not to mention some of my best friends were there too!
- All of Pitchfork Festival was really awesome. It was nice being at a “low key” festival unlike Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza.
- Sleigh Bells were one of the loudest bands that I’ve ever heard at a festival. That band kills it regardless of venue.
- Finally seeing Hot Chip live, they were in the top 3 on my bucket list.
- The Walkmen studio session at WYEP: Those are always a ton of fun
- Girl Talk at Stage AE: Anytime I see Girl Talk it will be one of the highlights of the year!
- None More Black and the Revival Tour on the same night!
- My first R&B show: The Weeknd #PBR&B
- Childish Gambino at Stage AE was a solid, Danny Brown opened and he was just as crazy as I imagined.
- My first show at the new Mr. Roboto Project: TED LEO!
- Seeing My Morning Jacket with Kim for the one millionth time.
- I also saw Weezer in a Casino this year!
- Best Band I Saw Live That I Had Never Heard Of: Sleeper Agent on the Weezer Cruise. Check out “Get Burned”
2. Bad Weed, Dealer’s Fault
This is brilliant and hilarious!