The Pittsburgh Blue Triple, Tripled

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There’s a popular saying with highway driving that, if the speed limit increases to 70, you can increase your speed to 80. Nobody’s condoning unlawful driving practices here. What I’m saying is, here, in this America, on this Earth, more doesn’t mean more. More means MORE!

Pittsburgh Blue sells a triple cheeseburger for $7 during happy hour. That sounds like a heckuva deal, doesn’t it, nine patties for $21?

See what I did there? Hey, they don’t mess around here. Neither should you.

THE BASICS: Pittsburgh Blue is a part of the Parasole Restaurant Group and has two locations. This occurred at the Maple Grove location, which sticks out just fine among the elegantly drab Shoppes at Arbor Lakes.

With my wife and I was Becca Schaar of the Minneapolis Northwest Visitors’ Bureau. She has won a Big Mac-eating contest and thinks she can take me. I told her she needed to do the Pitchfork tour and she was instantly on board. We shall collaborate more.

Pittsburgh Blue’s bar room is, for lack of better phrasing, brawn-patterned. The walls are glossy brick and bedecked with black-and-white prints, of butchers with big stuff: blades the length of your leg, cuts of meat they have to lug like a package of shingles. Light shines low at the bar, mostly through rows of red lampshades. I’m not talking rose red, I’m talking “FOR THE HORDE!” red. A steel bull’s head hangs over the fireplace, and it doesn’t look thrilled about wearing a wreath.

You can have a good choice of seats at 3:55 p.m. on a Tuesday. Come 4 p.m., though, forget it. The after-work mob will have just about filled it. Staff keeps up, though. Very few wasted steps were taken by the bar crew.

There were questions concerning how many buns to bring out, whether they could come out piled atop one another, how it would stand, etc. I assured them, this was nothing new to me. I’d make it work one way or another.

Doubles were ordered by the others – single doubles, not double doubles. French Fries were also involved.

Big Blue Enhance

The triples came out on one plate, backed against each other like a surrounded gang of movie heroes. Wooden sticks were driven through from the top. Perfect. I piled the nine patties up, pressed on stick deep into the pile, pierced the top again with a second, laid it down on its side, and ran the third stick up through the bottom.

Pronounciation is key: It’s not MC-Guyver, it’s MAC-Guyver.

If you recall, of course, this is the same way I recommended eating Fat Pants towers to Emily Engberg. Practice what you preach, right?

The French fries came out with a Bearnaise sauce my companions raved about. The fries were dusted with cheese powder, perfectly crunchy but soft, hand-cut but not clumsily, killer portion, very nice fries.

I carefully spun my kabob on its axis, taking precise bites and dipping in ketchup, until I had only three patties left. At that point, I set it down and forked up the final bites. These patties are about a quarter-pound each. I was done with nine of them in 15 minutes.

When I die of a heart attack next week, I want my tombstone the way Holden Caulfield imagined his in Catcher in the Rye.

Here Lies 
FRANK HAATAJA
JANUARY 1981-DECEMBER 2015
@#%& YOU

If you’re expecting some extra-special crafty-tafty triple cheese for $7, I don’t know what to tell you. This burg was a flat-out classic, meat and cheese, little char on the outside, little pink on the inside, little grease left on the plate and palms. It’s another killer happy hour, in an area surprising rife with killer happy hours. Only one has a $7 triple, though, and Pittsburgh Blue doesn’t slack on it.

Nothing about the place insinuates laziness, from the bars on the bartenders’ ties to the burgers and fries. Pitt Blue’s logo is muscle, and rightfully so.

STILL GOT TIME? Check out this giant cheeseburger I ate in Sheboygan, and the Boshi Burger at Palmer’s in Hibbing.

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