Over the past several days, I have added three new places in my Quest for the Best Hamburger in the Greater Pittsburgh area, Valiant's Diner in Ross, TGI Friday's in McCandless, and McFadden's Pub on the North Shore.
Of these, the most disappointing by far was TGI Friday's. Since this is part of a nationwide chain, I can visualize their hamburgers being spit out into uniform size and shaped patties by some robotic mechanism in a giant factory, being flash frozen, and shipped to their restaurants across the country. This produced a tasteless and very disappointing hamburger.
Valiant's is a great diner on Babcock Boulevard, the kind of place that Rick Sebak would put on one of his shows. The burgers are hand formed and grilled right in front of you as you sit at the counter. Valiant's is probably an even better place to visit for breakfast (perhaps the subject for the 2014 Quest, although Sebak has that one pretty much covered), but the burger wasn't bad, and I saw them serving up some hot turkey and roast beef sandwiches with gravy that will probably prompt me to visit again soon. Thanks to pal Bill Harvey for putting me on to this place. Oh, and, Harv, in case you are wondering, I did not have my hamburger there on a Friday!
The real surprise was the burger at McFadden's. Seeing as how beer and sports on TV (I was there for March Madness on Thursday) is pretty much what this place is about, I wasn't expecting much, but the burger was really good. Fresh and tasty and cooked to order. I highly recommend this one.
- Tessaro's (Bloomfield)
- The Rochester Inn Hardwood Grill (Ross)
- McFadden's (North Shore)
- SoHo Restaurant (North Shore)
- Bella Ria's (West View)
- Valiant's (Ross)
- The Tilted Kilt (North Shore)
- BZ Bar and Grill (North Shore)
- Sunny Jim's (Emsworth)
- TGI Friday's (McCandless)