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The Pittsburgh Blue Triple, Tripled: A Food Challenge

Minneapolis Northwest partnered with Frank Haataja of The Minnesota Skinny to undertake a food challenge at Pittsburgh Blue. Here's how the evening went down:

Minneapolis Northwest partnered with Frank Haataja of The Minnesota Skinny to undertake a food challenge at Pittsburgh Blue. Here's how the evening went down:

pittsburgh blue bull

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, more doesn't mean more anymore. 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. According to its website, Pittsburgh Blue is named after the way steelworkers would eat their steaks back in the olden days: charred on the outside, cold and raw on the inside. So exhausted and hungry they were after those grueling shifts, they didn't have time for piddly details like "flavor" or "is this even safe to eat?"

The strength invoked by their sign’s sturdy typeface and straight-forward logo (a flexing bicep) is carried, though with more subtlety, into the dining room. The walls are glossy brick and covered with black-and-white pictures 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. The eyes you feel watching you are those of a giant steel bullhead mounted on the wall. 

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

Double cheeseburgers were ordered by the rest of my party -- single doubles, not double doubles. French Fries were also involved. I ordered a triple, but tripled. 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.

The wait, given the uptick in traffic and sheer volume of meat we had ordered, was surprisingly short. 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. Those sticks would prove essential, being driven into opposite ends of my burger tower and used to pick it up like a skewer.

beforeburger challenge 2

The French fries came out with a Bearnaise sauce that was a hit with the table. 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. 

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. If you're exhausted and beaten after a long day's work, your weakness won't likely follow you into Pittsburgh Blue. 

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