Boyfriend and I are still up to the same routine; he's laboring away in his Ph.D. program and I'm just doing the same old thing. Also, we are also still on the prowl for Pittsburgh's best burger.
Last night, our hunt brought us Downtown to Bill's Bar and Burgers, a chain with several locations throughout the country. We don't usually favor chain restaurants, but I had heard good things, so we decided to give it a try.
Bill's Bar and Burgers is attached to the Wyndham Hotel along Liberty Avenue. We made reservations for 7:30 p.m. but as we walked along the restaurant's windows, we saw that reservations were not a necessity in the least. Tables were generally empty and as we entered the restaurant, five staff members whirled around from the hostess table and eagerly greeted us.
We were ushered to our table and water was immediately provided while we glanced over the drink menu. The draft list was smaller than we had anticipated, but Bill's does offer a wide bottle menu. We each selected a Sam Adam's Oktoberfest and settled in to scour the food menu while taking in the scene.
Bill's Bar and Burgers is a contemporary spot that is seemingly low key. It seemed odd that the crowd was so small, but it made for a less distracting dinner.
As we were nearing starvation (and not at all being dramatic), Boyfriend and I placed an order of potato pierogies to start. The pierogies arrived promptly to our table and the dish was a perfect size for sharing.
I failed to take a picture before we began devouring the delicious dumplings, but be assured that the presentation was much more aesthetic than the mess featured above. The pierogies came topped with chive butter and an onion jam, which I ate around. The cheddar potato filling was creamy and the pierogies crisp.
For our main dinners, both Boyfriend and I ordered the bacon and farmhouse cheddar burgers. This burger comes on a pretzel bun, which made me entirely too excited. Boyfriend, however, does not like pretzels (fool!) so he requested a standard sesame seed bun. We both upgraded to platters to include fries, although sweet potato fries and house made chips were also options.
Without much of a wait, our meals arrived to the table and looked promising. I realized that our server had not asked how we wanted the burgers cooked, so I was nervous; however, when we bit into our bacon and farmhouse cheddar burgers, we were met with juicy meat cooked at a perfect medium.
The pretzel bun was soft and the pickles plentiful. The Vermont white cheddar offered a great compliment to the applewood smoked bacon, which I was thrilled to see was thick and crispy. The French fries were just okay, but I did not mind much, since the burger was so great.
Without much of a struggle, both Boyfriend and I devoured our burgers and only left a few fries on the plate. We were stuffed, yet completely satisfied. Our diligent server brought our bill after ensuring that we were done with beers, which had already been promptly refilled.
Our experience at Bill's Bar and Burgers was a positive one. The service was friendly and efficient, the burgers juicy and delicious. Despite my general aversion to chain restaurants, I can't help but promise that I will eventually return to Bill's... and to the pretzel bun.