My quest for the Best Burger in the City of Pittsburgh took me to Smokin’ Joe’s Saloon…
Like a onetime lover, my relationship with the Southside of Pittsburgh is complicated and irrational. Having spent the principal portion of my free time during my late teens / early twenties crawling the many many bars and restaurants in the Southside, I have experienced some things that can never be undone. Smokin’ Joe’s is undeniably a thickly rooted tree in the forest that is the Southside. The crowd always consists of a healthy mix of college kids, locals, and wanderers, the beers are plentiful and usually on special, the food is abundant and delicious, and the atmosphere is “Southside-Casual*.”
*Southside-Casual is a two part term: “Southside” meaning a consistently loud, in-your-face intensity that an unpredictable crowd of drunk teenagers with fake id’s creates when they stare you down from across the bar because they are not yet at the age of social maturity; part two, “Casual,” meaning the teenagers probably wont approach you because the atmosphere of the bar is mature enough that the teenagers subconsciously understand that they have be on their best behavior, otherwise they will be thrown out.
My Smokin’ Joe’s burger was cooked perfectly, ordered medium rare, served beautifully pink, juicy, and delicious. The onions and pickles were crisp and refreshing, providing perfect textural contrast. Overall, this was a good burger; however, the cheese and the bun were clearly an afterthought when this burger was put together. The bun was a tiny bit stale, and the cheese was completely flavorless. I wouldn’t make a special trip to Smokin’ Joe’s for a burger, but if I found myself seated at the bar, I wouldn’t hesitate to order one.
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|Reviewer||Burger Score||Review||Official Burger Sheet|
|Pitts-Burgers||6.34||Average Burger for this Southside Spot|
By Andrew Capone