Sunday, September 28, 2014


On Fridays we have cheats. If you don't cheat, you can't sit with us. Just kidding. Well about the sitting part, not the cheating part. Now all I want to do is watch Mean Girls.

Anyway, I allow myself a little mini-break from tracking macros on Friday evenings. It's not an excuse to binge, to go overboard, to stuff my face, or eat a ton of crap that I usually wouldn't let myself eat (because I don't limit myself anymore). It's merely a mental break from all the tracking. Side note: it's allowed by my coach and her idea and I completely trust her judgment. So people can agree or disagree but it works for me! 

My sister and I picked Burgatory for our cheat since we've never been there even though we've been hearing amazing things about the burgers there. I have no idea why it took us so long but now that I know about it I can't believe that I could have been going there for years!

I have much respect for the vegetarian, vegan, or pescatarian lifestyles but the honest truth is that I couldn't do it. I'm a burger girl and sometimes all I want is a really, really good burger. Well, when it came time to choose our cheat for the week I knew Burgatory wouldn't disappoint me.

One of my best friends met us there, and it was a really fun dinner! They also have killer milkshakes and I knew for a fact that they had a Burnt Almond Torte Cake milkshake. Prantl's is a bakery around here that is very well-known for the burnt almond torte cake they make and it's probably my favorite cake ever. So the culinary geniuses at Burgatory decided to take that cake and literally turn it into a milkshake.

If that plus a good burger isn't enough to lure you there, I don't know what will. So if anyone lives in the Pittsburgh area or will be visiting you should probably stop by Burgatory. I absolutely loved it and plan on going back there many, many times!

So besides the amazing food, there's a great and fun atmosphere plus friendly service. I loved all the fun little signs around the restaurant, and they cracked me up. I also liked how the seating was set up because there was technically a patio area but it was still covered with the rest of the roof of the restaurant. Instead of being completely open, there were huge open windows so it was almost like sitting outside but we were still under cover in case of any bad weather. In the winter, I assume they just close those windows and will still have all that seating for people. They had fires out on the patio, too in case it got cold.

My favorite part about it all? You could customize your burger to however you wanted it. This was both a blessing and a curse because as it was my first time there I was immediately overwhelmed by all the choices. In a good way though! I was happy to have plenty of delicious options but it probably took me close to 20 minutes to decide what I wanted. Our waitress, bless her soul, was very patient and answered all my questions.

I decided on the elk burger because I've never tried elk before. Bison was an option and I've had that before and loved it. I wanted to try something different though so I took a gamble and ordered elk. All the guys in my family are big on hunting so I've grown up on deer so I figured I'd give elk a try.

Even though it was my cheat meal, I still wanted to pick relatively healthy options. Just because it's a "cheat" doesn't mean I have to go overboard or eat way beyond my macros. I only consider it a break from tracking my macros so if I end up going over on carbs or fats or proteins it's no big deal since I'll be back on track the next day. It's just a meal where I don't have to fit it perfectly into my macros.

There are still plenty of ways to stay on track even while dining out. I chose elk because I've never tried it but also because it's extremely lean and low in cholesterol. It's a very good red meat for you and so is bison. If I'm getting a burger from a restaurant I will almost always choose a better option like elk, bison, turkey, or even a veggie burger rather than the traditional beef. I try to choose better options while dining out because that makes it easier to stay on track.

My burger had elk on a whole wheat bun with the truffled shallot aioli as my sauce. For the toppings I chose arugala, sliced onions, tomatoes, and pickles. I chose the angel dusting as my rub which was simply their house blend of garlic, salt, and pepper. I skipped over the heavier sauces or fattier toppings because I wanted balance. 

Like I said their milkshakes were amazing! This is the salted caramel pretzel one that my mom and friend ordered. I liked the burnt almond torte one better but this was still delicious! 

I didn't order my own milkshake because the burger was my cheat but they give you the milkshake cup with the leftovers that wouldn't fit in the glass. So I swiped a few spoonfuls of each of my mom's and Amanda's to taste them. I have a very official quality control system in place a.k.a. I take someone's food and say "quality control!" as I take a sample ;)

Here's one of the signs around the restaurant. I admit, I was guilty as charged...

And here in all its glory was my burger! I ordered mine medium-rare and it was cooked perfectly. I'm a stickler with my burgers and steaks being over-cooked. This might sound gross or crazy to other people but I'd rather have it undercooked and closer to rare than overcooked to medium. When I cut it in half, I was so happy to see all that pink! 

The elk meat itself? Amazingly tender! You barely had to bite and it was smooth like butter. 

Homemade chips came on the side and they were delicious as well. It was a mix of sweet potato and russet potato chips. They were so crisp and crunchy! We also got a side of sea salt and herb fries to split because my friend said the fries were great as well. She wasn't wrong! 

All in all, it was my favorite cheat by far! Afterwards I was in a total food coma but when we got home I took Layla for a nice long walk. Even though it was after 9 o'clock, there's something peaceful about taking a quiet walk when it's dark and cool. Luckily Oakmont is safe enough for me to do that plus Layla is nearly full-grown at well over 60 pounds so no one is really going to bother us. 

Hope you're all having a great weekend! 

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