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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Stack'd - Shadyside

The Johnny Jakes Special Fire Burger

Before I come across as a negative jerk, I want to say that I really liked Stack'd. The staff was awesome, I really liked the upstairs bar and the drink specials were incredible! Discounted yuengling pitchers throughout the evening and two dollar well drinks later in the night. That is honestly about as good as drink specials get, especially for Shadyside. One point of interest, they were willing to serve their well drinks as shots for two bucks. I've found that most bars aren't willing to do this for a well drink special. Mad props Stack'd.

It looks better than it was.

Here is my burger, I named him wimpy because he looked so small compared to the Johnny Jakes Special Burger, pictured above, and because he was a particularly sad burger. The nice thing about Stack'd is that they allow you to fill out a worksheet when ordering your burger, similar to a sushi restaurant or the pizza worksheet provided by Bites N' Brews on Elwood Street. I thought this concept was remarkable. Before visiting Stack'd I probably spent about twenty-five excruciating minutes carefully designing my dream burger. You can find a copy of the menu worksheet here.

After extreme deliberation I went with the double stack with provolone cheese, spicy ketchup and mustard, bacon, egg, banana peppers, extra pickles and slammin' bbq sauce on the side. Although the toppings were great, the burger itself was particularly dry and lifeless. Stack'd claims that they grind their own meat in house, but if they do I'd agree with my friend Dave that they are probably wasting their time.

I believe that a similar result could be achieved from a frozen store-bought patty. In terms of just the meat, I've had better burgers from Wendy's. Additionally, the bun tasted like it was at least a couple of days old. Kind of like a hamburger bun you might expect from a cookout at the soup kitchen. It seems very unfortunate that they take so much care in providing such a large variety of incredible toppings and so little care in the preparation and freshness of the meat and bun.

Deep fried Mac n Cheese!
Early in the evening I asked the staff what I should try other than a burger. They readily suggested the deep fried mac n cheese. It was particularly bomb and I was appreciative of the recommendation. A wonderfully crispy exterior with delicious gooey mac n cheese on the inside. I loved the sauce they served with the mac n cheese bites as well. Until Stack'd gets their burger situation worked out I'd recommend sticking with the mac n cheese bites and the outrageous drink specials.  Additionally, it is worth noting that they've also opened a cheesesteak restaurant that operates with the same made to order strategy. Hopefully they get their beef from a different supplier.

Stack'd Burgers and Beer on Urbanspoon

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