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About Anthony | Burgers Blog

Steel City Bar & Grill Still breathes FIRE



Published: Wed, March 9, 2016 @ 12:00 a.m.

If You Go...

Steel City Bar & Grill

Address: 1418 E. Midlothian Blvd., Youngstown

Phone: 330-781-0600

Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday to Saturday

Menu: 14 burgers; $6 to $10

Facebook:Steel City Bar & Grill

Rating: 4 stars

By ANTHONY M. FUDA

BurgerGuyz@hotmail.com

In the Mahoning Valley, steel mills built families, communities and cities. When the steel mills closed, people kept those hardcore values the mills instilled in them.

The people were meat and potatoes’ people, and now we have migrated to burgers and fries.

Tom Tulipano named his restaurant Steel City Bar & Grill to pay homage to those steel mills, and to his grandfather, Russell, who worked in those mills.

Like the quality steel the Valley made, Tom makes a burger that anyone clocking out from the 9 to 5 would be proud to call dinner.

Tom said, “We use quality meat for our half pound Angus burgers. The only downfall is that it's a frozen patty so we can't temp them under medium, but if you tried our burgers you wouldn't believe they were a frozen patties. The reason I go with frozen is because I look for consistency. I believe that's the key for people that come back every time -- it's just as good as the last time they were here.”

Our server/bartender Amanda Brenner greeted us and walked us through the extensive burger list, and we were on our way.

Each of the half pound Angus beef burgers are sided with fries, hot chips, coleslaw or potato salad. For $1.50 more you can get tots, onion rings or a side salad.

The burgers we had to choose from are as follows:

  • BBQ (BBQ sauce, American cheese, onion rings)
  • Black and Bleu (Cajun seasonings, bleu cheese crumbles)
  • Mushroom and Swiss
  • Grilled Cheese (features 2 grilled cheese sandwiches for the bun)
  • Mozzarella (topped with mozz. cheese, 3 mozz. cheese sticks)
  • Pizza (pepperoni, mozzarella, homemade sauce)
  • Greek (feta cheese, black olives, tzatziki sauce, onions)
  • Cordon Blue (topped with ham, Swiss, Dijon mustard)
  • Taco (lettuce, tomato, black olives, sour cream, salsa)
  • Lettuce Wrap (Angus burger wrapped in lettuce, with tomatoes, pickles, onions)
  • Bacon Lovers Cheeseburger (8 strips of bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickle)
  • Classic (lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles)
  • Build Your Own ( numerous toppings to choose from at different costs)

*Lava (hot peppers, onions, Phatty’s hot sauce, pepper jack cheese)

I went with the Bacon Lovers and ordered those delicious strips nice and crispy. What can I say? It’s bacon. Eight strips of crispy bacon. That makes it delicious times eight. And they put those bacon strips on a nicely cooked burger with garden fresh toppings. I thought with it being a frozen patty, I’d be sucking down water with each bite, but not a chance. The burgers were cooked and seasoned perfectly. All around this was a delight, especially for my bacon senses.

Besides the 8 slices of bacon burger, the talk of the evening was Chiz and the lava burger. When we see the big man with tears in his eyes, we knew he found something bordering on greatness.

Chiz said, “This past Wednesday was a normal BurgerGuyz Wednesday, like any other. I worked a few hours, picked up my father-in-law Tom and headed out to Steel City Bar and Grill. At the time of arrival, I had no idea about the journey I was about to embark on. I should have known there was something strange in the air, as I viewed what looked to be tens of thousands of crows all around on my way in. My first impression walking in was "Wow, look how nice they made it in here!" We sat down and started viewing the menu. I was both impressed and excited by the burger selection. I got to the very bottom of this stacked menu, and turned my head sideways as I stared with envy over their "Lava Burger". Confidently I made the selection and stated: "You don't have to be shy on the hot sauce". Moments later I got the story about how people always like a challenge sauce. They primarily use this Phatty's Hot Sauce for a wing challenge. Phatty himself whom created the sauce noticed when people would do his challenge they would flick off as much of the sauce as possible. Ingeniously Phatty created a sauce/paste made to withstand those who might attempt to cheat the system. “Muhahahaha”- Phatty chuckled with an almost evil laugh. Even still, I bragged about my previous hot sauce accomplishments not knowing what was to be delivered to me. Even with the warning... I was not scared. The burgers were delivered in a timely fashion and smelled great. The "Lava Burger" was a tasty 1/2 pound burger patty topped with hot peppers, onions, pepper jack, and not to be messed with "Phatty's Hot Sauce". I took one peek at it and said "C'mon! That's not even a sauce! It's a paste!" Right then I knew things were getting pretty serious. I separated the sandwich so our lovely Vindicator photographer could take a picture. I got just the slightest pin drop of this devil paste on my finger and out of curiosity placed said small amount in my mouth. I choked a bit. This is when reality set in. "My goodness" I exclaimed... "This may give me a run for my money!" And so it begins. I tried a pinch of just the burger meat itself... It was juicy, tasty, and seasoned excellently! From the first bite my heat tolerance was tested. Everything tasted great despite the thick fiery goodness that was slathered on the top bun. I muscled through each bite, getting about halfway through my big sandwich before taking a rest. Sweat beads poured off my head and I had tears in my eyes. I promise I was not crying, although I almost did! I re-examined my burger at this point and noticed the bottom bun was also slathered with Phatty's hot sauce! This made Chiz angry, and in my head I knew I'd finish this monster of an angry burger. It wasn't pretty though. My burger brothers could see the sweat and tears building as I inched toward the finish line. Luckily for me, our server had a fire extinguisher ready! There was only one thing that impressed me more than the spicy challenge of this Lava Hell-Fire sandwich. It was the fact that with even the last bite, I still tasted all of the awesome flavoring of the juicy burger itself.”

Chiz added, “I will be back soon... But most likely for a "normal" burger. This day BurgerGuyz won the battle, however I assure you that the Lava Burger won the war! I am not saying that I couldn't do that burger again... I just choose not to for a while. DISCLAIMER: This burger is not a joke. Only consume this if you are a seasoned veteran with hot sauce challenges. BurgerGuyz and The Vindicator are not responsible for any burned off taste buds, tongues, and any injury related to someone consuming this burger that even the Sun would consider hot. Other than that, I highly suggest you stop at this hidden gem of a burger joint! Friendly staff and quick service is only the tip of the iceberg at Steel City Bar and Grill! I survived Phatty's hot sauce (barely)... Can You!?”

After seeing the pain the Lava Burger inflicted, JT said, “Speaking for the folks that prefer a little less heat, I thought the Mushroom Swiss was a very good burger. I understand they are frozen patties, but these aren't the ones you can buy in the grocery store. Thick, tasty, juicy and very importantly, the bun held up well. I have no problem recommending Steel City to any burger lover!”

Gothan saw two of his favorite foods (pizza and burgers), and noted, “I had the pizza burger and it was a pretty tasty burger. A 1/2 pound patty smothered with melted mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. It mashed two American favorites together for one delicious meal. This mouthwatering burger was accompanied with fresh hot crispy potato chips a must have when you venture out to Steel City Bar and Grill defiantly two thumbs up!”

The Steel Mills may be gone, but the burgers at Steel City will remind you of the days of punching out, heading to the bar for a couple brews and enjoying a great burger with great company.

4 stars

Keep reading the Valley food section each Wednesday for the best food the Valley has to offer.

If you know of a burger that should be on our hit list, send the info to mvbrb@hotmail.com, or on our Facebook page BurgerGuyz


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