Published March 23, 2012
By Anthony M. Fuda
The Mahoning Valley Burger Review Board went back to school this month when we visited a favorite Youngstown State University eatery.
The task: Find the best burger in the Mahoning Valley.
The place: University Pizzeria, or U-Pie, as it is known, is a YSU hangout specializing in pizza, sandwiches, spirits, and having a great time.
A number of loyal U-Pie patrons e-mailed us, saying we would find the best burger in the area there, and that burger was called the Bad Ass Burger. With a bravado name like that we had to give it a taste.
U-Pie is divided into two sections: the front of the restaurant for someone getting a slice of pizza and learning that last piece of info before the big exam; and the back bar section where you can sit back, have a few drinks and watch the game or, on the weekends, listen to some live entertainment.
We made our way to the back area, and were guided on our “Bad Ass” journey by our waitress/bartender Allisun Brenner. She brought the menus, which offer a nice selection of sandwiches, and four 10 ounce Black Angus Burgers to choose from, ranging in price from $7 - $9: Hamburger; Cheeseburger (choice of cheddar, jack, provolone, swiss or feta); Black & Blue (blackened, topped with bleu cheese); and the Bad Ass Burger (wrapped in dough with bacon cheddar or mushroom swiss). You can add hot pepper or tomatoes for $0.50, or roasted red peppers, their hot peppers, grilled onions or mushrooms for $1.50.. The sides are extra. Some of us went with regular fair-style fries, and some went with sweet potato fries and spicy barbecue sauce. The spicy sweet potato fries are excellent, getting an A+.
We all ordered the Bad Ass Burger, and were in awe when Allisun brought them to us. The burgers are wrapped inside the dough and then baked, and the overall presentation looks like something that would win a Food Network challenge. And recognition has to go to the mastermind behind the "Bad Ass" Burger -- Tank. He did a great job with this creation.
JT said “the presentation was awesome.”
After cutting into the works of art on a plate, (the burgers) the meat remained juicy from the first bite to the last. The cheese inside stayed a nice gooey texture enhancing the taste of the burger. The burgers were huge and very filling, and if you are hungry after eating this burger you must have a hollow leg.
Greg added, “The "bun" was unique as it was baked with the burger in it, and it was cooked to the perfect temperature that I ordered. It is big so bring your appetite. The sweet potato fries were plentiful and very, very good.”
We’ve heard that some YSU graduates who come back into town have to stop in U-Pie to get some of their tasty food or their visit home is not complete.
If you are in the YSU area, stop by U-Pie and get a Bad Ass burger. We give it high marks, and your stomach will too.
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133 Lincoln Ave