The Consol Energy Center was the backdrop for the 80th edition of Pittsburgh’s City game featuring Pitt and Duquesne.  For me, it was the 1st one that I have witnessed live and in person.

This also marked the 1st sporting event I’ve attended or covered at the new digs located in Uptown.  I saw Roger Waters perform The Wall back in October at CEC, but really didn’t have a chance to get around the building and sample some grub.  So I thought what better way to bring you another edition of F&G, sample the eats of the newest sports venue in tahn-n-at while watching my 1st City game.  Done deal.

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I arrived just after 6pm and went straight for the press room, where scads of Pittsburgh’s best wretched media had gathered, along with various staff from each school.

The spread laid out by the staff who run catering at CEC offered up a very nice salad bar, grilled asparagus and potato bar, while featuring pork and this beautiful dish of chicken Marsala as the main course.

I have to say it was very well done.  Again, when in the media, take what’s given. The food served was well above what I expected.

After sharing some dinner with fellow 93.7 The Fan co-workers like Paul Alexander, Jeff Hathhorn and Chris Peak from, we made our way court side for the matchup that featured big bad Pitt vs. the little brothers of Duquesne, losers of 10 straight in the series.  I knew it was a big event when I saw this guy working…

If I need a beer at any Pittsburgh sporting event, I’m always buying from TC.

As the 1st half was underway, I looked around the building and thought about where I should go.  I knew you could get sushi served from Nakama.  I knew there was a stand on the 2nd level that featured meats prepared at a smokehouse, all done on the premisis.  That was a promising option.

Leave it to Paul Alexander to lead me to Food & Games bliss.  “Ya gotta go to Burgatory,’ Alexander chimed.  “It’s the best in the city.”


Up behind Section 206 of the Consol Energy Center sits this gem of a food stand.  If you can only try one thing, this place deserves your attention.





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Welcome to Burgatory.  Quite possibly, the best food stand I’ve been to that serves hamburgers.  This however, is not an ordinary hamburger stand.  No, they take things seriously here at Burgatory.  That serious being taken can be seen right in front of you…

I was told for Penguin games, this grill is completely full.  A record crowd of over 15,000 saw Pitt and Duquense play on a cold Wednesday night, so the stand was slower than normal according to the staff.

The menu is not very big, but what they do is done right.  I wasn’t all that hungry, having dinner before the game, but the smell of the food and Paul’s suggestion to try this stand led me to purchasing this gem…

Meat the Morty’s Steakhouse burger.  At $12.50, it ranks as one of the most expensive food items ever purchased by yours truly at a sporting event.  I have to admit that it was worth every penny.

Morty’s burger was a good 8-10 oz of peppercord crusted all-natural beef burger, grilled right and covered with horseradish, a slice of cheddar cheese, some haystack onions and topped in a cabernet sauce.  Garnished with a side of house made chips, I ventured over to take in the action and was greeted by this panoramic view…

I have to admit that Paul was 100% right.  It was nothing short of the best burger I’ve ever eaten.  I later asked Alexander how he knew about Burgatory.  “Rob King turned me onto this spot.  It’s the closest thing to eating a burger at Tessaro’s.”

I would have to concur.

Because I had dinner earlier, I didn’t finish the burger.  What a shame really, but that’s the way it goes.  In the end, Pitt made it 11 straight over the Dukes, winning 80-69.  I do know that my next stop to the CEC will include time to really enjoy what was one fantastic chow down experience.  The kind I like to deliver via this blog and a perfect example of what Food & Games is all about.

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John Phillips is the author of this article and the creator of Food & Games.  JP works as a talk-show host in addition to anchoring sports updates on 93.7 The Fan.  Follow JP on Twitter at