Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Stack'd Burgers and Beer Brings Burger Construction to Oakland

The burger-and-beer joint is nothing to write home about, but it earns its place in the middle of a busy neighborhood.

photo by sean collier

I’m busy at the moment. Really busy. The sort of busy where you occasionally find yourself thinking, “I could not guess what time it is right now within three hours. It is equally possible that it is noon or dinnertime.” The sort of busy where you occasionally realize that you have been arbitrarily holding one hand in the air for several minutes, as if to guard yourself against further obligations. The sort of busy where, every now and then, you have to think about what your own name might be.

And of course, whenever one is that particular sort of busy, one wants to be in a crowded sea of white noise, fading into an anonymous background while absent-mindedly chomping on something spicy.

No? That’s just me? Well, it’s my blog, so there.

In the midst of this furor of obligations, I took a few minutes to visit Stack'd Custom Burgers and Craft Beer, the micro-chain with locations in Oakland, Wexford and Shadyside (they also have a Shadyside bar, the Tipsy Cow, that offers similar fare). I opted for the Oakland location, in the space formerly occupied by Joe Mama’s Italian Deluxe.

Joe Mama’s was never going to wow any foodies, but they were certainly reliable; college neighborhoods need places where students can get a large supply of carb-heavy food and reasonably priced beer at any hour of the night, and Joe Mama’s fit the bill. Its successor keeps the prices in collegetown range (if on the high end of that scale), and stays open fairly late, unlike the Wexford Stack’d.

If you’ve been to any of the high-end burger chains in the area, you know the routine. The most notable difference at Stack’d, though, is that they offer custom-made burgers exclusively; there’s no section of the menu for house-made burgers. You are going to have to decide what to put between the buns all on your own. I can’t say I’m a fan of this move; when I’m at BRGR or Burgatory, I go with one of their recipes, not my own. (Because, you know, they make food professionally, and I do not.) The options at Stack’d are impressive in variety — I was glad to be able to have my creation as a wrap — but I’d like some guidance.

More concerning is that there’s not nearly enough beer for a place that stakes its claim as a brew-focused bar. Of the 16 draft options on my visit, four were given over to standard macrobrews; while I was pleased to see a number of locals in the remaining dozen, Pittsburghers have become accustomed to smarter beer selections than this.

It’s an area where Stack’d needs some work (and, according to the website, the chain’s other locations are moving in the right direction). And while service was fine, the staff was clearly outmanned; I visited during a weekday lunch hour, and if twice the number of servers had been present, everyone still would’ve been busy.

But, as noted, I’m busy. I wanted a place where I could fade into a lively din of chatter and movement, eat a bunch, have a beer and tune out for a while. This place fit the bill. And if I remember correctly, college students are often quite busy as well, so Stack’d is serving a purpose. It’s not the best burgers-and-beer spot in town, nor is it likely to be anyone’s go-to in Oakland. But it’s making decent enough use of its prime real estate.


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Electric Scooter Rideshare Launching in Pittsburgh

Scoobi will offer an eco-friendly alternative to cars and a speedier alternative to bikes beginning in June

Is Kennywood's Phantom’s Revenge Best Coaster in USA?

The fastest amusement park ride in Pennsylvania is currently in the running for best roller coaster — and it’s gained plenty of speed.

Director and “Mr. McFeely” Discuss “Won't You Be My Neighbor?”

The director of the forthcoming Mr. Rogers documentary sits down with the longtime Mr. McFeely and Pittsburgh Magazine.

Pittsburgh Teen Chess Phenom to Host Her First-Ever Tourney

Chess enthusiast Ashley Lynn Priore hopes to enrich the Steel City’s involvement in one of the most classic and challenging of board games.

Hungry for Something Good, Pittsburgh? Where We're Eating in June

We're obsessed with Greekfreez vegan frozen treats, taking a first look at the new menu at Independent Brewing Company and traveling to The Tavern on the Square. Plus, we talk to Poulet Bleu pastry chef James D. Wroblewski II.

Working in a Steel Mill Turns Fantastical in 'The Glass Lung'

Pittsburgher Anjali Sachdeva’s first book blends the normal with fantasy in nine short stories.

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.

Pittsburgh Flicks and Nightlife in June

PM Nightlife Editor Sean Collier explores the popularity of Coughlin's Law on Mt. Washington and the future of Jump Cut Theater.

Pittsburgh's Can't Miss Concerts in June

The Pittsburgh music calendar is packed this month. Check out some of our suggestions for the best ways to spend those steamy summer nights.

June: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest stage plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

Undercover: What We're Reading in June

Reviews of Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker and Abandoned Pittsburgh: Steel and Shadows by Chuck Beard

Perspectives: How Cold Is Too Cold for Spiders to Live?

A former Marine and Pittsburgh firefighter comes face-to-face with his biggest fear.

Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Faces Centennial Challenges

This year marks a milestone anniversary — and questions regarding the emerging digital economy — for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.

Highmark Stadium Struggles To Accommodate Music Fans

The Station Square venue could be a good place to see a concert. It's not there yet.

CMU Launches America’s First Degree in Artificial Intelligence

Starting this fall, undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon will have the option to earn a degree in one of the world’s fastest growing fields.