Friday, May 15, 2009

Black Label Burger at Minetta

I ate a lot of burgers last week. A feature that Saveur is working on for their August burger issue had me and other burger minds at the uptown Shake Shack putting down many tasty singles. I also stopped into my local Five Guys for a fix and made a few at home using my grinder (of course). But the burger that really knocked me over this past week was the Black Label burger at McNally's newest venture, the resurrected Minetta Tavern.

I know it's impossible to get into the place and the burger is $26, but man was it worth it. This beast, made from the Pat LaFrieda aged beef blend, sat on a bun that could barely contain the patty's (nearly) 1/2 lb. girth. Topped with nothing but sweet, limp caramelized onions this burger needed nothing more. The pungent bouquet of the aged meat was obvious making the beefiness pronounced. The combination of the grease, those onions, and the butter from the bun was all I needed for the perfect flavor profile. Unfortunately, the waitress immediately offered me a bottle of ketchup, which I declined, but feared that most patrons probably accepted. Please do not ketchup this perfect burger. I think I finished the burger in 6 quick bites.

The Black Label blend from LaFrieda has come a long way since I tested it back in October 2008. I asked McNally, "Why Black Label on the menu?" He told me, with out missing a beat and pointing to the kitchen, "Chef's choice." A good choice at that. Clearly great beef in the right hands yields positive results.