Burger Review: Week 1

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My buddy Kevin and I have decided to embark on a low-brow culinary voyage to taste some of the best burgers NYC has to offer. Although this is hardly a novel idea, it is no less fun (or tasty!).

Last night, we started our trip at what might have been the top of the heap: Minetta Tavern. This homey, somewhat cramped space offers two choices on the menu for a burger, their "Minetta Burger" and their "Black Label Burger". The Minetta Burger is ground prime beef, and comes with a slice of gooey cheddar cheese and grilled onions, and weighs in at $17--not an inexpensive start, for certain. However, the Black Label burger, a slightly larger burger made out of 45 day aged prime beef (which comes with grilled onions, but no cheese), puts that to shame price-wise, lightening the wallet by a solid $26. The question we had was: Is it worth it?

The answer was less clear than we'd have expected.

The Minetta Burger was clearly one of the best burgers either of us had ever had. It was light, done perfectly, and extremely flavorful (although perhaps a bit salty). The onions were a very nice flavor as well, although I couldn't really taste the cheese.

The Black Label burger was a bit denser than the Minetta burger. It had, as Kevin described it, almost a nutty flavor. The flavor was certainly more complex than any burger I can think of, and rarely have I had a burger where the meat played so prominent a role in the flavor of the burger. The burger was a bit less salty as well. Ultimately, though, it was a truly excellent burger.

Both burgers were served on nearly perfect buns, as both Kevin and I commented during the meal. Firm enough to hold a super-juicy burger without falling apart, yet soft and light. No idea how they pulled that one off, but they were excellent. Both came with terrifically crisp fries as well.

Ultimately, we decided that if both burgers were on the menu at the same price, we'd be happy as pigs in the stuff that makes pigs happy to be in to have either. However, for the marked difference in price, our verdict was no, the Black Label burger was not worth the almost $10 up-sell. That said, they were certainly two of the best burgers NYC has to offer in our experience, although not a bargain by any standard.

Well played, Minetta Tavern. Well played.

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This page contains a single entry by published on March 5, 2013 9:48 AM.

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