Burgers Ordered: Brad & Matt – The Black Label Burger.
The Experience: It can be difficult to get a reservation at Minetta Tavern. The food is notoriously delicious and the atmosphere gives the restaurant a truly special feel. As such, the Burgermeisters thought about not bothering even to try to get a table, thinking it futile given their schedules. Then, OpenTable.com offered the Burgermeisters an early meal alternative, should they be able to go immediately after work. It probably didn’t hurt that three weeks prior the restaurant began opening its doors for lunch, freeing up more weekly hours for diners to eat there.
Brad and Matt got there a bit early and were seated immediately. At 5:45 pm the restaurant had plenty of open tables, especially for small groups. Jazz music played, allowing the restaurant to successfully exude the 1920s speakeasy vibe. The waitress approached us and ran down the wine list. Hearing her enthusiasm gave the Burgermeisters a very clear vision of the Waiter Culture at Minetta Tavern. At every turn during the course of our meal, our waitress tried to sell us on a multitude of Minetta Tavern’s signature and special dishes and drinks. Though sometimes grating, and though the Burgermeisters were at Minetta strictly for the burgers, this waitress did an excellent job of making Brad and Matt want to return to Minetta, probably with dates.
One way in which the waitress tried to sell the Burgermeisters on one Minetta’s particular beers was to show them the collectible bottle caps that came along with the beer. The Burgermeisters aren’t sure how one would play the accompanying game, but they thought it was cool enough to photograph.
Taste: Both Burgermeisters ordered the Black Label Burger, which is made using the same meat that is used in Minetta Tavern’s $120+ cote de boeuf. That helped the Burgermeisters to feel that the $26 price tag on the Black Label Burger was something of a steal. In hindsight, they also feel that this level of in-meal brainwashing was brilliant.
The burgers came served with sauteed onions, as any good gourmet burger must. As is also the case with fancy (and slightly less-than-fancy) restaurants, the meal was preceded with bread. The Burgermeisters realized that this was the first time they’d ever received bread on a Burger Adventure, though last week at Talia’s they did get some pita before their meal. The burgers were also served with a mountain of fries and some complementary cheese bread puffs. That was all fine and dandy to the Burgermeisters, but this post will focus heavily on the taste of the Black Label Burger.
The first thing that Matt noticed was that the sesame seed bun was toasted perfectly and buttered immaculately. It tasted like a dream and held tough as the juicy patty rested on it.
Speaking of the juicy patty, Brad and Matt had been warned by their enthusiastic waitress that ordering medium rare from Minetta Tavern was serious business. This proved to be true, as Brad could see the pink of his burger before taking the first bite! Having never seen this before, Brad wondered if he’d flown too close to the sun ordering medium rare at Minetta.
As it turns out, the Burgermeisters didn’t get burned but rather left with a healthy tan. The flavor or the burger was explosive. Brad said he tasted the flavor on every part of his mouth. Matt was excited that the quality meat gave the burger a fancy taste appropriate for this fancy place. Both Burgermeisters could be seen with huge smiles ever every single bite.
As for the aforementioned sides, Matt thought that the cheese puffs were set on our table accidentally and suggested that he and Brad eat them as fast as possible before they were taken away. Brad saw that they were being given to every table, but allowed Matt to live in his more exciting fantasy world. The fries were nothing special, but they were so abundant that the Burgermeisters’ Second Stomachs were more than full at the end of the meal. Brad had been warned that the pickle served with the burger was bad, and ended up spitting out the bite he took of it. Matt enjoyed the half-sweet pickle, so your mileage may vary.
The Verdict: The burger is delicious, decently sized without being daunting and held inside the perfect bun. This gets a glowing thumbs up for any Little Meister that has a decent amount of extra change to throw down on a Burger Adventure.
Minetta Tavern is located at 113 MacDougal Street between Bleecker Street and West 3rd Street.