The diner sitting to my right was asking the diner to his right, who had just received her plate of food, “I heard the Black Label burger is a life-changing experience. Is it?”
Since I was already halfway through the burger in question, he probably should have asked me instead of the woman who hadn’t started hers yet. But I am glad he didn’t. Because I was in the middle of eating the burger, and honestly, I did not want to stop eating it to answer his question. I did not want to stop eating it ever.
But now that I have finished, the answer to his question is yes—the Black Label burger is a life-changing experience.
In fact, before I ate the burger, I made some comment about how funny it seemed to get a burger after eating fancy appetizers, and when the people next to us were eating $118 cote de boeuf. But as soon as I took a bite, I was in shock. What IS that? Is that a burger? How on earth can there be so much flavor in there?
Yes, it looks like a burger, smells like a burger, is served with French fries like a burger. But it is actually skirt steak, short rib, brisket, and dry aged rib-eye (the real source of the steak flavor) masquerading as a beef patty. With only a topping of caramelized onions, this burger does not need anything else. Yes, it is better than the DB Bistro burger. It will ruin burgers for you for life.
Now that I am finished raving about the Black Label, I would also like to talk about the other dish we tried: marrow bones. For $17 you get 3 huge marrow bones with crusty, buttered bread and cranberry jam. I’ve never seen such large marrow bones, and it was so much fun to scoop out the buttery, fatty marrow and construct the perfect bite. Also highly recommended.
Minetta Tavern was really an old tavern from 1938, and it has been restored to have a speakeasy feel. The atmosphere is very old-fashioned New York, and with the dim lights, you feel like you’ve found a secret spot. But the secret is out: Minetta has got it goin’ on.
113 Macdougal St.