It was my birthday yesterday and my friends were asking what I was going to do early in the week. I did mention that it’d be fun having a Ronald McDonald birthday, but more just hanging out with him rather than eating there. A few days later, I happened to walk by the fancy-pants McDonald’s with their plush chairs on 6th Ave and 14th St and saw a sign that said Ronald was going to make an appearance on December 18th –my birthday! Is it me, or is this Secret shit too easy?

I met up with Ronald, got my photo taken and tried to chat him up, but he kept trying to make a move inside because it was so cold –all while trying to keep a smile and be accommodating to me. I then left the fancy McDonald’s and decided to have a fancy $26 burger at Minetta Tavern. The Black Label burger, praised on the food blogs and is the #1 Food to Eat of 2009 in the latest Time Out NY. Time to treat myself as a good foodblogger.

I got to Minetta Tavern just after they opened around 5:30pm. Everyone was at the bar waiting for their tables which were all booked. I was able to eat solo at the bar from their full menu. I might have been the first person served. All I wanted was that Black Label burger medium-rare. No appetizers, no funny business. When I bit into it, it was so buttery and rich. Foie Gras is to beef liver as to Black Label burger is to most hamburgers. Was it worth $26? I would say so. Is it the best burger I’ve ever eaten? Probably. Was it mind blowing? Maybe not. Would you eat it again? When I scratch Mega Millions off my dreamboard, perhaps I’ll eat two or three of these a year at the most. The burger is delectable, but maybe too rich and decadent. How often could you eat truffle, beluga and foie gras? …I guess I’ll find out after Mega Millions.

A little note about the fries. They reminded me of McDonald’s fries circa 1980’s …in a good way. Remember those? McD’s doesn’t salt them like they used to. Minetta brings it back, I don’t know if intentionally. But with the right amount of saltiness, I didn’t need the ketchup like I thought, like I’m so used to.

I think I did it right at Minetta Tavern. Going solo right when they open and eat at the bar. You really don’t want to be bothered by chit-chat with your friends when you’re trying to eat a $26 burger. It needs your attention and presence. There was another Asian guy sitting next to me at the bar. He also ordered the Black Label burger along with the Oxtail and Foie Gras Terrine. He was going all out on decadence. I did see him pop out his camera when his burger came out. Two food bloggers sitting side by side perhaps? When I went to the restroom to wash up, it seemed like every guy got startled by me when they opened the door. I think they thought I was a homeless man. I thought I was dressed pretty nice with a suit jacket and pea coat. Maybe it was my hi-tops? Ronald liked my shoes. For real. He said so.

I ended the night at White Castle after a few drinks with my ex co-workers. Had a Jalapeño Cheeseburger slider. In that moment, may I be so bold to say that that slider is just as delectable as the Black Label burger? …in it’s own way of course. Now I’m not saying it’s a better burger and forget 86cents vs $26. I’m saying you guys get drunk and eat that White Castle slider (Jalapeño Cheeseburger specifically) and in this particular scenario, it might just blow your mind. Take that, food blogger who sat next to me at Minetta.

Minetta Tavern – 113 MacDougal St (@ Minetta Lane) New York, NY 10012

01 Jason Lam and Ronald McDonald02 Black Label Burger and Fries - Minetta Tavern

About The Author

Jason Lam

Food blogger since 2008. Hair model since 2003.

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10 Responses

  1. Tio Wally

    Happy B-day, J. Now you can finally throw away the fake ID!!

  2. Melinda

    Just checked out the video Flowbee Fun Part 1 on YouTube. GENIUS.

  3. pretender

    It’s because those 80’s McD’s fries were fried with beef fat, before the stupid “vegetable” oil took over.


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