Posted by: Orlick | April 1, 2010

Judy Ruminates… Minetta Tavern – Greenwich Village

I’m jealous because Judy Ruminates visited Minetta Tavern. We went to Le Fooding about a month before she came here, and obviously the experience stayed with us both. — Jeffrey Tastes

Minetta Tavern
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
113 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 475-3850

Ironically, my first taste of the famous Black Label burger was not at this restaurant. It was at a food tasting called Le Fooding at PS 1. Despite the outdoor cooking and lack of an ideal kitchen setup, they cranked out the most delicious burger I’ve ever tasted Stateside.* It was this tiny little teaser of a burger and I was hooked. I made up my mind then and there that I was going to have another taste of this beauty even if I had to fork over a ridiculous $26 for it. Burger fiends in tow, we hit the Tavern.

We shared a dish of roasted bone marrow to start. To the uninitiated, namely me, I thought it would look like congealed blood because everyone talks about taking blood out of bone marrow for stem cell research. The fatty and juicy strip on each marrow didn’t look like blood, more like congealed fat. Slapped over a baguette with a shallot spread, it was sooooo delicious but overpoweringly decadent. It was like eating pure fat. I was fine with the fact that I only had a small nibble.

Minetta Tavern

Then came the burgers. The patty was larger than Shake Shack’s but smaller than Jackson Hole’s (for which I am grateful).

Minetta Tavern

Mine was cooked perfectly medium rare and was extremely juicy. This meat had a lot of oil and butter in it, oozing into the bun and down my fingers with each bite. It was flavorful, with more salt than one would expect, but still not over-salted. I was in love all over again. The carmelized onion was all it needed- no ketchup, no cheese. Actually, you could take the onions out and it would still be perfect. GIVE ME THE SECRET MIX!!! If I made them myself and brought these babies to parties, I’d be the most popular kid on the block. But would they love me…or the burgers?

* The most delicious burger I’ve had in the world was in Kobe, Japan. But that isn’t a fair comparison because in Kobe, they massage their cows and feed them sake and beer. — Judy Ruminates

Le Fooding d’Amour
Beautiful interior shots from Eater NY
Secrets of their Black Label Burger (what a name…)



  1. Have you tried the Peter Luger burger? The meat quality of some of these burgers is outstanding, but I’m not entirely sold on the “giant hunk of meat and pretty much nothing else” concept. Shake Shack still tops out my NYC ranking, hands down.

  2. Went for an anniversary and got the cote de boef. Yeah it’s $104 but it was the best steak of my life, and that’s coming from a guy with Peter Luger’s house account account #140 passed down from my grandfather . If you’re gonna go to Minetta Tavern, save up for the steak, I’m sure the burger is great but the steak is mind blowing.

  3. James- I’ve tried both the Peter Luger and Shake Shack burgers but wasn’t impressed by either. As they say, YMMV.

    2 slices- Unfortunately, sushi wins out over steak if I had to spend over $100 on something. But thanks for posting your suggestion for the steak lovers on here!

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