Ladies and gentlemen - a new king has been crowned.
Back in the 1960s - when many of us were merely winks in our daddies’ eyes - McDonald’s unleashed the Big Mac upon the world, touting above all the mysterious “Special Sauce.” Well, this weekend, 13 stalwart Burger Clubbers experienced what was perhaps the finest iteration (the Platonic Form, if you will) of “Special Sauce” - the au poivre which accompanied Raoul’s secret Bar Burger.
We descended upon this Soho stalwart, arriving early in such force that we scooped up every bar stool and immediately ordered every one of the 12 burgers-per-night which they produce. Several groups of teary-eyed tourists turned around and walked out in despair, wishing they had had the foresight to join our beefy brotherhood…
This was a formidable formula of burger + bun + accoutrements. The meat was lovely (though perhaps not as transcendent as Minetta), and the mix of triple cream St. Andre cheese, watercress and cornichons toppings was inspired. But it truly came together when dipped into the majestic, aforementioned au poivre sauce. There are no words to describe it, even for me…you just must try it for yourself. Suffice it to say that it made me ask myself whether or not I could love a human baby more than I could love this burger and sauce. Ultimately I would side with the child, but I asked myself the question nonetheless…
The value is solid here - $19 for the burger and sauce plus a hearty cup of duck fat fries. The ambiance is classic. There were some issues with the burgers being a bit cold, though I’d say that’s a result of us ordering all of them at once. And there were some who believed that the au poivre was too rich and masked the burger, which is a valid opinion as well - a light-handed dip is the best way to get the optimal experience. But ultimately, it comes down to the magnificent harmoniousness of the experience, which now sits atop the Burger Club throne.
Sadly, similar to the scales of Justice, where one side’s rise necessitates the other’s decline, the Raoul’s stratospheric rating was contrasted by the lowest “Andrew as a Person” rating yet seen by the club - a cruel, crushing 0.5 out of 10…I’m debating moving us to a whole-number scale just so I can get the bump up to 1.