To date, we’ve been given the basics of the MVB burger (see the GoNOLA piece), but many questions still remained. What is Larkin sauce? How big is the patty? And, what kind of cheese is it? All questions that no longer need answering. Larkin sauce is a delightful mixture of homemade mayo and brown mustard (not spread on too thick). The patty is slightly larger than 1/3 of a pound, making the burger bigger than a slider but smaller than a small cow on a bun. And the cheese for the cheeseburger is a slice of cheddar and a slice of Gruyère. The fries have been revealed to be thin cut, twice fried and the existence of chocolate or vanilla shakes and malts has been well-known.
For my test run, I took one of everything: Cheeseburger, fries and a vanilla gelato shake (which will incidentally save you $1 from ordering a la carte). If I was going to get a shot at MVB, I was going to try everything they were selling. The shake arrived first and was outstanding. The kind of outstanding that makes you involuntarily lose composure with its deliciousness. I’ve never had a shake from Sucre, so I don’t know if this is common with their shakes or not, but definitely an issue at MVB.Next up were the cheeseburger and fries. The MVB burger is clearly built on the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) theory. Simply seasoned and simply dressed, the 9 piece MVB cheeseburger comes across as a single package. Unlike many burgers that get lost under a sauce, some seasoning or mounds of cheese, the MVB burger speaks as one. No single component overpowers another and they all let the meat do the real talking. The fries were the one oddity of the meal. They were thin cut, yet they had the taste, color and consistency of thick cut boardwalk fries. Delicious nonetheless, but just seemingly out-of-place. Apparently they seemed out-of-place because they were. The true fries will be cooked up in peanut oil, which means you’ll have a crispy, crunchy yellow fry.
Despite how great everything was on the MVB menu, my talks with Joel Dondis and Rene Louapre, IV revealed that things weren’t quite up to snuff just yet. These guys were fretting over minor details, like how finely ground the meat was or wasn’t, a change in the makeup of the buns and the fact that they didn’t have time to change out the oil for the fries. I, on the other hand, was trying to suppress the urge to order up another cheeseburger. Their focus on these little issues showed that as good as my meal was at MVB, I still hadn’t tasted the true MVB experience, not to mention the weekly specials the future will hold!
MVB might not quite be a traditional restaurant and it may be behind an enormous level of hype, but don’t let any of this stop you from going. The folks at MVB have a very specific vision for a hamburger place, and that vision is a delicious one. At MVB, the bite is definitely better than the hype.
3322 Magazine St.
Sundays from 5 until done
Cash only, BYOB
*all pictures taken from the MVB twitter stream