Seems like everyone’s cooled their heels a little on the LaFrieda Black Label burger served at Minetta Tavern, right? Never fear: Now there’s a White Label burger being served at Ai Fiori. And those who’ve had it seem to agree: It’s pretty awesome! But we all know it’s just a matter of time before people begin to get tired of having to head to Fifth Avenue and 37th (and then up a flight of stairs to the second-floor location of Ai Fiori) to get said awesome burger. That’s okay. Below, some suggestions for how Pat LaFrieda and gang can stay ahead of the trend curve.
Gray Label: The next logical move. A 50/50 blend of Black Label and White Label. It’s served exclusively at the halfway point between Ai Fiori and Minetta, the Abracadabra Superstore on 21st Street. Gray Label Burger costs $22.
Blue Label: Made in partnership with Johnnie Walker. LaFrieda buys beef made only out of cows fed an exclusive diet of spent barely mash and Johnnie Walker Blue Label blended Scotch (served neat). Before they’re slaughtered, the cows are also shown a continuous video loop of Johnnie Walker’s newest brand ambassador, Christina Hendricks. Served exclusively at the Brandy Library. Blue Label Burger costs $41.50.
Green Label: Vegetarians love to talk about the extra resources required to raise beef as compared to vegetables. Problem solved: The cows used for this blend won’t be fed anything, and they’ll be raised on the premises at Blue Hill in the West Village, where the meat will be served raw. It’s carbon-footprint-less! Green Label Tartare costs $62.35.
Red Label: LaFrieda sets up a storage and aging facility next to Red Hook’s maraschino-cherry factory. The proximity gives all of the beef an eerie, beelike red glow, even after it’s fully cooked. It also tastes like fake cherries. Served exclusively at that bowling alley in Sunset Park with the amazing old-school bartender. Red Label Burger costs $85.
Purple Label: Now that Brett Favre’s career appears to actually be over, America’s fascination with Minnesota abates, right? Wrong: This brisket-and-short-rib blend is made special with a nod to Prince — 10 percent of the blend is meat from crying doves. It’s used only for Minnesota-style Jucy Lucy burgers, exclusively at Whitmans. Purple Label Burger costs $102. (Don’t balk! Do you have any idea how expensive doves are these days?)
Did we miss any? Let Pat and everyone else know in the comments.