When incomparable restaurant The Burger Guys closed its doors late last year—both at its short-lived downtown location and at its original West Houston spot—many tears were shed for burgers that would live on only in our memories. Where now could one obtain a lengua burger topped with pickled red onions and a salsa verde aioli? Where does one find a Saigon burger complete with pâté, daikon radishes, shredded carrots, jalapeños, and a runny fried egg? These burgers were lost to the annals of time.
2525 W. Loop South
But at least one Burger Guys craving can still be satiated if you know the right place to go. The BMF—which stands for what you think it stands for—featured as its chief ingredient a seared lobe of foie gras, its gently brûléed exterior parting to reveal a soft gush of livery delight over the top of a burger also topped with bacon-onion jam and toasted garlic aioli. This foie-graced burger ran $35 at The Burger Guys, but an even better version of the BMF can currently be found on chef Shannen Tune's burger menu at the Hotel Derek—and for $11 less.
The standard "Kobe burger" at the Hotel Derek's restaurant costs $16 and features American Wagyu beef in green peppercorn demiglace topped with Cheddar cheese, arugula, pickled red onions, and—whoa, hey, fancy now—truffle mayonnaise. And not, I'm here to report, mayonnaise tarted up with truffle oil, but mayo into which black truffles have been microplaned. You can tart the whole affair up even further by adding a seared lobe of foie gras for $8, bringing the grand total to $24.
The burger comes with a side of twice-fried frites, and the Hotel Derek recommends pairing the entire meal with a Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA—actually a terrific suggestion, with peppery notes that will draw out that green peppercorn demi and a gentle hoppiness that will cleanse all that wonderful fat from your palate during sips, meaning each bite will be almost brand-new.
Sure, there isn't any Dublin Dr Pepper on tap here at the Hotel Derek, and there aren't any duck fat fries on offer—but you can't beat the a foie-topped burger for $24, nor the excellent beet salad I recommend you order as an appetizer. You'll need some veggies to go with all that meat.