With so many restaurants, it’s difficult to stand out in the New Orleans food scene, and it’s especially impressive to get international press within the first four months of operation, but MVB (Most Valuable Burger) pulled it off. The pop-up burger restaurant was created by restaurateur Joel Dondis, chefs Evan Benson, Larkin Selman, Hardie McDonald, and food bloggers Peter Thriffiley, Jr. and Rene Louapre IV (Blackened Out). They’ve been taking over the Slim Goodies Diner on Magazine Street on Sundays at 5pm since last October, and thanks to active Twitter and Facebook feeds, they’ve been able to build a healthy demand for their high quality burgers.
During the week they keep in touch with fans about their specials, which are often based on pop culture, and on Sundays, people start lining up at 4:30 to get in. Thanks to the city’s open container laws and the restaurant’s BYOB policy, the crowds don’t mind waits of up to an hour.
The MVB team often sends fries down the line to stave off the hunger demons.
Once you get your burger, you’ll realize that it was worth the wait. The cheeseburgers all have two slices, one of cheddar and one of gruyere.
Their weekly specials are pricy at around $12, but they are often worth it. The Burger Benedict below was messy but delicious. A crispy piece of pancetta was hidden below the egg and gave the burger a nice texture. One minor complaint from some customers was that the burgers were slightly rare, but that seems to have since been accounted for. I ordered my burger medium the three times I’ve been, and only once was it undercooked. Undercooked meat is less of a worry at MVB because the team uses higher quality meat than your average burger restaurant. They grind their own mix of 50% brisket and 50% chuck roast and then hand-form each patty.
In February, MVB let Untapped New Orleans go behind the scenes of their operations as they were prepping and cooking their “Jersey Shore” -inspired The Situation Burger:
MVB will be open one final Sunday (May 15) before going on an extended summer vacation, during which, they’ve hinted, they’ll explore the options for a permanent location.