Is it a good burger? Yeah, sure. An excellent one.
Is it worth $26? Nope.
I say this with some hesitance, since I like McNally and his restaurants for the most part. And I think he actually keeps a good quality-to-price ratio at all of his establishments. And the rest of the menu at Minetta is no exception.
But the Black Label Burger is a rip-off. Let's do the math, shall we?
What does the patty weigh? 8 oz, officially, though it may vary slightly. That gives it a cost of somewhere around $3.25 per oz, give or take.
So how does that compare to a high-end, dry-aged steak at one of our more expensvie steakhouses? I'll use BLT Prime as an example:
There, a dry-aged NY Strip comes to $2.75 / oz. A Rib-Eye, which from what I've heard the BLB is primarily composed of, is $2.14 / oz. Prices at other high-end steakhouses (S&W, Luger's, Keen's) are in the same neighborhood.
Assuming that rib-eye makes up the bulk of the BLB, with lesser priced cuts rounding it out, there's no way the burger should cost more than $17.12 - we'll round it up to $18 to include the bun and other accoutrements.
So - your choice. you can pay $2.75 / oz (or less) for a beautifully marbled, well-aged piece of meat. Or you can pay more for the ground-up scraps of said meat. You're paying a very high premium for the novelty of "steaky" taste in burger form, pure and simple.
Might as well go for a steak, then.
Again, no dis on McNally and crew... I just think the whole BLB thing got out of hand...