208 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
I love my wife and honestly, it’s days like this that tell me that in our sick little, twisted and goofy minds, we’re head over heels made for each other. When I asked Cara what she wanted to do for her birthday dinner, without hesitation she said “you have to take me for the Secret Monday Night burgers at RUB BBQ!” I am not one to disappoint and besides, Momma Rev raised me to know, “hell hath no fury like a woman who doesn’t get her birthday burger!” I hit up my buddy and RUB BBQ owner, Andrew Fischel to ask what the Monday night special would be this particular week and little did he know just how well he had hit the nail on the head.
Let me explain, on Monday nights, from 6 to 9 pm only, RUB serves burgers. Try as you might, you won’t find them listed on the menu. It’s a you gotta know thing (A Hamburger Today usually posts it up) and even if you do know, it doesn’t mean you will get one. As with everything served at RUB, it’s limited quantities and first come first serve. Which leads to another Momma Rev life lesson, “if you don’t get while the gettin’s good, you get gonned.”
If you do make it in time, you will have your choice of 2 burgers; 1. The Monday Night Rub Secret Burger secret blend of in-house ground beef, cooked smashed style, with grilled onions, small pickle slices, a slice of Velveeta cheese and the chipotle based special sauce burger served on a buttered and grilled bun. or 2. The weekly special, which in this case was the infamous Guberburger!! Made famous by the Wheel Inn in Sedalia, MO, the more than famous guberburger is simply a burger with a large dollop of peanut butter slathered across the top of the patty. So to get back to the point of why Andrew is a genius story; my wife once said me, in an attempt to explain her love for peanut butter something I will never forget; “I’m peanut butter’s bitch.”
As if the excitement wasn’t already building, out of no where my blackberry starts going off . I angrily look down as if to say “who the hell can it be now?” My face went from frustration to jubilation when I saw it was a call George Motz from Hamburger America!! “Rev, I hear you and the wife are headed over to RUB for the guber. You better hurry, they’re almost out. I stopped in real quick to have one and its AMAZING. I told Andrew he can’t serve it to you with any garnishes. Just bun, patty and peanut butter. Enjoy!”
Cara and I immediately jumped into a taxi.
We were greeted by Andrew and his wife Julia who immediately started throwing food and drink our way. There were only a few burgers left to be had and we did not want to be left out! Cara, curious for the burger I had been raving about, ordered the Monday Night Special, while I of course went for the guber with a plan to share. For my full review of the RUB BBQ experience and burger click here. But for now, let’s gab about the guber.
I get chills just thinking back to it. A juicy, Pat LaFrieda quality ground beef patty, formed in the kitchen and then cooked in an absolute flash at a very high temperature and served on a warm, grilled potato roll with ONE HEAPING SLAP OF PEANUT BUTTER. Look at the picture will you? All I could think was “how the hell am I going to eat this?!?!” It was going to require a lot of napkins to best the lake of molten sugar and smashed peanuts. “Hi, I would like a little burger with my peanut butter!!” Much to Andrew’s credit, he has put together an amazing creation. The beef is so flavorful that not even the salty-sweet goodness of the gooey stuff was able to over power it’s magical taste. The poor bun didn’t hold up so well but it that’s like expecting the first boat they had to stand up to the power of Jaws. Cara’s peanut butter covered mits stand as proof.
As it was her first time at RUB we went a little buck wild on the order with a small Frito pie, the smoked turkey (my fave!), short ribs with a side of greens and a side of the BBQ beans. It was all extremely delicious and proof that Andrew really can cook up decent BBQ in any style out there. As we sat at the bar with full tummies and big smiles, Julia showed up out of nowhere with bacon and chocolate chip cookies and fried Oreo’s adorned with a lit birthday candle. Is there nothing they can’t whip up in their magical kitchen?!?
As we sat basking in the after-guber, I got a text from my friend Jason. “Rev, we came to RUB tonight and missed out on the burgers. I’m so bummed.” I showed it to Andrew who admitted that he had one RUB burger saved in the back for just such an occasion. Well, as Jason will probably tell you now, it’s “all about the right place and the right time” … or is it “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” Or is it “the early burgermeister gets the worm?”