Thursday, October 28, 2010


Long story short, Blackened Out has stuck one toe in the restaurant business.

As happens sometimes, a conversation turns into an idea. A few months ago, Rene and Joel Dondis had a conversation about how New Orleans was lacking a real burger restaurant. They recognized that yes, places like Port o Call, Yo Mamas, The Beachcorner, and Oscars serve good burgers, but they do so inside the confines of a bar. Other places serve gourmet burgers with a steep price tag. But no one in the city was serving a freshly ground burger with hand cut fries at an affordable price.

But Joel is busy with Sucre and other business ventures and well, neither Peter nor Rene have taken your advice and not quit our day jobs. Two things sparked the idea to rent out Slim Goodies. One was Ludobites, a roving pop up restaurant in Los Angeles (which is a city in America). The other was Pizza Delicious, which you should know all about. Slim Goodies is not open at nights and so that seemed like a logical choice.

Plus opening a restaurant this way allowed us to save on overhead, start-up costs, and other economic terms which sound ominous. Joel recruited his chef from his catering operation, Evan Benson, Larkin Selman, and Hardie McDonald. A few vigorous rounds of burger tasting later and two Sundays ago we flung the doors wide open.

The menu is simple. Burgers, Cheeseburgers, Fries, and Gelato Shakes. Each week we come up with a specialty burger. Last week, it was a burger topped with Pulled Pork, Cole Slaw, and BBQ Sauce. This week it is the What about B.O.B. Burger, a burger with Bacon, caramelized Onions, and Blue cheese. The husky burger (shown at right) is a double patty. So far this burger has proven to be only for the bold, noble, and strong and this broad.

At the end of the day, this is mostly a way to have fun and offer a great burger to New Orleans. We hope it takes off and we can have our own restaurant with regular hours. For now, we are open every Sunday night at 5 pm. And we serve until the burgers run out or we get tired or whichever comes first. However, this week in lieu of being open on Sunday, we are opening Saturday night at 5 pm.

We here at Blackened Out Media, Ponzi Scheme, and Burger Slinging World Headquarters realize this may effect our credibility, if we had any, with you. Also, we know we open ourselves up to inevitable, "those guys complain about service in this restaurant, that place couldn't serve a convict with a lawsuit" arguments.

Ohh, well. Bring it.

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Cynical Cook said...

Burgers by Blackened Out? What cuts go into your standard patty? Cooked on a grill or griddle?

Rene said...

I wish I could say something cool like Trade Secret, but the patties are a fifty fifty blend of chuck and brisket. And we cook on a griddle.

BC said...

BC wishes you may happy burgerland returns. As soon as he is able, he will drive in, pick up Raul on the way, and compare your offerings to Jack-in-the-Box.

Jordo said...

This sounds phenomenal, I really need to get over there and dig in. Are ya'll lookin' for investors for your own place?

kf said...

I hate you for posting a picture of that burger then saying, wait, only available on Sunday night, no wait again, only available on Saturday night this week(no LSU game late Saints game). Will check out when I find myself in NOLA on a Sunday er Saturday night. Good luck!

Rene said...

There arent many rules about opening and closing at MVB, but one is if there is a Saints primetime game and a major holiday which involves candy, we don't open.

termite said...

i have been thinking about eating a burger since you posted this. and that's exactly what i plan on doing!


**thanks for adding the address :)

pat said...

I ate at MVB this past Sunday. I thought the burgers were fantastic and well-priced. You do the little things well -- the onions were evenly and thinly sliced, the sauce carefully spread across the bun. The meat was seasoned well. I enjoyed it and will be back.

That said, here is some unsolicited advice for your consideration:

1. The service has hiccups, as is to be expected. One thing I might recommend is to leave the checks at the table. From what I could gather, your server would give one copy of the ticket to the kitchen and then create a giant stack of every ticket in the restaurant with the customer-bill copy. Everytime a customer asked for a check, the server had to go through every single ticket to find the right one. Might consider just leaving the ticket at the table.

2. Alternatively, you might consider having customers walk to a cashier to pay their own bill rather than have the server deliver it. You could prominently number the tables and mark the tickets accordingly, so a customer only needs to tell the cashier he was at table 5, etc. Would cut down on confusion, and I suspect you'd be able to turn more tables this way, increasing your bottom line.

3. There's got to be better coordination between the kitchen and the shake-maker. We didn't get our shakes until after the check came. I'd have left (opening a table up for someone else), but I figured since I'd already paid for it, I might as well stay. Similar things happened to both the tables next to me. You only offer four choices for shakes as far as I can tell -- I'd consider not making them to order, but having the maker continually batches so that a server can just grab a vanilla shake or whatever and then roll to a table. If you don't have the blender capacity to do this, cut down on your choices (don't offer malts).

Cheers. Your burgers are great, and I wish you success.

Rene said...

Thanks Pat,

At our meeting the other night we decided to deliver the check to the table with the food and have people pay at the counter when they are ready.

Shake/Malts also are going to get improved with two people on the Shake station. Also, we ordered a 3 prong shake maker which should allow us to make more shakes faster.

Your constructive criticism is right on point and much appreciated, hope we see you again, soon.

MaryMagdalene said...

Yum.. cute waiters and waitresses too. Waiting for onion rings as you progress.

Enjoyed the delicious burger.

CGG said...

Now that its Carnival time - will y'all be open on Sunday nights during parades (particularly the Sunday before Mardi Gras)?

Am in school out of town and have been hoping to make it back to try MVB! Thanks!