Ray’s Hell-Burger, now being served at Ray’s To The Third, may not be getting the massive world recognition it was getting two years ago (think about the ramifications of this: The President of the United States and The President of Russia go there for hamburgers), but it sure seemed to be doing pretty well Monday afternoon, and if you look at the pin-board near the front door ('Where in the world did you come from to get your Hell-Burger?’), there are so many pins on it, from so many places, that I’ll bet Michael Landrum wishes he’d made it ten times larger.
I ordered about as simply as one can possibly order - an Original 10-Ounce Hell-Burger ($10.99), grilled, medium-rare, with nothing on it, no cheese, no side orders, and a glass of ice water.
Whatever Michael does to his hamburgers, I hope he never changes it. Essentially a ground up steak on a bun, it’s as good as I remember it being (I haven’t had one in over a year now). I added exactly one shake of salt (someone should start a specialty salt product called The Sheikh of Salt), and a dab of Gulden’s mustard on the plate for the occasional dunk, and that’s it.
Beefier than beef, Ray’s Hell-Burger remains arguably my favorite hamburger patty. Bone marrow and persillade is perfect with this sandwich, but that’s now a five-dollar topping. Even what I had, with tax and tip, was about $15.00, and with the bone marrow, it would have been over $20. This is a lot of money, but this is also a lot of burger. Delicious, and maintained in Italic in the Dining Guide.