When the boss has a love for McDonald’s and asks the kitchen to clone the Big Mac using “high quality ingredients,” consider it done.
That’s how The Villager ended up with a delicious riff on the iconic fast-food burger it has dubbed the “The Grand McDonald.” At this Babylon gastropub, the two all beef patties are juicier, the sesame seed bun is fresher and the pickles are made in house using a simple one-day pickling process.
The special sauce remains sort of secret and sort of special. Chef Scott Morlock won’t divulge all that goes into his schmear, except that his version of this Thousand Island dressing is a mix of sauces that include French dressing and mayo.
The Grand McDonald ($15) has been on the menu two weeks, and has already become a cult favorite at this microbrew centric beer pub. The menu boasts six other burgers that, for now, have found themselves playing backup.
The experiment began last month when co-owner Rob Keneally, who admits to being a McDonald’s aficionado, floated the idea of imitating a Big Mac to Morlock and his three-member team. The group is known for keeping things playful and lighthearted. (Who doesn’t want a bodega-like egg and cheese sandwich with a refreshing Hillfarmstead Summer Pale Ale?)
Soon, Keneally said, the chefs were deconstructing a Big Mac, analyzing each of its parts.
By the start of the month The Grand McDonald was ready for its debut: two four ounce patties, packed using beef from nearby Village Meat Market, complete with an overflowing fry basket of crispy French fries.
For now, the double-decker burger will stay on the menu through the month, though the popularity has Morlock and company looking to make it a kitchen staple while eyeing the steam-griddled White Castle slider for their next experiment. By the way, the kitchen stays open until 3 a.m.
The Villager, 262 Deer Park Ave., Babylon, 631-482-8585, thevillagerbabylon.com