How Do You Improve a Big Mac? Let Chef Randy Evans Make You a Big-H Burger

Categories: Burger Break

bigh1.jpg
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
How do you improve upon a Big Mac? That isn't a sarcastic question; I'm a sucker for a McDonald's hamburger.

Blame it on nostalgia or perhaps my family history of diabetes. But it's rare that I feel an upscale restaurant can tackle a fast-food dish and improve significantly upon the original. Liberty Kitchen -- with its McDonald's-esque, special sauce-topped Liberty Burger -- is one of the rare restaurants which can, and now so is Haven.

Chef Randy Evans recently added the $20 Big-H burger to his lunch menu at Haven, which is his deliciously over-the-top reinterpretation of a Big Mac.

In true McDonald's style, the burger is even described on the menu as two Akaushi beef patties with "secret sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on sesame seed bun" (remember the old jingle, fellow oldsters?). It can also come topped with a fried egg on request, because what would modern dining be without the option to yolk up your burger?

And if $20 seems like a lot to pay for a burger, that's because you haven't seen the full size of the thing in person.

bigh2.jpg
Photo by Paula Murphy
Behold that fantastic beast. I managed to get less than a quarter of the way through it at lunch before admitting defeat. Do yourself a favor if you're possessed of a similarly wimpy appetite and split the Big-H with a friend. Evans told me that only two people had finished the entire burger, one of whom was a petite Vietnamese woman. Wherever you are, petite Vietnamese woman, I doff my metaphorical cap to you.

In addition to the two perfectly medium-rare Akaushi patties, Evans also tops the burger with a special sauce that's captivatingly close to McDonald's own "secret sauce." That's not saying much in general, as pretty much anyone can throw together Thousand Island dressing. But it's the fact that Evans decided to go with restraint in this area instead of making his version of the secret sauce a swaggering, truffled-Sriracha-and-miso gilded lily that I admire.

bigh3.jpg
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
I also admire the use of his housemade pickles, the pitch-perfect shreds of iceberg lettuce and the slightly sweet eggy buns that hold it all together. It's the all-natural Big Mac that, well, a top-notch chef would make if he were making one for himself at home. And price aside, it's a complete and total improvement on the original.

Oh, and did I mention that it comes with something McDonald's doesn't offer at all? (Besides the fried egg, that is.) Housemade tater tots. Watch your back, Sonic: Haven is gunning for you next.



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Location Info

Haven - CLOSED

2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Liberty Kitchen

1050 Studewood St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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23 comments
brandius
brandius

Just wanted to follow up and say that I went to Haven, ordered this burger, and conquered it in a single sitting by myself.

 

Its really, really good. A little too much sauce that soggied up the bottom bun - but whatevs. Meat. 

brandius
brandius

I could eat this in a single sitting without breaking out into a glorious meat sweat. I'd be curious about desserts that pair nicely with it. 

del.martinis
del.martinis topcommenter

You just made me crave a Big Mac!  My mouth ain't big enough for this thing.  There should be various sizes on the menu. 

Bruce_R
Bruce_R

I thought McDonald's calls it special sauce, not secret sauce.

 

But I've gotten a bit sick of these over-the-top stupidity burgers, like the one you describe above.  I can get two McDoubles for $2 and call that lunch.  And they taste good.

mingfire
mingfire

@DAJADADA87 special sauce grosses me out

UrbanSwank
UrbanSwank

The burger looks awesome, but look at the freakin' tater tots! Geez. #WantNow ~ UG

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

A man is a bus driver on Sesame Street and insists on meeting all of his riders. At the first stop, two overweight women got on the bus; both are named Patty. At the next stop, a mentally challenged boy named Ross got on. At the final stop, a disgusting man named Lester Heath got on, took off his shoes, and picked at his bunions. When the bus driver got home, his wife asked him if he met anyone new that day.  I don't recall how this ends, but your mother's a whore.

Kelly Bishop
Kelly Bishop

White Castle Chicken Rings and McDonald's McRib.

kylejack
kylejack

@EatingOurWords Food Inc cured me.

CarissaWrites
CarissaWrites

@MattMadeiro @clintstengel @carissawrites yes, please.

Brandon Fisch
Brandon Fisch

This has been called the dude and has been at the burger guys since it opened

susanterrywilhelm
susanterrywilhelm

The Big H is great!!!!!!  Although I haven't had the 2 patty version, the 1 patty version with the added fried egg was more than I could handle.  One of the city's best burgers, hands down!

giveup
giveup

"I'm a sucker for a McDonald's hamburger"

 

Then you're not a food critic.

DAJADADA87
DAJADADA87

@mingfire it's just a little mayo, a little ketchup and a little sweet relish... but we can get it on the side

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @UrbanSwank The tater tots were awesome -- nothing like childhood cafeteria tater tots yet smacking of nostalgia.

salynch
salynch

@kylejack @eatingourwords Hubcap cured me... I can't really enjoy fast food burgers anymore :p

mingfire
mingfire

@DAJADADA87 it was ok til you said relish

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