How To Make a Classic New Orleans Bar Burger
Featuring cheddar cheese curds and homemade hickory sauce.
When it comes to the signature 1&1 Burger at New Orleans watering hole Bayou Bar, imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery. Bayou Bar is a historic tavern inside the circa-1927 Pontchartrain Hotel, where the Saints football franchise was christened in 1966 and the likes of Frank Sinatra and Truman Capote once sidled up to a wood-lined shotgun bar overlooking a Charles Reinike mural and a Steinway piano. In more recent years, crispy Buffalo Alligator bites dunked in Creole Ranch dressing and plates of Crawfish Boudin vied to be sampled alongside an extensive whiskey selection, but the 1&1 cheeseburger is indisputably the menu’s juicy crown jewel.
Chef Brian Landry says his burger is a tribute to old-school New Orleans burger joint Bud’s Broiler, right down to the homemade smoked hickory sauce. Landry notes that the version served at Bayou Bar—temporarily closed due to the pandemic—benefits from a few elevated upgrades. “We do ours a little differently, with a patty made from short rib, brisket and ground chuck and topped with cheddar cheese curds on a Dong Phuong Milk Bun,” he says. Thankfully, you can still make this classic bar burger at home. Here’s how:
1&1 Burger From Bayou Bar
Makes: 4 Burgers
4 Brioche Buns
2 lbs Premium Ground Beef (made into 8 oz patties each)
8 oz Cheddar Cheese Curds
½ Cup Mayonnaise (Blue Plate recommended)
8 oz Hickory Sauce (recipe below)
1 Vidalia Onion, sliced thinly
4 Tablespoon Steen’s Cane Vinegar (or equivalent)
1 head Butter Lettuce, washed and shredded
1 Creole Tomato, sliced
1 Cup Sweet & Spicy dill pickles (Mount Olive brand recommended)
4 oz Butter, unsalted, cut into cubes
Ground black pepper
- Using a cast iron pan, melt four cubes (about 2 tbsp) of butter. Season the burger patties with salt and pepper, and place into hot butter.
- Sear the patties until a golden-brown crust forms (about 2 minutes). Flip, and cook to desired doneness.
- In a separate non-stick pan, use the remaining butter to toast the buns until golden brown.
- As the burgers finish cooking, place 2 tablespoons of hickory sauce on each burger and top with cheese curds.
- As the cheese starts to soften, toss thinly sliced onion with a pinch of salt and cane vinegar and allow to marinate. Coat the insides of the top and bottom bun with mayonnaise. (To really melt the cheese, place the burgers with sauce and cheese on top under an oven broiler for 1 to 2 minutes)
- Assemble the burger starting from the bottom with bun, patty, sliced onion, sliced pickles, tomato slice, shredded lettuce, top bun, and hold together with a toothpick.
Makes: 2 cups
1 Yellow Onion, peeled, julienned
4 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1½ Cups Ketchup
¾ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
½ Cup Brown Sugar, unpacked
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper, ground
¼ Cup Worcestershire
½ Tablespoon Chili Flakes
- Use the oil to caramelize onions in sauce pan.
- Once onions are caramelized, combine all other ingredients in saucepan and cook until combined.
- In blender, starting on low speed and gradually increasing, puree all ingredients until smooth.