That Burger has been called one of the best kept food secrets in New York, and we certainly wouldn’t disagree. It all started with the passion and determination of founder Dan Peterson, who spent years perfecting a custom burger blend using Pat LaFrieda short rib and brisket. Once he was satisfied with his creation, he opened That Burger Tent, a mobile food stand at the Williamsburg Flea. That Burger Tent took off, becoming a new mainstay of the weekend Flea food scene. Within a year, Peterson dropped the "Tent" and set up permanent shop inside two East Village bars, Billy Hurricanes (now Station B) and Idle Hands, where he expanded his menu to include delicious takes on comfort bar food like "tochos" (a tater-tot/nacho hybrid) and mind-blowing hot wings. Peterson doesn't mess around with his burgers, and he doesn't mess around with his wings: they were good enough to take second place in the 2012 King of the Wing competition, beating out 30 other NYC bars and restaurants.
One of the things that make That Burger so distinctively good is their selection of creative, quality sauces. As he expanded his menu, Peterson continually crafted new sauces that proved to be popular in their own right, with or without the burger. However, though sauces like the Crabby Mayo and the Cowboys from Hell hot sauce sparked considerable interest, the most popular sauce was always the Bourbon ketchup, which Peterson has recently released for retail sale.
We were treated to a bottle from the very first batch--number 431, to be exact—and a sample revealed that it is as good as we’d been led to believe by That Burger hype. The savory-sweetness of the base condiment is perfectly complimented and kicked up by the bourbon, and the whole taste is really brought home by Peterson’s bacon-salt spice. All in all, definitely worth a spot in your pantry.
Beyond the deliciousness of the sauce and the total reasonableness of the price (at $6) there are plenty of other reasons to think about buying your own bottle.
From its inception, That Burger has been something special. It’s a seriously local institution that is very clearly a labor of love. Peterson, who used to have a full-time job in the software industry, put everything on the line to follow his “passion for burgers”, and that passion definitely shows in his food. There’s something so refreshing and rare about someone actually doing what they want with their lives, and doing it well. Peterson’s many friends and fans are so vocal about supporting him because he actually does need, and deserves support. That Bourbon Ketchup, the premier sauce of Peterson’s That Sauce Company, was supported largely by crowdsourcing funds, That Burger recently left their stations in the two East Villiage bars, and That Sauce Company was created largely in order to help fund the opening of a solo That Burger location.
They're on hiatus while they fundraise and search for their own place, so if you want your fix of That Bourbon Ketchup, ordering your own bottle is the only way to go. Pick one up online and treat yourself to some boozy ketchup goodness while supporting a good guy who makes great burgers.