Houston’s Post Oak Hotel recently announced a new menu item that seems as gross as it is grossly overpriced. “The Black Gold Burger,” which costs 1,600 American dollars, is composed of sliced Japanese A5 Wagyu beef on a black and gold brioche bun, topped with seared foie gras, and further ruined by the addition of both black truffles and truffle aioli. The price is somewhat inflated by an accompanying bottle of 2006 Dom Perignon. But those go for only about $200, which means we’re still dealing with a $1,400 burger.
We sincerely hope no one eats this obvious publicity stunt (which worked, because I’m writing about it). I personally don’t know anyone who could spend $1,600 on an entire meal, let alone one dish. But if I had that kind of money to throw around, I’d rather withdraw sixteen crisp one hundred dollar bills from the nearest ATM and eat them with a dollop of Whataburger Spicy Ketchup. If you are both extremely rich and extremely hungry, here’s a selection of other, better Texas foods you could spend your $1,600 on.
Buckets of Blue Bell
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It varies by store and region of course, but a half-gallon of Blue Bell ice cream doesn’t usually run more than $6. There are currently 33 flavors of Blue Bell available, which means you could buy seven half gallons of each and every flavor—from Cookie Two Step to Happy Tracks—and still come in well under budget around $1,500, after tax.
Whataburger for Days
For the same price as the outrageous burger, you could order 225 Whataburger meals with no cheese, or a whopping 210 Whataburger meals with cheese. Carnivores, rejoice: you could nab 165 Triple Meat Whataburger meals, if you really want to get under Ted Cruz’s skin. If you make it to a Whataburger by 11 a.m., you could also get 325 Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits, 115 liters of coffee, and about 1,625 individual hash browns.
Chicken Express, Chicken Express
Turns out that for $1,600, you could buy every single thing on the Chicken Express menu twice and still have $90 leftover to spend on Tums.
Mountains of Franklin Brisket
Franklin BBQ long ago banned line-sitters, so you couldn’t pay anyone to wait in for you with said cash. Why not pre-order 57 pounds of Aaron Franklin’s brisket and then buy a copy of each of his books instead?
A Lifetime Supply of State Fair Chicken Bread
A night at Dallas’s Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek ($622 after taxes), a Lyft Lux Black XL “spacious luxury ride” from the hotel to Fair Park ($50), a ticket to the State Fair ($16.50 if you buy it online ahead of time), 91 orders of Big Red Chicken Bread, and a Big Red-flavored donut topped with a chicken wing that wears teeny plastic sunglasses ($15 a pop) would run you less than Post Oak’s burger.
Anyone who’s found themselves a couple of Mad Dog Margaritas deep into a “meal” at Austin’s Texas Chili Parlor has joked about splurging on the legendary establishment’s $100 chili dinner: two bowls of chili, one large Caesar salad, and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Instead of splurging on a truffle-y steak sandwich and a bottle of Dom, you could treat yourself to the fanciest item on the Chili Parlor menu fourteen times after you’ve had two Mad Dog Margaritas and still have enough money left over to take a cab to Waterloo Records and buy Guy Clark’s Dublin Blues—complete with his own ode to Texas Chili Parlor—on vinyl.
Tons of Bành Mí
You could get ten of every bành mí on the menu at Houston’s Don Café, then cab it over to one of Roostar Vietnamese Grille’s locations (which the Houston Press decided had 2019’s best bành mí), buy ten of every kind of sandwich they offer, then taste test your 220 bành mí sandwiches at the Houston Press office.
You Gotcha Kolache
A kolache or koblasnek usually goes for something between one and three dollars, so let’s say the average Czech treat in the town of West would cost around $2.50 a pop. With that money you could get roughly twelve whole dozens of kolaches from all four of the bakeries at West’s intersection of I-35 and Oak Street/T M W Parkway (Czech Stop, Little Czech Bakery, Slovacek’s, and my personal favorite, Gerik’s Ole Czech Bakery & Deli) and also fill up your gas tank before you get back on the road.
120 Texas Tacos You CAN Eat Before You Die
With $1,600, you could order two of every dish we mentioned in our November 2015 taco cover story and have enough left over to buy yourself a subscription to Texas Monthly for the next eighteen years.
How About Some Colonics?
A first time colon hydro-cleansing session at Houston’s Pathways to Health Wellness Spa & Clinic will set you back $145, with returning visits costing $110. So you could get your colon cleansed thirteen times for the cost the “Black Gold Burger,” which has to be better for your health (and your behind) than any of the suggestions I provided above.