5 Napkin Burger

“Napkins, as a rule, are never used and one has to wipe one’s mouth on the tablecloth, which in consequence suffers in appearance.”  Baron Louis de Closen, commenting on American eating habits in 1780

Eatery:   5 Napkin Burger, 630 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY

I maintain a running list of burgeries I want to visit.  5 Napkin Burger has been on this list for quite some time – such is the lure of its reputation.  So, when Husband wanted to try a new place for lunch I eagerly booked a table. And, boy, was I glad I booked ahead – the place was absolutely packed upon our arrival on 1:30 on a Thursday.   The first thing that amazed me was the menu.  I had not looked it up in advance, so I was completely surprised at the range of items on offer – considering the place has “burger” right in its name.  Sushi!  Pork taquitos! Grilled mahi mahi!  But, we were there for the burgers (though Husband also tried the strawberry shake).

Original 5 Napkin Burger (photo by MJ Byers)

I had the Original 5 Napkin Burger, which comes topped with caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, and a rosemary aioli.  It was as close to perfect as any burger I’ve ever had – all the components work together perfectly, though the meaty taste of the burger still emerges.  My only (tiny) complaints were the bit of charring on the outside of the meat patty that delivered a slightly burned taste and the slightly salty note.  Still, though, the flavor was so rich and intense that it was hard to finish the burger.  Or, was my struggle due to the fact that the meat apparently weighs in at 10 oz?  Either way, I soldiered on and (embarrassingly) finished the whole thing.  And, yes, the name is no joke – I had to (again, embarrassingly) resort to a knife and fork to eat the burger as I didn’t want to make a complete mess of myself.  That said, I do wonder why they only give you one napkin?  Doesn’t that fly in the face of the name?  I plan to specifically request 5 napkins on my next visit, with hopes that mirth will ensue (and that more napkins will be provided.  Seriously.).

Strawberry Shake at 5 Napkin Burger (terrible photo by MJ Byers)

The burger comes with fries, which were right up my alley – crispy, shoestring French fries.  Husband’s strawberry shake was also awesome – just the right thickness (i.e. thick but not too thick to drink through a straw) and really fresh-tasting.  Like they went out and picked the strawberries themselves that morning.

Price:  Original 5 Napkin Burger, $13.95; strawberry shake, $6.00

 Destination Burger:  Yes – go ahead and believe the hype.

Optional French Fry Rating:  Perfect.

Today’s Weigh In:  Ugh – Super Bowl carnage.  Can’t look…..

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