Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen

“The diner is everybody’s kitchen.”  Richard Gutman

Eatery:  Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen, 23 East 23rd Street, New York, NY

I spotted the Port Authority location of this restaurant and immediately wanted to try it.  Why?  The logo.


I will just come right out and admit that I am both marketing practitioner and marketing victim,  I am a sucker for logos, taglines, commercials, etc. – any well-executed marketing materials you can throw at me. I lap ‘em up.  The logo at Schnipper’s brought to mind the comfort of a diner, especially the family establishments bearing European-sounding names that I fondly recall from my youth in Ohio – with my favorite memories being of Frisch’s Big Boy.  Oh, how I loved me a dinner starring a Big Boy and hot fudge cake……

Schnipper’s is not actually a diner.  It’s a big, commercial fast food establishment.  Or, maybe it falls into the “casual dining” category as a very casual example (I’m thinking that the inclusion of booze on the menu may shift a restaurant from fast food into casual dining territory, but that’s just a theory).  In any event, the place looks so mainstream that I was expecting mediocrity.  And, yet, that logo made me try it anyway.

I ordered the Schnipper’s Classic Burger – I always start with whatever seems to be the signature burger, which I assume will bear the name of the establishment.  I was a little nervous because this burger comes topped with a “special cheese blend,” caramelized onions, bacon, Schnipper Sauce and….wait for it… arugula.  Arugula is one of those greens that I can never remember if I like.  It doesn’t turn up in all that many things that I eat, which makes me think there is something weird about it.  And, you never really hear about arugula on a burger.  It almost put me off ordering the burger (even more than the mysteriously named “special cheese blend”) but my slavish devotion to my randomly formulated customs drove me forward.


Schnipper’s Classic Burger with Fries – including arugula! (photo by MJ Byers)

And, folks, this time the mindless rule-following paid off.  The burger was absolutely delicious.  Cooked medium, juicy, standard white burger bun, meat not too thick and not too thin – I would love to tell you how big it is, but I am terrible with weights and measures.  Let’s just say it’s of average, but completely satisfactory, size.  The Schnipper sauce is mayonnaise-based and has a tangy flavor – almost like a tartar sauce.  The enigmatic “special cheese blend” definitely has some kind of Swiss in it (probably Gruyere) but I’m not sure what else.  The bottom line is that everything blended together beautifully to deliver a fantastic experience. Even the arugula – its inherent bitterness was actually additive to the gestalt of the burger.  The beef flavor neither stood out nor was it overwhelmed by the other toppings.  The bacon was crispy and of adequate thickness to retain its texture despite the juiciness of the burger. And, there wasn’t the salty note that you sometimes get with burgers from these types of outlets.  The going was a bit messy – the onions were especially prone to slide off – that wasn’t a big issue.

I don’t usually order fries but, for reasons unknown to me, I had them on this occasion.  Probably a good thing, so I can report back that they’re not worth ordering.  I had high hopes – they were the shape and texture that I like (sort of like McDonald’s fries).  But they were oddly tasteless, save for a slight fishy taste.  I can’t imagine why this would be the case – I wonder if the French fries and fried shrimp are cooked in the same oil?

Price:  Schnipper’s Classic Burger, French fries, bottle of water – $11.73

 Destination Burger:  Yes, surprisingly.

Optional French Fry Rating:  Pretty to look at but weird tasting – skip ‘em.

Fat and Calorie Worthy:  Burger – yes!  Fries – no!

Today’s Weigh In:  Down 2 lbs.  Hurray!

Post Script:  I returned to Schnipper’s with Husband.  He ordered a Blue Cheese Burger and loved it.  Behold, below, the food porn……

Blue Cheese Burger at Schnipper’s (photo by Tony Byers)

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  1. Very nice post and right to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thx :)

  2. Very good blog – thanks!

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