Monday, January 9, 2012

5 Napkin Burger Astoria 01-01-2012

Location: 35-01 36th St, Astoria
Time: 5:30pm
People: RB, CK and myself

Feelings: I thought about celebrating the traditional Japanese Oshogatsu with RB and CK. I really considered it, but I could not resist my beloved Muppets and Jan Svankmajer (Check out "Little Otik") whose exhibitions are currently held at Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

After the visit we were about to explore our old neighborhood, but then I saw 5 Napkin Burger conveniently stood across the street from the museum. The outpost of this Hell's Kitchen burger joint looks much like many suburban chain restaurants: Flat screen TV playing football, giant booth tables, gigantic food portions, and women who dress for men instead of fashion. This would not be an ideal place for RB and I to dine, but it is a perfect place for people with babies. There is even a large playroom for kids in the back, and they actually have a plenty of working high chairs available. Each booth is very roomy --Outback style, so you have an enough space to spread all the baby supplies and toys. This must be why people move out to suburbs.

The menu consisted of burgers, salads, sandwiches and lobster rolls, and for some odd reason, sushi. I am not a big fan of restaurants who do not specialize in one category, so my expectation was not high. But my 5 Napkin Veggie Burger ($11.95, 5N sauce, b&b pickles , lettuce, tomato on multi grain roll), voted as the best veggie burger in Village Voice, was unexpectedly decadent and delicious. Many veggie burgers try to mimic the flavor and texture of the meat, but this one has its own juicy non-meaty flavor. The fresh vegetables, pillowy buns, mayo-tartar like sauce and moist veggie patty created a perfect combination of a harmonious burger that may outdo the meat burgers. Here, veggie burgers are no substitutes.

RB's had the 5Napkin Burger ($14.95, 10oz custom ground beef, caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, rosemary aioli on soft white roll) with tater tots. The burger was as sloppy as advertised and may have exceeded the 5 Napkins mentioned. He wasn't terribly fond of the Gruyere cheese and thought it resembled Hollandaise sauce. Overall, RB felt it was a well cooked burger and a nice bun, with a lot of superfluous bells and whistles.

The service was nice and attentive, but the Outback-esque decor was a bit of turn off especially after seeing the surreal visual work of Jan Svankmajer.
But 5 Napkin Burger in Astoria would be a great stop if you are...
1) visiting the museum across the street and too lazy to wander around.
2) craving delicious veggie burgers.
3) with kids.
4) dying to watch Tebow on TV and want to be greeted by hot hostesses while wiping cheese sauce off of your chin.


Jason Lam said...

That veggie burger looks damn good

Yosh. O said...

yeah it's sooo goood droool