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5 Napkin Burger - Review


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5 Napkin Burger - Review

delikado | Jun 24, 2008 08:11 AM

Whew! I apologize in advance for the long review!

I dropped by for dinner with two friends last night at 7pm and the place was pretty busy. The decor has been mentioned in a few other food sites, but it's certainly very bright and airy, with subway tiles all around and light fixtures in the form of meat hooks. The booths, however, leave something to be desired. A word of warning: You may get a great view when sitting at the booths, but the (narrow) tables have a center beam going along the floor, making it a challenge for anyone over 5'2" (like me) to position their feet in a normal manner. It felt like we were sitting in an amusement park ride throughout our meal. I would ask for a regular table next time.

Our very enthusiastic server came by shortly thereafter and pointed out the cocktails and wines at the back of the menu, making sure to plug his personal favorites. (The spicy melon marg and the pinot noir were reportedly *amazing*) We passed on the drinks, deciding instead consider our burger options. Our final orders were: the Original, the Inside-Out burger (no bun), and the Lamb Kofta burger. We were told that the chef recommends the burgers to be cooked medium-rare to medium, so we took his word for it, requesting that all our burgers be cooked medium-rare. Our server also pointed out that their burgers can take up to 25 minutes to prepare, so he suggested getting an appetizer or two to share. Since the sushi was also *amazing,* we went for the 5 Fish Narruto roll. And because no amount of cholesterol is ever enough, we also ordered the artichoke and mozzarella dip.

And now, the food: The dip was just okay, like something you'd get at Chili's, but to their credit, there were large chunks of artichoke, as opposed to slivers covered with cheesy goo. The Narruto roll was actually more like a Vietnamese summer roll, the sushi rice replaced with translucent rice paper. The presentation was lovely, and the components tasted fresh, but I couldn't help but wonder why I was eating sushi as a precursor to my burger. I can't imagine that anyone would come to a 'burger joint' looking for sushi, unless you're also looking to have the ahi tuna burger. I spied a bowl of the pork chili on a nearby table and I wished we had ordered that instead.

As promised, our burgers arrived about half an hour later, each served with a bowl of thin-cut fries. After closer inspection, we discovered that all of our burgers were closer to medium-well than medium-rare! But in any case, should ground chuck (I think that’s what they serve) really be cooked to medium-rare? Despite this, we eagerly dove into our burgers and found all three to be delicious. (Although the Inside-Out burger, which came wrapped in a lettuce leaf, looked odd at first.) My lamb burger was incredibly tasty, topped with chopped red onions and a green yoghurt sauce. The meat had clearly been ground in-house, always a good thing. But the Original was the evening’s winner, topped with comte and some other cheesy deliciousness that made me want to swoon. Oh, and the fries were also very good, crispy and salty. The little bowl they came in was empty all too soon.

All-in-all, it was a pleasant burger-eating experience, though the service element needs a few tweaks: we witnessed several food items falling off plates on their way to the tables (bigger plates, maybe?), and we definitely felt like we were being rushed out at the end of our meal. Still, I think this is a good addition to the neighborhood, and I’ll likely be back in the near future.

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