5 Napkin Burger is part of the same chain that owns a clutch of mediocre casual French restaurants, such as Nice Matin, Cafe d’Alsace, and so forth. Apparently the menu at Nice Matin offers a “5 napkin burger” that was so popular they decided it deserved its own restaurant.
My advice? Don’t bother. My son and I both had the namesake 5 Napkin Burger ($14.95) on Saturday evening. It was over-cooked, too greasy, and overwhelmed by the taste of caramelized onions. It oozed enough grease to make the poor bun wilt under the pressure.
The space is the size of a small barn, but the décor isn’t bad, featuring white tile walls and a collection of antique scales hung along the back of the room. There are over fifty beers on tap, but the rest of the menu is a mash-up of sushi and miscellaneous comfort food.
Service is designed to get customers in and out in a hurry. We waited around 20 minutes for a table at 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday evening. I am not sure why it is so busy. In a neighborhood that has a dozen restaurants on every block, it’s hard to see the point of this place.
5 Napkin Burger (630 Ninth Avenue between 44th & 45th Streets, Hell’s Kitchen)