My Five Napkin Burger Review! Plus, White Castle Rules! Yes, It Does!

Do I have your attention? Good!


I was in New York last week and had the chance to try a new burger place: Five Napkin Burger. They seem to have popped up all over and they have four locations in New York –

I ate at the Five Napkin Burger located on 84th and Broadway – very nice sized, plenty of room, a nice bar – lots of specialty beers, decent wine and any mixed drink you could ask for – and lots of specials.

The Five Napkin Burger guys offer burgers, plus a lot of side dishes, onion ring towers, salads, mac ‘n cheese, tator tots…you get the idea: comfort food. and Comforting IT IS.

The Five Napkin Cheddar Burger REVIEW!

As you can see above, they make them look good in the illustration, but the proof is what they put in front of you when you order it. It’s the first burger, believe it or not, that I have had in a month, so I was ready to try it out.

The Five Napkin Burger

I ordered “The Original 5 Napkin Burger” – which is 10 ounces of fresh ground chuck topped with Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and a rosemary aioli. This is what it looked like when it arrived at the table:

The first thing you notice when it arrives: it is JUICY. The cheese is beautifully melted, the carmelized onions glisten, the meat is oozing juice, and the kicker is the rosemary aioli on top….it GUARANTEES that you will be spilling stuff onto your plate…and I did…here is what it looks like AFTER the first few bites:

Folks, this is one messy burger. And that is a compliment. The meat is juicy because it was cooked as I requested: medium-rare. The gruyere cheese has that smoky nuttiness, the carmelized onions were smooth and creamy, and the aioli had just a bit of tang…the meaty/creamy/tangy perfect storm was delicious.

The burger and fries were about $18, so this isn’t fast food by any means. But this is a sit-down restaurant, and the service was terrific. Also, note that the fries were cut with the skin on, and medium thickness, which is how I like them…

As the photographic evidence shows, I ordered some mayonaise on the side for the fries. All in all, very tasty and filling…I left half the fries and a quarter of the burger, so maybe the best idea is to go with a group and order some 5 Napkin sliders like these:

In addition to the house burger, the menu features six other burgers: cheddar bacon, Italian turkey, lamb kofta burger, veggie burger, inside out burger and a burger salad.

The Lamb Kofta!

I have to give Five Napkin a five out of five: great burger, terrific service, good menu and – yes, a great burger!

Speaking of great burgers:

White Castle Rules!

No apologies, no retreat, NO SURRENDER: I say that White Castle rocks at what they do, and they deserve some credit for it! First, let’s stop by the tiny White Castle outlet on 35th and 8th in mid-town Manhattan:

OK, I agree this is a small outlet, but it’s the only one I have ever seen in Manhattan. I agree the menu is dizzying, with fish nuggets, onion rings of all shapes and sizes, and a multitude of mini-slider burgers as well.


And this is my defense of White Castle: when did they ever say they were anything more than what they are? What is there to get judgmental about here – these are small, tasty little cheeseburger “poppers” – 140 calories and 79 cents each…how can you get mad at one of these?

Look, I’m not asking for much from White Castle, and they’re not asking much from me

And with each little tasty cheeseburger “popper” under a buck, I could have a few and still have plenty of money leftover….remember, I couldn’t finish my $14 Five Napkin burger, so I say let’s give the White Castle fellows a break!


And if you remember, I posted about my White Castle stuffing for Christmas (it’s at the top of the plate in the picture below)…and it was DELICIOUS!

So let’s toss a little respect to our little buddy as we also heap praise on Five Napkins – Burgers from both extremes!

Categories: BACON, Food, Food Review, Hamburgers, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 replies


  1. It’s National Cheeseburger Day! Badhappy! Kumas! Dick’s! Five Napkin! White Castle! Celebrate Here! « johnrieber
  2. Best July 4th Burger Recipes! Wildest Bacon Cheeseburgers Of All Time! – johnrieber

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