Before a Sunday matinee on Broadway, we wanted a quick but nonetheless relaxed meal.
And we were in the mood for burgers.
No, we weren't interested in some counter service place. We wanted to sit down, be served and enjoy ourselves in a friendly atmosphere.
And we found it all at Five Napkin on Ninth Avenue at 45th street not far from the theater district.
We had a 12:30 reservation and were warmly greeted, promptly seated and served by this restaurant's efficient and helpful staff.
We enjoyed the the classic cheeseburger (8 oz. fresh ground beef, american cheese, raw onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles on a sesame brioche roll) and the burger salad (beef patty on top of mixed lettuce, endive, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, red onion, radishes, celery, blue cheese, pickled onions with choice of dressing).
We ordered the burger well and it was thoroughly cooked without being burnt. And it remained juicy! We loved the combo of ingredients with the slightly sweet brioche roll. This burger is substantial but it's not overwhelming. You don't have to cut it into parts or slice it through the middle to fit it into your mouth. The fries that accompanied it were freshly cut, freshly cooked and perfect.
The burger salad (ordered medium-rare) was cooked just as directed and proved to be equally tasty amidst fresh, crisp ingredients.
Yes, this very well could be the best damned burger in Manhattan -- but now you'll also find Five Napkin in Miami and Boston.
We can heartily recommend the Ninth Avenue location which is bustling without being crazy. It's comfortable and convivial.
And, lest you think that Five Napkin is only about burgers, check out their entire menu. We think you'll be pleased.