Could the Original 5 Napkin burger really live up to its name? Short Order had to know. So we stopped by the restaurant on Lincoln Road, named for the aforementioned entree and slated to open Thursday, demanding a bite of the star selection... along with some onion rings, sushi, a veggie burger, and fried pickles and pastrami. The kitchen staff gladly obliged.
First the Original 5 Napkin burger. Though we barely needed one napkin to dab at our lips, this was a sloppy sandwich, indeed. Check out the stretchy gruyere, caramelized onions, and gooey rosemary aioli. Chef Andy D'Amico told us he cooks his patties on the griddle, but we still got a nice char-grilled flavor.
Then we had to try the veggie burger since so few local restos know how to make an edible version. We were a bit shocked at its raspberry hue, but found the combination of mushrooms, lentils, carrots, wheat berries, and zucchini to be quite tasty. The downside? It's nearly impossible to eat without a fork or spoon. We vote for a name change to 10 Napkin & Spork Veggie Burger.
The cornmeal-crusted onion rings were absolutely delish! Not only did they offer a satisfying crunch combined with a steaming hot center, but the blue cheese sauce they came with was other-worldly. We'd take a pass on the 5N sauce that also accompanies the order, but perhaps you'll disagree.
Sushi at a burger joint? We found it odd, too, but D'Amico made believers of us. This Southwestern roll, yellowtail, cilantro, chayote, and scallion wrapped in soy paper and topped with jalepeno and tobiko was quite satisfying.
And finally, the most unusual offering on the menu: the deep fried pickles and pastrami. Served atop Alsatian-style sauerkraut, this strange combination was actually quite fun to ingest. Granted, just about anything deep fried is damn good, but the combination of salty pastrami with the sweet bread and butter pickles touched with spicy mustard oil and the slight snap from the sauerkraut gave us a giggle.&
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Next time we'll tackle one of those adult milkshakes and a brownie sundae. For now we're just thankful we don't have to wash all these dishes.