4.29.2011

Is Boston's Best Burger at 5 Napkin?


I know that I'm relatively new to burger reviewing, having only been at it since October of last year, but never have I experienced anything quite like this. A couple weeks ago, 5 Napkin Burger opened in Boston and the local burger world has been all a-tizzy and hasn't been the same since. Lately, it seems, it's rare that I have a conversation with someone about burgers and a mention of them doesn't come up. Wanting to give them time to get situated in their new home in the Pru, Burger Boy and I waited to stop in for a review until finally, this week, we went in for a 5 Napkin Burger.

I'll be honest, I expected to like it. I didn't expect to be blown away by it but I expected it to be a respectable contender in the search for Boston's Best burger. Wanting to try the one that started it all, the Original 5 Napkin Burger ($10.95), I placed my order and agreed to split the fries and tater tots, neither of which come with the burger. When the burger arrived, it was neatly presented in the center of the plate. It looked juicy and was topped with what looked to be a decent amount of cheese and caramelized onions. On top of that, however, was a giant mass of rosemary aoili, I'm talking about 3-4 TBS of it, which is a lot to be sitting in a giant blob on top of my burger. I ended up scraping more than half of it off, the rosemary in the aoili was just too strong and too much. Even after I had scraped some of it off, the flavor still haunted, masking everything else happening in the burger. The burger itself, while being juicy, was under-seasoned and didn't provide that beefy flavor I was hoping for. On the other hand, I did like the burger's bun. Light and fluffy and fitting the burger perfectly, it had just enough strength to hold the messy burger together all the way through to the last bite.


As mentioned before, fries did not come with the burger, which is a pet peeve of mine. I just think that a lonely little burger looks so sad on a plate without hot and crispy fries automatically snuggled up next to it. The fries were an additional $3.25 and although quite tasty, crisp and well seasoned with salt and rosemary, the serving was rather skimpy for the price. In addition to the fries, we ordered the tater tots ($4.25) because, again, so much like the burger, there had been so much hype about them. When they arrived at our table, they looked great, all neatly stacked up, golden and crispy but one bite revealed a mushy mess of pasty mashed potatoes that were in desperate need of some salt.


Overall, I didn't think that 5 Napkin lived up to its hype... and so the search for Boston's best burger continues..

5 Napkin Burger on Urbanspoon

11 comments:

Boston Food Diary said...

Great review! I'd been hearing generally positive feed back thus far so it's nice to hear the comparison!

Daisy said...

whoa, that looks like a serious overload/glob of rosemary and onions on your burger! mine looked much prettier!! sorry you didn't like it. :(

Shannon said...

oh no! i had heard such good things, now i'm disappointed :( might still have to try it for myself...

Elizabeth said...

I've heard such mixed reviews about it. I'm curious about some of the non-burger offerings.

Melissa said...

I am surprised you didn't like the tots! I don't think they really are tater tots, but I loved them anyways. I'm with Elizabeth - next time I want to try the rest of the menu.

His Woman said...

Have you tried Rock Bottom's Patty Melt?? Spot on Stuart Street/Theater District???? OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
http://www.rockbottom.com/boston

YUM. GO. REVIEW. REPORT BACK. SOON.

In and Around Town said...

I don't think mine had quite that much on there...but I still thought it was a pretty good burger.

Megan said...

I feel like everyone reviewing the original burger got too much aioli. Mine was just right though... maybe a teaspoon or so... no globbiness at all. And our tater tots erred on the side of oversalted rather than not salty enough. I love salt and thought they were perfect. Sounds like it wasn't the best experience that day. (The tots are also the type made with mashed potatoes and prob pate a choux like at Garden at the Cellar, so I think that throws people off if they are looking for ones more like the frozen variety with chunks of potato.)

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

So bummed my tater tot experience wasn't as good as yours! I don't think that there was choux in there, they just tasted like poorly made mashed potatoes to me. They were gummy and pasty and surfaced seasoned instead of seasoned through. Choux is light and buttery and delicious, even if cooked in a similar fashion.

Jen said...

I agree with Megan. The burger Hubby and I split had just the right amount of aioli. Weird.

Jess said...

Nice stuff! Keep up the work on posts like this....enjoyed it.

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