Five Napkin Burger opened earlier this week in Astoria on the same block as the popular beer garden, Studio Square and just across the street from the neighborhood's famed Kaufman Astoria Studios. Me being the illustrious food blogger that I am, I was invited to a tasting of the menu one day before opening night. Here are five reasons this place is gonna do it up big in Astoria.
1. Location, location, location
First of all, this place has a great location that will no doubt attract tons of people due to its proximity to the aforementioned Studio Square as well as the Regal Cinema just around the block. Don't forget the Frank Sinatra High School directly across the street where dozens of wannabe Gleeks will make the 10 oz. namesake burger and tots a recurring after school snack.
2. Ohhhh, pretty lights
The interior of this place is beautiful. The bare lightbulbs hanging on meat hooks give the place an industrial, striped down feeling even though it's fancier than almost any other burger place in the neighborhood.
3. Golden brown and delicious
GBD is a term they taught us in culinary school to describe when any particular deep fried item was done. The onion rings pictured here are BY FAR the best in the neighborhood and the "tots" (even though they're not real school cafeteria style) are a little herbed potato croquette bite of heaven.
Chalkboard mural. I spent a good half hour staring at this thing.
Might get this tattooed on my chest.
Deep fried pastrami and pickle, the best thing I tasted. See #3.
4. The burgers
I tried four burgers and all of them were stellar. Juicy and get-all-over-your-face, the name of the restaurant is not joke. Above is the Italian Turkey Burger with melted mozzarella and grilled peppers.
This is only the first napkin...
5. Everything else on the menu
The lobster roll I had was amazingly fresh tasting. I haven't had Luke's yet but this is delicious. Also on the menu are sushi, some delicious pork taquitos, and a Kobe beef hot dog I hear is just the jam.
Lamb Kofta Burger. A little tip of the hat to the Greek neighborhood. Much appreciated, Five Napkin.
Veggie burger. Housemade with 5N sauce and pickles. Yum.
Their signature Five Napkin Burger. Perfect Medium, caramelized onions, melted gruyere and rosemary aioli. I'm drooling.