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The Early Word on 5 Napkin Burger Union Square

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Growing chain 5 Napkin Burger opened its fourth Manhattan location last month on East 14th Street, near Union Square. The new spot is serving up a menu similar to that of the other 5 Napkin locations plus a few new items in the burger department: an avocado-ranch burger, a barbecue burger, and a mushroom Bleu cheese burger. Everyone seems to love the burgers, but there are a couple of complaints about the other items on the menu. Take a look at what early diners are saying ahead.

The Great News: One Yelper writes a glowing review about his meal there and he didn't mind waiting for his table. "Went last night with a group a friends for my first 5 Napkin Burger experience. We had a reservation for 8pm but out table was not ready until 8:30. That was no issue since they have a large bar in the back to grab a drink while waiting. The interior here is great. It is a huge space for NYC and the table are generously spaced apart which was unexpected. The food here was spot on. I had the house 5 Napkin Burger and it was 10 ounces of beefy goodness topped with caramelized onions and cheese accented with rosemary aioli. I was pumped that the burger was served on a white roll and not a brioche roll (I think brioche rolls are completely overrated, not a fan of how dry and spongy they are). And on top of the great space and the awesome food, they prices were decent. $13 for a good burger and side of fries at a 'cloth napkin' restaurant in NYC, sign me up." [Yelp]

More Great News: One Foursquare tipster is a fan: "Don't question it - just get the 5 Napkin Burger. The Rosemary aioli is life-changing!" [Foursquare]

The Very Good News: The OpenTable commenters have been busy and here is another one that not only notes the exceptional burger but a great salad too: "Service was friendly and fast. Food was yummy. This place is just what the neighborhood needs. My friend had a burger that he loved. I had the grilled shrimp salad, which was very tasty." [OpenTable]

The Good Burgers, Bad Tots News: Another tip warns about the tater tots: "Burgers are fantastic - 1 negative, don't be fooled by the tater tots there not what you think. Terrible!" [Foursquare]

The Pricey but Worth it News: One Yelper thoroughly enjoyed his meal but experienced some sticker shock: "I hesitated only briefly before getting my burger here, $12 is a lot for a burger. But let me say, what a burger it is! It is everything a burger should be. Huge, not very greasy, great quality meat, cooked to perfection. The staff is friendly and professional, the atmosphere classy and inviting. I can't afford to have lunch here everyday, but I guarantee I will be back at least once a month." [Yelp]

The Above Average News: This OpenTable reviewer loves how kid-friendly the burger joint is but feels that there is room for improvement: "Our experience here was definitely above average. We brought our 2 year old. 5NB is definitely kids friendly. Burgers were cooked as ordered and were tasty, but could have used more seasoning. Felt mine was a little lacking in the sauteed mushroom/shallot topping. Fries were great. Salty and crispy. Service was good, but our waitress was VERY green, nice but inexperienced. Would go back to try the sushi or have a drink at the bar." [OpenTable]

The Mostly Good News: An OpenTable reviewer found the overall experience to be enjoyable even if the service was a little slow. "The restaurant was pretty crowded when my friends and I arrived. Thankfully, we had a reservation. Service tended to be a bit slow, though the waiter was apologetic. We all had burgers which were great! One of the best burgers I've had. My friend had the veggie burger and she claims it is the BEST veggie burger she's ever had. My friends were very happy with the choice, even with the slow service." [OpenTable]

The Stick to the Burgers News: Another Yelper likes it but doesn't think the sushi is anything special: "The tuna tartar, pork taquitos and onion rings appetizers were delicious [the first one was very small, the other two were hearty]. The burgers were really very impressive - PERFECTLY pink inside, really big and juicy. The fish and chips were also really well-done - to have a piece of fish covered in that much 'fry' and to not be so heavy and greasy... I don't know how they do it. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's definitely fried. But somehow not oily and icky. The sushi... well, it was good, and tasted fresh, but let's just say I don't think this is their strong suit. Which I guess is a lesson: when it comes to a place called 5 Napkin Burger, stick with the burgers, not the sushi! But if you're on a diet, then no need to feel like you can't come to this place - you can still actually eat relatively healthy." [Yelp]

The Bad News: While, most of the OpenTable reviewers found their meal to be tasty there was one dissenting voice. "I ate here 2 weeks after opening, and the atmosphere was good as a result (not sure what it'll be like in 6 months+). The food was ok, the service was ok, but given the number of great burger joints in NYC, I dont think I'll be going back. I could honestly have gotten a better burger from a fast food chain like 5 Guys..." [OpenTable]

— Claire Nugent and Sarah Rose

5 Napkin Burger

150 E 14th St, New York, NY