Burgers And Shakes At 5 Napkin Burger

Photo courtesy of Michelle

My first interaction with 5 Napkin Burger Boston left me a teensy bit miffed. Twelve of us went in there for dinner this past Friday night, and I called the week before to make us a reservation. The hostess informed me that 5 Napkin Burger does not take reservations for parties of more than eight (does that seem a bit backward to you?). But then she told me that if 12 of us came in on Friday night at 7:30, they would be more than happy to accommodate us and we wouldn't really have to wait. I was skeptical.

So imagine my shock, or really lack thereof, when Michelle texted me at 7 p.m. from 5 Napkin Burger and told me that they told her it would be an hour-and-a-half wait. This is what I would have expected had I not been told (and reassured) that we wouldn't have to wait. Besides being a little annoyed at having been misinformed, it really wasn't a big deal. The 12 of us -- me, Michelle, Meghan, Daisy, Jen, Justin, and all of our significant others -- sat in the bar area and caught up, and the hour and a half passed relatively quickly.

I tried a blood orange martini at the bar. The first sip was really strong, but the drink got much better after that. Once we were seated, I ordered an apricot berry fizz, which was light, fruity, and effervescent. I definitely recommend it!

I had studied 5 Napkin Burger's menu for about a week before we went, so I knew I wanted to try the original burger.

You might think original sounds very plain, but 5 Napkin Burger's original burger is topped with Gruyere, caramelized onions, and rosemary aioli. The burger had plenty of cheese, a nice heap of onions, and just the right amount of aioli. It was the perfect choice for me.

Our waited explained to us that 5 Napkin Burger's temperatures are a little different than we are used to. The medium is more like medium rare, and medium well is more like medium. I, of course, ordered my burger medium based on that guidance. Jeff likes his burgers just a little more done than I do, so he went with medium well. Unfortunately, his bacon cheddar burger was well done, but mine was cooked perfectly.

At our end of the table, Jeff, Eric, Meghan, Daisy, Adam, and I ordered a bunch of sides to share. The other end of the table did the same. We went with tater tots, pickles, tuscan fries, and onion rings.

The tater tots were my favorite. They were salty and crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. If I could only choose one side at 5 Napkin burger, this would be it.

The house-cured pickles were sweet and crisp. I always enjoy pickles on or alongside a burger.

And we all enjoyed the Tuscan fries, which are tossed with sage, rosemary, thyme, and Parmesan.

I didn't get a picture of the onion rings because we all dug into them right away, but I will recommend that you order the appetizer portion rather than the side portion when sharing. The side had about 5 or 6 rings and no dipping sauces. The appetizer comes as a large stack -- maybe 8 or 10 rings. Our waiter kindly brought us over some of the blue cheese sauce and 5 Napkin sauce that come with the appetizer portion. The rings are crispy and not at all greasy.

For dessert, some of us sampled the shakes.

The milkshakes were half the reason I wanted to go there. I tried the salted caramel shake and was not disappointed. It had subtle caramel notes. Sadly, I couldn't finish it after polishing off all but two bites of my 10-ounce burger.

With 12 people all getting a drink at the table, a burger, and dessert and sharing sides and appetizers, our bill only came to $62 a couple including tax and tip. I couldn't believe how inexpensive dinner at 5 Napkin Burger was. I went into it thinking it was a little ridiculous to pay $10 for a burger and then have to pay extra for any sides, but if you've got people to share with, it's not bad at all.

We had a great time chatting and catching up with each other, chowing down some delicious burgers, and simply enjoying the atmosphere at 5 Napkin Burger. I would definitely go back... I'll just plan on waiting for a table next time!

What burger would you order?

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