5 Napkin Burger

 

5 Napkin Burger earns 2 stars for overdue charm on the eastern end of Lincoln Rd

5 napkin burger - exterior

Jodi Mailander Farrell

The new 5 Napkin Burger, just south of New World Center, brings overdue charm to the long-ignored east end of Lincoln Road. But it takes more than killer tunes and atmosphere to be a contender in South Florida’s sizzling Burger Wars. With patty prices double the cost of Shake Shack at the other end of the mall, 5 Napkin sets expectations high, particularly with a name that conjures juicy, chin-wiping flavor. Which is why we’re renaming the place 1 Swipe Burger.

Ambience: On the ground floor of the yellow Art Deco Lincoln-Drexel Building, the trendy bar-and-grill offers big, comfy booths and a wall of windows overlooking the people parade. The heavy, dark wood bar and tables impart Old World appeal, while the music (Florence + the Machine, Joy Division) is earnestly young.

What Worked

  • The better than average namesake burger - 10 ounces of griddled ground chuck inside a cloud-soft toasted bun with Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and rosemary aioli
  • A desolate looking order of deep-fried pickles and pastrami –  four house-made pickles wrapped around deli meat and fried in a light batter
  • Crusty-outside, mushy-inside tater tots
  • A salted caramel shake lacking salty sweetness
  • An amazing 80 beers, 50 wines, 40 bourbons and 10 signature cocktails
  • Thin, crispy fries
  • A California Rainbow roll packed with crab, tuna, salmon and yellow tail, with fresh mango, cucumber and avocado
  • Light and cool chunky lobster roll sliders, served on delightful, flour-dusted white buns with buttery Bibb lettuce and a mound of bread and butter pickles
  • Grilled chicken paillard salad with red and white endive, grapefruit segments, red onions, fennel and a heap of thin French green beans tossed in a tomato and lime vinaigrette (although chicken breast was burnt)
  • Fun “smores” milkshake - two giant toasted marshmallows floating in graham-flavored vanilla ice cream
  • Just-right peanut butter-chocolate milkshake

 

What Didn't Work

  • A burger ordered medium that arrived gray & dry in the middle
  • Teaspoon-sized toppings on a burger said to oveflow with "sweet, buttery onions and seasoned mayo"
  • Dry & crumbly bacon Cheddar burger with flat & non-fatty bacon planked across the top like a sun-charred tourist on the beach

 

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