Thursday, October 6, 2011

5 Napkin Burger

What is it about blogging that makes people reveal their most shameful secrets? 

That's right, Internet: I'm about to spill.

Secret No. 1:  I'm a bit of a tightwad. Sure, I love Astoria for its diversity, but I actually moved here because it's cheap.

Secret No. 2: I like to eat dinner at 6 pm. If I got out of work earlier, I'd eat it at 5:30. 

In short: I'm going to make one hell of an old person. Perhaps that's why I'm so enamored of the Slider Happy Hour at 5 Napkin Burger.

Every day from 4 pm - 7 pm, the bar at 5 Napkin busts out the best deal in town. I know what you're thinking: sliders? Those greasy little squares of meat that Harold and Kumar went on a quest to find? Well, yeah. Only these are veggie sliders. And they are fabulous. (If you've got carnivorous friends, bring 'em along: 5 Napkin serves beef and turkey versions, too.)

$6 worth of sliders!

For two bucks a pop, you get miniburgers made mostly of lentils, carrots, and red cabbage, which has the interesting effect of turning the sliders purple. (At first I thought this was due to the presence of beets, but this is, thank God, not the case.) Unlike so many veggie burgers, they're the perfect texture, neither mushy nor dry. 5 Napkin tops them with dill pickle slices and an aioli that's sort of a classier version of McDonald's special sauce (yes, I used to eat Big Macs. Consider that Secret No. 3). Dr. Science and I have found that two burgers = dinner (though we occasionally go crazy and order the fantastic sweet potato fries).

The bar (tattoo not pictured)

Sitting at the bar is more enjoyable than it might sound. You get to stare at glowing bottles of Maker's Mark and the text tattoo on the bartender's arm. (He has waited on me at least four times but I still haven't figured out what it says.)

Nut Brown Lager (with condiments)

Not only are the burgers cheap during Happy Hour, draft beers – including the excellent Nut Brown Lager, the house brew – are a mere $4. A penny-pinching couple can split four burgers and two beers and get out for just over a Jackson, including tax and tip.

Perhaps best of all, you can finish your meal in time to catch a 7 pm screening across the street at the Museum of the Moving Image. Cheap dinner, a movie, and bed by 10:30 pm? That, friends, is my kind of night. Promise you won't tell a soul.

5 Napkin Burger
35-01 36th Street

Veg friendliness

Food quality



  1. The 5 Napkin Veggie Burger is one of the best veggie burgers in the city. And I also just discovered the sliders and beer deal for happy hour. I may move in.

  2. Tell me more about this veggie burger, as I'm a v-burg obsessive: What is it made of? Is it fried or baked or what? Will I like it? Does it get mushy? (I secretly really like mushy ones.)

  3. I saw your post and thought I'd try the happy hour. I was bummed to learn the veggieburgers weren't vegan. Not much on the menu for vegans save for a veggie sushi roll (at a burger joint). Beer was excellent, though.

  4. Aw, sorry, Peter. Are the burgers themselves not vegan, or is it just the aioli? I gotta say, Vegan Astoria would be much harder to write, though I am planning to include more vegan foods in future reviews.
    - Susan

  5. Hi Susan, the burgers have egg in them, but to the bartender's credit (the one with the text tattoo), he was totally forthcoming with that info. I told them I thought they should have at least one vegan burger on the menu and he said he get that requests enough that they may add one!

    Yes, vegan Astoria is tough, but not impossible! Seva, Sai, Brick Cafe, various thai, Matsu has a bunch of good vegan rolls, leave the mayo off the tofu po'boy at sugar freak. . .

  6. love the veggie burgers at 5 Napkin! The slider happy hour is an amazing deal!