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.)
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