The Experience: Everyone loves an origin story, right? Why else would we get reboot after reboot of every single superhero franchise? The Burgermeisters are interested in origin stories too, which is why Burgermeister Brad set out to eat the 5 Napkin Burger at Nice Matin, the birthplace of chef Andy D’Amico’s now-famous New York hamburger. To do it proper, Brad recruited Burgermeisters from Midwest America, the region of his own origin. So with Simon-from-Wisconsin and John-from-Minnesota, Brad-from-Michigan hit up Nice Matin for brunch time burgers.
Brunch on the Upper West Side can be a bit of a hassle, as the glut of restaurants in the area does nothing to thin the lines early on a Sunday afternoon. Apparently, neither does the holiday season in New York City. Luckily, the incredibly friendly staff at the VERY Upper West Side-feeling (that is to say, catering to an older crowd instead of sceney hipsters) Nice Matin sat the Burgermeisters incredibly promptly.
The Taste: Before the burgers arrived, the Burgermeisters indulged in the sundries, which in this case constituted a bread basket filled with moist, tiny muffins and delicious grain bread. While the requisite photos and video footage were being captured, the Burgermeisters also dined on the rosemary covered fries. Why every restaurant doesn’t put rosemary on their fries is beyond this braintrust, because it always makes them memorable.
There are two differences between the 5 Napkin Burger at Nice Matin and the one at the burger’s namesake restaurant. The burger at 5 Napkin comes with gruyere cheese while the one at Nice Matin comes with a serviceable Swiss. The 5 Napkin Burger at 5 Napkin is also a couple dollars cheaper than the one at Nice Matin. Because of this fact, the Burgermeisters knew the burger would have to taste at least as good as the ones being served at the newer restaurants.
John found the burger to be delicious. He said that each components, the cheese, onions, and juicy beef patty, were cooked to near perfection. He said that they were assembled expertly to create a burger that was gourmet yet simple and Tasty. Simon, who was still full four hours later, was almost as full of praise, saying the burger was juicy and wonderful. However, when the messy (it’s called a 5 Napkin Burger for a reason) burger’s toppings slid onto his plate, Simon found that a lot of the burger’s specialness went with them. So he made a mess of his hands to get the cheese, onions and aioli back on his patty, along with some of the rosemary from his fries, so that he could continue to enjoy the burger to the fullest.
Brad scarfed down his burger quickly, taking a tip from John to keep it in his hand without ever letting it go back on the plate so as to cut down on messiness. He was full and satisfied when he was done and couldn’t bear to eat another meal for the rest of the day. However, he found the patty to be slightly less expertly seasoned than the 5 Napkin Burgers he’d devoured in the past. As the only Burgermeister at the table who had ever eaten a 5 Napkin Burger before, Brad couldn’t help but be a touch disappointed.
The Verdict: As an introduction to the 5 Napkin Burger, Nice Matin satisfied its customers. Only the spoiled and weathered Brad was slightly disappointed in his meal, and even he had to give Nice Matin props for keeping the legend of the 5 Napkin Burger strong after almost ten years in business.
Nice Matin is located at 201 West 79th Street at Amsterdam Avenue.