A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 04, 2011
Two-Napkin, Three-Napkin, Four-Napkin or Five-Napkin Burger

A one napkin/two napkin/three napkin/four napkin/five napkin burger is a hamburger so loaded with natural juices that it requires several napkins to eat it. “Two-napkin hamburger” has been cited in print since at least 1982 and 1983. Del Monte Express (CA) billed itself as “Home of the Five Adult Napkin Burger” since at least 1990.

A five-napkin burger was served in New York City in 2003, becoming so popular that it spawned the restaurant chain called 5 Napkin Burger in 2008.


5 Napkin Burger
About Us
In 2003, Andy D’Amico and Simon Oren opened Nice Matin on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Since opening night, no dish has been more popular than the “5 Napkin Burger.” The dish has been so popular, in fact, that with partner Robert Guarino, D’Amico and Oren decided to give the burger its own stage in Hell’s Kitchen.

The 5 Napkin Burger is 10 ounces of fresh ground chuck topped with Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and a rosemary aioli. In addition to the house burger, the menu features six other burgers: cheddar bacon, Italian turkey, lamb kofta burger, veggie burger, inside out burger and a burger salad.

Google News Archive
7 May 1982, Vancouver Sun, Weekend, pg. L35, col. 2:
The hamburgesa drew raves from this burger aficionado. “Like all great burgers, it’s hard to eat,” he said. “It oozes and squirts and drips and plops. It’s a two-napkin hamburger.”
(Calors ‘n’ Bud’s Tex-Mex Restaurant—ed.)

17 November 1983, Lockhart (TX) Post-Register, “Red Rock News” by Marybeth Gradziel, pg. 9B, col. 5:
Happy birthday to Ed Spearstien, of Ed’s Country Store, “Home of the genuine two napkin hamburger,” who celebrated with a big party last weekend.

Google Books
May 1985, Orange Coast Magazine (CA), pg. 32, col.2:
Ruby’s serves a real old-fashioned, three-napkin burger in a setting that will make you wish you were born in the Forties.

Google Books
Monterey Life (CA)
Volume 11, Issue 4
1990
Pg. 107:
Del Monte Express, two locations: 2114 Del Monte Ave., 372-9510; and 2329 N. Fremont. 655-1941. “Home of the Five Adult Napkin Burger.”

29 May 1994, Kansas City (MO) Star, “Getting Started” by Kate Hunter, pg. 2:
Fast food is fine if you need quick sustenance, but if you want to really relish a burger go to Max’s Autodiner in south Kansas City. Max’s sells a six napkin hamburger fat juicy slathered with mayonnaise and guaranteed to drip ...

Google Books
Frommer’s Maui
By Lisa Legarde
New York, NY: Macmillan
1996
Pg. 138:
Everybody who dines at this waterfront burger joint has a great view, but what keeps packing them in is the incredible “three-napkin” burgers and cheeseburgers.
(Cheeseburger in Paradise-- ed.)

Google Groups: alt.fifty-plus.friends
Newsgroups: alt.fifty-plus.friends
From: “gmc”
Date: 1999/03/21
Subject: Re: Observations from my favorite Red Neck Reataurant

A 3-napkin burger....not like little charcoal things you get at some places.

New York (NY) Times
Off the Menu
By FLORENCE FABRICANT
Published: February 20, 2008
In the spring, Andy D’Amico, who is the executive chef at Marseille and Nizza in the theater district, plans to open a restaurant, as yet unnamed, on the same block. He will serve the “five-napkin burger” that is on the menu at Nice Matin, another of the places he owns in partnership with Simon Oren’s Tour de France restaurants: 630 Ninth Avenue (45th Street).

New York (NY) Times
Fresh Takes on a Familiar Pleasure
By BETSY ANDREWS
Published: September 3, 2008
5 NAPKIN BURGER
630 Ninth Avenue (45th Street), (212) 757-2277. Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
At 5 Napkin Burger in the theater district, though, go with what they named the place after. The folks at Nice Matin knew they had a good thing in their burger. So they devoted a restaurant to it, where pre-show crowds sip cocktails beneath dangling meat hooks and Edison bulbs.

New York (NY) Times
Quickbite | Manchester (CT)
Burgers, Loaded

By CHRISTOPHER BROOKS
Published: January 15, 2010
(...)
There’s nothing restrained, however, about the Seven-Napkin Burger, which is loaded with double patties, barbecued beef brisket, bacon, American cheese and mayonnaise (burgers cost from $6.25 to $9.25, including dill pickle and vinegared slaw).

Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel
9 Burger, Restaurant Review: Bringing out the big buns in Boulder Creek
By Ann Parker - Sentinel correspondent
Posted: 09/07/2011 01:30:58 AM PDT
(...)
One messy bite and I was grateful for the big napkin dispenser on the table—this was a nine-napkin burger, very juicy and loaded with chunky, spicy-hot serrano sauce. Soon my hands and face were daubed with sauce, ketchup decorated my shirtfront and my fingers had sunk deep into the fresh, king-size sesame seed bun.

Austin (TX) American-Statesman
BC Tavern is not your typical neighborhood pub
By Matthew Odam
AMERICAN-STATESMAN RESTAURANT CRITIC
Updated: 11:58 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011
Published: 11:52 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011
(...)
BC Tavern takes the Three Napkin Burger ($9) from Zoot, adds some tangy onion jam and regal slaw, and delivers one of the best burgers in town

Galesburg.com (IL)
Posted Sep 26, 2011 @ 02:56 PM
Former Bear laid to rest here; LaRoma pizza; Chez Willy’s burgers
By JAY REDFERN
(...)
Owner Bill Bill Egenlauf told me today that in addition to basic burgers, Chez Willy’s has added two specialty burgers.

One is a Brie burger that includes Brie cheese, truffle infused mayonnaise and beer-battered onion rings.

The other is called the “4-napkin burger.” It consists of two cheeses, four strips of bacon, cole slaw and a fried egg.

(Trademark)
Word Mark 5 NAPKIN BURGER
Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: Hamburger sandwiches for consumption on and off the premises. FIRST USE: 20030415. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20030415
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Trademark Search Facility Classification Code NUM-5 The number 5 or the word Five
Serial Number 85070691
Filing Date June 24, 2010
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition November 16, 2010
Registration Number 3914383
Registration Date February 1, 2011
Owner (REGISTRANT) Burger Keeper LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY NEW YORK c/o Five Napkin Burger 630 9th Avenue New York NEW YORK 10036
Attorney of Record Marc P. Misthal
Prior Registrations 3494094
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “BURGER” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Tuesday, October 04, 2011 • Permalink