We made reservations (a week in advance for an 8 p.m. slot!) at Five Napkin Burger in New York City’s theatre district. We arrived, wended our way through the packed room to our table, perused the list of burgers and placed our order.
Before our (delicious) ahi tuna burger and bacon cheddar burger arrived, the duo at the next table received their order: large salad bowls filled with bell peppers, celery, chopped greens, cucumbers, green beans, radishes, red onion slices, tomatoes and Roquefort cheese—topped with burgers. We asked to see the menu again. There it was, in the salad column: Burger Salad.
The burger salad from L.A.’s O! Burger. Photo
When our burgers arrived, on thick, white-flour buns, we were filled with carbohydrate remorse.
While we ate every bite of our buns, we can’t wait to go back to have a burger salad. It’s available with any of the burger choices (which also include an Italian turkey burger, lamb kofta burger and veggie burger).
On the opposite coast, O! Burger, an organic burger restaurant in West Hollywood, has two burger salad options. The large mixed salad bowl on the menu—baby greens, chick peas, cucumbers, napa cabbage and tomatoes—can be topped with one or two beef, turkey or veggie patties. There’s also a “Super Bowl”: two patties with grilled vegetables.
While diners and other casual restaurants have long offered a “diet plate” of a bun-less meat patty with a side salad, in the hands of chic burger emporia it seems a treat, not a deprivation. The higher quality of meat and salad fixing has a bearing on this, of course.
The best-of-both-worlds burger salad gives you the burger you pine for, while replacing the largely high-carb and nutrition-free bun with a choice fiber- and vitamin-filled salad, tossed with a fine vinaigrette.
For those who don’t want that many veggies, Five Napkin Burger restaurant also serves an Inside Out Burger: a ground chuck patty and pickles wrapped in lettuce leaves with tomatoes and special sauce—no bun.
Burger salad, inside out burger and super bowl deliver low carb nutrition and high palate enjoyment. We’ve started making them at home (with the amazing Built Burgers). The effort is minimal, and it beats trying to get a reservation.