New York Times food critic Frank Bruni made the schlep from the Times's Times Square HQ to Houston's and reports on the burger. Like us, he had heard that the upscale chain served a respectable sandwich and wanted to investigate, along with a couple of coworkers. And, oh yeah, we were pleasantly surprised to see him mention AHT:
We didn’t have a lot of time and didn’t feel like quibbling, so we forged ahead. And even with this unwanted condiment, the burgers, made with eight ounces of ground chuck, were extremely satisfying: slightly charred, very juicy, cradled by a fluffy bun, cooked precisely to the requested medium-rare doneness.
There’s a very good description of the Houston’s burger on the enjoyable Web site “A Hamburger Today.” I more or less agree with it in its entirety.
If we were Eater, we'd ask for tips as to who the anonymous coworkers were.
Mr. Bruni also hit up Nice Matin on Manhattan's Upper West Side:
The “five napkin burger” is enormous, and it’s definitely for fans of oversized burgers, not for fans of thinner, crisper patties that truly share the stage with their condiments. It’s made from 10 ounces of ground chuck, which is grilled and served on a floppy brioche roll with Comte cheese, caramelized onions, a rosemary aioli, tomato and radicchio.
And it’s a happy mess. Its considerable juices and the onions won’t stay in their places, dripping onto the plate and onto points beyond the plate. Its name is in fact a fitting piece of advice — a warning, really. I brought fewer than five napkins to the endeavor of eating it; I should have brought a raincoat. Yet another of my button-down shirts was sacrificed to my job. And yet again, I didn’t mind.