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[Comments] (9) Chat 'n' Chew: Kevin said that when in New York I should check out the restaurant Chat 'n' Chew, for what he calls "the correct burger experience". Many hours have I suffered listening to Mr. Maples expound his crackpot hamburger theories. According to him the correct burger experience is just a plain burger with nothing fancy. Well, the Chat 'n' Chew serves trailer trash food (one of their specials is called the "TV Dinner"), and they've got a non-fancy hamburger. The problem with Kevin's theory is that a restaurant that doesn't make fancy hamburgers may also cut corners when it comes to the non-fancy hamburgers. What you really want is a basic hamburger from a place that also sells fancy hamburgers.

There was good ambience and lots of good-looking stuff in the restaurant, like macaroni and cheese and grilled sandwiches, but the hamburger was charred and, though it came with some vegetable fixings they were not very healthy-looking. There was no mustard or mayonaise to counteract the dryness of the patty. The french fries were okay but not great. Sumana's meal (green bean casserole and grilled sweet potato; yes, sweet potato cut in half and put on the grill) was far superior.

And what is the customer supposed to do? You can't complain that you got lowbrow food at a self-consciously lowbrow restaurant. You're trapped. Well played, Mr. Maples, well played. You'll be the death of me yet.

The CnC seems expensive to me (that burger cost $9) but it's probably average for Manhattan. The other stuff on the menu looked good, especially the wide variety of trashy desserts, so I'll probably go again eventually. It's near Union Square.

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Posted by John at Wed Jan 25 2006 20:36

Sounds like someone misses In-N-Out!

Posted by Adam P. at Wed Jan 25 2006 22:46

I'm told the best place for burgers in NYC is Shake Shack. I've never been there but I've been slapped upside the head on all days of the week by the herring of its ubiquitous praise.

Posted by Leonard at Thu Jan 26 2006 07:41

They had a thing called Shake Shack in Little Rock but it looks like not the same thing.

Posted by mikepop at Thu Jan 26 2006 10:26

I hear Better Burger is good, but have no first-hand experience.

Posted by Susie at Thu Jan 26 2006 10:27

Chat 'n' Chew is a disgusting name for a restaurant! I guess if it is "self-consciously lowbrow" it is ok...

Posted by Cameron Barrett at Fri Jan 27 2006 21:23

Don't forget to try the food at Coffee Shop, at the other end of the block from Chat N Chew. Fantastic, yummy food though a bit pricey. I had lunch there on Wednesday.

Posted by Daniel Rall at Sat Jan 28 2006 03:45

Beware, Leonard! Kevin's diabolical plan is working. Oh yessss....

Posted by Beril Guvendik at Sat Jan 28 2006 14:20

Excuse me!? You are expecting healthy vegetable fixings on a plain ole burger? That's what wrong with California burgers in the first place - too many fixings and fancified fries and not enough greasy burgers! Last I saw a real burger it had only lettuce, tomatoes and pickles on it. You will need some de-programming of your California tastes.

Enjoy NYC :)

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