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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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