Well I’ve got a job in NYC, in Tribeca to be exact. So I’m back to eating regularly in places worth writing about. Today’s post is kind of a special one since I did not have to pay for anything except my transportation (subway!) to get there. I entered a MidtownLunch.com contest and got invited to go to the preview opening of a crazy new Social-Media/Burger Joint called 4Food (with donut-shaped, stuffed burgers). It is pretty innovative, so I’ve got lot’s to write about (plus photos!).
This place seems to have really put a lot of thought into their concept and image. It feels super high tech between the flat screen menus to the clean modern architecture to the workers in black tracksuits carrying iPads. There’s a huge display showing 4Square check-ins and tweets sent to @4foodnyc. Visually, this is a beautiful place. Everything is beautiful down to the packaging the food is served in.
After taking a moment to take in my surroundings and look over the menu on the TVs overhead, I stepped up to the super friendly cashier who took my order while helping with some recommendations. There are a million different combinations of ingredients that I could choose, but I knew which type of burger I wanted to order since I needed to put thought into that to enter the MidtownLunch contest. Brioche, Pork Patty, Organic Egg inside, Pancetta slice, Tickler Cheddar, with the Sweet Chili condiment. My cashier recommended I order the Coconut Rice as a my side. Then onto the many, many choices for a drink. Smoothies, teas, sodas, etc etc. I decided to go with the Mango Chai Tea with Bubbles. After taking my name, the cashier showed me the monitor where my name would appear when my order was ready.
After stepping back for a moment, my name was called to pick up my drink. It had huge chucks of mango in it as well as a bounty of tapioca bubbles. It tasted incredibly good. The Chai spices worked extremely well with the sweetness of the mango. I had to consciously stop my self from immediately drinking the whole thing so that I’d have something to drink when my meal was ready. Two of the tracksuit wearing workers chatted with us and told us how we could submit our burger creations on the site and name them. If people order my named creation, I get $.25 for each order. I’m definitely submitting The Winston!
After a short wait, I saw my name on the board and my food was ready. I picked up my meal in its very clever packaging. Like I said, they really did put a lot of thought into this.
We decided to take a seat in the upper area near windows. Upon walking over there, I saw the really cool ‘park bleachers’ setup next to the stairwell up. That’s really clever!
And finally the food! Both the burger and the side came in its own cleverly designed box.
At first, the burger appeared to be on the small side, but after eating it, I realized that with its fillings you will get full. In my first bite, I did not get any of the fillings, so I was inclined to think it was boring; but by my second bite when I hit the middle stuff, I got super excited. The flavor just exploded. I’ll take credit for my awesomely picked ingredients. The fillings are the reason to eat this burger! Just packed with flavor if you do it right and boy did I do it right. The combination of flavors was perfect. I think the real standout was the Sweet Chili condiment.
The Coconut rice was less inspiring. I felt like it could use a little something else to boost it. Maybe spicy curry? Who knows… It was good, but a bit boring.
All in all, I was very happy with the food I ate. Really interesting, unique food and definitely worthy of another visit.
Since this is pre-opening, I don’t think it would be out of line to make a few (minor) suggestions. The trash cans are divided into recycling and waste via a front divider, but they both go down into the same trash bag. Doesn’t seem too logical to me. Also, the packing trays do not fit through the divider to get into the trash. Also, a strange oversight we noticed for a place that is so connected to mobile media and social networking is that there is no mobile-ready version of the 4Food website. Finally, when sitting on the top floor at the window seat, the table doesn’t touch the glass in front of you and neither does the floor near your feet. I accidentally dropped my drink lid over the glass-edge of the table, through the floor and onto where people were seated eating a floor below. Some sort of divider or catcher should probably be put in there.
Good luck 4Food! I hope you succeed like I think you will!