551 5th Avenue

Ranking: 11


Morton's is a chain steak house located in approximately 30 states and countless cities - and they have even expanded to 6 or 7 other countries outside the US.  The amazing part is they are always consistent - nothing ever tastes at all different from location to location.  The restaurant always looks the same once you are inside behind the heavy wooden doors.
There is always a cute girl ready to seat you, an older male manager in a suit ready to come by the table to ask how everything is, a knowledgeable waiter ready to serve you and a couple of huge men in white chef hats visible through a window in the wall so you can see them cooking your food - what could be more delightful?

The crew and I went to the Manhattan location near Grand Central around 8PM.  We were aware of the fact that the burger is not on their dinner menu (only lunch) but we decided to go in and see if they had 6 lying around that the huge guys in white hats could cook up for us. The manager was happy to seat us and arrange for us to have the Morton's Burger.

So.... in we went and took our seats at a nice round table perfectly located about 6 feet from the kitchen window with an EXCELLENT view of the huge guys cooking up all the food.  The waiter came by and delivered the menus (which didn't have the burger on there) along with a large onion bread loaf... before even cracking the menu, we were ready to order (which the waiter found odd) but he got the picture when we ordered burger after burger around the table.  I personally ordered mine with Swiss & bacon - medium well.  Others ordered them with cheddar or blue cheese and some opted for rare or medium rare.

We sat there waiting and then spotted the chef carrying a platter with our raw beef patties - my guess is they were 1/2 lb.  He picked them up, one by one, shook a spice shaker on each side (which I assume was a salt & pepper mix - but I guess could have been anything) and placed them in a serious looking, high temperature, open front broiler.  The cold meat immediately started to steam once he slid the broiler in (the front remains open so we have full visual of the food being cooked), then it began to sizzle and we could see the meat beginning to cook under the searing heat.
He then lined up 7 plates on the counter, placed the toasted buns on the plates (not the same onion bread that we had earlier - DOH!), spilled a pile of fries on each plate, placed a fresh tomato and some lettuce on the plate, then he loaded the plates up with the burgers, covered in cheese and bacon.  He let them rest for a minute or two before he signaled our waiter to come and deliver his art to our table.

As always, we ate pretty quietly for a while and held our opinions to ourselves until the end.  So.... here it is.  The group was somewhat split in the review.  I found the burger to be a bit overwhelmingly big.  In fact, about half way through I was already full.  I also thought that they went a bit light on the bacon and the cheese (mine had only 2 small thin pieces of bacon and 1 very thin slice of Swiss which I couldn't really hardly taste at all because the burger was so enormous).  The good news is that the bun they used was a good replacement for the onion loaf we all wanted and the beef was very high quality and cooked to temperature for everyone - those are the important things.  The price tag is a bit much
($23 for the burger and fries) but in the end everyone enjoyed the burger and it gets a thumbs up from us - and we certainly recommend it!

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