Win a Free Lunch Preview of New Burger Concept “4Food”
It’s been almost 9 months since we first discovered 4Food, the crazy new burger concept opening soon on 40th and Madison Ave.. They launched their website back in November of 2009 promising to offer a fully customizable, healthier fast food burger by cutting a hole in the patty and filling it with various “scoops” (think mushrooms and onions, or spinach and toasted pine nuts.) With 8 different patties (beef, pork, fish, veggie, etc), 5 different buns, over 15 scoops, 7 cheeses, 6 other toppings, a ton of condiments, and the promise of seasonal specials, the permutations are endless… and as if the food itself isn’t crazy enough, there will be free wi-fi, the ability to order from an iPad, computerized ordering kiosks (for those who are iPad-less), social networking tie ins, and a giant menu board that will show Twitter info, Four Square check-ins and menu fun. You’ll also be able to create your own burger, and then “advertise” it to friends using… you guessed it… social networking!
Horrible or horribly amazing? Either way, we’re pretty excited to see how this madness turns out- and we’re guessing if you read this site, you feel the same way. So, with that in mind, 4Food has agreed to let some of you get a special sneak preview. The grand opening has been pushed back to September 7th, but they’ve agreed to allow 35 Midtown Lunch readers (and a guest) come in for a special preview lunch at the end of the month. All you have to do to enter to win is comment on this post with the burger creation you’d want to try on your first visit. The best sounding burger (to us) will get to attend the preview, and their burger will be added to the 4Food menu as the “Midtown Lunch” special. The rest of the winners will be chosen randomly and notified next week. Good luck! The contest closes on Monday, August 15th at Noon.
Check out the opening day menu of 4Food after the jump…
All of our meat patties are produced using fresh, all natural and humanely raised animals and are fed a predominantly grass diet. All meat patties are ground using only whole mussels and no fillers. Fish patties are made using only wild, sustainably sourced fish caught in its season. Our egg patties are made using organic whole eggs. The vegetable patty is comprised of fresh cut vegetables, whole grains and herbs. None of our patties are ever frozen and all are produced in house on a daily basis.
Beef Patty- Freshly ground beef from Northeast Family Farms cows is seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. We grind fresh chuck which is naturally approximately 25% fat. This produces a very beefy flavored patty due to the flavor profile of chuck which is slightly enhanced with the addition of salt and pepper. The fat content provides a moist and juicy texture while not appearing overly greasy.
Lamb Patty – Freshly ground lamb from Northeast Family Farms is seasoned with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh garlic, toasted cumin, coriander seeds, cilantro leaves and spiced with a touch of harissa (a Moroccan chili paste). The lamb patty is not spicy-hot per se but has a “spiced” flavor profile reminiscent of North African or Middle Eastern cuisine.
Pork Patty – Freshly ground pork from Northeast Family Farms is seasoned with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, toasted fennel seeds, minced garlic and freshly chopped parsley, rosemary and sage. A bit of ground parmesan cheese adds a richness that ties together the herbs and spices. The flavor is fresh, herbaceous and complimentary to the delicate flavor profile of the naturally raised pork.
Breakfast Pork Patty – The same naturally raised pork used in our alternate pork patty is used for our breakfast pork sausage patty. The meat is seasoned with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, kosher salt and sweet maple syrup. The flavor profile is familiar and what one would expect for a hot breakfast sandwich; delicately spiced and slightly sweet with rich pork flavors.
Turkey Patty – Freshly ground turkey from Northeast Family is seasoned with kosher salt, fresh chopped parsley and thyme, minced garlic and cayenne pepper. The addition of cayenne pepper as opposed to black pepper does not make this patty spicy but rather adds a touch of pepper-spice which is a bit more subtle that the more boldly flavored black pepper and is a better compliment to the delicate, natural turkey flavor.
Salmon Patty – Wild Alaskan King Salmon is used (only when it’s in season) during the summer and early winter months. Our fish is ground in house and seasoned with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic, lemon zest, parsley and chopped capers. All are very traditional accompanying flavors to be paired with salmon, none of which overpower salmon’s natural flavor but seem to enhance the salmon flavor.
Egg Patty – Fresh, whole organic eggs are scrambled with kosher salt and black pepper and cooked first in an oven (like a custard) then lightly browned on the griddle. A scoop is placed in the center of the cooking egg patty just like all of our other patties. The egg patty CAN NOT be ordered as a skewer due to the cooking process.
Veggie Patty – 4food’s veggie burger is made from freshly shredded vegetables (carrots, onion, Portobello mushrooms and button mushrooms). This mix is cooked and mixed with quinoa, toasted & ground walnuts and bound with a combination of chickpea flour and oat flour. The quinoa provides a nutty and granular texture to the patty and the combination of flours binds the burger nicely without making the texture “cake-like” in is consistency. Fresh chopped parsley is added to the mixture at the end to lighten and brighten the flavor profile. Our veggie burger is 100% vegan, dairy and gluten free!
All of our bread is specifically made for 4food by Grimaldi’s Bakery in Queens, NY. We offer a variety of buns, breads and vessels for our W(hole)burger burgers including three variations on the classic hamburger bun; a breakfast bagel and a pressed rice cake as a very unique alternative to a bread option that is also gluten free. The bread selections produced by Grimaldi’s Bakery are slightly smaller, lighter and artisinaly made using all natural, wholesome ingredients. They provide our (W)holeburger burgers with a very unique and distinct look and feel.
Brioche – The most traditional of all of our bread selections used for burgers. This bun is made from enriched soft roll dough meaning it contains additional eggs and sugar. This makes for a slightly sweet and delicate roll. The buns are egg washed prior to baking giving them a golden brown color and shine.
Multi Grain – Slightly denser than the brioche and is comprised of various seeds and grains giving this bun a nutty and coarse texture. The bread has a slight sweetness from the addition of honey in the dough. A healthier alternative to the enriched brioche bun with a bit more texture as well.
Pumpernickel – Grimaldi’s version of pumpernickel bread but a bit lighter than the traditional. The end result is sharp contrast of the almost black bread, topped with toasted white sesame seeds, above and below the various patty colors, lettuce, tomato, pale cheese etc. The slightly sweet pumpernickel flavor alongside the contrasting flavors of the patties, scoops and condiments is interesting in its look, texture and flavor!
Pressed Rice Bun – This may be the most unique burger vessel we have thus far! The rice bun is a gluten free alternative to a traditional bread roll. It also provides a one of a kind experience for eating a burger on such a unique medium. Very high starch, short grain rice is cooked in water and seasonings. Once cooked the rice is pressed and cooled. Circles are cut out and lightly toasted on the flat top creating a light, slightly toasted “bun” with a unique texture and flavor.
Bagel – Our 4food bagel is also produced by Grimaldi’s Bakery. It is slightly smaller than a traditional bagel size (but still larger than a “mini bagel”) and does not contain a hole in the center….A slight dimple replaces the traditional quarter inch or so size hole generally associated with a bagel shape. These are custom made for 4food just like the rest of our buns and would be a suggested bread for our breakfast builds although the bagel will also be available all day long.
The scoops, in conjunction with the hole in the center of the patties, is the biggest fundamental difference between a W(hole)burger and a standard hamburger. The idea of removing a portion of meat from a burger serving and replacing it with a portion of healthy, delicious vegetables is unique, innovative and what sets us apart from the rest. Our scoops are produced fresh, daily from our commissary kitchen using seasonal, local (when available) ingredients prepared simply to maximize flavor and nutritional content.
BBQ Baked Beans – Our baked beans scoop is made from pinto beans which are cooked and glazed in our homemade barbecue sauce. The end result is a rich, sweet and slightly spicy mixture full of familiar flavors. A classic accompaniment to any hamburger.
Mushroom & Onion – Arguably the most common accompaniment to any hamburger or (W)holeburger would be sautéed mushrooms and onions! We use sweet Spanish onions, sliced thin and slowly caramelized to bring out their natural sweetness and deep, rich caramel color. Sliced white button mushrooms are added and cooked down releasing their juices and concentrating their earthy flavors. Fresh thyme is added along with freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt.
Veggie Chili – A vegetarian option, although you’d never know it after tasting its big, bold chili and spice flavors. Kidney beans are cooked with a wide variety of fresh, dried and ground chilies and spices along with tomatoes (both fresh and canned) providing lots of layers of flavors and textures. A bit on the spicy side, this vegetarian scoop could stand side by side with its more traditional meat filled chilies.
Potato & Chorizo Hash – 4food’s interpretation of the classic breakfast ‘hash’ made from ground chorizo sausage, small diced potatoes, diced peppers and onions. The ground chorizo is rendered slowly to release its fat and become crispy. The potatoes and vegetables are then cooked in the rendered chorizo fat allowing the spiced pork flavor to transfer throughout the entire mix. This is a great accompanying scoop to any of the breakfast builds or at lunch for those seeking to add more substance and protein to their build rather than additional vegetables.
Pickled Peppers – Thin strips of varying colors of bell peppers, poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers are cut and stewed with red onions, garlic, crushed red pepper and dried oregano. Once cooked red wine vinegar is then added to brighten all the sweet pepper flavors. The end result is something of an Italian flavor profile reminiscent of the classic street cart flavors of the “sausage and pepper” sandwiches that have become an almost comfort food mainstay in the Tri-State area.
Mac n’ Cheese – Possibly the most approachable scoop on the menu. Rich & decadent; comfort & familiar, the macaroni and cheese seeks to fill the niche of being tasty, filling and easily accessible for the less adventurous or those seeking a bit of their childhood nostalgia. Small pasta shells are mixed with a rich béchamel sauce made from whole milk, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and grated parmesan cheese. Nothing fancy, nothing new…simple, classic and delicious!
Cheddar & Scallion Grits – Stone ground yellow corn meal is cooked in whole milk until it’s silky and creamy then the mixture is finished with grated cheddar cheese, sliced scallions and sweet whole butter. Once seasoned the mixture is spread onto a sheet tray to fully cool and circles are cut out the same size of the hole in the (W)holeburgers.
Spinach & Toasted Pine Nuts – Leafy green spinach is quickly sautéed with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. The cooked spinach is finished with toasted pine nuts. This healthy green vegetable scoop has the added texture element of the pine nuts but is still very focused on simple ingredients being prepared quickly and simply to maintain the integrity of the vegetables and nutritional content as much as possible.
Winter Slaw – Coleslaw for grownups! Red and green cabbage are very finely shredded and mixed with shredded carrots, julienne granny smith apples, shaved fennel, celery root & red onions and garnished with roasted walnuts, toasted fennel and caraway seeds. This crunchy raw salad is then dressed with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil, cider vinegar, kosher salt and sugar and left to marinate until the vegetables begin to break down and become tender allowing all of their natural juices to meld together and add to the complexity of the dressing. This is dairy/mayonnaise free coleslaw.
MoFo – Mofo, an abbreviated and fun way to describe the classic Latin American dish called Mofongo. This mixture of sweet plantains, bacon, onions and spices is cooked to a chunky mash. The MoFo encompasses many flavor profiles of sweet, savory and salty along with being soft and creamy, chunky with bits of crisp bacon.
Dried Fruit & Nut – Assorted dried fruits such as dates, figs, currants and apricots are all diced to be of similar size and rehydrated in warm water. The reconstituted fruit is mixed with toasted sliced almonds, grated ginger and fresh coriander leaves making a chilled salad that is sweet and savory with varying textures. All the fruit is diced large enough so they are recognizable yet small enough that they fit nicely into the center of a patty. A great accompaniment to the lamb patty or lamb skewers!
Edamame & Sea Salt – Edamame or green soy beans are removed from their pods and are simply dressed with olive oil, grated ginger and coarse sea salt. Light, healthy with a bit of salty crunch, this scoop provides a simple and healthy accompaniment to a wide variety of burger builds or skewer meals.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts – Whole Brussels sprouts are shredded into thin delicate leaves and quickly sautéed on very high heat with a bit of onion, kosher salt and black pepper. The sprouts caramelize very nicely accentuating their nutty flavor and the fact that the leaves are so finely shredded they are able to be cooked very quickly in an effort to preserve their nutritional content. Yet unlike some of our other green vegetable scoops the hearty nature of the Brussels sprouts gives this scoop a bit more texture then other wilted leafy greens.
Avocado & Chili-Mango – Diced fresh mango is mixed with diced fresh avocado, jalapeno & cilantro. The salad is dressed with freshly squeezed lime juice so the end result is a cool, crisp salad with balancing flavors of sweet, savory, spicy and tangy.
Organic Egg, over-easy or Hard-boiled – As simple as it sounds…a wonderful accompaniment to the breakfast pork patty or to add additional protein to a lunch meal. The guest will have the option of either a slice of hard-boiled egg or an egg lightly fried over- easy
Vegetable Sushi – Prepared in standard form & technique; this roll is vegetarian, containing only vegetables, rice and nori paper (no fish). Sushi rice is cooked and seasoned with seasoned rice vinegar and rolled with nori paper and lightly marinated shredded vegetables. The sushi roll is then cut into portions that are the same thickness as the burger patties and the same diameter as the hole in the patty center. The vegetables are carrots, enoki mushrooms, Edamame & kohlrabi and they are marinated in rice vinegar, sugar, ginger & sesame.
An added accompaniment to any burger build, the slice is meant to essentially cover the scoop inside the hole of the (W)holeburger. These can range from the common burger accompaniment of a sliced pickle to more unique burger accompaniments like diakon radish or a thin slice of butternut squash while others will be unique variations on other familiar burger accompaniments like using “discs” of crispy pancetta rather than strips of bacon. In any case the slice is used to enhance the burger by adding another layer of flavor, texture and nutritional content.
Roasted Shiitake Mushroom
Any burger build may contain the addition of a slice or spread of cheese. Our cheese selection is unique and worldly. We showcase cheese from most major cheese producing regions from around the world. All of our cheeses provide a distinct flavor element to the burger builds they are added to. All of our cheeses that we serve are produced using natural ingredients, whole milk and no fillers. None of the selections on our cheese menu are “cheese products” or are produced from emulsified vegetable oils and coloring agents. They are all natural, delicious and made from old world cheese producing methods.
Tickler Cheddar Cheese
Gruyere, Roth Kase Grand Cru
Smoked Lioni Mozzarella
Bucheron Goat Cheese
Manchego, El Trigal
Black River Blue
CONDIMENTS AND SPREADS
The standard burger condiments of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise are taken to another level at 4food. Fruit chutneys, spicy curries, traditional Latin & Jamaican hot sauces are all homemade and add an element of culinary diversity and ethnic authenticity to the menu. Any of which will add to the uniqueness of a build and tailor-made flavor profile for anyone.
Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Jamaican Jerk Sauce
Sweet Chili Sauce
Lemon Caper Tartar Sauce
Menu is subject to change based on availability and season.