Uncle Sam’s Tries to Lure Us with Fast Food Specials


Uncle Sam’s, a fast food chain in China, opened their first location a few months ago just out of bounds. They are on Fifth Avenue just below 32nd Street in the midst of Koreatown. The chain didn’t gain as much excitement in the city as Chick-Fil-A, but they received some positive press and have lots of combo specials listed on their window to lure lunchers in.

The concept here is East meets West, using typical American fast food but adding in Asian flavors. Since I had to walk through the heart of Koreatown to get here, I was already craving some kimchi and bulgogi, so was pleased to see they offer a K-Town burger topped with galbi, kimchi, pickled daikon, and black bean mayo.

Other specialities include an oyster sauce-laced signature burger, char-siu, and an American classic. They also have panko-crusted chicken sandwiches, hot dogs with sichuan chili, and shakes, like sesame-miso caramel. I was tempted by the $9.95 specials that include fries or chips and a drink. But it only applied for a pair of sliders or the char siu burger. I really wanted that Korean one.

The cashier sneakily asked me which side I wanted with my burger and I got excited that it came with one. When I asked if it was included, she said no. Nice try. So I spent $9.95 for just a burger.  No fries, no drink, nothing. I know, I ordered totally wrong. It happens (probably more than I care to admit).

My first few bites didn’t provide much Korean flavor. It was a flat decently-sized burger cooked well done and with lots of crunchy bits. It had a fatty, greasy flavor with a few bites of gristle that definitely reminded me of cheap American fast food.

On top of the burger was some scattered grilled galbi meat. But it didn’t have that sweet/smoky barbecue flavor I expect from Korean short ribs. Also on the burger were a few pickled radishes and pieces of kimchi underneath some American cheese. The sauce was called a black bean mayo on the menu, but just seemed like a generic smoky red mayonnaise-based sauce. Wouldn’t black beans make this sauce a darker color??

My big problem was that I thought most of the flavors got lost on the burger. Korean ingredients are so bold and strong, but somehow the fattiness of the burger and the cheese kind of took over while the other flavors sort of lingered in the background.

I think these burgers are an interesting idea and I would totally try one of the specials or chicken sandwiches, but my first experience didn’t quite do it for me. Especially considering I spent all my lunch money. I should also note they have a daily happy hour from 3-6 where they sell ice cream floats for $2.95.

Uncle Sam’s Burgers, 307 Fifth Avenue (btw 31st and 32nd Street), (212) 213-3938


  • I’ve been there. I think the taste of the food is fine. But the serving size for the signature burger was WAY OFF when i went a couple months back. IT was about the size of a mcd’s cheeseburger/wendy’s jr. cheeseburger…..tiny! BEYOND TINY! For 10 bucks, they should be giving you 2 pattis at least. The onion rings were good, and fairly priced at 3 bucks. They were doing a milkshake deal during happy hr. where they were 3 bucks as well, which was fair, but haven’t tried the floats.


  • dim sum burger sounds fun

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