Archive for 'Zen Burger'

High Rent Causes Zen Burger To Close


I have to say I’m a little shocked by this one… walked by Zen Burger today (on Lexington btw. 45+46th) to discover that this past Friday was their last day open for business.  This one year old vegetarian fast food chain from the owners of Zen Palate (which has also been plagued by money issues over the years) was disliked by many meat lovers, but I was kind of into their whole premise: fast food that is almost identical to McDonald’s, but without using any meat. 

The letter blamed “extremely high rent” for the closing, and said to watch out for news about “future locations”.  No word on how this will effect their West Hollywood, CA location supposedly opening at the beginning of 2009.

The full letter is after the jump.

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Off the Menu Filet-o-Fish at Zen Burger

Zen Burger, Midtown NYC

Fresh on the heels of the off-the-menu “Special Vegetarian” sandwich at Blimpie, comes word that Zen Burger (on Lex. btw. 45+46th) has been serving their own off-the-menu filet-o-fish sandwich.  When Zen Burger first launched at the beginning of the year, the only thing keeping it from being an exact replica of McDonald’s (in vegetarian form) was the lack of a filet-o-fish.  They had a “Zen Tuna” sandwich, but it wasn’t fried, and quite frankly, who wants fast food that isn’t fried.  Considering that most adult vegetarians probably refused, as kids, to eat anything *but* the filet-o-fish during family trips to McDonald’s, this addition to the Zen Burger menu should be pretty well received.

The fishless fish sandwich, and my anti-McDonald’s tirade, after the jump… Read more »

Zen Burger Pops Up On Law & Order SUV

This sign popped up last month while Law & Order was filming inside Goodburger

A few weeks ago Serious Eats couldn’t help but post a clip from an episode of Law & Order: SVU where Robin Williams plays a deranged “locavore” (seriously) who used his “condition” as an alibi for why he couldn’t have committed a crime inside a fast food restaurant.  Even funnier was the fact that Zen Burger (on Lex btw. 45+46th) makes an appearance as “Happy Burger”, the generic fast food restaurant where the crime was committed.  Playing a crappy “ecoli” and “salmonella” filled fast food chain was quite the stretch for the all vegetarian Zen Burger, but the giveaway is the the orange and green stripes that line the walls.

Check out Zen Burger in its acting debut, after the jump… Read more »

A (Literal) Dissection of the New Zen Burger

This past week saw the grand opening of a entirely new concept in fast food eating right here in Midtown.  From the owners of Zen Palate (a mid-range mini-chain of vegetarian restaurants here in the New York), comes Zen Burger, a vegetarian McDonald’s that they hope will change the face of the fast food business. 

Now, when I say Zen Burger is a vegetarian McDonald’s, I really mean vegetarian McDonald’s.  From the backlit menus behind the counter, to the numbered list of combo meals, this is a fast food joint through and through.  They even have the option to super size.  Those expecting some sort of crunchy, granola bar eating, meat hating, haute cuisine vegetarian concept are going to be sorely disappointed.  Zen Burger is cheap fast food-  and this might surprise you (considering there is no pork anywhere on the menu), but I actually really like it.

Curious what this Zen Burger food looks like?  I do something you never want to do at McDonald’s (take a bite and look inside), after the jump… Read more »

Midtown Links (The While I Was Away Edition)

Bits & Pieces: Chx & Waffles is Back, Yum Thai & Jamaican Dutchy Still Closed


  • Piece of Chicken on 45th btw. 8+9th, is back open after closing for a week to build a permanent wall between them and what used to be Jezebel.  They also have added Fried Chicken & Waffles ($2) to their menu (replacing the void left by the long closed Ressie May’s)
  • The ‘wichcraft in Rockefeller Center opened this weekend…
  • … but the Zen Burger on Lex. btw. 44+45th did not.
  • And it looks like the Midtown Pop Burger is going to be delayed one more week as well.   
  • Yum Thai on 44th btw. 6+7th is still closed, they have construction permits littering the window, and their phone number is out of service.  It’s not looking good.
  • The Jamaican Dutchy cart on 51st & 7th is having trouble renewing their permit, which expired at the end of the last month.  They are hoping to get it on Thursday, and be back up and running on Friday.

First Look: Zen Burger

Amid rumors of financial problems (the Union Square Zen Palate closed two weeks ago), Zen Burger is scheduled to open the weekend of November 24th on Lexington btw. 45+46th.  Here’s a look at a mock up of the inside:

Courtesy of The Angel Group for Branding & Design

It’s a lot more McDonalds’ish than I expected (down to the photos on the overhead menu, which don’t look like veggie burgers to me).

From the looks of a photo of the entire interior, leaving Zen Burger may require some sort of teleportation (achieving Nirvana perhaps?).  That photo, after the jump… Read more »