"High-concept burger joint" opens in ...

"High-concept burger joint" opens in Merrick

There are 39 comments on the Newsday story from Jan 15, 2008, titled "High-concept burger joint" opens in Merrick. In it, Newsday reports that:

If you're intrigued by the notion of a juicy half-pound burger topped with poached lobster in butter wine sauce or, perhaps, with sliced winter truffles, you may want to check out Burger 9.5, which debuted two ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

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picky 1

Westbury, NY

#1 Jan 18, 2008
I went to Burger 9.5 on Friday Jan 18 and I must tell you this place is a nightmare. According to the review in Newsday the name 9.5 is because the owner is always striving for a perfect 10. Well this place is more like a complete zero. After waiting to be seated and placing our order for 3 people, we waited 45 minutes for the burgers to come out. Fries were ice cold, toppings on the burgers were ice cold, cheese not melted, etc. We just got up and left. They kept saying they were so busy but there were only two other tables there. After waiting 1/2 hour for the burgers the very unprofessional waitress told me they just put them up. Made me wonder what they were doing until then. The waitess didn't even know how to clear a table and there was no bus person. The bus box was placed on the floor and then sat iin the middle of the floor for 5 minutes until the kitchen boy picked it up. When I asked the gentlemen behind the counter if he was the manageer he was very ashamed to admit he was one of the owners. Thankk goodness they are only serving hamburgers and nothing else. This is the worst place I have ever been to. Newsday should be ashamed at themselves for even mentioning this place.
larryzlions

Brooklyn, NY

#2 Jan 18, 2008
I live right in Merrick. This place opened less than 2 weeks ago. Ive been in the place 3 times since it opened. The staff at the time consisted of only 2 of the owners and 1 waitress running the place. Everything was EXCELLENT from soup to nuts. Business was very slow and I told them just give it some time and it will grow. I was in there thursday night and the place was 3 times busier than I had ever seen it before. The owners hired a brand new staff and were training them that night. Things were a little slow but I understood that the entire staff was brand new. I'm sure business was even greater on a Friday night. If the service was really as poor as you say, I'm sure the owned was more embarassed than ashamed. Which, in fact just goes to show that he really cares Wat can you expect going from no business to a full restaurant overnight with a crew that has only been there one or two nights.
These guys will eventually put it all together. I suggest that you wait a month or two and give them a second chance.
nikkil

Tenafly, NJ

#3 Jan 19, 2008
its nice to know that some people have a little heart. the place just opened and its unfortunate that some people are so quick to judge a place by one experience. lets see you open a restaurant and have everything be perfect. give it some time.
Paul

New York, NY

#4 Jan 19, 2008
I live in Queens and heard about this place from a friend and decided to take a ride. And it was worth the trip. Everyone was friendly and the food was great. No regrets. I will definitely be a repeat customer.
Paul

Sierra Vista, AZ

#5 Jan 19, 2008
Paul wrote:
I live in Queens and heard about this place from a friend and decided to take a ride. And it was worth the trip. Everyone was friendly and the food was great. No regrets. I will definitely be a repeat customer.
No you don't you live in Phoenix...
Trapped InLong Island

AOL

#6 Jan 20, 2008
Well, looks like the owner was on here making a few reviews! I also walked out of this place! Service was HORRIBLE and there are too many great places to go to bother trying them again. And, who wants to eat at a place where tobacco smoke is coming out into the dining room? Isn't it against the law to smoke in a business? Terrible place.
burgerbbabe

White Plains, NY

#8 Jan 22, 2008
I actually loved the place - burgers were great and soups were even better - waitress was nice and efficient (but obviously new)- everyone in the place was happy that night -

Note to picky 1- I have heard that is it is much harder to say something positive than negative - you should try it on a daily basis - I'll bet you will enjoy life a little more....And maybe make friends and even get better service
tlg

AOL

#10 Jan 23, 2008
Trapped InLong Island wrote:
Well, looks like the owner was on here making a few reviews! I also walked out of this place! Service was HORRIBLE and there are too many great places to go to bother trying them again. And, who wants to eat at a place where tobacco smoke is coming out into the dining room? Isn't it against the law to smoke in a business? Terrible place.
i guess this is a good way for you to let out your frustrations... like anyones listening to your opinion let's see you open a new restaurant and run it successfully in the first month
KevinH

AOL

#12 Jan 24, 2008
My wife and I just got back...I had to run and to my Mac to write this up. Just to save everyone from wasting their time. This place is awful...just goes to show how a free meal can persuade a Newsday food reviewer.
First...service is awful...everyone complained...many people walked out...the first round of burgers to come out, went back just as fast...they were raw. Then the second wave...ours, were too well done. My wife didn't eat hers, as she sits beside me right now eating a PB&J.
All of the above may be fixed after a few weeks in business....but the burgers are really not that great. The menu sounds a lot better. The burgers are thick, hand-packed patties....on a platter with a small handful of fries & a few onion rings, some leafy-lettuce and sweet pickles.

Sorry, but for such a basic item as a burger....this place had so much trouble accommodating just a handful of tables.
larryzlions

Brooklyn, NY

#13 Jan 24, 2008
This is NOT a basic burger. If you want fast food burgers you should avoid this place as it is not for you. The burgers are huge and do not hit the grill until they are ordered. I was told that they take 15 minutes just to cook the patty. If you enjoy thick juicy real hamburgers made to order you'll love this place. If you prefer the dried out well done patties from Burger King, then don't even bother.
PAUL SHYKORA

Calgary, Canada

#15 Jan 25, 2008
love,LOVE,Thanksgiving ''Valentine's'' love,too boot!!GOD Bless.. The hillbilly farmboy has spoken....
loveburgers

Howard Beach, NY

#16 Jan 26, 2008
I am also sad to say that the burgers were beyond terrible. The service was understandable slow but I waited just about an hour for an overdone dried out burger. Other customers were disgusted and just walked out. I felt so bad for them, they are new but the worst part was that nobody took control of the situation and try to resolve any of the problems. They need a manager who can address problems instead of apologizing. They had no indication of who's burger was who's. Problem solver: TOOTHPICKS with different color tops would indicate rare, medium rare, or well done. Concept of a big burger but flattened out a bit to cut time in half. Go to Jackson Hole and try one of their big burgers. Same concept as yours but cooked appropriately and consistently (That is key). Nobody should wait even 30 minutes for a quote gourmet burger. Make some changes and I will consider coming back for a second chance. I'm a reasonable person. Take this as constructive advise not as criticism. After all how can we grow without making mistakes.
picky 1 wrote:
I went to Burger 9.5 on Friday Jan 18 and I must tell you this place is a nightmare. According to the review in Newsday the name 9.5 is because the owner is always striving for a perfect 10. Well this place is more like a complete zero. After waiting to be seated and placing our order for 3 people, we waited 45 minutes for the burgers to come out. Fries were ice cold, toppings on the burgers were ice cold, cheese not melted, etc. We just got up and left. They kept saying they were so busy but there were only two other tables there. After waiting 1/2 hour for the burgers the very unprofessional waitress told me they just put them up. Made me wonder what they were doing until then. The waitess didn't even know how to clear a table and there was no bus person. The bus box was placed on the floor and then sat iin the middle of the floor for 5 minutes until the kitchen boy picked it up. When I asked the gentlemen behind the counter if he was the manageer he was very ashamed to admit he was one of the owners. Thankk goodness they are only serving hamburgers and nothing else. This is the worst place I have ever been to. Newsday should be ashamed at themselves for even mentioning this place.
eat me

Cold Spring Harbor, NY

#17 Jan 27, 2008
I had a great meal there and by the way the chef is hot great burgers great soup did i mention the chef is hot
SharonMarie

AOL

#19 Feb 3, 2008
eat me wrote:
I had a great meal there and by the way the chef is hot great burgers great soup did i mention the chef is hot
Ha Ha- The chef is rancid! Yellow teeth and he sticks of stale smoke-UGH! He is dirty & nasty-walk by and smell him-you'll change your tune.
This place will be out of business in 2 months. This arrogant chef is actually blaming his poor business on the customer's lack of "hipness", that they are not ready yet for his style of gourmet! Honey, if your customers don't get it, better change your style or pack up! Such a nasty jerk-his name is Adam. I could not believe my ears when he said that!
Food Fanatic

Cheswick, PA

#21 Feb 6, 2008
I've been to this place when it was Hog Heaven and Burger 9.5. The only reason the BBQ didn't catch on is because the food was terrible. Famous Dave's and Smok'in Al's don't have an issue so obviously the market is there. The place has not improved as a "burger joint". Changing the name and the food selections won't do the trick. Try providing better food!
Like the Burgers

Brentwood, NY

#23 Feb 10, 2008
I thought the food was really good. I went there today for lunch, thought the burger was cooked nicely, the fries were fair, and the onion rings were very good. No problems at all with the service. The place has room for about 30 people and was very empty when I was there. Pretty expensive for the basic fare, but some of the more exotic things seemed cheap. Would definitely go back.
bob

Bayonne, NJ

#24 Feb 10, 2008
stick with a whopper jr stilla buck.
Truth Teller

Glen Cove, NY

#25 Feb 10, 2008
I thought the place was ok. Food, service...ok.

But seriously, there are many many places on Long Island where better burgers can be found. The St. James, Gibsons, O'Reillys Pub, Runyons...Heck, even Houston's makes a surprisingly good burger which is better.
Hamtech

Brooklyn, NY

#26 Feb 10, 2008
Went to Burger 9.5 this evening with my wife. The food was excellent although the service could have used a little tweaking. We had no wait for a table which was not the case when we stopped in this past Friday about 7:30 and the place was packed and there were a few people waiting for tables.
In my opinion, this place will do very well, given the opportunity to get "opening issues"
straightend out. Definitely worth trying and I will definitely be going back.
In Merrick

New York, NY

#27 Feb 19, 2008
My wife and I have been to the location when it was Hog Heaven and now as Burger 9.5. The location is doomed. We just don't like it, it isn't a warm, cozy place to eat. Other places in Merrick have the same type of setup, see Thai Station. When you start seeing some volume in 9.5 thats when everything breaks down. They can't handle it. Too small. The concept is a good one, they manage to justify paying a lot of money for a hamburger based on ingredients. I don't think they will make it based on dining experience alone. I don't think anyone will make it in that location unless they expand or convert it to a takeout only. We listened to various tables complaining as they walked out and we were waiting on Valentine's day.

So to wrap-up: concept is good, location is bad.

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