Written by Hulda Lawrence
During the hot weather restaurants in Manhattan develop new dishes to entice tourists and residents alike to view their places. Not long ago we had an interesting experience at HB Burger, 127 West 43rd Street, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue, (212) 575-5848. This is a large place with some fascinating foods to be tasted and many beers to be enjoyed. There are side dishes to tempt diners like Must Try Buffalo Wings, Fresh Cut Idaho Fries, Tempura Vegetables with ginger soy, Onion Straws, Provolone Sticks and great Fried Dill Pickle Spears with Cajun Remoulade.
These are all "extras," from $3.50, but the specialty burgers include Buffalo-Style Burger done with Melted Wisconsin cheese, Kobe Beef Burger, Blackened Tuna, Prime Steak Burger, Cajun Crab Cake Burger, Filet Mignon Sandwich, and Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich with a price range from $14.95. The Standard Burgers include HB Beef, Sashimi Tuna, Shadybrook Farm Turkey, Chef's Veggie, and Free-Range Bison. We liked the HB Beef at $7.50. In case none of these dishes are sufficient, there are three "large" plates of Chopped Caesar Salad, Fish and Chips with Southwest Salad of grilled beef, chicken or shrimp, $12.95 to $13.95 with all sorts of toppings.
Beverages and desserts are listed separately with homemade sodas on tap. My joy was a diet root beer with other choices Red Rooster Ale, Cornhusker Lager and such hard shakes at $9 as a delicious Belgian Brittle (Castries peanut, rum, cream and Haagen Dazs' Belgian Ice Cream), Minter's Mark and a Strawberry Shot Cake (with Coole Swan Irish cream, Madagascar vanilla, Irish Whiskey and Haagen Dazs' Strawberry ice cream). There is also the world's smallest Hot Fudge Sundae for $1.75 as well as other ice creams.
There are seasonal beers, house brews and beer combinations like Drunken Monkey, Shandy and Black &Tan. There is also a full bar. Pints are from $6.95 to $4.95 for half pints and 23 oz. at $9.50.
This is an out-of-the-way spot where the food is fascinating and prices are reasonable. In addition to HB Burger there is Times Square at 127 West 43rd Street; Empire State Building at 350 Fifth Avenue; South Street Seaport at 93 South Street; Union Square at 35 Union Square West and Radio City at Sixth Avenue and 51st Street. All of these restaurants are under the same management and all feature beer. Diners pull up to long tables and eat their fill.
Moda is a restaurant located at the Flatotel, 135 West 52nd Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, (212) 887-9880. Because of its proximity to the hotel, there is 24-hour room service for their guests. So those who want to eat, drink or dance into the early morning hours can be helped. Seating arrangements provide for 100 diners in the lounge, another 100 for the dining room, and 400 can be accommodated in the open air.
"Moda" means style in Italian and the cuisine follows that approach. This is a charming place for sipping cocktails and for all kinds of activities like receptions, weddings, parties and fun. A late night menu keeps those who want to enjoy late hours from 11 p.m. to 5 a. m. happy!
Breakfast is a la carte from cereal, bacon, waffles, sausage, and "American Breakfasts" with a set meal at $22.95. Daily there is a lunch with choices like Insalata Mista, Penne Marinara and Grilled Chicken Panini. There are a number of fish, pasta, meat and chicken dishes in the $28.95 prix fixe. Each course starts with Minestrone, Butternut Squash Soup, Wild Mushroom Soup, or Caesar Moda. Then diners select a second course of Rigatoni Bolognese, Chicken Piccata, Fra Diavolo or Grilled Sirloin. The third course is a dessert choice of Tiramisu, Cheesecake or Pineapple Spice Cake.
There is a prix fixe dinner at $42 with choices of three courses starting with soup. The second course is a choice of Fettucine Alfredo, Pasta Primavera or Chicken Piccata with Pumpkin Seed Crust. The third course is a selection from Tiramisu, Chocolate Fudge Cake or Spice Cake.
There are a number of special drinks at $13 each. For example, Rum Runner with four kinds of rum; Raspberry Caipiroska Stoli, Raspberry vodka Coconut Mojito with rum, limes and mint leaves; Moda Wave Beefeater with Gin and Island Blue Pucker. There is a "munchies" menu with such choices as Crab Cakes, Beef Skewers and Mini Beef Burgers. There are cheese platters, Pepperoni Pizza and Spring Rolls. Also popular is a Tapas trio of Calamari, Beef, Cheese and olives with warm ciabatta bread.
Hours: Monday to Friday lunch is 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The dollar sign indicates the approximate cost of dining for two persons, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.