This month I spent some time in NYC (more on that later) and had a chance to enjoy some wonderful food. I finally got to go to a place called 4food. Last time I was in NYC it was just days away from opening, so I've been waiting to try it.
Their motto is "de-junking fast food" and they have a concept that is pretty different for the burger world.
Here is what the menu looks like:
You build your burger starting with a bun but not just regular choices like wheat, white, etc. They have everything from a multi grain option, to a bagel to a gluten free pressed rice option! Then you go down the line picking your add ons like mustard's, hummus, guacamole, even tzatziki sauce, then any type of cheese, then a slice (includes options from avocado to kim chi to mushrooms) then to your scoop. The scoop part is where the whole process takes a little different approach. See your burger patty (which you haven't chosen yet) has a hole in the middle of it, so you have to choose something to fill the hole with. Choices range from macaroni and cheese to spinach with pine nuts to hominy to avocado salsa. Then you finally get to choose your burger. And of course the patty options run the gamut of every type of meat and non-meat patty you can imagine. Craving a salmon or lamb burger? No problem. They even have patty's made out of egg.
My choices created a turkey burger filled with spinach and pine nuts, topped with tomato and hummus, on a pressed rice bun. I have to say, it didn't taste anything like a "burger" but it was awesome! Pressed rice is the gluten free answer to bread! I wasn't sure how it would be but it was the perfect compromise between wet rice and a fluffy bun!
Here is what it looked like, well this is my co worker's (note the hands that aren't mine) but he got the same thing I did.
From there you would think you were done with decision making. Nope, not so fast. I made the mistake of ordering a diet soda, (hello diet coke!) but no, they don't serve that type here. They do however serve White Peach Rose Hip Soda, Hibiscus berry soda and Mango Chai soda.
On this one I opted for the Mango Chai soda. I think I was feeling the pressure from the list of choices I was making and the growing, hungry line behind me. See, I don't like chai, so of course I didn't like this. Thank goodness they were nice enough to exchange it for some green tea.
Then for dessert I had to go for the Chocolate Mousse, complete with dark chocolate, siken tofu and soy milk. Can't say there was a bite of it left when I finished, it was delish!
The food was great and it was nice to have so much control over what you had eaten. However, the biggest surprise of the meal came when I checked out.
This was my receipt:
Yep, no total, tax and done with this one. It gives you the calories, fat, carbs and protein for everything you ate. Not only do you get to choose what you want from every aspect, you know exactly what you are putting in your body. A pretty novel concept for a fast food restaurant. (note - this receipt has 2 orders on it, I did not eat all of that!)
Overall, it's a great restaurant and I will definitely be going back. I would think that once you get the hang off all the choices it would be an easier process and a little less stressful. While this concept obviously wouldn't work for all fast food restaurants, it would be nice if they could learn something from 4food!