by Julie Besonen, 02/15/2012
XXXL Burger. Courtesy, Fatburger
509 Third Ave., 212-630-0319, Murray Hill, Manhattan
Fatburgers are indeed pretty fat, but the name is appropriated from retro slang for enjoying the good life, as in "fat city" or "hog heaven." Founded in California in 1952, the chain isn't coasting on nostalgia—this first New York City outpost is part of an aggressive push to expand the brand. Before long, there will be 10 locations in the City where you can get your fix of chili cheese fries and chocolate shakes made with hand-scooped ice cream. The burgers are simply delicious, each one made to order (allow some time; it's not super-fast food). Some toppings—cheese, pickles, mayo, shredded lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, jalapeños—are included in the price. Sandwich sizes range from small to XXXL; if you finish one of the latter, you win a certificate and get your photo posted on the restaurant's website for posterity. The sleek, contemporary space has a bar, a big screen showing sports and family-friendly booths the color of ketchup.