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Midtown Dollar Burger Joint Shut Down by Health Department

By Mathew Katz | August 9, 2012 1:16pm

MIDTOWN — While a buck may be enough to grab a burger at this Midtown eatery, the city says it's not enough to ensure the quality of the joint's alleged mystery meat.

The Department of Health recently shut down popular cheap eats spot Kashmir's Dollar Burger on Eighth Avenue, slapping the restaurant with a whopping 81 violation points after finding roaches and food from "unknown" sources during an Aug. 1 inspection.

According to the inspection report, the restaurant at 601 Eighth Ave. near West 39th Street served up food from "unapproved or unknown" sources, had evidence of live roaches, insufficient or no refrigeration to keep food at safe temperatures, and lacked a place for employees to wash their hands.

Formerly known as an Indian buffet called Kashmir Grill, the eatery rode the dollar pizza trend to fame late last year, rebranding itself around its $1 burger, added to the menu in 2010. The sandwich comes with ketchup and mayonnaise, with additional condiments available for 50 cents each.

The burger — which the store's sign claims is halal and actually made of chicken — garnered rave reviews after it was discovered by the Village Voice last year.

"The burger itself is an interesting creation — succulent and smoky, really needing nothing except the condiments provided," wrote restaurant critic Robert Sietsema.

The spot was still closed on Thursday, though one hungry patron decided to hit up one of the many dollar pizza spots for her affordable food fix instead.

"It was good," said the woman, who identified herself as Edna and said that she was a regular customer of $1 meals around the city, of Kashmir. "But I got other options." 

The restaurant received five stars on Yelp, based solely on one enthusiastic review. Its previous incarnation has a significantly lower rating, though critics did call out the burger as being pretty good for the price.

Calls to the restaurant were not returned.