Former Home of the Whopper Now City’s First Certified Organic Restaurant

Photo taken with a 100 percent recycled camera.
Photo taken with a 100 percent recycled camera. Photo: Melissa Hom

What used to be a Burger King is now Gusto Organics, which claims to carry organic certification from the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York and the USDA. The restaurant’s business practices differ from BK’s in obvious ways: It recycles all of its trash and composts its food, the furniture is handmade, and the cleaning methods are environmentally friendly. But owner Alberto Gonzalez sees the value of the chain and wants a network of shareholders and six to ten franchisees, he says. Things are looking good so far — the place was hopping on Saturday night.

The menu (printed on 100 percent recycled paper with soy ink, natch) nods to Gonzalez’s native Argentina: steak sandwiches in the $13 to $15 range, $3.95 empanadas, and a dozen Argentine-style thin-crust pizzas. Organic pastries include those treats anyone who’s been to Buenos Aires knows and loves — magdalenas (like madeleines), which come plain or with dulce de leche. Delivery is from Houston to 23rd Street, and from Third Avenue to the Hudson River. Our question: How does this place stack up against Birdbath, heretofore the city’s greenest food business?

Gusto Organics, 519 Sixth Ave., nr. 14th St.; 212-242-5800.