Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Burger Joint Review

Taking advantage of the fact that I had to pick something up on 57th Street today, I met my wife out for lunch at Burger Joint. Burger Joint is a greasy dive of a place located in a corner off the lobby of the very upscale Parker Meridien Hotel (current best rate for midweek in Feb. is $325 per room). It's hidden between the front desk and huge floor to ceiling curtain near a concierge desk, down an ominous dark narrow hallway lit only by the glowing neon burger. The menu is very basic, serving only burgers, fries, brownies, & drinks.

We got there a little after 2pm and it was packed- a line to order and no seats left (as could be expected for a place that was ranked by GQ last July as one of the top 20 burgers you must eat before you die). The room was about 20 feet square with decor that looked intentionally college dorm basement sparse. Ugly wood paneling, bad lighting, random posters thumbtacked to the walls and lots of handwritten signs on cardboard. They certainly make up for the fact that there are no signs outside the restaurant. The food was relatively cheap- a pair of burgers & sodas and one order of fries came to $17.
I noticed that they used both a broiler and an open smoke grill for the burgers (they broil first). The burger was served in a white paper wrapper and the fries in a grease absorbing brown paper bag. The burger was juicy and flavorful- juicy enough to eat plain, without ketchup or lettuce/tomato. One of the best burgers I've had. The fries were shoestring cut and lightly golden. They were good but could have been crispier.
Burger Joint serves a great burger but how does it compare to The Shake Shack? Not as good. Shake Shack has the edge on both burger (slightly saltier and better meat) and better fries. But only one of them is open in the winter, so until spring comes it's Burger Joint all the way.

More reviews at
A Hamburger Today, Gothamist, and The Food Section.
category: food_ nyc_