Posted by - 13 September 2009 - No comments

Secret burger place in New York

If you spot this sign, then you've found the
Burger Joint
As regularly readers of Eat, Drink, Sleep, Shop are well aware I love secret places.  So buoyed by my last posting on Schwartz Bros in Bath and following a request by Monibonsoir this post is dedicated to the Burger Joint, a hidden hamburger place which is home to one of the best hamburgers in New York and possibly the world.

Burger Joint is located in the Le Parker Meridien hotel in Midtown.    To find it you need to enter the hotel lobby on 56th between 6th & 7th.   There's no signage and the entrance is on the left of the reception, hidden behind long floor length curtains.  You'll know if you've found the right place because you'll find a bright neon burger sign at the end of a dark and narrow corridor.

When entering the Burger Joint the first thing you'll notice is the interior.  In contrast to the sleek, polished marble hotel lobby, the Burger Joint looks like a workman's cafe.  The wood panelled walls are covered with celebrity autographs, restaurant reviews and film posters.  The interior is more akin to a greasy spoon, so it is like nothing you'd expect to find in a four star hotel which all of course adds to the charm of the place.

I'd heard that the Burger Joint was very popular with New Yorkers working in the area, so I went there in the late afternoon which meant I didn't endure any of the cattle-ranch lunch crowd I'd read about.    Instead what I found was a tiny room filled with New Yorkers from all walks of life enjoying the coveted burgers from office workers to labourers. 

To add to the back to basics approach to hamburgers, there is a poster with instructions on how to order made from a roughly cut piece of cardboard written with coloured felt tipped pens and cellotaped haphazardly above the counter with the following text:

"The fastest way to get it right":
1.  Hamburger or cheese burger?
2.  How d'day want it cooked?  (Rare, med-rare, medium, med-well and well-done)
3.  What do you want on it?  (Lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, mayo, mustard) with everything on it call it 'The works'

When you place your order you give the server your name and they shoout it out when it's ready.  I had a a cheeseburger ($7.35) cooked medium with  the works.   The beef patty was juicy and had a lovely flame grilled taste. It also had the perfect ratio of onions, tomatoes and pickles, while the French fries ($3.67) were light and crispy and just like they should taste.

Burger Joint on UrbanspoonVerdict: I'm a purist at heart when it comes to hamburgers and none of the gourmet burgers I've eaten in London, New York, Hong Kong etc have come close to the cheeseburger I had at the Burger Joint, so that's how good they are.   Another burger place I really rate in New York is Pop Burger in the Meatpacking district, where you can munch on burgers in mini brioche buns and sip cocktails.  It's another must for those on the burger trail.

Disclaimer:  These pictures weren't taken by the AB, as he didn't accompany me on my trip to NY, but by me with a new camera, so I'm responsible for the terrible over-exposed picture of the burger not him.
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