Sunday, October 17, 2010

Secrets: The Burger Joint

The Burger Joint - Le Parker Meridien
118 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019
The secluded neon sign is the only thing that gives its presence away -- that, and the entire hotel lobby smells like a McDonald's. Classy.

Beyond the curtain is a small, suburban burger shack from 1984. How the proprietors were able to trap this place in time and transport it to New York City, we will never know. My guess is sorcery or some other type of black magic of which I am unaware. Wood paneling, campy movie posters, harsh lighting and scribbled on walls -- this place has it all. The kitchen is small and hectic but surprisingly quick. The noise levels teeter on raucous.

If you don't know what you are ordering by the time you get to the register, they send you to the back of the line a la the soup Nazi.  Avoid embarrassment by just ordering a cheeseburger w/ everything, a soda and fries.  Expect a fast food style burger prepared with quality ingredients and care.

The burgers are good, but not great.  While on par with the likes of Shake Shack and Five Guys, throw-back style burgers just don't move me the same way bistro burgers do.  The french fries are standard issue spuds; well executed, but nothing special.  Dijon mustard loaded squeeze bottles on every table is a major win.

This place is perpetually packed, so if you want a seat, you are going to have to stare hard at some tourists until they are uncomfortable enough to get up and leave.

© 2010 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

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