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 P J Clarke's Burger

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the ancient mariner

  • Total Posts: 3987
  • Joined: 4/6/2004
  • Location: st petersburg, florida
P J Clarke's Burger Tue, 09/9/08 6:13 PM (permalink)
I just read that PJ Clarke's burger is rated in the top ten in
the good old USA. I would rate them about 200th in NYCity, muxh less the whole country.

Twice in the last 5 years I have tried them and both times they were bad and expensive. Who rates these places ??? Not a real burger lover that's for sure.

Billy what is the best hamburger in the city? Actually you should have that job.
 
#1
    Greymo

    • Total Posts: 3667
    • Joined: 11/30/2005
    • Location: Marriottsville, MD
    RE: P J Clarke's Burger Tue, 09/9/08 6:28 PM (permalink)
    I had a hamburger for lunch at Peter Luger's a couple of years ago and it was just wonderful. The only other great hamburger that I can ever remember eating in New York City was at the "21 Club" but that was years ago.

    I guess that hamburgers are the last of the food list for me when I go to New York City...........too many other great foods to try.
     
    #2
      seafarer john

      RE: P J Clarke's Burger Wed, 09/10/08 8:46 AM (permalink)
      The only ting I ever had during many visits to PJ Clark's (c.1950s) was beer in vast quantities - I was not even aware they sold food.

      Cheers, John
       
      #3
        the ancient mariner

        • Total Posts: 3987
        • Joined: 4/6/2004
        • Location: st petersburg, florida
        RE: P J Clarke's Burger Wed, 09/10/08 9:25 AM (permalink)
        John, you are giving yourself a bad reputation. But if you had
        ordered a burger you would agree with me---unless 1950 was the year
        they had good burgers and made thier reputation.

        Greymo, you get hamburgers in some hi-class joints. I have not walked
        past 21 in many years and wonder if they still have the little jockey
        statues outside.
         
        #4
          MiamiDon

          RE: P J Clarke's Burger Wed, 09/10/08 9:50 AM (permalink)
          quote:
          Originally posted by the ancient mariner

          John, you are giving yourself a bad reputation. But if you had
          ordered a burger you would agree with me---unless 1950 was the year
          they had good burgers and made thier reputation.

          Greymo, you get hamburgers in some hi-class joints. I have not walked
          past 21 in many years and wonder if they still have the little jockey
          statues outside.


          Yes, they do, and[url='http://www.21club.com/web/onyc/onyc_jockeys.jsp']here[/url] is a link to pictures of them and their story.
           
          #5
            the ancient mariner

            • Total Posts: 3987
            • Joined: 4/6/2004
            • Location: st petersburg, florida
            RE: P J Clarke's Burger Wed, 09/10/08 12:17 PM (permalink)
            Thanks El Don, I wondered about those jockeys for years.
            I worked at the corner of 52nd and 5th as a teenager, it
            was the hottest entertainment street in NYC during the 40's and before.

            21 was the star of stars on 52nd Street, car after car would pull up with
            celebraties of all sorts and there were always a dozen or more people
            standing around trying to get autographs. I have seen lots of stars walking
            in for dinner or lunch.
             
            #6
              billyboy

              • Total Posts: 2363
              • Joined: 1/23/2005
              • Location: New York City, NY
              RE: P J Clarke's Burger Wed, 09/10/08 1:35 PM (permalink)
              I don't know that I could answer that question with much authority. A while back, there was a huge burger list on RF of NYC places and I've only been to a few of them. This is a list that Pigiron made:


              Back 40
              Better Burger NYC
              BLT Burger
              Blue 9
              brgr
              Burger Joint
              burgers and cupcakes
              Five Guys
              goodburger
              Kool Bloo
              New York Burger Company
              Pop Burger
              Rare
              Sassy's Sliders
              Shake Shack
              Stand
              The Twisted Burger
              Zen Burger
              Zip Burger
              Ziggaz

              And there are probably 10-20 more in the city as of today. So far I've been to:



              1.) Blue 9 Burger-Good burger of the thin variety. They use the burger diaper mostly seen in Southern California and no need for ketchup on this one. They have a special sauce that pairs nicely with the meat. Haven't been in about a year and half, so not sure how it stands up today.


              2.) burgers and cupcakes-Excellent burger, thick, juicy. Bun is top notch too.



              3.) Five Guys-Love this burger! Always cooked medium well, yet always very moist with a great crust and lots of flavor.



              4.) goodburger-Not at all impressed with this one. Not bad, but I didn't think it was anything worth a special trip.


              5.) Shake Shack-Good, solid burger, but not the best I have ever had. Must be okay with waiting in fairly long line for this one.


              6.) Burger Shoppe-



              7.) Carneigie John's street cart- NYCFoodGuy put me on to this $4 cheeseburger at a cart located outside of Carneigie Hall. Moist, messy and nice balance of char from the grill and crust from the griddle.


              8.) Jeremy's Ale House-I wasn't mad about this burger. It tasted like the pre-formed from the box variety.



              9.) Zaitzeff-Very moist and juicy, always cooked perfectly, but can be a bit pricey for what it is. I realize this isn't the best pic, but it's the best one I had.



              10.) COMIX-My girlfriend and I had a really juicy, thick burger here while seeing some comedy and I was surprised that such a good burger could be found in a club. The bacon & cheese on it were top notch too.


              11.) Island Burgers & Shakes-Very thick, not very juicy (but in hindsight, I should have ordered it medium rare). Toppings and bread choices are key here too.


              If I had to pick my favorite of these, I'd go with Five Guys. I just love it and find it on my brain whenever I crave a burger. If I were to pick a place that is only in NYC, I would go with burger and cupcakes and Carnegie John coming in a close second. TTM has been saying I've gotta get to the Burger Joint, so I think that'll be my next stop.

               
              #7
                the ancient mariner

                • Total Posts: 3987
                • Joined: 4/6/2004
                • Location: st petersburg, florida
                RE: P J Clarke's Burger Wed, 09/10/08 1:53 PM (permalink)
                Fantastic ------ thank you Billy

                Nowhere is PJ Clarke mentioned---and for good reason.

                Whoever does those polls has to get out and try a few.
                Sitting at a desk and clipping someone else's review is,
                or should be, against the law.
                 
                #8
                  Foodosaurus

                  RE: P J Clarke's Burger Wed, 09/10/08 2:01 PM (permalink)
                  When I was in the city and craving a good burger, I did a little bit of online research and more than a few sites pointed me toward "Big Nick's Burger and Pizza Joint" http://bignicksnyc.com/ They have over 35 different burgers and just about as many different pizzas, comfort food, and breakfast till 11am.
                   
                  #9
                    ellen4641

                    • Total Posts: 3531
                    • Joined: 5/1/2004
                    • Location: Egg Harbor Township, NJ
                    RE: P J Clarke's Burger Thu, 09/11/08 8:44 PM (permalink)
                    Best burger picking is VERY subjective...
                    I've read many more negative write ups lately about P.J Clarkes...(much more so than good write ups)
                    Plus some of those burger places in those magazine lists might not have been visited in awhile..

                    Another place that is often called the best burger in NYC is the CORNER BISTRO on Jane St. in Greenwich Village... however recently I've been reading much more NEGATIVE stuff about it..
                    I tried it for myself on Monday (my trip report will post ASAP), and I thought "eh"...
                    It WAS good fresh, meat, but to say it's the BEST burger in NYC is stretching it, IMO..
                    the cooking method was too plain for me...
                    everyone has their own personal tastes...
                     
                    #10
                      roossy90

                      • Total Posts: 6695
                      • Joined: 8/15/2005
                      • Location: columbus, oh
                      RE: P J Clarke's Burger Thu, 09/11/08 9:28 PM (permalink)
                      Billyboy--

                      I dont think 5 guys belongs on that list at all.


                      It is one of the worst burgers I have ever had. (IMHO)
                      Will never go back to give them a 2nd chance.


                       
                      #11
                        nysharks

                        • Total Posts: 103
                        • Joined: 7/21/2008
                        • Location: New York, NY
                        RE: P J Clarke's Burger Thu, 09/11/08 9:57 PM (permalink)
                        I have to second that Peter Luger's has a great hamburger and not that outrageously expensive as other places. I have to admit it is tough to order a burger at Luger's but usually if I go with my family we will order the burger as well as the steak for 3. A tasty meal of hamburger with some porterhouse on the side!
                         
                        #12
                          ellen4641

                          • Total Posts: 3531
                          • Joined: 5/1/2004
                          • Location: Egg Harbor Township, NJ
                          RE: P J Clarke's Burger Thu, 09/11/08 10:33 PM (permalink)
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by roossy90

                          Billyboy--
                          I dont think 5 guys belongs on that list at all.
                          It is one of the worst burgers I have ever had. (IMHO)
                          Will never go back to give them a 2nd chance.

                          See, THIS is what I mean about burger opinions being very SUBJECTIVE.
                          I definitely respect your opinion, roosy, and billyboy's, as well..

                          I gave Five Guys a 2nd chance, mostly cause I wanted to test out the Absecon, NJ location to see if the burger tasted better than the Somers Point, NJ one did...(both within 10 miles of my condo).
                          I enjoyed the new Absecon one MUCH better. (so sometimes it is a matter of certain locations being better than other ones)
                          I certainly DON'T blame you roosy, for NOT wanting to give them a 2nd chance. I do still feel the burgers are overrated, and are lucky to get as much publicity as they do......
                          I find the french fries are nothing special. And what, no onion rings? No milkshakes?

                          I don't always agree with billyboy's opinions, just like you're experiencing right now. I gave the Wall Street Burger Shoppe in NYC a 2nd chance on Monday, (cause billyboy originally recommended it, and he LOVED it so much!). Well, the "2nd chance" had me STILL HATING it !! Burger was small, overcooked, dry, and not very much of a beefy flavor. And the choc milkshake tasted like some sort of frozen dairy dessert. (Actually this time I even hated it more than the first time! Cause after the first time, I still held out a little hope, but now all hope was gone)
                          Plus the seating has got to be the most uncomfortable EVER..
                          (stools with no backs to them, unless one wants to sit upstairs in the dark, dingy bar area... )

                          I often do love many of the same places as billyboy, but not always.
                          Everyones taste buds are different, and everyone experiences situations in thier own way....
                           
                          #13
                            billyboy

                            • Total Posts: 2363
                            • Joined: 1/23/2005
                            • Location: New York City, NY
                            RE: P J Clarke's Burger Thu, 09/11/08 10:55 PM (permalink)
                            Roossy, what was it about Five Guys you didn't like? Do you prefer char-grilled to griddled? Was it the service? I don't think it's the best hamburger in the city as I haven't tried every one in the city. Even if I had, my ratings would be subjective at best.

                            Ellen, sorry to hear you had a bad 2nd experiewnce at the burger Shoppe. I haven't been back since that visit. I feel I should go and try the two burgers special. That Kahuna burger though, was mighty tasty!
                             
                            #14
                              MiamiDon

                              RE: P J Clarke's Burger Fri, 09/12/08 10:29 AM (permalink)
                              quote:
                              Originally posted by billyboy

                              Roossy, what was it about Five Guys you didn't like? Do you prefer char-grilled to griddled? Was it the service? I don't think it's the best hamburger in the city as I haven't tried every one in the city. Even if I had, my ratings would be subjective at best.

                              Ellen, sorry to hear you had a bad 2nd experiewnce at the burger Shoppe. I haven't been back since that visit. I feel I should go and try the two burgers special. That Kahuna burger though, was mighty tasty!


                              Billy,

                              At the Five Guys that I went to in the Mid-town Miami shopping mall, they had a sign declaring that the burgers were only available well-done. The manager indicated that it was corporate policy, so I was mildly surprised to find that yours was medium-well.

                              I did find the basic burger itself much more enjoyable than a McWendy's-King hamburger.

                              The annoying thing there, to me, was that the burger and fries are bagged even if you are going to eat in the restaurant. I think that steaming in the bag helped to make the fries limp. Not to mention that I had to pull out about a half pound of loose fries that were dumped on top of the burger to get at it. By the time I got to eat my burger I was aggravated.



                               
                              #15
                                ellen4641

                                • Total Posts: 3531
                                • Joined: 5/1/2004
                                • Location: Egg Harbor Township, NJ
                                RE: P J Clarke's Burger Fri, 09/12/08 10:54 AM (permalink)
                                Good description you gave of Five Guys fries : LIMP !!
                                 
                                #16
                                  Foodosaurus

                                  RE: P J Clarke's Burger Fri, 09/12/08 11:13 AM (permalink)
                                  quote:
                                  Originally posted by ellen4641

                                  Good description you gave of Five Guys fries : LIMP !!


                                  Ellen, Im sorry but I have to disagree with you. As is the case with any chain, different locations will offer a bit of a different product.

                                  When I was working at ESPN in Bristol, CT we would often get dinner from the Five Guys in Farmington. It is about 15 minutes away, but in evening rush hour traffic on Rt 6, it can take a half hour to get back.

                                  I've never had a complaint about the texture of the fries. After a half hour car ride, the fries may have gotten to room temp, but never limp.

                                  As far as the bag and the fries on top of the burger go... How can you complain that you are given two servings of fries instead of one? Everyone loves finding a few fries at the bottom of a bag. Well Five Guys has gone to the extreme of makeing sure that everyone gets plenty of "bottom-baggers." And I personaly like that it is served in the bag because the burgers are numbered and everyone gets their own serving.

                                  Although Five Guys is a chain, in some ways it epitomizes Road Food. It is a no frills, (shakes and rings) get in get out, type of food. You walk in to get a burger and fries, as the name suggests, and you walk out with a grease soaked bag. What else can you ask for?
                                   
                                  #17
                                    ellen4641

                                    • Total Posts: 3531
                                    • Joined: 5/1/2004
                                    • Location: Egg Harbor Township, NJ
                                    RE: P J Clarke's Burger Fri, 09/12/08 7:54 PM (permalink)
                                    quote:
                                    Originally posted by braunsteinm

                                    quote:
                                    Originally posted by ellen4641

                                    Good description you gave of Five Guys fries : LIMP !!


                                    Ellen, Im sorry but I have to disagree with you. As is the case with any chain, different locations will offer a bit of a different product.

                                    Although Five Guys is a chain, in some ways it epitomizes Road Food. It is a no frills, (shakes and rings) get in get out, type of food. You walk in to get a burger and fries, as the name suggests, and you walk out with a grease soaked bag. What else can you ask for?

                                    I definitely hear what you're saying.... I just prefer a crispier fry; we both agree about some locations being more suitable for our own personal tastes.

                                    There IS one more thing I could ask for from FIVE GUYS, and that is a DRIVE THRU....(have'nt seen any in the various locations I've been to or passed by) (perhaps there are some I don't know about...)
                                    since it is such a no frills place, why not make it even MORE "no frills" and let us do the drive thru...?

                                    I do agree with you that even though it's a chain, it's Roadfood, of sorts...
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Michael Hoffman

                                      • Total Posts: 17850
                                      • Joined: 7/1/2000
                                      • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                      RE: P J Clarke's Burger Fri, 09/12/08 8:14 PM (permalink)
                                      As I understand it from a great deal of research, Five Guys doesn't have drive-thrus because their best customers are either not old enough to drive, or can't pass the test for a license as a result of having to be able to actually read.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        roossy90

                                        • Total Posts: 6695
                                        • Joined: 8/15/2005
                                        • Location: columbus, oh
                                        RE: P J Clarke's Burger Fri, 09/12/08 9:54 PM (permalink)
                                        Billyboy...
                                        Not to make this thread all about Five guys, cuz that was NOT
                                        Ancient Mariners quest here.

                                        But... they smoosh it to death, and they man handle them, with their constant squish, smoosh and all.. until there are no juices, it was everything that MiamiDon said, and I just didnt care for it.
                                        I do prefer a chargrill burger also, but I am not dead set against eating burgers that are on the flat top.

                                        Like I said in my post, IMHO...
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Baah Ben

                                          • Total Posts: 3026
                                          • Joined: 11/30/2001
                                          • Location: Ormond Beach, FL
                                          RE: P J Clarke's Burger Sat, 09/13/08 12:33 AM (permalink)
                                          Can I just say something here about limp fries....

                                          I heard that Five Guys does not blanch their fresh cut fries. That they simply cut fresh potatoes with their skins one and fry them. If so, that would be the reason they are "limp." The type of potato would also be a factor, but the real issue is the frying process. From the pictures I see, that's what they appear to be doing. I could say a lot maore about this, but it is about PJ Clarke's so...

                                          Didn't this 5 Guys chain start out in Virginia of Washington DC?

                                          Very surprised to hear negatives on PJ Clarke's. At one time back in the day, they had one of the best, if not the best burger, in Manhattan. Right up there with Maxwell's Plum (no longer in business)
                                           
                                          #21
                                            MiamiDon

                                            RE: P J Clarke's Burger Sat, 09/13/08 7:34 AM (permalink)
                                            Ben, on my one visit I watched carefully, and talked with the manager. They do double-fry the potatos, so I suspect that the one that I went to was not doing it right, at least on that shift.

                                            Ben, you are right about the "old" P.J. Clark's. I did not comment, because I have not been there in over thirty years. Also, my brother was a waiter at Maxwell's Plum; same era.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              Baah Ben

                                              • Total Posts: 3026
                                              • Joined: 11/30/2001
                                              • Location: Ormond Beach, FL
                                              RE: P J Clarke's Burger Sat, 09/13/08 8:52 AM (permalink)
                                              Don - Well, if they are frying twice, perhaps it is the potato they are using? They may be using a Eastern potato vs a Russet from the Western part of the country. Ellen is also saying they are limp. There has to be some reason they are limp. Maybe it's just that they are putting them in the fry bags and they are steaming?

                                              Interesting, they are not getting enough complaints to change their fries. This chain gets a lot of positive press. Hoping someone will answer if they started in Washington, DC/Va area? I think if you go back in the archives on 5 Guys others have complained about their fries, too. Perhaps that's where I heard about them not blanching. Obviously that's not correct. I know I read it someplace. Anyway.....

                                              Maxwell's Plum had a terrific burger on this huge bun. I think it was owned by Warner LeRoy? Your brother must have made pretty good $ on tips. Right up the block from the first TGI Fridays that was owned by Alan Stillman...Both huge, huge successes. Friday's had a really good burger, too. It was served on a English muffin back in the day...The day being the late 60's early 70's. Incidently, that Friday's formed the basis of what is today, the Friday's chain. I think Stillman is still involved in it.

                                              I'll bet your brother remembers Rusty's, too? Rusty Staub, former NY Met star, was the first restaurant owner to serve Canadian Baby Back Ribs in NYC. The place was a huge hit!! Staub was an excellent chef himself. He developed his own sauce for the ribs, etc. He is Canadian. His sauce was very good!

                                              Ancient Mariner - Sorry to digress. Back to PJ Clarke's. I was there several times back when it was excellent, too. That's too bad.

                                              What about JG Mellon's burger. Bobby Flay said it was his favorite...Before he created his own.

                                               
                                              #23
                                                ellen4641

                                                • Total Posts: 3531
                                                • Joined: 5/1/2004
                                                • Location: Egg Harbor Township, NJ
                                                RE: P J Clarke's Burger Tue, 09/16/08 12:56 AM (permalink)
                                                Yes, Five Guys started in the Wash. DC area...
                                                it was started by a father and his 4 sons.

                                                You are right, Baah Ben, the place tends to get SO much positive press!
                                                I consider them to be very lucky, cause the chain has really caught on ,whereas many others (also just as worthy, and many even more so!) just never seem to make it...

                                                Now I can say I've got THREE locations of Five Guys that are all within 10 miles from my condo..
                                                (here in the AC area). The newest one, in Egg Harbor Township/Mays Landing just opened up a bunch of months ago. They just seem to keep multiplying.

                                                Now if only Counter Burger would open up here, too! THAT place I could really go for!




                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  the ancient mariner

                                                  • Total Posts: 3987
                                                  • Joined: 4/6/2004
                                                  • Location: st petersburg, florida
                                                  RE: P J Clarke's Burger Tue, 09/16/08 9:43 AM (permalink)
                                                  Baah Ben----digress all you want, my boy, digression is the mother of
                                                  invention, or some such thing. But Melon's burger is 1000% better than
                                                  Clarke's ----and it is in a high class neighborhood. I think Clarke's got
                                                  it's reputation from the newspaper reporters and columnists who made it
                                                  their favorite watering hole, After a few snorts they could eat an old
                                                  shoe with ketchup on it and give it a rave review in the evening edition.

                                                  The Clarke's owners refused to sell their property when all those hi-rise
                                                  buildings were going up on either side, so it is now dwarfed and stuck
                                                  inbetween----the property is worth a fortune I assume.

                                                   
                                                  #25
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