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Burger Joint

119 W. 56th St., New York, NY - (212) 708-7414
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/21/2014 7:42:00 AM
The last thing you expect to smell when you walk into the lobby of a five-star hotel is hamburgers sizzling on a grill. But that's exactly the way it is at New York's Le Parker Meridien, to which Stephen Rushmore took us with the promise of burger greatness. Simply getting to it is surreal. Like a speakeasy or illicit casino, it has no prominent sign and is located behind curtains, down a short corridor. As we entered the lobby looking a bit befuddled, a hotel staff member – obviously accustomed to lost burger pilgrims – sidled up to us and asked, "Burger Joint?" We nodded and she pointed the way to the source of that delicious grill aroma.

The restaurant is a tiny place, but we dined at 3pm and therefore didn't have to wait in line, as you most definitely will if you arrive during lunch hour. The menu is a very short one: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, and French fries, plus a brownie for dessert. Beverages include Sam Adams, soft drinks, and – after 3pm only – milk shakes. Place your order at the counter, pay, and give them your name, which will be called out when the food is ready. Meanwhile, find a seat at one of the handful of well-worn booths and tables.

The Hamburger is presented inside white paper. Unwrap it and behold beauty: a medium-thick patty cooked to your specifications on the charcoal grill, its fat quotient high enough that if ordered medium rare or less, oozes juice into its bun even before you bite into it. This may well be the ultimate lunch counter hamburger. Add cheese (for fifty cents) and it is topped with a melting blanket of two cheddars; ask for the works and you get lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard, ketchup and mayo. French fries, served in a paper bag are thin and crisp, a good burger companion if not among the great spuds of New York.

At $7 for a hamburger, fifty cents extra for cheese, this is one of midtown's great dining bargains. Le Parker Meridien room service charges $25 for a burger. We can't imagine it's as good as the one you'll have at the Burger Joint.

Note: there is a second Burger Joint at 33 W. 8th Street in New York, and there also are one in Dubai and one in Seoul.

18 out of 18 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A freshly unwrapped cheeseburger with the works. Note how its juices already have begun seeping into the bun. At first bite, they cascade from inside the charcoal-cooked crust. Note also the two kinds of cheese on top.
"A freshly unwrapped cheeseburger with the works. Note how its juices already have begun seeping into the bun. At first bite, they cascade from inside the charcoal-cooked crust. Note also the two kinds of cheese on top."
Michael Stern





Shoestring fries like the ones from those famous arches, only way better.
"Shoestring fries like the ones from those famous arches, only way better."
Bill Homan


You actually can see smoke coming off these hamburgers, each of which is cooked exactly to order. That smoke wafts out of the restaurant and into the hotel lobby, becoming the most incongruous, but irresistible, perfume.
"You actually can see smoke coming off these hamburgers, each of which is cooked exactly to order. That smoke wafts out of the restaurant and into the hotel lobby, becoming the most incongruous, but irresistible, perfume."
Michael Stern


Just follow the rules and you'll have your burger in no time.  Click on the photo to read the sign.
"Just follow the rules and you'll have your burger in no time. Click on the photo to read the sign."
Bill Homan


Love their sense of humor!
"Love their sense of humor!"
Bill Homan


If you see this sign, a delicious burger is in your immediate future.
"If you see this sign, a delicious burger is in your immediate future."
Bill Homan


What?  There's a burger place in here?  Surely you jest!
"What? There's a burger place in here? Surely you jest!"
Bill Homan


Not exactly a grand entrance. The fun of eating here, aside from its excellent hamburgers, is how purposefully proletarian the whole experience is.
"Not exactly a grand entrance. The fun of eating here, aside from its excellent hamburgers, is how purposefully proletarian the whole experience is."
Michael Stern


Here is an instance where Roadfood Radar simply doesn't work. We cannot imagine walking past the entrance to Le Parker Meridien and thinking, 'Hmmm, there's probably a really great lunch counter hamburger in this place.' Fortunately, we were clued in by Stephen, who was clued in by his father, who knows both great hotels and great Roadfood.
"Here is an instance where Roadfood Radar simply doesn't work. We cannot imagine walking past the entrance to Le Parker Meridien and thinking, 'Hmmm, there's probably a really great lunch counter hamburger in this place.' Fortunately, we were clued in by Stephen, who was clued in by his father, who knows both great hotels and great Roadfood."
Michael Stern



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