Manhattan’s Secret Burger
It’s about the last place you’d expect to find a greasy spoon. After you enter the swanky, hushed lobby of the $400/night Le Parker Meridien hotel on West 56th St., immediately turn left and push aside the set of heavy floor-to-ceiling brown drapes. Then walk down a narrow hallway and follow this neon cheeseburger sign (left) to the end and turn right. Suddenly you’re down the rabbit hole into the noisy, throbbing Burger Joint. Customers shout orders at the counter, cooks flip burgers behind the flaming grill, the jukebox is blaring, graffiti is scrawled on the walls above the few vinyl booths, and a fat, juicy burger comes broiled to order for seven bucks, with a side of hot fries in a greasy paper bag for $3.50. The menu is minimal: your choice of hamburger or cheeseburger, with lettuce, tomato, onion, sliced pickles, mustard, ketchup and mayo. That’s it. They’ve got Coke, Sam Adams on tap and thick milkshakes, with brownies for dessert. If you don’t like a long wait, get there right at noon or after the lunch rush around 2:30 pm. Cash only, and hurry up and order because there’s a line of impatient New Yorkers behind you who know exactly what they want.
Burger Joint, Le Parker Meridien hotel, W. 56th St. entrance between 6th and 7th Aves. Open for lunch everyday and ’til midnight Fri. and Sat. Don’t forget: CASH ONLY.
Photo: www.burgerclub.org via Flickr
- Nat Geo Expeditions