Welcome to the first post in my ‘Flavor of the Week’ series! I recently opened up about my 2018 resolutions and this series will be one of the ways I plan to hold myself accountable. This week I ventured over to Joe Junior, a diner on 3rd avenue recognized for serving the ‘Quintessential American Cheeseburger’; and according to some, the best burger in New York City.
Since moving to New York I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect diner. The smell of the fryer, tears in the leather booths and the laminated menus all make me nostalgic for the diners I grew up eating at in Chicago. Thankfully, Joe Junior ticked every box.
Upon walking in we were waved into an empty table and quickly given large plastic menus. The walls were wrapped in wood and mirrors, complimenting the single row of stools lining the bar counter. The one and only cook was clearly visible, as the kitchen was open, exposing the grill and the way in which they make their signature burger. I quickly became distracted with his method for frying their bacon and grilled onions, which consisted of a dip in the deep fryer, a sear on the grill and a swift slap onto the plate. This left the fatty bits crispy and gave the onions a slippery, crunch.
I typically gravitate towards two types of dishes in a diner, eggs -sunny side up- hash browns and toast, or a bacon cheeseburger. After seeing Joe’s pop up on several Google searches for ‘best burger in NYC’, I opted for the burger.
Within fifteen minutes I was sinking my teeth into a flavor bomb of lettuce, tomato, pickle, grilled onion and bacon over a beef patty, smacked between two sesame buns. In between bites I couldn’t help but nosh on the generous helping of fries, which were salty, soft and crispy in the most perfect way. All of this savory deliciousness comes as part of their ‘deluxe’ meal and will cost you about $9, while the regular burger comes at a mere $5.
I left Joe’s seriously satisfied and reminiscent of my favorite diner digs back home. And, with prices so low and flavors so full I’m looking forward to heading back to Joe Junior very soon.