Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Burger Joint @ Le Parker Meridien Hotel, NYC

Who would have thought at Le Parker Meridien, that one would find such unexpected, down to earth, classic American Burgers + Fries. But there it was, albeit totally concealed along the depths of a narrow and dim hallway with no indication, no nomenclature but a strong perfume of oil and grease (a heavenly, unctuous vapors permeating the tall, marbled resplendent halls of hotel opulence-a decadent paradox that I could easily find refuge nestled in it's warm bosom...

Click below

So it's really ridiculous how hidden this place is, I mean, you can SMELL the charring meat, but you just can't find an entrance (we had to ask the guard, and he gave us the effected cursory glance and hand gestured us...must be a common question)

So down a dark, narrow path one side lined with a red velvet curtain and the other, well... a bare concrete wall past the marbled column, it looked....a little sketchy (just being honest).  But it was so twisted, it was way cool, at the end there's a neon light of a burger with an arrow pointing right out of movie set of a back alley.

And then you're transported into some sort of Burger speakeasy- it's like you walked into a roadside bar off the highway in Duluth... wood panelling, white brick with Sharpie markered messages, and tiniest of kitchens that I've ever seen churning out food like a madman!  The clientele also fits, in an odd way, the casualness and ease of customers is definite vacuum compared to the people outside in the hotel, on 57th St in Midtown Manhattan.

But definitely this place whips you back into reality with a New York attitude:  a cardboard sign overhead explaining in the simplest of terms on how to order in three easy steps:  two choices-with or without cheese, how it's cooked and what condiments you want to add. Undecided lollygaggers are immediately sent back to the end of the line, a la Soup Nazi (?) style. (I didn't really see that happening here for real tho)

It's a cool way to ensure some sense of steady flow, and with the choices being relatively limited, the efficiency quotient is pretty high...

In terms of size, this place on the small side of venues and having a large customer base is no help (I bet the majority goes back outside and eat in the Park).  But we want to soak up the atmosphere and experience- a booth opened up for us by the staff so we were lucky to grab a great seat!

The staff is working in overdrive!

View from the back booth overlooking the entrance!

Random view of the walls

So we just ordered Cheeseburgers with the works medium rare with Fries and a Coke.  And as I have to say; the Burgers were delicious-charred perfectly, the condiments didn't overpower the meaty flavor everything melted together in your mouth harmoniously.

The Fries came in a paper bag-it was really yummy!

Another shot of 'The Works'; Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Pickles, Ketchup, Mayo and Mustard.  To be truthful, it's not just about the Burger in this case; it's the whole experience of grabbing a Burger in such a deliberate dive inside a swank hotel in the busiest of Manhattan's streets that make the Burger Joint so incredibly special and unique.  I would come here everyday in a heartbeat and soak in the cleverness and irony that either intentional or unintentional, is so cool...but hey....it's New York!!

Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien on Urbanspoon
Ratings (Out of Five Stars)
Food:                  5
Ambience:          5
Service:              5

Perfect Score!!!