A greasy, divey burger place is not at all what you would expect to find in a luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan, but that’s exactly what Burger Joint is.
When you walk into Le Parker Meridien, you enter a grand lobby with tiled floor and high ceilings. If you happen to turn the corner to the right–to say, head to the bathrooms or something–you’ll be in a palatial, courtyard-like space. But what you’re really here for is hidden just there in the corner of the lobby behind the floor-to-ceiling red curtains.
If you’re here during a peak time, you might see a line of people, stretching alongside the curtains, showing you where to go. If not, take a peek around the pillar and you’ll see a glowing, neon burger affirming that you’re in the right spot.
Burger Joint is a small space, but it still feels like a stand alone restaurant once you’re inside. It’s interior decor couldn’t be more different than the hotel it’s housed in–wall with scribbles and graffiti, seemingly unfinished wooden tables and floors, and a small menu that’s written in marker on a piece of cardboard hanging above the cashier. The place used to be cash only but they’ve started accepting credit cards, so that’s something.
The menu is to the point. Hamburger ($8.50), cheeseburger ($8,96), or double any of those ($15.16 and $16.08). You can add French fries for $4.13 and a whole pickle for $2.07. Don’t ask me why those are such specific prices, because I have absolutely no idea. Besides that, there’s really only drinks and a brownie that you can tack on to your order.
I got a cheeseburger with everything–lettuce, tomato, sliced pickles, mustard, ketchup, and mayo–and some fries. My friend and I managed to snag a booth while waiting for our orders to be called, and another couple ended up squeezing into the booth with us since there weren’t any other seating options and it was just the two of us. A waitress came over and took their order, and they ended up getting their burgers faster than we did! So just a heads up–not 100% verified but it’s quite possible there is table service available, assuming of course that you manage to find a seat.
Our food came in what else but paper bags and wrapping, truly completing the fast food vibe. The burger was unfussy, just like it should be at a place like this. If you like McDonald’s fries, these are the closest I’ve ever seen to something similar at another restaurant.
Burger Joint is one of those restaurants where you’re going to look so “in the know” if you take someone there who’s never heard of it before. I mean come on…fooling them by going into a fancy hotel, leading them behind a mysterious curtain, and entering into a room that smells of grilling and frying? Brownie points for you, for sure.
Cheeseburger with everything, french fries
Le Parker Meridien
119 W 56th St
New York, NY 10019