Burger Joint

Review by: Michael Stern

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 under $10 for a hamburger, this is one of midtown’s dining bargains. Le Parker Meridien room service charges well over $20 for a burger. We can’t imagine it’s as good as the one you’ll have at the Burger Joint.

Directions & Hours

11am - 11pm
  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM

What To Eat


French Fries


Burger Joint Recipes


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