Magazine article The New Yorker

Burger Joint; Tables for Two

Magazine article The New Yorker

Burger Joint; Tables for Two

Article excerpt

118 W. 57th St. (212-708-7414)--The burger freak faces a dilemma if he finds himself in the lobby of Le Parker Meridien hotel at lunchtime on a weekday. He knows that, hidden behind the floor-to-ceiling curtain, down a short and narrow hallway, is a sanctuary of well-apportioned grease that will satisfy whatever burger daydreams have been nagging him since breakfast. But the line leading into it, spilling into the lobby, indicates a half-hour wait, which is an awfully long time to hold out for something that lasts less than two minutes.

To wait or not? Burger people tend to be impatient, and there's a diner down the street. They are also adaptable: once they've experienced the simple bliss of a Joint burger, they will learn to rearrange their days around it. Lunch can certainly be taken at eleven or three.

The Burger Joint has occupied its little nook in the lobby for three years now, and is not much of a secret, but it can still feel like one. The space consists of a few tables and booths with graffiti carved into them, faux-wood panelling, movie posters, and a counter, behind which four or five harried souls sling burgers, fries, and nothing else--except soda, beer, milkshakes (after 1:30), and big cakey brownies, which you fetch for yourself and come to regret. …

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