West 3rd Common

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For the full West 3rd Common burger review, go to the previous page, or simply click here.

P.J Clarke's

Click here to visit P.J. Clarke’s Website.

The classic building on Third Avenue in Midtown Manhattan that holds P.J. Clarke’s has stood on the northeast corner of 55th St. for over 100 years.  It has witnessed enormous changes in the neighborhood, some so radical as to seem almost surreal.  What has not changed, however, is their outstanding burger.  P.J. Clarke’s was one of our first burger reviews, and it’s been pretty much downhill since (but a lovely ride of course).

Ground Beef: The P.J. Clarke’s burger is the perfect size.  Coupled with some shoestring French fries or onion strings, you will leave full but not stuffed.  The patty is flame grilled, and it is served juicy and delicious.  The seasoning is very mild, just enough to bring out the flavor of the high quality beef.  You are most likely going to need a couple extra napkins to absorb the juices running down your fingers and wrists.

Extras: P.J. Clarke’s serves the burger only with raw onion, but there are numerous toppings and sauces available.  Being somewhat of a steak house, they encourage the burger to be served with Bernaise sauce, which complements the meat perfectly.

Bun/Roll: P.J. Clarke’s serves their burger on a potato roll.  This sweet, doughy bun, when used correctly, can really make the difference.  When we can’t have a brioche bun, the potato roll is our second choice. In this case, when coupled with Bernaise sauce and raw onion, an outstanding result ensues.

Value: P.J. Clarke’s cheeseburger costs $11.00.  This does not include fries or any other side.  Yes, this may appear on the higher side, but when expressed as a percentage of quality, the value is still amazing.

Burger Rating: 97 out of 100

Burger Joint

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Le Parket Meridien is one of the classiest boutique hotels in the city.  This is one reason why it is so surprising that, nestled around a curtained corner in the posh lobby, a neon burger sign points the way to one of the city’s best secrets. Business folk, tourists, and foodies pack this crowded hole-in-the-wall, where names are etched into walls next to kid’s drawings and movie posters.

As you get rushed through the line and ordering process, you may feel like you are in the real life version of Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi.”  The succinct menu leaves little to ponder.  Although the lines are tremendous, and the orders come and go with high frequency, the burgers always arrive as requested. The hard-working grill leaves its flame-flavored stamp on every morsel, and cheeseburgers get two types of cheddar for added effect.

Ground Beef: The Burger Joint meat has tremendous flavor.  What makes it even better is the tender juiciness.  This is exactly the type of texture you want from the first bite to the last. This is quite an accomplishment, considering the size of the patty.  This is much like the burger you would find at a 4th of July barbeque,  but much, much better.  Often times, with such juicy burgers, the ground beef crumbles, making a big mess.  This was not at all the case at The Burger Joint.  The meat held together perfectly, as did the flavor.

Extras: Like some of the other burgers we’ve reviewed, the Burger Joint burger comes with traditional toppings.  As mentioned before, this can sometimes work and sometimes leave the burger too bland.  In this particular case, it works perfectly.  This fine combination of meat, seasonings, and an open-flame grill needs nothing more than a slice of tomato and some Spanish onion to enhance the taste.

Bun/Roll: The Burger Joint uses a soft roll, nicely toasted.  While other options could probably work, the theme of this establishment encourages the use of standard fare…and it works!

Value: One of the best burgers in New York City for $7.00?  You probably can’t beat that.  The size may leave you wanting more, but a second is definitely too much.  Order a paper bag of greasy fries and you should be good to go.  All for under $10; that’s amazing value, probably the reason for the hour-long line.

Burger Rating: 96 out of 100

Shake Shack

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It’s great to look forward to nice weather, unless it means the line for a great burger will be that much longer. Fortunately, Madision Sq. Park has a lovely ambiance to keep you distracted while you wait (for well over an hour) for one of the best burgers this fine city has to offer.

Ground Beef: Shake Shack’s patty is an excellent size. Coupled with French fries and a shake, you will leave perfectly satisfied. The patty is flame grilled, and it is served juicy and delicious. The seasoning is very mild, which perfectly enhances the flavor of the Pat La Frieda high quality meat. Make sure you grab some extra napkins, as you’ll need them to wipe the juiciness off your face, fingers, and wrists.

Extras: Shake Shack serves their burger with the standard burger toppings: Tomato, lettuce, and raw onion. In this case, the burger needs nothing more. This burger is probably closest in similarity to that of an In ‘n’ Out Burger (the world famous West Coast burger chain) minus the secret sauce.

Bun/Roll: Shake Shack serves their burger on a sesame seed bun. The fresh, toasted bun may seem plain and/or simple at a first glance, but it certainly works fine with this combination of greatness.

Value: Shake Shack’s cheeseburger costs $4.75. This does not include fries or any other side. This is an absolutely unbeatable value. Even after you add in the fries and shake, you’re getting an outsanding meal in New York City for under $10.

Burger Rating: 95 out of 100

J.G Melon

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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 30 years, you’ve most certainly heard of J.G. Melon.  Upper East Siders have been gathering faithfully at JG Melon since 1972, even though the décor makes this local landmark look like it’s been open since the 30s.  Although they maintain a full menu of traditional pub grub, the famously thick, juicy hamburger is their signature dish.  At prime eating times, the place is packed and lines run out the door.

Ground Beef: The J.G. Melon burger is a perfect size, big enough to be both filling and impressive and not big enough to be overwhelming.  The patty is flame grilled, and it is served juicy and delicious.  The seasoning is ideal, enough to enhance the flavor of the fresh meat without tainting the flavor of the quality ground beef.

Extras: The J.G. Melon burger is served with the traditional burger accoutrement: lettuce, tomato, raw onion, and pickles.  Although there is nothing unique about these toppings, in this particular case, the burger simply needs nothing more.

Bun/Roll: Sometimes simplicity pays off. While we prefer brioche buns or exotic potato rolls, J.G. Melon uses a wonderfully fresh sesame seed roll.  J.G. Melon serves such an outstanding product, they need nothing more than a fresh, warm traditional sesame seed roll.

Value: J.G. Melon charges just under $9.00 for their famous burger which.  This price includes their signature cottage fries, crispy half-dollar size potato morsels fried to perfection and served in a bowl. For the price, this is absolutely fantastic value.

Burger Rating: 95 out of 100