Being a fat kid, I’ve always enjoyed burgers. Singles, doubles, with cheese, without, chicken, turkey, beef; as long it’s got meat between a bun, I’m a fan. Over the course of my friendship with hungry dan, I’ve learned to appreciate the difference between quality and Burger King. (I still love a whopper though, don’t tell dan.)
On to the story.
This weekend I traveled down to New York City. The objective of the weekend was not burger related, I went to catch the Broadway show The Book of Mormon (AWESOME), however, but with a little help from my friend Google, I discovered that I was staying within walking distance of 2 of the 3 saints: JG Mellon and PJ Clarke. Knowing how jealous hungry dan would be, I decided to indulge and gloat.
I call them saints because I learned about these places through black and white photos on the wall at The Burger’s Priest. (Ed. note, see: The Measuring Stick) Based on the look of the Priest, I assumed that these places would also be burger joints, to my surprise they were not.
Walking in, they looked more like a neighborhood bars than Meccas of burgerdom.
My first stop was JG Melon. Initially, I was skeptical and thought I was in the wrong place. Turns out I was wrong about being wrong, and in for one hell of a burger. After perusing the menu for a minute (just to see what else they served, not like there was a chance I was going to order it) I ordered a medium cheeseburger. It was served open face, with pickles and a raw sliced onion on the side. Being a fan of neither, I put some ketchup on the bun and dug in. The burger was thick and juicy, and the melted cheese dripped down over the sides o the patty.
The meat in the burger was by-far the star of the show. I don’t know if they ground their own or what seasonings they used, but it was delicious. Grilled on a flat-top, it retained all it’s juice. I ordered a side of fries too, but they ended up being totally unnecessary.
My PJ Clarke experience was similar, only this time I was less surprised by the look. The burger was ordered and served the same, down to the pickle and raw onion. And, it did not disappoint. It was almost a blessing that I was eating alone because I don’t think there was a moment my mouth was empty enough to carry on a conversation. The biggest downfall, was that the burger went down so quickly. To paraphrase a wise man, ‘That burger was so good, I wish I was eating it right now.’
The only real difference between the two places was the bun. At JG it was semi-toasted while at PJ it was fresh.
Given the fresh bun at PJ (and my hunger post-theater) I have to give PJ Clarke’s the edge. Just barely though. In truth, I’d love a return visit to both places.
PJ Clarke – 4.6
JG Melon – 4.55