Set behind ceiling high curtains in the lobby of the sophisticated but not snooty Le Parker Meridien Hotel on E. 57th street, lurks a burger-hawking greasy spoon that stands in huge comparison to Norma’s, the power breakfast capital who sells a $1000 caviar frittata. You can get a burger here for $6.50, which is $13.50 less than the $20 room-service burger. You can find the link on their website, but you’d be hard pressed to find so, as it is only a small lower case ‘burger’ on the restaurant page.
The neon sign placed behind the floor to ceiling curtain draws you in with a tempting neon sign…
Every website says that it is a secret, but the secret is out. When I was there, I heard no American voices, only British, Spanish, German and Japanese. Its probably because I came at about 2pm, that I missed the Midtown lunch rush, but it still surprised me that there were this many non-Americans, and that this place is called a secret.
The inside of the restaurant is wood-paneled and white-washed brick, in huge contrast to the marble and mirror lobby of the hotel which it calls home. The wood panels are covered in “old” band posters, while the brick is covered in graffiti. Yes, it says “Ashton Kutcher rules” on the wall. Hopefully, management takes care of that.
There are few seats in the restaurant, but many patrons, many of them Europeans who like to talk and chat after they eat, so you have to look out for a seat and then pounce for it. Otherwise, you wait.
The orders are taken quickly, and then passed along on a clothesline, and the grill, which actually uses flames imparts a chargrilled taste unlike burgers made without it.
In conclusion, this place is good and worth it if you are in this area of town, but even though it was awarded “Best Midtown Brunch” by Zagats in 2008, there are still better lunches around, with less people. And when you’re finished, get up and let someone else have a seat. Or you could call in your order, pick it up and sit down without having to wait, but whats the fun in that.
Le Parker Meridien Hotel
118 W. 57th Street (southwest corner of Sixth Avenue and W. 57th street)
New York City
Open: Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am-11:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 11:30am-midnight