For most people, the fourth of July (and summer for that matter) is synonymous with BBQs and cookouts. I know most are into the veggie/vegan trends and I even dabble it in all just to understand what people are thinking and feeling. But when it comes down to the facts, I just love cheeseburgers.
Now I still have a ways to go in this city, but this certainly is going to be a close race for my NY favorite. In today’s world of green juices, kale obsessions, and soy products, we sometimes need to indulge in the real stuff. Maybe it’s unhealthy, maybe it’s not. To me, it’s a little like living on the edge and satisfies a craving.
I was lucky enough to have my dad in town on business and even though he was only free for one night, it gave us plenty of time to chat (me doing most of the talking and not letting him get a word in…typical Kaitlin), catch up, and of course go out to dinner.
After finishing up my softball game in Central Park, we made our way over to the west side and started walking up and down Broadway. I think I’ve adopted a more willy-nilly attitude to food and am fine wandering around to ultimately pick a place to eat. My dad on the other hand is a man of precision and really likes to have some known quantities. Not that he doesn’t explore but he definitely likes to have some of his favorites on the menu. 😉
Poor guy was in meetings back to back all day, stuck in a hotel conference room, and running on little sleep. No fear, Kaitlin’s here to make a foodie decision.
We had taken a pit-stop around Lincoln Center to take in the surroundings and check some options on Yelp. There happened to be a P.J. Clarke’s in the area and I had only heard rave reviews about it, so our decision was made.
Fearing we would have to fight the masses of Lincoln Center and corporate crowds for a table, I was surprised when we were waltzed in and seated right away. The atmosphere is very much home-style/bar comfort with the wood features and tables and gingham tablecloths. Yet, there is definitely an edge of upscale dining, which also comes through on the menu.
TFred went for a Brooklyn Lager, either because it had a great rich taste or he was trying to be thematic with New York. I debated a beer or a Prosecco drink only to go for my favorite – club soda. Judging on the fact that spring was almost at a close and the humidity was practically in full force (ok not true…it’s just an adjustment for this CA gal), I was parched and could only fathom water. Plus, as we discussed on Thursday, I have an addiction (or obsession) to bubbly water.
I had almost debated the Kale Salad + Salmon when I caught myself. I eat salmon and kale every other night of the week, why order it at a restaurant known for its burgers? My theory is it’s best to order something the establishment is known for or you cannot make at home. After all, going out to eat should be a treat. (Note: the word “treat” doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy – it’s just a treat you don’t have to cook!)
“The Cadillac” – Smoked Country Bacon, American Cheese
B.L.T.E. Burger – Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Lemonaise, Fried Egg
I asked the waiter what the most recommended or requested burger on the menu was. His response? “The Cadillac”, hence why it was in quotes. Since TFred decided to make that his selection, I went with the BLTE- a heavenly portion of beef burger cooked medium rare (my choice) and topped with bacon and a fried egg. There’s something about the St. Joseph roll too that made the burger perfect – soft and doughy texture that absorbed the juice from the burger and yolk from the egg.
Oh boy people, this was well worth what people call a “cheat meal”. If you ever have the opportunity to order a burger with a fried egg, I highly recommend it. The two or three times that I have done this at The Counter, I have not been disappointed.
We continued to chat and catch up and then it was time to make a game time decision – what to do for dessert. Stay at the restaurant where the NY Cheesecake made for an excellent option, or wander up north to Magnolia Bakery?
Since we needed some time to digest our meals, we selected the later and soon headed up to the 69th street location. There we were not only greeted by a wave of cool air but an endless array of baked goods – from cupcakes to blondie bars, from brownies to their famous banana pudding.
I happened to spot a section with ice cream sandwiches made with blondies and brownies. We ended up splitting a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream sandwich, a perfect pairing for a perfect father-daughter date.
44 W 63rd St
New York, NY