Dining at a Classic: JG Melon

Ah the question of the hamburger.  Does one order cheese or onions or bacon or even a fried egg?  Can I (or should I) put ketchup on it?  Why do people say Catsup versus Ketchup?  Certainly too many questions to answer before selecting the right meal, that’s for sure.  Well, I have certainly tasted my fare share of burgers over the years and each one has a special place in my heart, each for a different reason.

In ‘N Out ~ Classic California and always fresh.  Perfect order: cheeseburger protein style with extra tomato (possibly fried onions), fries well-done, and a chocolate shake.  Of course you must rock the In ‘N Out shirt as well.

Bare Burger ~ A recent find and obsession with their organic and all-natural menu items.  I have yet to sample the shakes but I hear they are just delicious.  Perfect order: (again changes every time…) but for now Grindhouse (elk, manchego, bacon, relish, green leaf, paprika mayo, brioche bun) Also, onion rings/sweet fries are a must.

Shake Shack (East Coast) ~ Perfect order: SmokeShack (cheeseburger w/ applewood bacon, chopped cherry pepper and ShakeSauce) paired with a custard (chocolate or flavor of the day)

(P.S.  every Tuesday of the month/spring/summer they have a run club in Central Park/Philly where you get a free beverage post run!)

P.J. Clarkes ~ Here, it’s all about the egg.   Perfect order: B.L.T.E. Burger – Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Lemonaise, Fried Egg.  Go big or go home my friends. Although, their “Cadillac” is almost a picture perfect twin of my order below (Smoked Country Bacon, American Cheese)

The Counter ~ Mostly love this place because of all the darn options.  Salad, burger, pretzel bun, pineapple, bacon, Gouda cheese, brie, and the list goes on and on and on.  No favorite order here because it changes so often.

More delicious burger joints: Umami, Tommy’s, Father’s Office (ketchup is a no-no here), The Habit, Bob’s Big Boy, or just check out LA’s Top 10

 Anyways, let’s get back to New York City shall we?

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J.G. Melon is an Upper East Side staple.  I would know because my friends that are New Yorkites and have lived in the city their entire lives told me so.  What can I say, I believe what I’m told. 🙂

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The dining establishment has been around since 1972 but the building since the 1920’s when it was created as a tavern during Prohibition.  Located on east 74th street, it has become known by the locals a the perfect spot for a burger.  When you walk in, there is an adorable older host who knows most of the guests by name.  Don’t expect to be seated if your entire party hasn’t arrived.  Instead, hang out by the bar and make some new friends.

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The one and only menu.  No really, one-sided with some pretty familiar items.  One thing to note is that it’s cash only!

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My friend Alyssa went with her favorite – a grilled chicken salad, while I asked the waitress for the absolute best – a bacon cheeseburger, cooked medium rare.  We also ordered a side of the “Cottage Fried Potatoes”, which Alyssa claims are the best but honestly weren’t too out of the ordinary (not much of a fries person though I did eat a majority of the bowl…go figure).  At the beginning of the night, I had my eye on a piece of dessert but by the time we had finished chatting and cleaned our plates, I was full beyond belief.

Yes, a lovely night in the upper east side and you don’t have to worry about me going vegetarian any time soon.

J.G. Melon
1291 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10021
(74th/3rd)

We all need to make time for a burger once in a while.” – Erica Durance

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