Monday, July 24, 2006

A Big Surprise in Manhattan – An Amazing Burger!

My friend, Rick Mavrovich, has been CEO of several start-up companies in and around New York City. He is also involved in some fascinating humanitarian work around the globe, but that is a story for another time.

Last week, knowing I was going to be in Manhattan for a couple of days, Rick and I decided to catch up with each other over lunch in the East Village. He had recently read reviews of “The best burger joint in NYC,” and was eager to explore Paul’s Place, on the corner of 2nd Avenue and St. Mark’s Place (131 2nd Ave.) So, we decided to meet at Paul’s. We actually bumped into each other on the subway – having chosen the same car of the same train.

Paul’s is not a fancy restaurant, but one that bills itself as “Da Burger Joint.” The employees have the kind of New York attitude that you would expect in a burger joint, and that we Bostonians find charming and irresistible.

I ordered a burger with sautéed mushrooms and Rick ordered something similar. When the platters were brought to our table, it looked like the waiter was delivering dishes roughly the size of two small principalities! I have never seen a bigger burger! I have a pretty healthy (OK – unhealthy!) appetite, and can usually put away large portions without batting an eye, but this was a challenge. But the burger was so delicious that it seemed sinful to leave any on the plate, so Rick and I made the sacrifice and finished our burgers – with smiles on our faces and precious little empty space left in our stomachs. Each burger had been prepared precisely the way that we had asked for it.

By New York standards, the prices are very reasonable.

As we were settling our bill at the cash register up front, we talked with a person I assume was Paul. He was clearly in charge. We asked him if they had a Website. His answer was something like: “Are you kidding? We are strictly low-tech here, and that’s the way I like it. Why would I want a Website? We already have enough people coming here. We do a good business. Nah, no Websites for me!”

So, the next time you plan to be in the East Village, and have a hearty appetite, pay a visit to Paul’s Place. Let’s hope that Paul’s does not suffer the fate of the popular restaurant that Yogi Berra had in mind when he spoke these memorable words: “Nobody goes there any more; it’s too crowded!”

Enjoy.

Al

1 comment:

Rick Mavrovich said...

Well now you let the cat out of the bag. I fear we will be singing Yogi's lament soon. Hmmm I think I am headed there again today.

Cheers,

Rick