On the eve of Independence Day weekend, let me tell you a little story about America…
When Thomas Jefferson was fighting the Nazis in Germany with his bare hands, he took refuge in a castle (known as a “schloss,” in Deutsch). In the kitchen, he saw a steak and a roll of bread on the table. Because it was Nazi steak, he kicked its ass so hard that it turned into ground beef, and because the roll looked a bit like The Kaiser he sliced in half with his sword-like fists (hence the origin of the “Kaiser roll”). He then lightly grilled the beef, put it between the bun, and ate it with tremendous American pride. It gave him the strength and sustenance to get back to battle and, with Elvis by his side, turn the tide and win the war. Because he was in Hamburg at the time, and because he liked saying “ham” more than he liked saying “beef,” he dubbed it a “Hamburger.” And even though “Hamburger" was a German word, because he was F%$KING THOMAS JEFFERSON he decreed that it would henceforth change to an English word. The end.
That little vignette paints the scene for this past Tuesday’s session, when 14 of us took over the outdoor seating section at Joy Burger Bar West Village to share in a downright pleasant, Freedom-filled evening. The owner and head chef at Joy Burger were magnificently accommodating, and were extremely generous in giving us free trays of fries and onion rings (these were really, really good onion rings) to accompany our burgers, as well as a large selection of their trademark sauces…AND they even created two unique sauces just for us: a kale pesto and a sweet ginger mayo. The sweet ginger mayo was greeted with universal acclaim, both as a burger topper and a fry-dipper, and let’s hope they add that to the menu moving forward.
But we’re not called “The Sauce Club,” are we…the burger itself was decidedly average - even cooked carefully, this is very much your standard patty on your standard sesame roll. The solid value, wonderful ambiance and veritable panoply of sauces couldn’t mask that fact, and in the end the taste, texture and harmoniousness ratings brought down the overall score to a 7.1. Still, for a friendly grab-and-go shot of beefy glory, you could do far, far worse.
Speaking of far worse, my own rating as a human being has fallen back to earth like a firework that didn’t open…clocking in at a disappointing 3.15, I was roundly criticized for sporting a newsboy cap, and also for agreeing with the chef’s decision to not offer us some appetizer salmon sliders that had been sitting out all day. Next time I’m going let you all get salmonella.