To paraphrase the immortal words of Ren and Stimpy – “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!”
That is the euphoric feeling I had when biting into these char broiled patties of meat goodness. We finally had a chance to drop by this East Harlem outpost of Joy Burger Bar and it really is up in no man’s land – kind of where Yorkville ends and Spanish Harlem meets. I applaud the owners for taking a chance up in this spot, and it seems as if they are being rewarded. The evening we feasted there were brisk take out and deliveries going on, and the dining area had burger lovers constantly filling the tables.
We grabbed a table and placed our orders. I had a terrific view of the cooks laboring over the grill and the flames shooting high into the air. That char broiled BBQ smell hearkened back childhood memories of watching my dad shoot the gas onto the charcoal and seeing the flame bomb explode into the sky as he was getting the BBQ ready for summer weekend burgers and hot dogs.
As the burgers come in different sizes here, and we were really hungry, we went with the maxi. We ordered one with lettuce, tomato, spicy mango chutney, and garlic mayo. Sweet potato chips on the side. The other burger with lettuce, tomato, garlic mayo, and BBQ sauce. Onion rings on the side. Both burgers were cooked perfectly medium, with some red in the middle. Sauces were off the hook good. Both burgers were terrific, juicy, and made our taste buds sing! Sweet potato chips were good and the maple syrup to dip in was a nice touch. The onion rings here were absolutely killer! Yes, the burgers are big and tasty here, and overpower the buns as they do end up getting messy when it falls apart a bit, but that is a minor complaint. That char broiled burger taste is so welcome in a city where BBQ’s are hard to come by, and illegal to use on your fire escape.
We both ordered the frozen limonata’s and I must say these drinks were awesome! Wonderful fresh mint blended into these icy concoctions made for a cool drinking experience. They also carry a small section of bottled beers and wines. Iced tea, lemonade, and Coke products too.
Smooth electronica type music played in the background. Seating area is on the small side but there is also some counter seating up by the grill area. Bathroom is clean too. Space is decorated with some classic Coke memorabilia. Service is OK and menu options are limited, but has more then enough to satisfy your burger cravings. Many different sauces and toppings to choose from, and you can get as many as you want. Overall, the prices for everything here are on the cheaper side, so you won’t break the bank eating at Joy Burger Bar. Burgers start at $3.75 and range up to $5.95. Sides are $2.25 – $3.75. Beers are $4.00. Limonata’s and shakes are $3.50. Seriously cheap by NYC standards!
Overall, I have no major complaints about Joy Burger Bar. It served our purpose, filled our bellies, and satisfied our burger cravings. All at a cost that did not make me feel empty and wanting for more. Problem now is that this location is only a few minutes away from where I live, so I can see a love affair with the treadmill starting really soon!