Paul’s: Bad sign, Great Burgers
Try if you can to ignore the use of “da” instead of “the” in the title of the restaurant, and open your ears (eyes?) to why Paul’s Da (ugh) Burger Joint is worth your precious burger-lovin’ time.
Located on what I believe to be one of the most obnoxious corners in the city, for many years I passed right by in my usual “stop looking at Kanye glasses and get out of my way please” St. Marks Place-walking haste. There was nothing about the neon-sign covered front to tell me one of the best cheap burgers I’ve had in NYC was waiting for me inside, but one day I was cold/hungry/cranky and found myself at one of the stools along the kitchy 50s-diner-style counter. Regular burgers are 1/2 a pound and come in beef or turkey at $4.90 a pop, or add toppings like bacon, fried egg or chili con carne slathered on top for around $1-2 more. I had the Blue Cheeseburger (regular covered in blue cheese) for $6.10, and couldn’t have finished a side if I got one (offerings include shoestring, cajun and sweet potato fries $2.75-$3.75).
The burger itself is so thick, the cook has to use a metal dome on top to make sure it cooks properly on the griddle. I’d go back to try the slightly pricier St. Marks Burger (fried onions and mushrooms), but sit at one of the checkered table-clothed tables and wash it down with a $3.75 beer. They offer up non-burger foods like grilled cheese, omelettes and cottage cheese, but please don’t go to a restaurant and seriously order cottage cheese. Stick with the griddle, and you’ll forget all about the “da” in no time.
Paul’s – Da Burger Joint
131 2nd Avenue (at St. Marks Place)
Photo Credit: Paul’s Burgers