I remember the first time I ever went to JG Melon and being fascinated that it was the spot where Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep sat together and pondered over their marriage woes. After years of living in New York and visiting nostalgic movie locations, I was today fascinated instead by; what meat goes into a JG Melon burger ?
Not generally known for warm service, JG Melon was definitely known for their burgers, started by Shaun Young and John O’Neil, JG Melon has been serving their unique burger since 1972. I sheepishly asked the owner Shaun “what meat goes into your burgers”? His reply was gruff but friendly simply stating; “Well I can’t tell you that”!! What he was so kind to share with me is that their burgers are a special blend of several meats, one of them chuck that is double grounded by their butcher daily.
I watched the guys crammed in their small kitchen molding the patties by hand and searing them on a piping hot flat grill, whilst busy patrons waited to be seated. I was seated along the wall and immediately felt the anticipation building inside of me as I watched tasty little burgers pass me at eye level, the scent of seared meat and dill pickle fill the air, along with the sound of cottage fried potatoes frying in the background. The menu here is simple featuring hamburgers, cheeseburgers, salads and an excellent chili. I observed Upper Eastside yuppies and staunch melon loyalists, while my I waited for my burger. It arrived plump and juicy on a soft unseeded bun and was presented to me open faced and adorned with pickle chips and thinly sliced red onion.
My first bite was a dynamic collage of flavor patched together with the crisp saltiness of the pickles, seared robustness of the meat and the freshness of the bun. The thing about this burger that makes it so good is its simplicity, just great meat and a great bun. Now the perfect accompaniment to this tasty treat is JG Melon’s signature cottage fries, crispy half-dollar size potato morsels fried to perfection and served in a bowl, delightful to the last one! To be honest, friends keep telling me “you need to review a bad burger so your site will have balance”. Well sorry to say that I disappointed my friends again, because this burger was fantastic!
If you ever in the mood for a great burger and your on the Upper Eastside look no further than JG Melon, just as many New Yorkers have for the past 37 years.