Memorial Day Monday stop #1 was Fairway Cafe, which is the informal cafe situated atop the Fairway market.
When you live in Manhattan on a budget “grilling” means George Foreman style and that’s just not going to cut it on a national holiday (one of them anyway) built around grilling meat. Fortunately Fairway Cafe has one of the all-time greatest hamburgers anywhere. I am fond of the Monterey Jack w/ avocado and sprouts + a little mild horseradish sauce.
The strange part about Fairway Cafe burgers is that they don’t seem to want you to order them. They don’t give you a separate burger menu unless you ask for it specifically and there’s no mention of them on the regular menu. Then, once you order it you get a little huff from the waiter and a “just so you know it takes 25 minutes or more to prepare and cook the burgers — do you still want them?” And it really does take a long time and your sitting there looking at all the other really great food items arriving at all the other tables for an incredibly long feeling time. But then finally a waiter (not sure if it’s yours because they somehow all blend into one person – and I’m not being racist here) brings the simple, small diameter, bun stays out of the way, tall, perfectly juicy burger with a side of tasty ruddy potato fries and a side of slaw.
- Off to find dessert. Any storefront with a line out the door and is not in a primarily tourist area demands to be investigated further. We came upon one of these a block or two North of Fairway on the upper west side. It’s called Beard Papa’s. They basically sell one item, a super-special creampuff. They are backed in front of you and filled by hand only after you’ve ordered them. The recommendation to eat them immediately was observed exactly.
[Hollie covers this territory here.]