The name conjures warmth, doesn’t it? Joy Burger Bar.
When you walk into the corner burger shop at 100th and Lexington, you’ll see a handful of tables and a literal burger bar where you can order your food. This is another one of those places where you order the food and then sit down–which, as I’ve stated, gives me anxiety about finding a seat to eat.
But, luckily, we got to Joy just in time, before the hungry masses came in about 30 minutes after we sat down.
There are a few nice things about Joy.
First, they offer three different sizes for the hand-packed, fresh ground meat burger you can order: 3 oz., 5, oz. and 8 oz. I chose the 5 oz. burger because I wasn’t extremely hungry that night. MDP got the same.
Second, Joy allows you to put as many toppings on the burger as you want and they have delectable sauces to go around. I chose the garlic mayo, avocado, cheddar and raw onion to top my burger, while MDP got the lettuce, tomato, sauteed onion and chili sauce for his. He ordered a pickle, too, but that came on the side for some reason. My burger was outstanding! Though, MDP said it doesn’t compare to the Shake Shack, his burger must have been pretty good since he put it away fairly quickly.
Third, Joy’s beers are only $4! How can you beat that? Maybe they’re priced competitively for the neighborhood. Whatever the reason may be, we were happy to enjoy a Blue Moon and a Sam Adams for the price of one beer anywhere else.
Fourth, Joy offers a number of delicious sides, such as traditional french fries, sweet potato fries or as they term them “patatas,” onion rings and more. I especially enjoyed the patatas, which are accompanied by pure maple syrup–yum! A little sweet, a little salty, a little piece of heaven.
Lastly, Joy gives you a playing card with your meal. When your food is ready, they’ll call “Queen of Hearts” or whatever card you received. I liked this. It’s a cute, quirky touch to the feel of the ambiance.
After dining at Joy, we walked down to 86th Street and went to the Shake Shack for a concrete. Talk about mad house. There were people sitting on every perch they could possibly find to eat their meals. It was insane and exactly the kind of set up that gives me gut-wrenching anxiety.
Do try Joy, whether you’re in the ‘hood or not. It’s just a quick 6 train ride up to 103rd, then a challenging walk up a steep hill to get to the burger shop. Everything is cheap, everything is delicious. Go, tonight!
1567 Lexington Avenue (at 100th Street)
East Harlem, New York
Take the 6 to 103rd, walk south three blocks. It’s on the east side of the street.