So here’s the scenario: A weeknight on my own, no responsibilities, and no idea what I feel like doing with the night. I’m not really in the mood for anything in particular and not quite hungry yet so I head home from work to sort out my gameplan. I have an interesting idea about how to choose my evening’s activity. I flip on the TV, tune it to The Food Network and let whatever is on guide my dinner decision. Guy Fieri’s Dinner, Drive-ins, and Dives happens to be on and they are in Narragansett, Rhode Island at Crazy Burger Cafe & Juice Bar. The owner Michael Maxon is a real character making insane burgers while also making insane gibberishy sounds effects. Burger. Done. I pull up Foursquare Explore and type in “burger” and let it guide the rest of my decision. Up comes Joy Burger Bar, a place I’ve never been to that I saved to my todo list that’s only a few blocks away. Joy Burger it is.
I walk into the restaurant and learn that it is a fast-causal place where you order at the counter, wait for your food, then grab a table. It’s decorated like a modernized 1950s diner.
I look over the menu and learn that their burgers come in three different weights and have a variety of free toppings available. As if you didn’t already know, yes, I’m ordering the biggest burger they offer. I also happen to notice that Yelp if offering a check-in special that gets you a free order of their house-made French fries.
After placing my order I am handed a single playing card, the seven of diamonds, which will be called out over the retro microphone when my order is ready.
I mull around the space watching as the bicycle delivery men come and go. Once my order is called, I grab a table and take a look at my food. I can tell I’m in for something really good.
The fries are skin-on and are some of the best fries I’ve had in NYC. They are crispy and tender with no greasiness at all. I think they would have been even better with any of Joy’s famous sauces, but they are not offered for free. They charge extra for a side of any of their sauces, so I just stuck to ketchup. I definitely would have liked to sample some, but certainly did not feel like paying extra to do so.
Along with my fries, of course, is the burger, the reason for this expedition. It’s a darn good burger, just like I had read about. I ordered the maxi weight which is an 8 oz patty, cooked medium rare topped with melted cheddar, sautéed onions, lettuce, tomato, and their garlic mayo sauce. It’s quite a messy eating experience with loosely packed ground beef and various, melty, drippy, sloppy toppings. The burger quickly soaks through the bun, but I don’t mind. Despite the mess, it’s still quite a delicious and satisfying burger experience. Sometimes it’s even better when a burger is such a mess to eat.
In my opinion, this is quite a good burger joint and fits the bill quite nicely for a fast, casual, satisfying, reasonably priced meal. I can’t wait to return and try more of the menu offerings and maybe splurge for some of their side sauces that I’ll likely enjoy.
361 6th Ave. New York, NY 10014