posted 2012-10-18 19:59:07

Burger Heaven

Old fashioned burger joint maintains new age delight 

Remoy Philip

Contributing Writer

Sometimes you just want a good burger. American, greasy, cheesy, side of fries – with no questions asked. At Burger Heaven, located on the corner of 62nd Street and Lexington Avenue, you can indulge all your wanton burger desires. From the outside, lit up by neon and large glass windows, it looks like this place missed its mark by twenty blocks and twenty years. But this place has been in the business for over 70 years and four generations. And with four City locations, it’s become a city staple and a comfort for many locals.

The place is all New York kitsch with a neon marquee outside and more neon on the inside too. Inside, a bright white neon sign reads “MORE FOOD.” The booths and tableware themselves are an homage to something between art-deco and retro. The age of Burger Heaven definitely shows. The chrome on the side of the tables are scratched and worn; The white of the plastic curvy chairs look dull and faded.

During lunchtime, there are hardly any seats available. Men and women, handling plates and plates of food, were bustling in out and out of the maze of tables. The additional seating located upstairs was also packed, minus one or two empty booths. Despite the lack of seats, a first-time customer should take this as a positive sign that the quality of food and fashion at Burger Heaven is superb.
Looking at the menu, one can see that the prices are fair priced, especially for the Upper East Side. The nice thing about Burger Heaven is that one can customize their burger with multiple options such as adding bacon, or an egg or substituting American cheese for a cheese of your choice. The portions are big and the burgers are really big. The bun, a large egg bun is toasted and the sandwich is served open face with large tomato slices and healthy leaves of romaine. There are also optional sides: mashed potatoes, French fries, sweet potato fries, and heaven on earth-curly fries. With my burger finished I was happy enough to see that half of my plate was still full of the perfectly seasoned twists of potatoes with a small bowl of coleslaw as well on the side. You will come here and get filled up.

Many come here for burgers, but there other options too. Breakfast is available in diner-like styles: omelettes, eggs, french toast. Soups and salads are alternatives to lighter lunch options. Besides the burgers, the chili gets great reviews. If you’re in the mood for one of their specials, try a hot plate meal. Fish, meatloaf, and fried chicken plates receive the most praise.

Even today, Burger Heaven manages to retain that old City diner feel. Mayonnaise
is served in small Hellmann’s packets. Jams for toast come prepackaged. Olive oil is poured directly from the store bought bottle into large salad bowls. Sprite cans sit on tables next to bottles of Budweiser. All the servers wear Burger Heaven blue collared shirts with each their own pair of stained khakis.. You can pay with your server or at the register with either cash or credit.

Now while the food is good and large, the clientele is still coming and going. So the service is efficient but efficient with a motive. And that motive? To get you in, eating, and out so that the next hungry customer can come in and eat. So you will be rushed a bit. You may not even see the same face twice in servers. But everyone here eating seems okay with that in this kind of experience.

Impressive is what needs to be said. Finding a good burger in New York City can be difficult both in size and taste and options. Burger Heaven manages to do all three effortlessly. They’ve been here awhile and they’re not going anywhere. And being in business for over seventy years they obviously know what they’re doing and being so close to the Hunter campus, this place has to be on your radar for a great meal-time break in any school day.