There are some experiences that defy description:
The first time you hold a newborn baby.
Crossing the stage and receiving your diploma.
The way the sun feels on the first really warm day of Spring.
And going to Corner Bistro on a Saturday night to have one of the best burgers in town.
I’m talking about the original Corner Bistro, not the lovely clean, easy-to-access one in Long Island City. This one is dark, dingy, and as crowded as a John Mayer concert circa 2002. People stand in line for an hour or more, unless they can grab bar seats. Be sure to get in the back of the line unless you want a stern rebuke. It is hot, loud, and sweaty. The scent of sizzling meat and beer fills the arena. People are hungry, tired, energetic, and ebullient.
It’s really quite perfect.
Very much like the one in Long Island City. Thick and juicy with a thickly charred crust and a really deep, meaty flavor. Crisp bacon, tangy american cheese, and a thick ring of onions. But this tastes more real somehow. Darker, wilder, more authentic. Maybe it’s due to the waiting around or the gin and tonics in my system, but this is always a fantastically satisfying burger. It’s hearty enough to be fancy but cheap enough to be lowbrow.
Shoestring. Mouth-burningly hot. Perfectly salty and perfect IN ketchup.
You are going to wait forever to sit. When you do get a table, you’re gonna be crammed in there like sardines in a tin. The service is fast, more than competent, and if you are sitting you had better damned well be eating and drinking.
And with some of the greatest late night burgers in the city, you will be.
Corner Bistro…so great that words can’t really do it justice.