Joy Burger Bar – Appropriately named

Update: Joy has CLOSED. The sign says it will reopen with a different concept. Unfortunate. Stay tuned for more info.

Image result for joy burger bar photos

Image result for joy burger bar photos

We’ve been searching for a really good burger joint in the Village since BLT Burger closed several years ago, a place where you can get a great burger with a choice of toppings for $10 or less, really good onion rings, and a nice selection of beers. Reviews of Joy have been somewhat mixed, so we were a bit wary, having been disappointed by a number of others, but we finally gave it a try and were delighted. The selection of toppings and sauces is mind-boggling. I kept it fairly simple to emphasize the flavor of the meat, choosing cheddar and garlic mayo and adding some ketchup at the table. The 8-ounce Maxi was perfectly medium-rare as ordered, and had the right texture and beefy flavor. The onion rings were superior to any we’ve had since BLT. This will definitely be a regular stop for us.

They have an East Harlem location as well.


Botequim – Excellent Brazilian

2016-01-09 22.39.50.jpg

We’ve been to Botequim twice now, prompted to try it by a Blackboards Eats offer. Situated in the basement of the Hyatt Union Square, it’s chef/owner Marco Moreira’s (Tocqueville, 15 East) foray into a modern interpretation of his native cuisine.

Every dish we tried was interesting and delicious. Starters included grilled shrimp with a tasty fennel salad, grilled sausage, coconut soup with curried squash and prawn, and pasteizinhos de carne (fried meat-filled dumplings).  Main courses were feijoada, moqueca of striped bass and prawn, suckling pig, and skirt steak. For dessert we had the coconut cake. We really appreciated that they have a selection of Brazilian craft beers. The Guanabara Imperial Stout was superb.

It’s hard to find good Brazilian food in Manhattan. Botequim fills the gap admirably.