Munch, Midi, and Maxi at Joy Burger Bar

Munch, Midi, and Maxi at Joy Burger Bar

"Maxi" on the left and "Munch" on the right.

Replacing a Baluchi's at the corner of Washington Place and Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village, Joy Burger Bar is yet another homegrown, upper-end, fast-food burger chain. It is a second branch of a place at Lex and 100th Street on the Upper East Side.

Munch, Midi, and Maxi at Joy Burger Bar

It probably comes as a surprise to no one that the Maxi cooks up pinker than the Munch or Midi, almost in contravention of their medium minimum cooking requirement.

Replacing a Baluchi's at the corner of Washington Place and Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village, Joy Burger Bar is yet another homegrown, upper-end, fast-food burger chain. It is a second branch of a place at Lex and 100th Street on the Upper East Side.

As with other mini-chains, the menu is gimmick-driven. Beef burgers are available in three sizes: Munch (three ounces), Midi (five ounces), and Maxi (eight ounces), two of which sound like female sanitary protection. This range of burger choices gives you comical dosing options. Solving the hamburger conundrum like a brain teaser, you can get almost any amount of burger by mixing the three sizes. Want a six-ounce patty? Gang up two three-ouncers. Eleven ounces can be achieved with two threes and one five. Get the idea? Flexi-burger.

Naturally, there are turkey burgers and veggie burgers, but these only come in five-ounce sizes. Several cheeses at varying prices can be slapped on the bun, running from American to fresh mozzarella. Heck! Order both on a single pattty for an illogical upstairs/downstairs burger treat.

Munch, Midi, and Maxi at Joy Burger Bar

The fries ($2.25) are quite good ...

 

Munch, Midi, and Maxi at Joy Burger Bar

... while the onion rings ($3.25) bite.

Gimmick 3 (if we count multiples cheeses as 2) is a series of sauces, and the chain wants this to be the signature gimmick, because the slogan printed everywhere is "The Sauces Make the Difference." Can you imagine the difference mango chutney or chimichurri would make on your ground cow? I can't, but then I'm not really tempted by these sort of burger fripperies.

Gimmick 4 is a range of themed salads that strike international and health-food poses, and wraps are part of the gimmick, too, of which the odd man out is schnitzel. Sides run to all sorts of fried things, including zucchini sticks and batatas (sweet potatoes, served with maple syrup -- huh?), and a few surprises like the Joy Dog (secret: topped with crushed potato chips) and chili con carne.

Are you starting to get a headache at all the choices? Are you starting to feel like maybe this isn't really a hamburger joint after all?

Well, the burgers are actually quite good -- fairly juicy, flame-broiled. And the counterfolk even ask you how you want your burger done. Unfortunately, the only options are medium, medium-well, and well. As with Five Guys, it's as if they don't really trust their meat sources. Another aspect of interest: The biggest burger invariably comes out juicier and pinker than the smallest burger, which penalizes you for not splurging.

The fries, as you can see, are great. But the onion rings blow. Order accordingly.

Oh, and did I mention they also have milkshakes and fruit smoothies?

Munch, Midi, and Maxi at Joy Burger Bar

No longer Baluchi's.

Follow us on Twitter if you dare: @ForkintheRoadVV.


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