On the verge of its 22nd anniversary “Paul’s Da Burger Joint” located at 131 2 ave (at the corner of 2 ave and St.Marks), a family-run business that was established in 1989, keeps serving delicious and affordable burgers to the neighborhood diners who know all the servers and managers in the place and feel at home amongst welcoming tablecloths with red and white checkers on tiny tables, and also tourists appearing at the joint during different seasons looking for the best burger in town.
And here they find it, indeed.
Being the house specialty, ½ pound beef, turkey or vegetarian burgers make up 90% of all food orders. Just looking at the juicy patty tempts one to bite into it right away, ripping apart the soft fresh bun that serves as a great body for the meaty “soul.” Choose the right cheese, add lettuce, tomato, and onions – and you got yourself a filling lunch or dinner. The size is just right: it neither lets you go home hungry nor leaves anything to bring home in a doggy bag. Once you bite into it, you will not stop chewing until it’s gone, so good it is.
And the price is just right as well: $7-8 on average for a burger depending on what you prefer to have on it. Out of the house’s large variety you may be willing to try St. Marks, a special cheeseburger topped with mushrooms and fried onions, or the diners’ favorite Eastsider, a bacon cheeseburger with ham, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions; those will be a little fancier and more expensive.
Even though food prices increase as we breathe, the owner, Matt, insists on keeping the cost of burgers on the same level. “I’d better have more customers and make less money than have less people and charge them more,” he says. It is believed at “Paul’s” that the main thing is to supply the customers with high quality burgers that don’t cost them an arm and a leg.
Understandably, though, not everyone is a burger lover. There are plenty of choices left for you, if you are one of those. For instance, you may opt for a chicken or fish fillet sandwich, or an Italian sausage hero with peppers and onions, or a beef frank with sauerkraut. Having a lot to choose from, you may be sure to find something that will satisfy your empty stomach. And if it’s big and craves for more, accompany your sandwich with a side of curly and slightly spicy cajun fries, sweet potato fries or crunchy onion rings.
And if you are a student, there is a new special just for you, so you should put it on your student savings list. If you visit “Paul’s” on a Tuesday or Thursday at any time, buy any burger and show your student ID (what can be easier), you will get a complimentary milkshake. Choosing between vanilla, chocolate or strawberry, you might as well go for a “Michael Jackson,” the mixture of the first two. The milkshake is the greatest student discount you can get anywhere, as it is a creamy, delicious full-size dessert that will complete your meal and satisfy your sweet tooth for free!
Having started as “Paul’s Palace,” the restaurant is definitely not the dwelling of kings, but it may become your next favorite eatery on the East Side. After all, it takes only one try to make it your regular stop-by.
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