Joy Burger Bar is definitely around when it comes to best-of lists, maybe never on top, but definitely around. Up near the ever expanding northern border of the Upper East Side, Joy brings casual atmosphere and well-priced tasty burgers to the neighborhood.
As I was reading over the menu, the kitchen called out "Queen of diamonds" loudly and someone came to pick up their order. I thought it sounded good so I searched for it on the menu without success. After ordering and receiving and eight of spades as my card, which would be called when my burger was ready, I understood what was happening. Slow day.
Since going, multiple people asked me if I got sauce on my burger, which I guess the place is known for. They also have a long list of free toppings to choose from, in addition to these unique sauces, making it possible to order a vastly different burger each time you go.
I went for a medium size, dubbed "midi" ($4.75, below) and weighing in at 5 ounces. A 3 ounce is $3.75, an 8 ounce $5.95. Adding swiss, American or cheddar? $0.55 more. A few toppings are $0.75 more, but many are free. I went for cheddar, lettuce, tomato, sauteed onions, pickles, avocado, and spicy mayo.
The avocado was worth the extra price as a healthy portion of it was on top. A side of fries comes for $2.25 and completes the plate well. The bun is nicely toasted, the meat obviously fresh. No complaints from me for a burger that comes in under $7 for the works.
1567 Lexington Avenue, New York NY