Often characterized by its luxury shops and affluent residents, New York City’s Upper East Side is full of famous restaurants such as Daniel, Café Boulud, Sarabeth’s, and J.G. Melon. After enjoying the wonderful “Heavenly Bodies” and “Golden Kingdoms” exhibits at the MET, the 4x4 team wandered through central park, observing gorgeous greenery now in full bloom from the recent rainstorms. By the time we reached 75th Street we were all ravenous and quickly agreed that we were craving burgers.
J.G. Melon is a classic Upper East Side restaurant, located at the corner of 74th Street and 3rd Ave. Outside, the restaurant’s name glows in red fluorescent lights, creating a casual, dive-like vibe. Inside, J.G. Melon was packed. The four of us were seated in a tight corner, with other parties in every direction. The menus at J.G. Melon are simple paper cards, listing no more than five burger entrees and a few salads.
Between the four of us, we ordered five burgers— one plain, three with cheese, and one with bacon and cheese. The burgers were served on lightly toasted, soft buns with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. Each burger was prepared perfectly, meeting our individual requests of medium rare, medium, and medium well. The medium rare was especially juicy, however, the medium well was by no means dry. To accompany our burgers, we each ordered J.G. Melon’s signature fries. Prepared “chip style,” the potatoes are sliced before being fried, imitating the shape of Ruffle potato chips. The fries were slightly crisp on the outside, yet fluffy on the inside, creating a very pleasing texture that we all enjoyed. The only complaint we had about the fries was the absence of salt, which we added generously.
Eating at J.G. Melon was fun. Amidst all the other burger-lovers, the green and white checkered tablecloths, and the delicious aroma of burgers and fries, J.G. Melon makes you feel like you are dining at an upscale burger joint. The 4x4 team has been dreaming of burgers ever since…
After dinner, we walked to catch the E train back to Penn Station. Before departing, we made a pit-stop for ice cream at Milk Bar Midtown. Milk Bar is an offshoot of the NYC restaurant, Momofuku. The dessert shop has various locations throughout the city and specializes in their "cereal milk" flavored soft-serve ice cream. We all indulged in this unique ice cream and also sampled a few of Milk Bar's double-chocolate homemade cookies. Milk Bar is definitely a must-have for any NYC foodie looking for a trendy, Instagram-able dessert spot.