Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Joe Jr.'s

Decked out for Christmas (with a menorah stuck in there for diversity's sake), Joe Jr.'s on 6th and 12th is like one of those panoramic sugar eggs, you know, the ones you look into and see all the glittering excitement going on inside.



One of two Joe Jr.'s in town (the other's on 3rd Ave), who knew the Village diner attracted celebrities and their ilk? It nearly vanished in 1994, when the Times interviewed Isaac Mizrahi on the subject, who said:

"It's like everybody's dream diner, the perfect New York diner. Sort of tatty around the edges, very tatty around the edges. Excellent tuna-fish sandwiches on rye toast. Excellent scrambled eggs. Amazing immediate delivery. And it's such a fixture in the neighborhood. They make really good hamburgers. It's the kind of place that you would never think of going to, and suddenly it becomes your favorite place because it's so comfortable. They're very friendly."

Going on fifteen years later, Joe Jr's is still there, still "tatty around the edges," and still a friendly fixture in a vanishing village.

10 comments:

roy edroso said...

Best burger in the city. And a lovely redoubt in any weather. Thanks.

NYCMetroStars17 said...

"It's the kind of place that you would never think of going to, and suddenly it becomes your favorite place because it's so comfortable."

wtf? Why would someone never think of going there?

Ken Mac said...

i remember when the city practically closed down on 9/11. Sixth avenue was closed all the way to 14th. Joe Jr's was where you ran into people you hadn't seen in ages, glad they were all still there.

Anonymous said...

got a bad reception there when I went with a "foreign" friend--

JackS said...

NYCMetroStars17, I think Isaac Mizrahi is being a tad trite but sincere.

And for me, the picture of the interiors with old school Christmas decorations makes the Brooklyn Yid feel a bit at home. Time was when every coffeeshop/diner in NYC had stuff like that. THAT'S personality.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Brooklyn for 12 years and in the past few years have managed to survive without much venture into the city. I just so happened to walk past Joe Jrs two days ago and was struck by it's old school aura. I mean, I was really struck by it. You just don't see places like it anymore very much. I went in, sat in a booth by myself around 7 pm and decided for some reason that I wanted to order breakfast. The omelette wasn't bad, but man, I was in a state of bliss. God bless Old New York.

Tara said...

Sitting in their window and having warm, freshly made pie ala mode is just heaven. I love Joe Jr.'s. It is such a genuine, mellow place.

Marjorie said...

Joe Jr!! I had lunch there almost every day in 1968 when I was a teacher at PS 41. I would order the "California fruit salad." I am sad now, thinking back to those days when I had just moved to Manhattan. I wish I could time travel.

Anonymous said...

I used to go all the time. Then I took the kids for a few years. Ah, Joe Jr.'s! Now, I have to confess I haven't been in a couple years.

I've always thought the most famous patrons of Joe Jr.'s were Tibor and Myra Kalman. (The Kalman's introduced Mizrahi to Joe Jr.'s.) If you look closely at Maria's children's books, you'll see traces of Joe Jr. everywhere.

Even her recent work features Joe Jr.'s.:

http://kalman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/finale/?apage=7

(Scroll down, look for the burger.)

MargoTheFoodie said...

Joe Jr's is going to be history as of August 2009