J.G. Melon

Left Wanting

Burgers Ordered: Brad – Bacon Cheeseburger; Matt – Cheeseburger; Simon – Hamburger

The Experience: Brad and Simon, a new guest Burgermeister who gained his spot on the guest Burgermeister roster by engaging in a burger eating contest with Brad a year before Burger Weekly began, waited outside of J.G. Melon on Matt for fifteen minutes.  This was frustrating because Matt had called for the burger adventure to start earlier than planned.  While they waited, Brad regaled Simon with a tale of his first trip to J.G. Melon.

Brad remembered the burger being juicy, cooked perfectly and above all else, delicious.  Simon was no doubt excited at the prospect of eating such a highly regarded burger.  Matt arrived and tried to convince Brad and Simon he’d been waiting for them on the other side of the restaurant the entire time.  They didn’t buy it.  The three sat down in a very dimly lit corner of the restaurant and got down to business.

J.G. Melon has a very warm and comforting ambiance.  The Burgermeisters were the youngest patrons in their section by a good couple of decades.  Last time that happened they were at Donovan’s Pub, an the burgers were outstanding.  Matt scoffed at the fact that the place was cash only, but once he realized he was rich with ten dollar bills the Burgermeisters were ready to move on.

The Presentation: Everyone ordered their burgers medium rare and with a beer.  Brad was the only one who wanted fries but he said he’d share… a little.  Only a few minutes passed after the Burgermeisters had ordered when the food arrived at the table.  There wasn’t even time for them to talk about their plans to attack burger trucks in the upcoming weeks before the food came.

Each burger came with a generous helping of pickle chips and a slice of onions on a small plate.  The cottage fries came in a small bowl.  Matt and Simon were disappointed at the size of the burgers, but because of the memory of his previous J.G. Melon burger, Brad was just excited to eat.

Taste: Simon was immediately taken by how greasy his burger was.  He also said that the meat was loose, and that the meat was likely chopped instead of ground.  Matt also said his burger was greasy and that he immediately needed a napkin to wipe his face.

Brad’s burger was not as greasy, but it also wasn’t cooked medium well as he’d asked and as Matt and Simon’s came.   He was happy that he got the bacon cheeseburger, because the bacon (while not as flavorful as other bacon on cheeseburgers like at P.J. Clarke’s) was more flavorful than the overcooked patty.

Matt said that while he liked the taste of the burger, it was like one that he’d eat many of at a barbecue in a friend’s backyard.  Brad and Simon agreed. Brad also said that while the fries were good, they weren’t anything special and should have been included with the small burger.

And there in lies the Burgermeisters’ big problem with J.G. Melon.  While the burgers were more than passable, even satisfying, they were too small to cost as much as they do and have no sides, lettuce or tomato included.  The picture at the top of this post shows the small size of the plate the burgers were served on.  The burgers didn’t come close to covering that plate, or even the center portion of the plate.  The amount and quality of food served wasn’t poor, it just wasn’t enough to justify the price ($20 per person for a beer and a burger and an order of fries split three ways).

The Verdict: The Burgermeisters actually thought about getting a slice of pizza after leaving J.G. Melon because their hunger wasn’t quite satisfied.  They’ve decided that if you want a quick and rather small lunch, J.G. Melon might be for you.  But for the true Burgermeister in training, there just isn’t enough here to warrant a recommendation.  In the end, the Burgermeisters went for a different post-meal treat.

J.G. Melon is located at 1291 Third Avenue on the corner of 74th Street.

Article by Brad Garoon

I run this burger joint.


  1. JG really is a letdown. Everyone in the neighborhood, since moving here, keeps telling me its the best burger in NYC. I think it’s, at best, a burger they should charge $6 for. This also shocked me:

    “J.G. Melon has a very warm and comforting ambiance.”

    I find the place to be very stressful. There are so many rules you have to follow! They won’t take your order…even a drink order… or bring water, until your entire party is there…even if the restaurant is empty. I wasn’t allowed to pull an empty barstool up to the bar for my friend until she got there. It’s just a ridiculous restaurant.

Comments aren't working. Drop us a line on facebook or twitter @burgerweekly