Friday, November 20, 2009

Junior's Cheesecake

The Broadway production of Billy Elliot at Imperial Theatre ended past 10 PM so we were starving and decided to head right across the street to Junior's Cheesecake. Sure, its convenient location from the Imperial Theater was motivation to go there, but we also wanted to try their cheesecake since we first moved to New York. Initially we wanted to go to their original location in Brooklyn (386 Flatbush Avenue), but time is never your friend in New York and we never made it down there.

Their West 45th Street location (between Broadway and 8th Ave.) is a gigantic restaurant, probably one of the largest sized restaurants we'd been to in New York, and at 10-something P.M., there was still a line to get into the place. A money-making machine. The wait wasn't too bad and we were able to even sit outside.

Service from the front of house to the manager to our waiter were all very nice. For example, when I exited the restroom, the staff literally parted the sea for me - it was a little strange but nice, so nice that you can tell the entire staff has been rigorously trained to be extra nice. But anytime you have a polite and friendly staff, whether it's genuine or forced, is fine with us (we're not paying good money to get an attitude).

We started off the night by ordering a Junior's 10 oz. char-broiled steakburger on an oven toasted bun with lettuce and tomato, served with onion rings and steak fries ($12.50). The burger was pretty good. Although it looks burnt, it was quite moist and juicy. We were hungry, so the hefty size was perfect.

The toasted bun was also good. The fries were unfortunately too soggy and greasy, and despite the large size of the onions rings we were disappointed that there were only two . . . until we tasted how horrible they were and so we ended up only taking two bites anyways.

We also ordered one of the thickest tuna salad sandwiches we'd seen ($9.95). What really made this sandwich worthwhile was the thick cut challah bread. Junior's Cheesecakes has a huge dining menu which includes other sandwiches like fresh brisket, prime roast beef, corned beef, pastrami, beef tongue, chopped liver, and reuben. Other menu items include baby back ribs, Hungarian beef goulash, baked meat loaf, broiled cod, and potato pancakes.

Of course we ended the night with a Junior's cheesecake. Since it was our first time eating it, we had to start with the plain option - a true test of a good cheesecake. What can we say, the cheesecake was wonderful. One of the best we've ever tasted. The cheesecake crust was very different from other cheesecake crusts. The Junior's cheesecake crust was more like a light pie crust. The cheesecake was creamy, the texture was perfect, and it wasn't too thick. We didn't mind paying $6.25 for one slice considering the huge size of the slice and how good it tasted. We couldn't believe how fast we ate this after eating the enormous burger and sandwich. When in New York, go big.

We were glad to confirm that Junior's cheesecake wasn't an over-hyped dessert spot the way Serendipity was; Junior's lived up to its claim-to-fame with their cheesecake. Junior's offers other cheesecake options like brownie marble swirl, a Reese's cheesecake or red velvet cheesecake from their fancy and seasonal selection,and even a sugar free option. If cheesecake's not your thing, they also have a "Junior's Famous Fresh Strawberry Shortcake," coconut layer cake, pound cake, rugelach, brownie, skyscraper ice cream sodas, mountain high sundaes, Fox's U-Bet Brooklyn Egg Cream, and a whole page of liquor options as well.

It all sounds very appetizing, right? Check out this photo we recently discovered.