Of Burgers and Memory

Astoria is fast becoming a neighborhood known for its burgers. With the popularity and success of Bareburger, the well-loved offerings  of 5 Napkin Burger and Sweet Afton, and the entry of new places on the scene like Burger Club, I felt that my vote for Astoria’s best burger deserved a little more explanation than my typical140-character exclamations.With all of the truly excellent burgers of Astoria, my favorite is the cheeseburger from Petey’s Burger on the grounds (no pun intended) of both presentation and taste.  Petey’s Burgers are served in the fast-food style. Quickly and sometimes haphazardly assembled, this is a burger that does not take itself too seriously.  As such, it feels like a welcome break from from the trend where best burger-making seems to have become a serious, intricate business.  Anyone who has ever made burgers on a grill–or watched their loved ones out grilling a burger in a park or the backyard or wherever–knows that burgers are neither a science nor an art.  They are an experience, closely tied to memory, a food of celebrations and remembrances.Which brings me to taste. Like many burgers in the running for best burger, Petey’s makes their burgers from scratch using high quality Pat LaFrieda beef.  Forgoing some of the more adventurous toppings being added to burgers these days, Petey’s cheeseburgers are topped with lettuce, tomato and onion, all fresh and delicious and reminiscent of those toppings we gleefully added when the burgers came off the grill in the park or yard or wherever.  With age our tastes refine, and Petey’s marries a demand for quality ingredients to the unabashed exuberance that I felt as a 5-year old, before I knew any better, before I had developed any sort of “palate,”  when I bit into a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with cheese.

Petey’s gets my vote for best burger in Astoria, because it is a burger that is both incredibly tasty and is inexorably linked to history, memory, and experience in a way that is authentic, unpretentious, and truly joyful.

Petey’s Burger, 30-17 30th Avenue, Astoria

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One thought on “Of Burgers and Memory

  1. My favorite is still the Astor Bake Shop’s, but I hear you about the no-fuss-no-muss atmosphere of Petey’s. Burgers are simple, everyday fare. I don’t want or need sit-down wait service for burgers. Petey’s gets it right. I need to visit again soon.

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