Cup & Saucer Luncheonette
89 Canal Street, New York, NY 10002 (map); 212-925-3298
Cooking Method: Griddled
Short Order: Not a burger you'd go out of your way for, but not a bad option for the neighborhood
Want Fries With That? Skip the fries
Price: Cheeseburger deluxe, $8; regular cheeseburger, $4.50
I love old school diners—counters with swivel stools, decor that hasn't changed in decades, waiters and cooks with white paper hats, pancakes for dinner—but I rarely think to eat at them. And not for any good reason. I just forget they're there.
Why is why I felt like a failure for never having eaten at the 25-year-old Cup & Saucer Luncheonette until this month. Because Cup & Saucer—a mere 10-minute walk away from Serious Eats HQ in Chinatown—is a lovely spot for friendly service and decent wallet-friendly fare in a classic all-American setting.
The cheeseburger deluxe ($8) is the regular cheeseburger ($4.50) plus two slices of tomato, more chopped iceberg lettuce than could fit on a burger (it's more like a boring side salad), a pickle wedge, and a pile of unsalted, not crisp enough french fries. I'd say skip the deluxe and just go for the cheeseburger. The six-ounce patty comes on a standard squishy sesame seed bun and two slices of melted American cheese, under and on top of the patty.
I ordered my burger medium rare and got a satisfyingly juicy patty. Unfortunately, it was bland because they don't season the meat before they cook it. Maybe they'll salt it if you ask. The two slices of cheese sandwiching the patty helped in the salt department.
I wouldn't go out of my way for this burger, but I would go out of my way to eat at this welcoming, friendly little diner. I'll definitely be going back to Cup and Saucer, perhaps for fish on a bun.