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Monday, July 26th, 2010—Bar 197

Day 197—Sunday, July 25th, 2010
P.J. Clarke's

Okay, for those of you who just follow the crawl during the week, you should really check out yesterday’s post. It was a great night out and one of the best so far, here’s the link: Sunday’s post.

Seeing the film “Goodfellas” last night, put me in an old school New York frame of mind, so tonight I thought I’d go to the classic New York tavern, P.J. Clarke’s. It’s one of New York’s most well known bars and some of the former regulars include Frank Sinatra, Jackie O., Nat King Cole and Buddy Holly proposed to Maria Elena Santiago in here in 1958.

I found this great P.J. Clarke’s story from the actor Richard Harris online and here it is: “I adore the hamburgers at P.J. Clarke's. In my drinking days, it was my first stop from the airport. A fellow named Vinny used to be the bartender there, and when I told him I wanted the usual, he lined up six double vodkas. I told an interviewer that once, and he said, ‘That's a lot of bull, that's one of your exaggerated stories!’ I said, ‘call a taxi.’ We walked into P. J. Clarke's, I said, ‘Vinny, my usual.’ And he lined up six double vodkas.”

Ha ha ha! That’s great, I think I’ll stick to beer though and I think I see a cheeseburger in my future!

Okay, we're two blocks away, here we are at 53rd and 3rd. Cheers to Dee Dee Ramone who used to work this block.

There it is, it looks like it's the one after 909. Okay, I'm done with the song puns.

Here it is, the legendary P.J. Clarke's.

The bar's crowded as usual, but I spy a seat I can wiggle into.

And bartender Michael is quick on the draw with an ice cold beer.

Here's some of the draft beer available.

There's a big crowd in here considering it's Sunday night.

As you can see, there's an extensive list of bottled beers available.

Here's Jillian, the lovely hostess for the back dining room.

And here's the back dining room in all its red-checkered table cloth glory.

The raw bar stands opposite the bar.

The whiskey list.

Mark and Can were seated next to me at the bar and had a few suggestions for the bar crawl, I may try one of them tonight.

It's Sunday night and that means Sunday dinner at a bar. Here's my appetizer, homemade potato chips and baked blue cheese dip.

The condiments are set up which can only mean...

Cheeseburger! Bartender Justin serves up the Cadillac Burger.

It truly lives up to its name.

A tasty burger indeed!

A glance out of the window as I leave. Goodnight, everybody!

P.J. Clarke’s is a New York institution. It’s open till four in the morning every day of the week and you’ll find a decent crowd of locals, tourists, business people and construction workers all enjoying the old school ambiance. If you’re lucky to score a stool at the front wooden bar, the bartenders will happily serve you up a beer or a drink that you can choose from one of the chalk board menus hanging up in the back wall of the bar. The bartenders wear white shirts and black ties and are quick with a drink and some of the friendliest servers in town.

P.J. Clarke’s has a full bar and a dining area in the back. The menu includes delicious appetizers such as: Homemade Potato Chips & Baked Blue Cheese Dip, Crisp Parmesan Tater Tots and ‘Hand Picked’ Jumbo Lump Crab Cake. There’s a raw bar that has offerings of, East & West Coast Oysters, Littleneck and Cherrystone Clams, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, and a Raw Sampler Platter including four oysters, four jumbo shrimp, three littlenecks and three cherrystones. There’s a wide range of entrees including five choices of steak and daily specials, but take my advice and skip them and order the The Cadillac Burger which is smoked country bacon and American cheese and a perfectly cooked burger. Nat King Cole named it and you should eat it if you’re there. The name isn’t a lie.

P.J. Clarke's
915 Third Ave.  (@55th St.)

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Reader Comments (20)

Is that a really big burger or what? First, the journey to PJ's with the Ramones, then the Beatles was awesome for me. One after 909 is a song that i had not heard in a long time, and seeing the video on the rooftop was great. PJ Clarkes has no downside at all. Love the oyster station there, the heavy use of wood thru and thru,,,real old school. Plus I see my favorite scotch on the wall, Macallan 12. A great NY bar, slightly turning into a tourist destination like a six flags but the money is still green.

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Another perfect burger, another perfect bar! That Cadillac burger...wow, and I mean wow! The NYC camber of commerce should give you an award and a mahogany plaque to go with it for the 365 website and all it's done for the business you are no doubt generating for the city...

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Legendary place! Goddam that burger looks tasty and I agree with Jaws. The city should be funding this bar crawl. Oh Mayor Bloomberg....

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Mmm mmm mmm! I love me a good raw bar! Don't know why Mr. Whipple is working back there, but whatever! Cheeseburger looks great and the blue cheese dip looks yummo. Plus, the black tie/white shirt combo is classic city tavern. Totally dig the back room with that huge mirror and interesting photos, etc. But next time, put down the camera and save the choking lady wearing Pucci (knockoff). Lord knows her table-mates aren't gonna do it!

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

i love cheeseburger night and this one looks yummy!

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

OMGOSH! Now I want homemade potato chips and baked blue cheese dip!!!

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

I love how everyone's so receptive of your pictures. This place looks historical to me.
MMMmmmm Cadilac Burger

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDarleya

wow...hard to top yesterday's "late" post...this one just might be a perfect follower...beatles ramones the Cadillac (how the hell does one spell that...it is different every where you look). burger...@biff don't think she is choking... she just lost rock paper scissors and had to pick up the tab after her and her friends sat there all afternoon into the evening sucking down macallan 12s and such...KOC


July 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Heya Marty I sure hope that was the burger that I donated to the crawl!
I'm a chef and that is by far the BEST burger I've seen on the crawl so far!!!
Thats a monster! And the Raw bar looks awesome.

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

@ Tim Clack: It was the Clack burger, Tim! I think it was the best one I've had so far, really tasty! Thanks again for the donation and I look forward to you joining this crawl in person!

July 26, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Great bar. Excellent looking cheeseburger! Only thing that could make that better would be some guacamole. Except I don't really like my meat that thick. And I third I think the city of NY should be funding your crawl. Definitely makes me want to visit.

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@kari and everyone else: I think I will try and email Mayor Bloomberg, it would be funny to see his response! And maybe he'd throw in a donation, he (and Guiliani) ruined Times Square the least he could do is fund this thing!

July 26, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Lets start a petition!

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

I've been following this blog since about the 42nd night and I'm not someone who comments on blogs a lot, but I agree with kari and the others, NYC and the bars should all sponsor this blog, you're doing a great service to them. And I loved the fact that you featured the wonderful Smithereens here, a true NYC band. I love this!

July 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTommy C.

Yeah! Ramones, Beatles, a awesome burger, great bar of old school. I'm happy a grateful at this huge contribuition with all ours senses, taste, hearing, sight, and, unhappy for me (because I'm distant), smell, and touch. Cheers everybody!

July 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLuc Ramone

@Luc Ramone: Cheers!

July 27, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Wow what a neat looking place and the food looks delicious!

Great choice Marty and I am amazed that Richard Harris could drink so much vodka! Thanks for sharing that story.

July 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

what a great burger! blue cheese dip .... its barely 7:00 am and I'm craving cheese and a cold beer.

Marty - I'm on my way to Trapeze camp - if all goes well, I'll be reading more of you tomorrow. if not, its been a fun ride!

July 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

@Shannon: Good luck!

July 28, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

When I come in New York, I hate New York and I miss Toulouse, BUT when I'm back in Toulouse, I still love Toulouse but miss New York! ... I just realize that through your website, marty!!! I miss New York and would like to go to that bar right now :)

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