Locally sourced beef is preferable to imported beef, which often arrives jet-lagged and inevitably uses its seductive accent to ruin the lunchmeat. Protect burger borders with today's Groupon: for $19, you get any two burgers and your choice of 64-ounce growler at Mel's Burger Bar (up to a $55 value).
Vintage-inspired black-and-white checkered floors, exposed brick walls, and illuminated 6-foot sign at Mel's draw in eager carnivores hungry for thick, juicy hamburgers. With its 140 seats surrounding a sea of tables, this beef joint has plenty of space in which to host avant-garde sock hops or munch on Mel's patties, all of which are sourced from New York's own Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors and topped with homemade sauces, such as béarnaise and creamy horseradish.
Dig into the original burger, stuffed between pieces of white toast, pickles, and tomatoes ($8.50), or plunge recently sharpened incisors into the patty peeking out between bacon, cheese, and a potato roll in the Cadillac burger ($10.25).
Wood ceiling beams support Mel's six flat-screen televisions, allowing guests to relax as they slurp down one of the 18 different brews flowing from the taps and filling their 64-ounce meal-accompanying growler (up to a $30 value). Local ales such as the Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner ($22) and the Southampton Double White ($26) compete with domestic imports, such as the Stone Arrogant Bastard of California ($30) and the Founder's Dirty Bastard of Michigan ($26), by calling them illegitimate heirs behind their backs.
Mel's Burger Bar
Mac 'n' cheese. Crispy bacon. 100% Angus beef burger. To purists, these might seem like three separate meals, but at Mel's Burger Bar, these three treats come together to form the Widowmaker burger. The chefs at Mel's don't believe in scrimping, as evidenced by their signature burgers, which they crown with rich toppings such as onion rings and whole fried eggs. The menu brims with comfort staples such as barbecue brisket, grouper sandwiches, and bacon mac 'n cheese all week long.