If you are looking for a great New York City Manhattan neighborhood restaurant that has that perfect local flair, EJ’s Luncheonette on the Upper East side of Manhattan is a perfect choice. EJ’s Luncheonette is located at 1271 Third Avenue in Manhattan. The restaurant stands on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 73rd Street. It is one of the safest and cleanest neighborhoods in Manhattan. It’s a neighborhood not far from many of the city’s most important hospitals including Memorial Sloan Kettering and The Hospital for Special Surgery. There are New York City bus stops close by, and the Second Avenue Subway line stops one block away at 72nd Street and Second Avenue.
EJ’s Luncheonette’s location defines the restaurant as a stop for neighboorhood residents, local business, and hospital employees. It is is not a tourist place. This is a restaurant that understands the neighborhood and the expectations of quick service and quality food at affordable prices. In short, it is a restaurant that caters to the neighborhood’s working class. Although the incomes of the working class in Manhattan vary greatly, good food is good food no matter what the cost.
EJ’s Luncheonette is not a large restaurant. The restaurant hosts a combination of traditional diner booths and tables. There is an outer section that is lined with large exterior removable glass windows for that street dining experience. There is not a lot of room to move around in the restaurant but the tables are separated enough so that you do not feel overcrowded. In short, it’s a comfortable place to eat.
For many, location, comfort and ambiance play an important role in choosing the restaurant of choice. However, for most, the food always trumps comfort in choosing a place to eat. In case of EJ’s Luncheonette, there is no need to choose between the two, because the food is fabulous at EJ’s.
Let’s start off simple. Luncheonettes or diners are graded on their breakfast and lunch menu. When grading a breakfast menu, the most popular item ordered as a side for breakfast is obviously bacon. The bacon at EJ’s Luncheonette is delicious. Their large slices of bacon are cooked to just the right amount of crispiness and taste. My sons, my wife and I go crazy over their bacon every time we order it. Even if I am just going there for lunch I will order a side of their bacon because its the best bacon I have ever tasted.
If you are only going to get the chance to visit EJ’s Luncheonette just once, then the item you must order is their EJ’s Famous Crunchy French Toast. Order this for breakfast, lunch or dinner and you will not be disappointed. EJ’s Famous Crunchy French Toast are served as multiple thick slices of egg-dipped brioche bread coated with toasted almonds and crunchy corn flakes. It’s a brilliant combination that is not too heavy, yet completely satisfying.
You can’t order breakfast without coffee, and EJs does not disappoint in that department either. Thier coffee is constantly brewed fresh because they are so busy. It’s a mild coffee, yet robust, fresh, with just the right texture. The waiters will constantly be filling your cup when you run low, which scores incredible high points with their patrons.
I have been to EJ’s Luncheonette many times, and I try to sample various items of the menu. However, one of the items that I find myself always ordering is their French Onion Soup. I believe that a true test of a restaurant is how well they serve a French Onion soup. Diners almost always fail in their presentation of a traditional French Onion Soup. However, there is a reason why I order French Onion soup it every time I dine at EJ’s Luncheonette. Thier French Onion Soup superb. The soup has that brilliant caramelized onion taste that is cooked to perfection. The cheese is melted at the right temperature, and the bread is solid yet fresh. If you like French Onion Soup, don’t pass on this.
EJ’s lunch menu is loaded with great tasting sandwiches, Angus beef burgers, soups, griddle melts and of course their all-star breakfast options. Their dinner menu showcases a dinner daily special that changes with each day of the week. As of this writing, their Monday specials featured Old Fashioned Beef Stew, Shrimp & Chicken Fajitas, Greek Stuffed Chicken Florentine, Grilled Salmon Burger with Avocado Salsa.
Tuesday features EJ’s Famous Beef Meatloaf, (AMAZING!), Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry, Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner, and Chicken Verde Mexicana.
Wednesday features Chicken Schnitzel, Carne Asada Enchiladas, Jumbo Shrimp & Grits, and
Turkey Chili with Melted Jack Cheese.
Thursday features Prime Rib, Ej’s Famous Beef Meatloaf, Chicken Scampi over Angel Hair, and
Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner.
Friday features Chicken Schnitzel, Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak, Turkey Pot Pie, and
Arroz Con Pollo.
Saturday features Grilled Chicken Burger Supreme, Blackened Salmon Sandwich, Beer Battered Fish & Chips and Grilled Steak Sandwich.
Sunday features Grilled 12 oz. Ribeye Steak, Chicken Parmigiana, Braised Pot Roast & Potato Knish and Pan Seared Salmon Cakes.
My son usually orders burgers everywhere he goes. Yes, it’s sad, that I cant get him to try other options but he is sixteen and he loves burgers. In essence, he has become a burger expert. When I asked him what he thought of EJ’s burger deluxe platter he rated it as one of the best which is pretty high marks from a boy who has eaten burgers in just about every New York restaurant and dinner.
I will eat everything, but I have a penchant for good grilled chicken wraps or sandwiches. Something about eating grilled chicken just makes me feel like I am making a good choice on the healthy side of things. I ignore that rational when I chose bacon on the side and huge deserts, but hey doesn’t everyone? If you like wraps, I would highly recommend their California Ranch Wrap which is loaded with grilled chicken, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato & ranch dressing. My other favorite wrap is their EJ’s Turkey Club sandwich. It’s loaded with roasted turkey breast, Applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato & basil mayo. EJ’s Turkey Club Sandwichhich is pictured below on a great multi-grain bread.
New Yorkers want good food served quickly and priced right. Of course, we will always try places that may be a little on the expensive side, but those places are usually for special occasions or when you just get the urge to splurge a little. However, for those who live and work in the city and need a place that they can almost call home, EJ’s Luncheonette is that perfect place. The food is great, its served fast and it never disappoints.