1. In the late 1970s, we lived in the apartment building across the street from the Corner Bistro. From my window on the third floor of what is still called "The Rembrandt," I watched people going in and out of the good old Corner Bistro. It had good cheeseburgers.
2. Why doesn't the best cheeseburger in NYC have a good tomato on it? From 1,000 miles away, I can see that the Corner Bistro puts one of those things on its burger that I'd get my hands messed up pulling out. I don't even use the word "tomato" for that.
IN THE COMMENTS: Richard Lawrence Cohen, the other half of the "we" referred to in point #1, says:
The burgers were thick with high-quality beef, but slow-grilled, which didn't thrill me, and if you ordered rare you wouldn't get it rare. But the atmosphere was homegrown urban hip, with knife-gouged wooden tables, and customers who were longtime Villagers perpetually anxious about their media deals and their love lives. A holdover from the Dylan Thomas era (he'd drunk his last set of eighteen whiskies in another burger bar, a couple of blocks away), and great eavesdropping. The silent, bland owner, short and wide with balding red hair and what might conceivably have been interpreted as a fractional smile, was a reassuring enigma, lovingly rolling down his awning and sweeping the front sidewalk every morning. And then there was the psychotic psychiatrist who lived and worked next door.