In Junior’s League
In Junior’s League
Broadway, Junior’s Restaurant has you covered. With two locations bookending the Great White Way—the first outpost, a Shubert Alley mainstay since 2006, and now an additional destination a few blocks north at 1626 Broadway—there’s no excuse why hungry theatergoers (local as well as out-of-state) shouldn’t make Junior’s their go-to for pre-theater, post-theater or anytime eats. (For a breakdown of Broadway houses near each location, see below.)
So, what’s new about the new place? Broadway glitz abounds. Bold red marquee letters spelling out JUNIORS oscillate across half the enormous dining room. Pristine orange and white surfaces gleam. The mosaic of mirror bits behind the far bank of booths captures and reflects diners wrapping their lips (or trying to) around a combo sandwich packed with mile-high corned beef and pastrami. A pretty sight.
What isn’t new is Junior’s deli/diner menu. It is the same at both spots. But would any foodie worth his kosher salt want it to be otherwise? You don’t go to Junior’s for experimental cuisine. You go for familiar tastes: crunchy coleslaw, sweet beets, pucker-up dill pickles, creamed mashed potatoes (topped with this-side-of-congealed gravy), brined and boiled corned beef, smoked pastrami and salmon. I always start a meal at Junior’s with an appetizer of chopped liver: Two generous scoops studded with chunks of hard-boiled egg and meant to be slathered on slivers of rye. I wasn’t about to break my routine when I dined at 1626 Broadway the other night. I did, however, go off my usual message with Romanian tenderloin, a slab of nicely charred beef under heaps of peppers and onions that more than lived up to its name. As to the much-vaunted cheesecake, words cannot describe.
Take it from this WASP, you don’t have to be Jewish to kvell over this kind of Essen.
Junior’s Restaurant, 1626 Broadway, at W. 49th St., 212.365.5900, juniorscheesecake.com
• Theaters near Junior’s Restaurant (1515 Broadway, at W. 45th St., 212.302.2000): Al Hirschfeld, Belasco, Bernard B. Jacobs, Booth, Broadhurst, Ethel Barrymore, Gerald Schoenfeld, Hudson, Imperial, John Golden, Lunt-Fontanne, Lyceum, Majestic, Marquis, Minskoff, Music Box, Richard Rodgers, Samuel J. Friedman, Shubert, St. James, Stephen Sondheim
• Theaters near Junior’s Restaurant (1626 Broadway, at W. 49th St., 212.365.5900): Ambassador, August Wilson, Broadway, Circle in the Square, Cort, Gershwin, Longacre, Neil Simon, O’Neill, Palace, Studio 54, Walter Kerr, Winter Garden