5724 Roosevelt Ave
Woodside, NY 11377
Magazines, newspapers, the Bathroom Reader, Facebook mobile…we all have our source for entertainment while on the potty. Me? I read, re-read and read again Hamburger America by George Motz. It is one man’s guide to the “best” burgers in America. George definitely has a style and type but in general, I have yet to find his opinion to be wrong. While recently rereading the New York section of the book, I revisited George’s review of Donovan’s Pub in Woodside Queens. This old school, family-friendly pub has been serving up tasty burgers for decades and has won many of NY “Best Burger” accolade. They take a lot of pride in their burger and you’ll know by the massive banner hung outside the door.
I recently needed to meet up with one of my clients, stand up comedian and Comedy Central Records recording artist Big Jay Oakerson for a little holiday get together. Knowing Jay lived in Queens, sounded like a perfect opportunity for a trip to Donovan’s. Jay is currently in the running for the Comedy Central Stand Up Showdown. You can check out some of his stand up and help me by voting for him here.
After a quick ride on the 7 train into Woodside, I arrived and walked the few short blocks over to Donovan’s. You can choose to sit in the bar or back in the cozy dining room. I chose a nice romantic (ha ha ha) seat next to the fire place and waited for Jay to arrive. With no delay we both ordered cheese burgers and a side of brown gravy for dipping our fries.
Donovan’s burger is a hulking mass of fresh ground beef served on a grilled sesame seed bun. If you order cheese they melt it before serving you the sandwich. This burger is the kind of no frills, old-school, pub-style burger made from quality meat that makes the style famous. It’s juicy comfort in a sandwich that won’t leave you hungry. It’s the kind of burger your Grandfather took your Dad to get who in turn took you and you will follow by taking your children. You’ll notice as you look around the place is filled by families, working men, groups of friends and really all slices of life. The fries are literally sliced and fried potatoes not my favorite kind but made super tasty by the dipping them in some of the hearty spiced brown gravy.
“I killed it by going medium well!!! It was like a hockey puck! It tasted like a dog ate it, shit it out and then it sat in the sun dehydrating for days. Then they threw on some onions! LOL…Well, not that extreme, but it’s funnier!”
-Big Jay Oakerson