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secret hamburgers

Le Parker Meridien's luxe lobby is probably the last place you'd expect to find great burgers. But pull back the brown-velvet curtain, follow the long dark corridor and stumble into a surreal replica of a collegiate dive bar. Paneled in faux wood, decorated with movie posters and stacked boxes of liquid shortening, it's neither retro nor cute. But no one minds: By noon, the Naugahyde booths and communal tables are packed.You can devour the entire menu--burgers, fries, milk shakes, pickles and beer--in one sitting, and all for less than $15. The juicy, grilled sirloin burgers--perfectly charred, topped with cheddar and the works and served on no-frills Armour buns--are among New York's most flavorful. Crispy fries arrive in brown paper bags, milk shakes are rich and thick, and beer is shockingly cheap. It's a burger-lover's paradise, but don't ask the sharp-tongued counterperson for special requests.118 W 57th St

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