Donohue's and The Subway Inn

I don’t eat steak a lot, but I’ve been craving it all week. One place I’ve been meaning to go to is the legendary Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn. I tried to get a reservation, but they were all booked up. Maybe next week. Then I thought I’d try Keen’s Steakhouse here in Manhattan, I’ve eaten at the bar, but never at the main dining room. I thought I’d eat at a table and then have a few beers in the bar afterwards. I called for a reservation, but no dice, they were booked all night too. Everybody else must be craving steak too! So I racked my brain and then thought of a classic place I haven’t been to for quite a while now, Donohue’s Steak House on the Upper East Side. There’s usually a seat at the bar if you go after 7pm, so that’s where I’m headed tonight to get my steak fix and have a few beers too. But first, a few appetizers at the home base here.


Okay, three beers and a quick subway ride uptown and here we are at Donohue's.

It's crowded tonight, but there's a seat at the bar, so I hang my coat on the barstool and settle in.

And friendly bartender Maureen serves up a beer and an award-winning smile!

Maureen's not only the bartender here, she's the owner. Her last name is Donohue and her father and grandfather were the original owners and opened Donohue's over 60 years ago. When Maureen's father passed away 12 years ago, she took it over. Here she poses with a photo of her father behind the bar. Maureen's keeping it all in the family, several of her nieces work here.

Johnny was seated next to me at the bar and after I told him about my 365 bars blog, we discussed the New York bar scene and it turns out we both were regulars at the old P&G Bar.

The multi-colored lights behind the bar, always give the place a festive feeling.

Maureen told me this is the original cash register from when Donohue's first opened the doors. Very cool!

Obligatory bar mirror shot!

A long shot of the classic wooden bar and some of the patrons gathered around it.

There's tables and booths in the back dining room...

But you can also eat at the bar, which is what I chose to do. I came for a steak, but saw they had honey-dipped fried chicken on the menu and decided to go for that.

And I'm glad I did, it was delicious! Some of the best fried chicken I've ever had. I left the carrot and parsley so the empty plate picture would have a little color.

I thanked Maureen for the hospitality and headed out the door for the Subway.

No, not that subway...

This Subway, the Subway Inn. I'm taking Jeremiah Moss' advice and stopping in here for dessert, since it's just a couple blocks from Donohue's.

Nice and dark in here, a classic NYC dive bar.

And here bartender Will poses with tonight's dessert, a bottle of Budweiser.

Here's the back of the bar.

Above it, Marilyn laughs with hard hats and various tchotchke's surrounding her.

A shot of the bar from the opposite end. Being it's Sunday, it's a little low-key in here, which is why I like going out on Sunday's.

I love the nuclear green lighting in the booth's in here, it's perfect!

Okay, one last look out the neon-tinged window...

And it's down into the actual subway we go. Thanks for tripping out with me and we'll see you all tomorrow.

Further Reading: Ev Grieve, NY Eater and New York On Tap.

Green Onions.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!


Saturday Night Cheeseburger

Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night Cheeseburger! Starring Donovan’s Pub and featuring the Ready for Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now, please welcome your host, all the way from Woodside, NY...Donovan’s Pub!

I've decided with this blog and since I've got some more time on my hands since I'm not working at the moment, that I'd start venturing out of my Manhattan comfort zone more often and check out things in the outer boroughs. So today we're going to a classic bar in Queens, which has been around since 1966 and the name of the place is Donovan's Pub. They're supposed to have one of the best cheeseburgers in the Tri-State area, so I have to try it. But before we begin the journey, I need to stop in here.

The Powerball is over 300 million bucks, so I needed to play a few numbers. If one of these cashes in, we'll really be tripping here!

Okay, we're Queens-bound and it's down into the subway we go!

Here's my GPS guide to get us there. Do you think that maybe I need to upgrade it?

And through the magic of the internet, you missed out on waiting over a half an hour for the F train, then having to transfer to the 7 train and getting on the wrong train heading in the opposite direction, getting out, getting on another 7 train that got delayed during service for twenty minutes and over an hour and a half later, here we are in Queens. I may never leave Manhattan again. I hope this cheeseburger is worth the rotten trip I took to get here.

Okay, things are looking better. Here's Donovan's Pub and it looks like a great old school bar.

We'll see if that sign lives up to its boast!

It's a great looking bar. Nice and dark, lots of wood and plenty of seats at the bar. Let's settle in!

And here's bartender Jess. A great bartender and a friendly fellow! Jess has been bartending here since Donovan's opened in 1966! He's served politicians from Mayor Koch, to Gary Hart, to Mayor Bloomturd Bloomberg. He told me the most infamous former regular was Bernie Goetz, the man who became known as the "Subway Vigilante" in 1984.

Pat and Danny were seated at the end of the bar. Friendly guys and regulars who welcome newbies like myself at the bar as if you had been coming here your whole life. It's a real friendly neighborhood atmosphere in here.

A shot of the long wooden bar from the back end. Note the colorful stained glass window at the front.

Candle-lit dining tables line the wall opposite the bar.

Here's the dining area in the back of the bar.

It's a comfortable atmosphere in here complete with a working fireplace. Fire!

Oh, deer!

And behind these doors...

Is yet another dining area. Jess said they open this up if it gets crowded and you can also rent it out for private parties. I love the bookcases in here!

And when I return to the bar, a place setting has been put down. Looks like we'll find out if they live up to their boast soon!

And here we go! The burger is huge and so are the steak fries that come with it.

Okay, I've assembled the burger and now it's time to try and take a bite out of this monster!

It's juicy, filled with flavor, the bacon is crispy and delicious and the bun is bakery fresh. Definitely one of the best burgers I've ever had and it was well worth the trip. Not only for the cheeseburger but to experience Donovan's Pub, a true old-school joint.

Okay, the plate is clean and yeah, I eat ketchup but I don't like tomatoes, so sue me!

And it's out the stained glass wooden doors we go...

As the sun sets on Queens.

And by the time I get back to Manhattan, night has fallen. Goodnight everybody, thanks for tripping out with me and we'll see you tomorrow.

My Meal
I had the bacon cheeseburger and it was one of the best cheeseburgers I’ve ever had. It was a half pound burger with American cheese and a generous amount of bacon on a toasted bun. And the bun was bakery fresh and delicious. The sign outside of the pub reads, "#1 Rated Hamburger in New York" and they certainly live up to it.

Donovan’s Pub has been on the block since 1966 and it’s a classic Woodside joint in Queens, New York.
In addition to the bacon cheeseburger, Donovan’s menu also features: Shepherd's Pie, Crab Cakes, Chicken Pot Pie and a Hot Open Turkey Breast served over homemade stuffing with gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and vegetable of the day. You can eat at the front bar or at one of the dining rooms in the back. Some things in Queens have changed, luckily Donovan’s remains the same.

Cheeseburger Rating:
Four Wimpy's, one of the best in all the boroughs!

Donovan's Pub
57-24 Roosevelt Ave.
Woodside, NY

Further Reading: The Fat Chick Diaries, The Burger Beast and Queen’s Buzz.

Then the liquid passing all into all,
Love is hot truth is molten.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!


Bonus Gumby Video!

TWM reader Matt sent in this video he shot of he and his roomate, Brandon, decked out in a Gumby outfit on a subway ride bound for Times Square. Check it out, it's a classic! Thanks for sending it in, Matt!


It Was A Tasty Burger!

This was tonight's cheeseburger and it was great! Plus the place I got it at is a classic bar and it's out of Manhattan! Yes, I traveled to another borough to sample a cheeseburger and it was  worth the trip. check it out tomorrow, the post will be up between 11 AM and 12 PM.