Entries in Hell's Kitchen (4)


Saturday Night Cheeseburger at the Pom Pom Diner

Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night Cheeseburger! Starring the Pom Pom Diner, a special guest appearance by Paul and featuring the Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our host, the Pom Pom Diner!

Here we are in the madness of Times Square on a Saturday night. Amazing how an eight block walk to Hell's Kitchen can change the environment.

And eight blocks later here we are on the relatively calm corner of 45th and 11th Avenue in front of the Pom Pom Diner. Let's go check it out.

What a classic diner and we've got the whole joint to ourselves on a Saturday night, unbelievable!

Let's grab a menu and get a seat in the back booth.

Biff flew back to Ohio, but Paul stayed an extra night and here he is perusing the gigantic menu.

And here's our friendly waiter, Jimmy, pouring me a beer. Let's take a little tour of the place.

The back wall is decorated with a giant print of the Manhaatan skyline.

There's a take out counter on the other side of the diner.

Some of the pastries and rolls are housed in glass containers on the counter and look delicious.

Here's the specials of the evening.

An original piece of art done specifically for the diner by artist, Will RAFUSE hangs on the wall.

And here's another painting by RAFUSE. Very cool.

They don't have a full bar in here, but there is wine and a decent little selection of bottled beer.


After I said hi to the cooks in the back, I realized that dinner should be served by now, so I went back and joined Paul at the booth.

And I was right. Here's Paul's burger, he got the Greek burger with Feta cheese.

And I got something different, they had a crab burger on the menu which I've never had or heard of. I got grilled onions with it and it's topped off with a spicy chipotle sauce.

The bun was toasted and bakery fresh and it was really a unique and delicious burger.

Okay, a quick obligatory bathroom shot...

And we're out the door. Goodnight and see you all tomorrow.

My Meal
While Googling around looking for a joint to get a cheeseburger on Saturday, I found the Pom Pom diner, a diner that’s been alive and kicking since 1969 in Hell’s Kitchen. I love old-school diners and had to check this place out on Saturday Night Cheeseburger, and so that’s exactly what I did. I was also thrilled to see a type of burger on the extensive menu that I had never tried before, a Crab Burger. The burger was a nice change of pace, juicy crab meat with grilled onions and topped with a spicy chipotle sauce. Very tasty and a fun way to change things up on Saturday Night Cheeseburger. Paul got the Greek Burger with Feta cheese and gave it high ratings as well.

Sadly, the Pom Pom is part of a dying breed, the family owned diner. It opened up in 1969 and happily it’s still thriving (Jimmy our waiter said it’s only been open ten years, but everything I’ve read about the place said it’s been open since 1969, and I’m hoping that’s the truth, so that’s what I’m going to believe). The Pom Pom is a low key, no frills, New York diner, with a friendly staff and a relaxing vibe. The menu is massive and in addition to the Crab Burger there are eight other styles of burgers on the menu including: a Greek Burger with feta cheese; the Italian Burger with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce and a classic eight ounce Cheeseburger on a toasted bun with your choice of American, Swiss, Cheddar, Provolone or Mozzarella cheese. Some of the Chef’s Specialties offered on the menu are: Tommy's Famous Meatloaf; Shrimp Teriyaki; Fish and Chips and Hot Open Sandwiches with your choice of turkey or roast beef with mashed potato, gravy and vegetables. There’s also pasta, deli sandwiches and a full breakfast menu available 24 hours a day (except on Sundays, when it’s closed. How old-school is that?)

Cheeseburger Rating
Three Wimpys, a delicious and unique burger.
Pom Pom Diner
610 Eleventh Ave. (Near 45th St.)

Further Reading: Trip Advisor, Menu Pages and facecrack.

Oh, I know that it?s getting late,
But I don?t wanna go home.

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


Happy Hour At Bar Nine

I’m baaaack! Anybody out there? Well, so far, no job, but that will not deter this week’s Happy Hour! outing! When my parents were in town, I went to a bar and met a TWM reader from Georgia named, Bill. It’s always fun for me to meet readers of the blog and Bill was no exception, we had a great time chatting and having a few beers. Well, that day a reader named Ray Ray, left a comment on that days post and he wrote: “Hey Marty, I just saw you on 55th and 7th ave. Wanted to say hi but i lost you in the crowd. You are getting very famous!” That cracked me up and I commented back that he should email me if he’d like to have a beer sometime. Well, he did just that and tonight we get to meet Ray at this week’s happy hour! Let's go!

 We'll be taking the Q train to midtown.

Usually I have to wait forever for the stupid Q train to show up, but as I land on the bottom of the stairs, here it is! Oh happy day!

I found a seat next to this guy who was out like a light. I've never understood how people can sleep on subways and as I type this, I suddenly realize that I don't understand the phrase, "out like a light." This will bother me all day.

And through the miracle of the internet, you're saved walking three blocks in the wrong direction and then finally making it here to Bar Nine.

This woman was sitting on the bench in front of the bar and I asked if I could take her picture and she said yes, so I snapped this photo. She then asked if I could send it to her and I asked her what was her email address and she gave me her street address complete with apartment number. I don't think she knows what email is. I'm jealous!

According to the sign, happy hour is underway, let's go inside and check it out.

It's nice in here and fairly dark, I think Al would approve of the place!

And what's even nicer is Marina, the pretty and friendly bartender who's quick with a bottle of Budweiser.

There's my spot at the bar, the bottle of Bud marks the spot.

These big industrial lights hover over the bar, bathing it in a yellow hue.

Here's some of the beers on draft.

Check out the Full Metal Jacket painting on the brick wall. Marina told me that all the art in the bar is done by local artist, Benjamin Enzfelder.

Here's another Enzfelder original, Travis Bickle with Bar Nine in the background.


Apparently there's a pool table in the back. Let's go take a look.

Here's some leather couches in a lounge area, but I don't see a pool table.

But a backward glance reveals the pool table in the very back of the bar.

Here's another lounge area up front. Check out the table...

Number nine...number nine...number nine...

And back at the bar, Marina is busy pouring a beer. But when she was done she introduced me to...

Benjamin, the artist who's paintings we just looked at. Benjamin's a nice guy and a great artist, check out more of his work here: Enzfelder Studios.

And as I settled back in to the bar, Ray showed up. He covered his face for his photo, I think he's either camera shy or wanted by the law...probably both. Ray's a great guy and we had some beers and a nice conversation about the blog, New York, music and before I knew it, it was time to head home.

And as I head towards the subway station, night has fallen on midtown, and you probably know by now that I love that. See you tomorrow!

Bar Nine
807 Ninth Ave. (Near 53rd St.)
Happy Hour Specials (noon to 8PM): Four dollar Coors Light, 11 dollar pitches of Coors, Four buck Corona's and 25 cent hot wings.

Further Reading: New York Magazine, Time Out New York and Shecky's.

Love Potion Number Nine.

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


Bonus Travis Bickle Illustration by Jaws!

After seeing the Travis Bickle artwork on the wall of Bar Nine, Jaws the Cabbie sent in his own Travis artwork! Thanks, Jaws!


Happy Hour At Tobacco Road

I’ve decided to ditch the “Free Food Friday” concept and just use this weekly Friday post to go to a happy hour and if there’s free food, it’ll just be a nice bonus. I thought tonight we’d head over to a place I visited on my bar crawl and then never went back. It’s a bar near the Port Authority called, aptly enough, Port 41. It’s a bikini bar and when I went on the bar crawl at first they were hesitant about photos, but eventually warmed to the idea. Hopefully it’s still warm in there, we’ll know soon!

As soon as I got down to the subway, a train pulls up. I love it when that happens!

And after a short ride on the train we emerge in Times Square.

And just a few blocks we'll be there, it's right on the corner of 9th and 41st Street in Hell's Kitchen.

And here we are, but they've changed the name from Port 41 to Tobacco Road. I bet the sign looks better at night. Let's go inside and see if anything else has changed.

Nope, looks like only the name has changed, the place looks pretty much the same as the last time I was in here. A classic dive bar.

And we have a happy hour beer served up by friendly and cute bartender, Nicole. The place bills itself as a bikini bar, but not all the bartenders have a bikini on. But the night is young and a bikini may be in our future, time will tell!

Tables line the wall opposite the bar.

And a giant hippo head looms above the tables.

Some of the nightly specials on the chalkboard behind the bar.

Love the vintage cash register behind the bar!

A long shot of the wooden bar from the opposite end.

Let's go see who Nicole is talking to over there.

She's chatting with Lindsay, who's going to be taking over bartending duties momentarily. They certainly have pretty bartenders in here!

And here's Lindsay on duty and Houston we have a bikini!

Here's the back room where they have live music, almost nightly.

A shot of the bandstand complete with a Marshall amplifier and drums.

And as I get back to my seat at the bar, I'm joined by Jason who joined me back when I spent happy hour at Rudy's, which is just a few blocks away. Jason's an artist and you can check out his work here: Jason Andersen. He told me he may be part of an upcoming art show and if that happens, it'll be featured right here, stay tuned!

Meanwhile, Lindsay's back!

Here's some of the beers on draft, one of them caught my eye...

Schlitz! I didn't know they still made Schlitz, I don't think I've seen it in decades! I did a Google search and sure as Schlitz, here's their website: Schlitz beer.

And as I get ready to head out, Tina has come on board to help out Lindsay, another pretty bartender at Tobacco Road.

I told you the sign would look better at night!

Tobacco Road
355 W. 41st St. (@Ninth Ave.)
Happy Hour: 5 to 7 PM

Further Reading: EV Grieve, Village Voice  and EaterNY.

Baby I can’t please you,
I can’t please you.

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


Bonus Beer App Link!

I got a press release for a Beer Tour app and you can check it out here: World's Greatest Beer Tour. Personally when I think of an app, I think of an appetizer, but I thought some of you may be interested in this.