I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was about The Happiest Hour until someone else said it: it’s like an upscale MacDonald’s. That’s EXACTLY what it was. Classy-kitch decor, thin patties with super soft buns, american cheese and “special sauce.” Also, as Meghan put it: it’s like they put 100 midwestern dads in a room and asked them for their favorite songs, and that’s how they came up with the playlist.
I’ll back up here because I’m a little afraid that I’m under-selling this place. The food was DELICIOUS. My burger, The Happiest Burger, came with something called “confit onions” that was just out of this world. You can’t control the temperature of your burger because the patties are so thin, unless you’re willing to go for one of the off-brand (i.e. not-happy) items on the menu, but does it matter? You can’t order medium rare at Shake Shack either, and I don’t see anyone filing complaints with Danny Meyer!
Welcome back, Angel! Also, note the palm tree wall paper.
Walking into this relatively unassuming storefront on West 10th street, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. There’s a suited bouncer at the door checking IDs and a massive bar that takes up the front area of the establishment. You have to worm your way through the crowd to the back, where yes, there is actual seating, in fun, retro circular booths. A true non-threatening party atmosphere.
If there is a downside to The Happiest Hour, it is the terrible service. While the seating area was riddled with bussing staff, none of them were actually allowed to do anything other than take our plates. The business of ordering, bringing the check, and paying the check was left entirely to the one lonely server in the entire place. She was very pleasant, the issue wasn’t demeanor, it was time. We sat at 7pm and didn’t manage to get someone to take our order until nearly 7:30pm–slightly stressful considering that we had an 8:30pm movie to catch, and anyone who knows me knows that the prospect of being tardy makes me seize with anxiety.
WHICH IS ALL TO SAY, that I would definitely go back–not right away, and not when I had plans after–but I would go back for another burger, and a cheap beer. Where else in the village can you drink a Miller High Life with no shame?