If you love the taste of a greasy hamburger, or a salty hotdog, but wince at the thought of eating reheated food from a local fast food joint, Junior Papaya’s, 506 Washington Street, serves hearty American eats at surprisingly affordable prices.
With an open floor plan, dark peach colored walls, outside café, and wide windows overlooking Washington Street, the newly-renovated restaurant is as pleasing on the eye as on the wallet.
All orders are prepared fresh, without using a microwave. And if that seems hard to believe, the kitchen is in plain view, right behind the counter.
Coming right up
The pleasant atmosphere led me right to the cash register where the refreshingly polite manager Kim, was behind the counter personally taking orders.
I decided on the crowd-pleasing sliders, which included three mini-burgers served with pickles and sautéed onions. The order also comes with a heaping pile of fries and a large beverage. While I waited, I filled up my drink cup at the self-service beverage bar, with a large dose of Coca-Cola.
In addition to burgers, Junior’s offers a wide variety of other food items, including appetizers like onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and chicken fingers.
For those feeling a bit adventurous, Junior’s serves perogies and chicken or beef kabobs.
And for vegetable-minded eaters, Junior’s offers salads with a wide range of toppings, including sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, and mandarin oranges. All orders are available for delivery.
Soon after I ordered, Kim served a steaming version of the American classic: a burger and French fries. The fresh ground Angus beef went down effortlessly and the potato bread buns added an extra flavor to the already juicy burgers. The fresh pickles and onions were crisp and crunchy, and the American cheese was melted succulently across each burger.
The sweet potato fries took a new approach to the classic French fry, and after getting my palate adjusted, I was left with a delightfully sweet aftertaste. Other fry varieties offered at Junior’s are Cajun, Disco, Waffle, and Chili Cheese.
Junior’s even offers an order of half French fry and half onion ring, for those who can’t decide on a side. Juicy desserts
Before leaving, I had to try a sweet, soft-drink from the juice bar. The bar offers free refills and various flavors, including: Papaya, Pina Colada, Orange Cream, and Lemonade. Trusting the namesake, I chose the Papaya, which was nothing short of satisfying.
In addition, Junior’s boasts some of the best shakes in Hoboken, offering large, 20-ounce cups of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee, Oreo, or peanut butter milkshakes.
The morning after
Junior’s also serves breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., which is also available for delivery. Some of the early morning eats include the standard Junior’s Platter, offering two eggs cooked any style, served with homemade fries and toast or an English muffin.
Also a fan favorite is the Junior’s Famous Sandwich served with fresh peppers, eggs and potatoes on a club roll. The Zebra Sandwich includes two eggs, Taylor ham, a choice of American, Swiss, Feta, or Cheddar cheese and a hash brown patty on a Kaiser roll. All dishes are numbered for easy, early-morning ordering.
Junior’s Papaya is open seven days a week: Monday to Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fridays from 10:30 to 3 a.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. With a $10 minimum, deliveries are available to Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, and parts of Jersey City. Junior’s Papaya is located at 506 Washington St., in Hoboken. For more information please call (201) 238-2777.