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Nov 12, 2008 04:06 PM

airport diner in astoria

makes a solid burger.

dropped in for lunch today and was real happy with the character of the place (classic '50's design) and the friendliness/competence of the wait staff.

i had a new yorker (cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, mayo) and rings. burger was packed loosely and cooked to perfection (order medium to avoid a raw interior and you'll be in business. wonderful waitress walked me through the process). the roll is soft, properly sized and doesn't disintegrate under the onslaught of juices. the rings were dinerlicious.

the jackson hole people own this icon but haven't harmed a thing. locals know about this place so it can get crowded at lunch. old ladies, suits, laguardia guys, tradesmen seem to peacefully co-exist.

the burgers are very good. the character and charm of the place enhance the attraction for me. give it a shot if you're in the neighborhood.

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  1. as a longtime western queens resident and frequent flyer, i find this encouraging. so the burgers aren't grey and steamed in the jackson hole mode?

    2 Replies
      1. re: david sprague

        The burgers are most definitely steamed and grey in the regular Jackson Hole mode.

      2. Thanks for the tip.

        BTW, it's Airline Diner on 69-35 Astoria Blvd and 70th St. A bona fide Mountain View from 1952.

        I never ventured in figuring that it would be like a Jackson Hole burger. Maybe they've changed things since the review below:

        5 Replies
        1. re: Joe MacBu

          airline diner it is. thanks for the correction.

          1. re: steve h.

            This post confuses me, because the airline diner is the Jackson Hole. The burgers are giant and steamed...unless they've changed something in the last 2 weeks since I've been there.

            1. re: richg35

              my burger was big, thick and flavorful. interior was red without being raw. cheese was melted to perfection. steamed? i read where they place a cover over the burger for the last minute or so. is that what you're talking about?

                1. re: Jeffsayyes

                  wow. that picture of the old airline neon sign is priceless.
                  it's a very cool place.

          2. I'm confused too? This the Jackson Hole place that every one on this board has condemned for 'steaming' the burgers. I really don't mind their cooking method, but think the burgers are just way too big. I can't even eat the damn thing. I wish they made a human sized patty 'cause I do like their mushrooms and other toppings.

            5 Replies
            1. re: SpiceJunkies

              i ate the whole thing. mighty tasty. i liked the fact that the meat was loosely packed. the burger was juicy and flavorful. the soft roll held up to the juice. i went through a bunch of napkins. onion rings were standard diner fare but i like that.

              wait staff was pleasant as all get out. a lovely irish woman took great care of us.

              regulars mob this place at lunch time. i can understand why.

              1. re: SpiceJunkies

                the burgers are the same as any other Jackson Hole...steamed and grey. pretty nasty if you ask me.

                1. re: Yaxpac

                  burgers are pretty good in my book. covering a burger before taking it off the grill doesn't equal steaming.

                  you don't have to like 'em. lots of us do.

                2. re: SpiceJunkies

                  I went to this place about 5 years ago and it was certainly operated by Jackson Hole at that time. While the burger was massive it was definitely steamed - a big ole gray hunk 'o meat. This is Jackson Hole's "house style" and I'm surprised that they'd deviate from it.

                  I just checked their website and I'm quoting -

                  "Jackson Hole burgers are made to order, hand scooped and steam grilled under a stainless steel cup to seal in juices and flavor."

                  Straight from the source - the burgers are *steamed.* And not just for the last minute either.

                  Given that it's a great looking diner it's a shame they can't get the burgers right.

                3. Theres a jackson hole in bayside as well and the burger at both locations are exactly the same. In my oppinion they make great burgers. I wouldnt say the best or anything but its a big tasty sloppy burger that leaves me satisfied every time. And the airline diner location is very charming because of its old school unchanged interior. Even the waitresses seam to be from another time and place, they dont look like astoria chicks.

                  BTW - i dont know if anyones ever had breakfast at this place, but that might be even better than their burgers. tons of good home made food.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: montoya040

                    I find it satisfying also. The burgers (the meat) are not the best but they are generally pretty well cooked to order, and the toppings are fine. It's totally comforting and satisfying and the service is always good. There are definitely days that I do crave going to the Jackson Hole.

                    The breakfast is fantastic.

                    1. re: montoya040

                      The breakfast really is fantastic. I always order a belgian waffle which comes out perfectly crisp and tender, and it's served with REAL maple syrup. They also serve properly poached eggs which can be tricky to find.

                    2. Steve, Coming to NY with my wife Feb2010. Looking to experience typical American Diner where I wont get ripped off. Have you been since 2008 and do you still rate it. I am a young 70 year old! is the area safe. Forget the last question you already said old ladies happy there.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: english jim

                        haven't been back since i started this thread. the place is iconic and i doubt anything has changed. spend some time chatting up the waitresses since they have a load of stories to tell. you might want to bring a camera. the neighborhood is gritty but quite safe.

                        you'll have too much fun.

                        1. re: english jim

                          Jim, there are much better places for a diner burger, although the neighborhood this particular locale of the Jackson Hole chain is in is FAR from "gritty".

                          1. re: irishnyc

                            Thanks for the reply irish, web pages listed very helpful