Restaurant: Doc Watson’s – 1490 2nd Avenue, Manhattan, New York
Doc Watson’s is your average Upper East Side bar. There are high top tables immediately when you walk in and in the back the bar opens up into a small dining area. The highlight of the place is definitely the outdoor seating area in the back. If you’re lucky enough to snag one of the few outdoor seats you could spend hours drinking the day away on a Saturday afternoon. If they’re all taken, the upstairs dining area is a decent alternative since it has large windows which open above the outdoor seating area and help provide an “al fresco” feel.
I wasn’t expecting anything fancy from the menu at Doc Watson’s since it’s your run-of-the-mill bar. A burger seems to be the appropriate thing to order at a bar so I opted to try:
- Doc’s Squealer: Bacon infused with frizzled onions, mushrooms and bleu cheese (How could you not order something with this name?!)
Let me just say, Doc Watson’s doesn’t skimp on quantity. This burger was big. A large patty with pieces of bacon cooked inside it was topped with lots of thin fried onions, plenty of chunks of bleu cheese and mushrooms. This was all sandwiched between two extra thick hamburger buns with a wooden stake through it to keep it all together. The burger was good, but far from great. Despite all the toppings, this burger lacked any lasting flavor and I found myself constantly trying to figure out why that was the case. The meat was overcooked and I couldn’t really taste the bacon in the ‘bacon infused’ burger. If anything, the bleu cheese stood out as the dominant flavor, but that’s not surprising considering the strong flavor it has to begin with.
Average burger, average service. Our waitress started off very friendly and even joked around with us. (I’m a huge fan of this.) However, by the end of the meal, she was extremely unfriendly and practically threw the bill at us without bothering to say thanks.
Prices were average for a burger. The Doc’s Squealer was $14. Careful though, Doc Watson’s charges extra for everything. My coworker, Anisha, was charged an extra $2 for a side of ranch dressing. I mean, seriously? The bill came out to around $50 for the two of us, which seemed to be more than it was worth.
Doc Watson’s is the definition of average. Average atmosphere, average burger and average service. Is this a great place to have some drinks, yes. Is this a great place to have some food, no. I don’t live on the Upper East Side, but even if I did, I probably wouldn’t head back to Doc Watson’s anytime soon. There are lots of other places nearby that boast better food at the same prices.