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March 24, 2008

Junior's Papaya on Saturday

On my way home Saturday night, after bartending at Mikie's, I stopped in Junior's Papaya Grill for a late night snack.

It is a new business in town, and just starting to get their "legs". I tried the sliders last week, and they were very good, with a fresh bun, juicy burger and yummy sauteed onions. The french fries, with cheese, were a bust for being undercooked and bland.

When I walked in, I saw the employees in there and "A Someone".

I put "A Someone", because it was clear as soon as I walked in this had to be a manager or owner, just by the way they were acting. I ordered my food, sat down, and waited a bit, while I sat in the mostly empty lounge at 2am on Saturday night.

After watching the Someone, and seeing him pass by my table, I blurted out, "So, are you a manager or an owner?"

He turns and sheepishly says, "I'm the owner."

I started to chat with him a bit, asking if he read his reviews on Hoboken411, and the comments by the people. He said he had read the site, and asked if I owned it. I explained that I knew the owner, and I merely contributed some of my content from philly2hoboken.com to their site.

I asked if he knew about the negative comments about his french fries. I told him that the french fries were too inconsistent, some people said they got them well done and some said (like me) that they were undercooked. I told him that one of the most important things he needs to stress with his employees is having a consistent product - from hot dogs to burgers to french fries. I mentioned that people may dislike many things about McDonalds, but the consistency of their product is key to their growth.

He agreed, and asked what I ordered. I told him I got the sliders and cheese fries again, and he called back to his employees to make sure the fries were "well done".

We spoke a bit more, he explained that his business partners were "friendly" with the Grey's Papaya people in New York City, but it wasn't associated with them.

Also went on to tell me that they are thinking of doing a Saturday & Sunday brunch. I told him that ever since mid-town Diner shut down that the mid-town would love to have a greasy spoon kind of diner back again. I said that an idea he should think of is having breakfast available, along with the regular menu, on late-Friday and late-Saturday nights for the late night revelers.

The owner was nice enough to throw in a sample of his fried perogies, and gave me a cup to sample his fruit beverages (papaya, pina colada, orange cream). I thought the fruit beverages weren't bad at all, even if the papaya was a bit weak (he explained that someone must have mixed it wrong).

I thanked him for his time, and told him that I thought once the word got out there that he would draw a good late night crowd. I brought the perogies down to Mulligan's and had Tommy the bartender & his pals try them out, along with me. The perogies were a hit, and i'll probably order them next time I get over there.

Posted by Furey at March 24, 2008 12:14 AM

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