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For Brooklyn's Own, the Original "Junior's Restaurant"

There are certain sacred areas of any town that give its patrons pride of an old standing tradition. I feel like my Brooklyn is increasing in popularity both for the new as well as old. It is an exciting time and I want to try to take advantage of all that is available to me.

Recently I toured the newly renovated Kings Theater, which had been closed for over forty years but is now in a better state than when it originally opened its doors in the 1920s. I have plenty more information but that will be delivered when I premiere that blog post in a few short days.

Exactly one week ago I premiered my brand new 2016/2017 to do list ( This contains everything I want to eat, see, and do. Or at least what is most important to me. It also has elements from the previous year that I have not gotten to. Time is truly flying by. As I struggled to assemble the perfectly completely list for my new season I knew something would get left out. Something always does. Or what happens is that I go to new places that are not a part of my list but bear the importance of a blog. It is between these two worlds that I must survive.

When it comes to items missing off my list, they have not usually been left off on purpose. But I am afraid our topic for today is one of those missing. The last few weeks I had been saying to my nearest and dearest that I wanted to go to Junior’s Restaurant in Brooklyn. I have been to the one in Times Square ( more times than I can count but I felt it was time I paid homage to the original.

In an unplanned move I landed there on Sunday evening on my way home from a family baby shower, more on that in my next blog as well. This is when I realized my folly of leaving it off my official list, and just in my brain. Oh well.

We got a spot right in front, which I always take as a sign from God that I am at the right place at the right time. After frantically taking pictures of the outside I entered for the first time.

It was so disorienting to be in a place that seemed so familiar but unlike what I know to be true. It was like going to a different Walgreen’s than I regularly visit. At my normal store I can zip in and out of the aisles, but in any other store I am stuck reading the headings and aimlessly walking back and forth. There is nothing more frustrating especially when I just want to get in and out.

In my last post about my return trip to Garguilo’s, ironically also in Brooklyn, I mentioned how much I had been craving traditional cheesecake. As soon as I walked into Junior’s that thought popped right into my head. I was there for a light snack not so much as a big meal. I ended up sharing chicken fingers, cheeseburger, and fries with my companions. We decided to get a raspberry and chocolate swirl (two separate cakes) to go and share with others at home.

I know the food we ordered was basic but I got to tell you it seemed off. I don’t know if I was imagining it or not but I felt like the food was better in Manhattan. The chicken fingers didn’t look how I imagined, you know like the ones you order in a diner. As for the burger, what I really wanted was sliders but they were not on the menu. Why doesn’t every restaurant that serves burgers also offer sliders on the menu? It boggles my mind. The burger was dry and lacking any real flavor. The fries were the best by default.

I was satisfied I was able to mentally cross this off my list and move on.

As for the cheesecake, it hit the spot. They weren’t the flavors I prefer but the raspberry swirl was good enough for me. It hit my craving right in the soft spot.

With that craving satisfied I have to share that although it is tasty, Junior’s is not my very favorite place to eat cheesecake. That title goes to a little shop in NYC called “Eileen’s”. It is more of a creamy base with less of a sweet taste. It is hard to describe but I do think it is worthy of a try. They will mail you one whenever you are ready. You will have a boatload to choose from (

Don’t worry if you want to properly compare Eileen’s to Junior’s cheesecake there is more than one way to get it. Besides the Brooklyn headquarters, Junior’s can be found in Grand Central Terminal and Times Square in Manhattan. If you are near Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut then you are in luck. Junior’s has an outpost there! For those who are not in New York City or Connecticut fear not, Junior’s has a mail order service right on its website, so everyone can taste a bite this famous cheesecake.

Some facts highlighting the road the Rosen’s paved to create Junior’s Restaurant (according to their website):

·    In 1929, Harry Rosen opens a luncheonette called the Enduro.

·   Over the years, he expands the restaurant to several storefronts     occupying the entire corner.

·   Harry expands the Enduro to a full service restaurant with a nightclub atmosphere including a raised bandstand with live entertainment.

·   The Enduro closed its doors in 1949.

·   Harry Rosen opened Junior’s on Election Day in 1950, and he knew that in order to be a great restaurant in New York, you have to serve the best New York Cheesecake.

·   So he and his Master Baker, Eigel Petersen, conducted laboratory-like experiments in the bakery at Junior’s testing and tasting until they hit upon the magic formula.

·   It’s the same recipe we use today.

·   Only the finest of ingredients would do—premium cream cheese, fresh heavy cream, eggs, and a touch of vanilla. No water. No fillers.

·   All hand-blended in small batches and mixed for over 40 minutes.

·   For our swirls and fruit-topped we use only the freshest fruit, homemade purees, imported chocolates and fresh’ll taste the difference from Junior’s. 

·  Loyal customers still come – even, famous mayors, presidents, Hall of Fame athletes, authors, singers, and movie stars (I would like to also add bloggers now).

·   In fact, it’s as true today as it was 60 years ago when we started:

“You haven’t really lived until you’ve had cheesecake at Junior’s.”

Good thing I can say I have had their cheesecake in both of their main locations.

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