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Donovan’s Woodside location named top burger stop in town

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Donovan's Pub, a decades-old Woodside institution, topped Time Out magazine's recent list of the 100 best burger joints in the city."We're ecstatic about it," said manger Jack Donovan, whose father and brother founded the Woodside pub in 1966 at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 58th Street. "We've always known we have good food, but to get that type of accolade is great."Regulars, such as 64-year-old Louis Kucera, were already well-acquainted with the venerable mix of sirloin and chuck ground beef topped with sauteed onions."The burger deluxe, the French fries, they're delicious," said Kucera, a Boulevard Gardens resident who frequents the pub with his girlfriend, Helen. "They're juicy and they make 'em any way you like it."But the beef-related honor, which was conferred in December, has drawn a lot of attention from New Yorkers who had somehow overlooked the economically priced $5.75 burger platter with fries, said Donovan, a retired New York Police Department detective."This is like the third or fourth time since I read the article," said Brooklyn native Matt Waugh, 32, who stopped by Donovan's Monday after visiting his family up north. "I just got off the highway from Massachusetts and I've been thinking about this for 150 miles."Since the award, Donovan said burger orders at the restaurant, which offers a wide assortment of hearty, high-quality dishes, had doubled. An article ran in the Korea Daily and visitors from Flushing have gone up 10 percent, he said. Chefs already have whipped up between 200 and 400 burgers a day.The secret to the burger's messy but eminently eatable, flavor and consistency is the proprietary mix of high-quality grades of beef and even heat from the state-of-the-art broilers at work in the kitchen, Donovan said."We have a chef that goes to the market every day," Donovan said. "We've been working with the same butcher for 30 years."The family also runs another Donovan's on 41st Avenue in Bayside.Reach reporter James DeWeese by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

Updated 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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