Shake Shack! SHAKE SHACK! SHAKE SHACK!
I dream about this place when I’m in Berlin.
The burgers are petit, similar in size to a McDonald’s burger but that is where the similarity ends. Shake Shack burgers come on a pillowy, yellow bun, grilled on the inside. The thin patty is freshly ground on site every day and is cooked to medium. The standard fixings are tomatoes, onion (sliced in rings), lettuce and crinkly pickles and a slice of cheese. The burger comes in a waxed envelope, with the Technicolor red and green of the lettuce and tomatoes beckoning at you.
It doesn’t take long to eat. Boys should order two. I eat one and never suffer the burger regrets, the junk food shame. Even if I’ve shared a paper dish of crinkly cheese fries. And gulped down a Dr. Pepper. It’s when I venture into Shark Attack custard territory that I start to think that I am going slightly overboard. But listen – chocolate custard, peanut butter, chocolate truffle cookie dough, Valrhona chocolate pearls, and chocolate sprinkles – I mean? Who out there can resist a roll call like that? I certainly can’t!
I’ve been here 4 days and I’ve eaten there twice already. And I am seriously contemplating going there right now, for a quickie before my family has to take our 8pm New Year’s Eve dinner slot at the Delano. No, I’m strong. I can resist. I can. (Let you know tomorrow if I succumbed in the end.)On my last trip, I heard the table behind me saying “I don’t see what the big deal is with this place.” And I felt sorry for them. Obviously they had read all the accolades and were expecting…who knows, a 1/2 kg patty with a truffle in the middle or something. When the real beauty of the Shake Shack burger is precisely that it’s a McDonald’s burger, done right, nothing fancy.I’m lucky in that I found it the right way around, meaning, I was walking through the park in New York, saw a huge line, joined it, ordered what other people were ordering and loved it. Only afterwards, did I do a little research and find out that the place belonged to Danny Meyer. A restaurateur who has never had a restaurant go bust. One that uses his restaurants as an impetus for neighborhood regeneration – where Meyer goes, others follow. I’ve now become a total Meyer groupie and probably enjoy the burger even more because I find his ideas about hospitality refreshing.
11 11 Lincoln Road (at Lenox Ave)