Located outdoors in Manhattan's Madison Square Park and operated seasonally between April and November Danny Meyer's Shake Shack is definitely the avant-garde of the NYC burger renaissance. Everything you have heard is true - these are truly great burgers. If you can cope with the line, which can be as long as two hours at times, and with occasional inconsistencies in execution you will be rewarded with a wondrous experience. The beef is a mix of sirloin and brisket that produces a beautifully rich, full bodies flavor while providing the right mix juiciness and firmness. The high fat content of the brisket is a great compliment to the refined texture of the sirloin which when combined form a virtually perfect patty. The grill at the Shack definitely operates at the upper registers of BTU output for such a device, beautifully searing the meat, even when ordered rare. Served on a heavily buttered and grilled potato rolls either plain or with cheese or Shack style with cheese, lettuce, tomato and special Shack sauce (a sort of a garlicky mayo) these 5oz burger are magnificent.
Last year the Shack started serving diced onion and pickles on the side and I highly recommend them as an addition to the Shack burger, it adds some welcome textural contrast to the compliance of the bun and patty. Personally though I prefer a plane cheeseburger. The quality of the beef is so good and the bun so decadent, with croissant like buttery goodness, that all I need is a dollop of ketchup (with apologizes to George Motz who abhors the red stuff on burgers).
CheeseburgerIf you have yet to experience these little gems you are really missing out on one of the finest burgers in the city. While the line can be prohibitive during lunch times and on weekends they are open until 9PM during the spring and until 11PM in summertime. They also have a handy Shack Cam that you can use to gauge your wait, so you really have no excuse for not going.
Madison Square Park
“Spring really arrives” when Danny Meyer’s seasonal (March–December), alfre...
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