A Year In Food

From New York to Costa Rica to Europe to California: 365 Days of Dining Out

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

May 3.


Shake Shack - Madison Square Park, Gramercy Park
Double Shack Burger, regular Chocolate Shake

I’d like to think I lead an adventurous life. I don’t look both ways before crossing the street, I occasionally return library books beyond their due dates, and I don’t always get my FDA-recommended quota of fruits and vegetables. In this vein of rebelliousness, I was walking home from a wine tasting in Chelsea, full of young Bordeaux wines and sharp cheeses, willing to see where the spirit(s) guided me for dinner.

Going east on 23rd Street, I realized with the glee of a kid on Christmas Eve that Shake Shack was right in my crosshairs. It had also, just the day before, extended its hours until 9 pm, which had to be serendipity herself shining her good graces on me. Practically the only person still in Madison Park, and definitely the only person in the park in dress shirt and bowtie, I didn’t have to contend with any line this time around (see Apr. 10).

Being ravenous, I opted for a Double Shack Burger and was rewarded with two beautiful patties of sirloin and brisket. The beef was as incredible as last time, and getting the larger size was just the right answer to my appetite. It was encouraging to see the quality remaining as high as ever.

However, the few negatives also remained in place. For one, changing the flavor of the shake didn’t improve it. Like the coffee, the chocolate was thin and only adequately flavorful. It might’ve been more acceptable if the name of the establishment were Burger Shack, but you’d assume that the namesake item would be more exceptional. Also, the cost again seemed too high, even with the clearly quality ingredients being used.

Still, it was good enough that, when I remembered I made plans to go back to Shake Shack in less than a week, I felt only excited. I’d have another opportunity to taste a terrific burger and finally get to sample a concrete. Beyond that, I’m going to keep it spontaneous – if anything else inspires me, I’ll get it. It’s all part of the adventure. 7/10


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