Brooklyn : Downtown Brooklyn : Fulton & Willoughby
Unlike Kat’s Delicatessen, some of New York’s famous restaurants are more than deserving of their reputation and renown, and perhaps none more so than the Shake Shack. Opening as a literal shack in the middle of Madison Square Park circa 2004, Shake Shack quickly became a fashionable eatery thanks to its simple but genuinely mouth-watering burgers. The sudden popularity led to increasingly long lines in the park, and as word-of-mouth spread and the press reported on the burgers and the line both, Shake Shack only became more popular and its lines grew even longer, to the extent that waiting in line for over an hour is not at all uncommon.
Of course, those people waiting an hour to order in Madison Square Park are suckers: There are multiple Shake Shacks now, and if you happen to be near the Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn, you can get the same amazing burger in something more akin to five minutes.
And make no mistake: these burgers are amazing. As I mentioned before, they’re not fancy, not gourmet, not haute or artisinal. They’re just regular, American-style hamburgers, but done absolutely right. Cooked medium-rare with some pink in the middle, the way a hamburger should be, and topped with “ShackSauce” (which I think is just mayonnaise and some kind of salad dressing) the ShackBurger is quite possibly the single best hamburger I’ve ever had. It’s just about perfect in every way, so much so, it might even be worth that hour long wait — if there weren’t six other locations to get one from.
And listen: The chocolate shake I got with my ShackBurger was also delicious, and also deliberately simple — although they rotate some more adventurous flavors in and out over the week. The crinckle-cut fries are the only aspect of the meal that are merely “okay.” I wish they’d stick to the old stand-by, the french fry, instead, but when the burger’s this good, it doesn’t really need a lot of dressing up. As I alluded to before, there are now seven Shake Shacks in the city. Do yourself a favor and get to one of them.