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Friday, January 7, 2011

The Best Damn Hamburger. Ever.

If you live in New York City, you have probably been to the Shake Shack. If you have never been there, you have at least heard of it. It's a burger joint that opened a few years ago in Madison Square Park and has since spread out across the city and even to Miami. I don't know what it is about the burgers, but they sorta melt in your mouth and make you crave another one. The lines are always crazy long. The location in the park sometimes has a line that wraps around the block and you might have to wait for twenty or thirty minutes to get to the counter, but people do it. I do it. The beef is all natural I suppose with no hormones or any of that crap but I also think they sprinkle a bit of crack cocaine and meth in it just to make sure we come back. Having never seen the recipe, I can't say for certain that the burger is full of addictive and illegal narcotics, but I am about 80% sure. I went to a Shake Shack a few days ago to get my fix. As usual, the line was long and people were desperate to get a seat.

When I got in line, I immediately started scouting the room for a table. The place is sorta like a fast food restaurant in that you order and pay for your food at the counter and then just go find a place to sit. While in line, I saw a woman and child sitting at a four top reading books. I was about to go all bitchy waiter on their asses and ask them to move on if they had already eaten. Go to the library or Barnes and Nobel if you are just reading. I watched them the whole time I was in line. Eventually, I realized that they had someone who was in line for them and they were just holding to the table. Okay, fine. Then I saw two women sitting in a prime booth who only had a few french fries left. After I ordered my food, I sat on a bench next to them waiting for my number to be called and waiting for them to leave. I was not the only one who had spied them. Easily, three or four other people were watching those bitches like hawks. All of us waiting until the last french fry went into their mouths so we could swoop in and steal the table. Down the bench from me was a mother with her two kids who also wanted that booth. We jockeyed for position as the two women began to pick up their things. The mother was hustling her kids and things and practically sprinting to the booth. I must have been soft that day, because I decided to let the mom have the table. Blame it on the new year, but I was being nice.

My number was called and I got my burger and ate it at the less than ideal bench. But the food made up for my seat. I got a double and the meat was like a pat of butter. The bun was like a cloud. The cheese was was like...oh fuck, it was like cheese. Cheese is perfection. I wolfed it down along with my crispy crinkle cut fries and when it was all gone, I felt sad. I honestly thought about getting back in line for another, but by this time the line was out the door and down the sidewalk. I noticed that the mom had left her two kids at the booth. They were no longer eating and I figured that she went to the bathroom. People were circling that booth like a pack of wolves. I mean, here are two little kids sitting at a booth and they aren't even eating anymore. Meanwhile, the wolves are walking around with their trays of food needing a place to sit. Any minute, I expected someone to oust those kids. And yeah, the kids looked scared. I imagined that they felt like they were sitting on a blow up raft in the middle of the ocean when shark fins suddenly appear. From across the room, I hear, "Put your coat on the booth, Chelsea. PUT YOUR COAT ON THE BOOTH!" I looked over to see the mom in line again and now and making sure that everyone knew that fucking booth was claimed. Basically she was saying "Get the fuck away from the booth and my kids because I will be right here with another order of french fries, bitches."

People don't mess around at the Shake Shack. You gotta go there. And when you go, make sure you bring your jogging shoes, a strong will and maybe a big pointy stick if you want a place to sit. It ain't easy. But so worth it.

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Taschima Cullen said...

I need to go to New York on May, will visit and bring Mr. Pointy.

Thanks for the heads up!

Name: female, I shit you not! said...

I thought you were going to say you watched the kids until she came back to the table. let her have the table and already my train of thought went thata way. :0)
While I will never have the pleasure of eating one of those burgers, that was one humdinger of a description of them and I know I'm really missing out on something. :0(

Cinoda said...

I understand that New York City is one of the rudiest places in the country (So I've heard), but has anybody ever thought of maybe sharing a booth with complete strangers? Picture this...Someone has a booth, and actually invites another person to sit with them. Is this possible in NYC?
Then maybe this wouldn't fit in with the title The Bitchy Waiter.

Mary A. said...


In New York.


Bouncin' Barb said...

Haven't heard of it but I've been gone for many years. The burger sounds absolutely heavenly. Nothing like a good burger!

Corey said...

Your last post got you an award over at my blog. :) Stop by and pick it up

Mary said...

I checked out thier website and.....Bitch, you did not even mention they have beer and wine!

suzybel56 said...

I'm finally getting around to catching up reading blogs I follow. Yours is the first one I hit on & I'm into November. I am not going to quit until I make it back to 2008! Cheers!

Kathy said...

I've never been to New York, but the burger sounds wonderful. Yay to you for letting the mom have the booth, you do have a heart. I'm with Mary though, I can't imagine leaving my children unattended here, let alone in New York!

Ester Jean said...

How the fuck did this only get 9 comments? This is one of my favorites (so far - I've only been here a couple weeks and I think my hubs will disown me if I sit on my arse every day for like 3 days straight just reading through your archives, so it's gonna take me a hot minute to pick a new favorite without calling attention to the fact that I'm a loser with nothing better to do...).

Uhhhhh yeah. Sounds great. Whenever I get my ass from Alaska to NYC to see my baby sister, I will have to let her know this place is on our list. Words.

mike. said...

The burgers are great, but seriously the best thing about this place are the shakes and frozen custards.