BEST BURGER IN THE (UPPER) WEST
with waits of 40 minutes or more for a hamburger, thank goodness danny meyer opened an indoor upper west side outpost of his popular madison square park shake shack. like most food phenoms, shake shack has drawn "yelps" from obsessive fans ("insanely delicious!!!!!") and equally obsessive detractors ("the shake shack is port-authority bad-not worth the wait").
for the uninitiated-are there any?-a shackburger ($4.95) is crafted from a combo of brisket, chuck and sirloin, all seared to juicy perfection and stuffed in a charred bun with tomato, lettuce, cheese and shack sauce (mayo and "secret" ingredients). the burger's popularity is due to two items that have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but which are key to
its über-goodness: salt and fat. the crisp crinkle-cut fries ($2.75) are excellent, too, but ask for ones piping hot from the fryer. this points out a failing of the upper west side shake shack. as you wait-a mere nine minutes when i went-you see the fries lined up, cooling off before they're put on your tray. and the place has all the atmosphere of a chipotle, with blue-latex gloved workers bustling in front of you. still, when it's 20 degrees out, and i'm craving a shackburger, i'm not complaining.
366 columbus ave. (near west 77th street)
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