Monday, June 13, 2011

No Line? So Fine.


The problem with the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park is that the lines are almost always ridiculously long.  When it opened in 2004, I was working nearby and managed to get in on the ground floor of the phenomenon.  The frozen custard "concretes," which are like Blizzards, and cheese fries were my special loves.  But as the lines grew longer, I stopped going.  I wasn't going to give up most of an hour-long lunch break waiting to place my order.  The food is good, but not good enough to justify the wait. 


Now, Shake Shack is expanding across this city and into others.  Until today, I had yet to try any of the new locations.  I guess I assumed the long line in Madison Square would be replicated at each.  But, happily, I see that I was wrong.  After an early afternoon at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (closed to the public on Mondays, but I have a hook-up!) seeing, among other things, the Alexander McQueen retrospective, we walked over to the Shake Shack on 86th Street.  It was about 4pm, so perhaps the time was a factor, but there was no line at all!


Dan's burger was good, he reported. My fried mushroom burger, filled with gooey melted cheese and topped with crisp onion and tomato and lettuce and pickles, was excellent.  The cheese fries were fresh, warm, and swell.  Dan's root beer didn't disappoint.  My lemonade was perfect. Our Coffee Bean Brownie (coffee-caramel-brownie-vanilla) concrete was sweet and smooth.  And, to make things even better, there was outdoor seating in a public plaza adjacent to the restaurant.  And the bathroom had a changing station.  Golly! What an afternoon of happy flavors and thoughts!


So maybe I won't wait in line for it, but I will take the train.


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