I like a good burger but its not a regular thing and its not something I would really strive to search out a good one but that may well be because ive not really had good burgers before. Most burger places I seem to encounter are the mega chain type that I would rather not patronise. I had read about Shake Shack a lot before my trip and when I found out they would be serving salted caramel frozen custard whilst I was there, it became a no-brainer. My second burger of my trip was had with Robyn of Seriouseats.com and Thegirlwhoateeverything.com and we decided to try out Burger Joint another joint regularly on top 10 lists of NYC burgers along with Shake Shack.
Shake Shack is in Madison Square Park alongside the Flatiron Building and its a lovely place to eat and relax, especially in good weather which I thankfully enjoyed for my whole trip. I was very lucky in that I had a very short wait, no more than 5-10 mins but it hadn’t been open long after I got there. I ordered the single Cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato (not adventurous I know but I like my burger simple). After you have ordered your given a pager so that you don’t have to hang around the window for your order you just collect your order when it buzzes. The burger was really juicy and had a really nice carmelised taste to it. The beef was full of beefy tastiness and cooked to medium like I wanted. I loved this burger a lot but something else got this place more love from me and that was the custard. I’d never had frozen custard before but they serve cups and cones of it here and I got Salted Caramel and it was awesome. Its like a cross between soft serve and ice cream, so good I could have had another cup but sadly I didnt. A cheeseburger costs $4.25 as does a double scoop cup of custard.
Burger Joint is a very different style of place. Its in the heart of Midtown and is “hidden” in Le Parker Meriden Hotel. I say hidden but its not really. Its a pseudo-secret dive bar style burger bar just of the main foyer of the hotel and the entrance is hidden by a curtain. Maybe in its early days it may have been a secret but the queue kind of gives it away. I had a longer wait here and the place was pretty packed when we got there so not as relaxing as Shake Shack but a kind of cool idea. I got the same burger here as before but with fries to share with Robyn this time. I have to be honest but I wasnt digging this burger nearly as much as Shack Shake, I actually found the meat a bit bland and not very memorable and its more expensive, a cheeseburger ran to $7.50. There was nothing really wrong with the burger and if I was staying at the hotel I might go here again, otherwise for me its not worth it. I had to wait longer, food wasnt as good and its more expensive.
Shake Shack Southeast Corner Madison Sq Park Near Madison Ave and East 23rd St 11am-11pm (there are locations in the Upper West Side and Citi Field as well)
Burger Joint Inside Le Parker Meridien 119 West 56th St 11.30am-11.30pm
(not sure what happened with the formatting of these addresses but I cant seem to change them so they will have to do like that)