NEW YORK CITY
This article was originally written and published by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke on January 16, 2012
Yes Boys and girls, we’ve got a Steak’n Shake. In new York that is. Not that very many of you have ever been yearning or heard of it. The popular Mid-West Burger (Not Steaks) and Shake Joint. Well I guess they must be thousands of native Mid-Westerners living in New York who’ve been dying for one, I’m sure at least 98% of New Yorker’s ever heard of these guys. Until I saw them featured on a Food Show once, I’d never heard of them.
Anyway, they opened on Broadway and 53rd Street the other day. Went up there today to check them out. Was checking out SeriousEats Burgers when I saw the piece and was reminded of them. Since I was just about to finish up my ritualistic Sunday Morning Coffee at Once Upon a Tarte and was thinking about what I was going to do for lunch, here it was. I’d jump on the 1 Train and take it up to 50th Street and try me one of those Steak’n Shake Burgers. A Original Double’n Fires to be exact, as I read in the SeriousEats piece that this was one the thing to get, and for just $3.99, a nice Double Patty Cheeseburger with Lettuce Tomato and onions, along with some Hand-Cut Fries. Got a Coke to go with that. I’ll try a Shake on the next visit, along with their other signature Burger the 6 oz. Organic Beef Burger with Fries.
So I get to the Steak’n Shake and I’m happy to see there is no line, and not crowded. Just 1 customer ahead of me. I get to the counter and am greater by a tall Pretty Girl. Wonder if she’s a Mid-Westerner? Well, she sure is pretty, and friendly to boot. I order my “Original” Double’n Fries and a Coke, and it comes to just a little over 6 Bucks. Not too bad for a Double Cheesebuger with Fies and a Coca-Cola to boot. And how will it taste. They say they’re good. I believe them, and I’ll find out soon enough. My buzzer lites up and vibrates, signaling that my order is ready. I get it.
Pull it out of the bag. It looks pretty good. Guess what? It is, pretty Dam Good that is. I like it. Not the best in the World, but very good. The Fries are excellent, Fresh, Crispy, seasoned properly, cooked just right. Yummm, I love em. And as for the comparison to my own top, New York’s Best Burger (my Opinion and personal preference), it’s the other Shake in the name Burger Joint that for me is new York’s Best, and that’s Shake Shack. Well, Shake Shack’s # 1 Spot is intact. That’s my top spot. Hold on now, stop your yelling and screaming. That’s my own personal preference. I’m not saying they are the Best in New York, though for me they are the Best, and give me a minute and I’ll tell you why. I know some will say Minetta’s Black Label Burger get’s the Top Nod (I like the Minetta Burger BETTER), some might say The Luger Burger at Peter Luger is Best and I love this one as well, New York’s Best Burgers are many, but although I love the Burgers at Peter Luger, Minetta Tavern, The Spotted Pig, even The Corner Bistro now and then, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I really like McDonalds now and then. Yes I do. Hey i have the Balls to admit, they’re actually better than many a “So-Called” renowned Burger of much higher prices and supposed High-Quality and Goodness. “Not!”
Now as to why I choose The Shake Shack Cheeseburger as New York’s Best, # 1, First Prize, Champ, and I know I’m gonna get flack, hey this is my personal choice. But I’ll tell you one thing about Me and Burgers, and this is fact. I know a hell of a lot more than most about this great American Invention. For one, I’m a food professional and former Chef. I have not recently jumped on the Burger Bandwagon in the past few years or so. I’ve been eating these bad boys for forty years and along with Sunday Sauce and Cannolis, I was weened on these things. My Dad took us to Diners Hot-Dog and Burger Joints all over the North East Coast of the United States chopping on Cheeseburgers and Dogs all along the way.
Now, let me tell you what, without question thee Best Burgers around are 4-6 ounce Patty’s 1/2 to 3/4 inch think, no more, can be less. Big Fat-Ass 8, 9, 10 ounce Burgers are over done and plain just don’t taste as good as a ones made of 4-6 ounce patties and no thicker then 3/4 of an inch. Also, they must “Cook in Their Own Fat” on a Flat-Top Grill, not a grated grill that lets the fat get lost and creates hard unappetizing grill marks. These Burgers that are usually about 4-5 ounce (can be 6) and that are cooked in their own fat on a Flat-Top Grill and served on a soft either Sesame Seed or Potato Bun, or regular seedless soft bun with White or Yellow American Cheese are tops and these kind of Burgers are known as Diner Burgers. Forget those Thick-Ass 12 and 12 oz. burgers cooked medium-rare. They are too thick and too much rare ground beef just doesn’t taste good, and especially if the meat is Dry Aged Ground Beef. Do you know what Dry Aged Beef is Actually? It’s meat that is slowly under control deteriorating, and this kind of meat just doesn’t taste good in ground form cooked rare or medium rare. Thick Burgers that are under cooked, do not have near the great taste of thinner burgers cooked through or close to thoroughly cooked at medium-well. Reason being that thinner burgers have a high ration of browned-meat to the whole total some of meat, and this is where the great flavor comes in, the two outside sides of a burgers patty that is browned, 90% of the flavor is here, and the thicker the burger the smaller the good ratio of browned meat to not-browned is, thus making for a less tasty burger, a half inch to 3/4 of an inch is best for the Tastiest Burger possible. These are just facts people, not opinions. This is the reason why a Shake Shack Burger taste better than a Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern. For what a Burger is (Ground Beef) and for the BEST way to cook it for Best Tastiest results, the burger should not be too thick, and it should be cooked on a Flat Top Grill to at least Medium or Medium-Well, not rare or medium rare. So there you have it, The Shake Shack Burger is the Best in Town, and the TASTIEST BURGERS all across America are these types of Burgers, about 4-5 ounces, not too thick and cooked on a flat top grill. Basta.
Oh, what about the burgers at Steak’n Shake. Well, they get high marks. They are very tasty, good quality beef, cooked on a flat top grill. Get em.
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
BEST BURGER in TOWN …. SHAKE SHACK BURGER
“SORRY BLACK LABEL ….IT’S NOT YOU”
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke