Saturday, June 5, 2010

Black Shack Burgers

Black Shack Burgers opened in the Murray Hill neighborhood not too long ago, and with my friend Andrew being a HUGE fan of Shake Shack, three of us decided to pay a visit to the "competition." It was close to 90 degrees outside today, and the walk to the burger joint was just a little bit gross, but we had a nice surprise along the way. There was a street fair on Lexington Ave, and some random guy was handing out free sodas as advertising for Dr. Pepper. I'm the type of girl who generally stays far away from strange dudes that call out to passer-byes on the street, so I was going to ignore this fellow in the same way that I do all the others. Luckily, Andrew and Tiff are a bit more well-mannered (or maybe they just like free stuff more than I do) so we paused long enough to realize that no - he was NOT a psych patients who had just escaped from Bellevue Hospital, and was in fact giving away something useful.

It seems like I'm completely off-topic, but I can explain myself: like Shake Shack, Black Shack has a nice selection of milk shakes - none of which we sampled because we had our free Dr. Peppers to drink. In particular, their mint chocolate chip and white chocolate vanilla cherry flavors sounded pretty awesome, but they'll have to wait until next time.

At Black Shack, these are NOT gourmet burgers. Like Shake Shack, they're meant as fast food, and fit the budget of poor medical students who want something just a tiny bit more glamorous than McDonalds. I wasn't expecting anything exciting - other than getting a whole day's worth of saturated fat in one meal. Andrew decided to stick with basics, and ordered the regular hamburger. By basic, I mean really basic - it was pretty much only beef, onions, pickles, and ketchup. I didn't get a taste of his burger, but according to him, it needed more umami flavor. The meat patty was described as being a little too "lean," and "too firm" in texture. He also ordered the french fries, which weren't anything special. In all, the assessment was that everything needed "a little more grease."

On their menu, they state that all burgers are done "medium" if you don't specify a preference. When we took bites out of our own burgers though, we unanimously agreed that our beef patties were done more along the lines of "medium-well." I'm not going to complain, since I have no real desire to catch the 057H7 strain of E-coli, but I figured that this might explain why Andrew thought his burger was a bit on the "firm" side.

As for Tiff, she decided to go for the Black Shack Burger. This burger had the most toppings out of the three: mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. Since 3 out of these 6 "toppings" are sauces though, her burger wasn't any bigger than mine, and only a little bit bigger than Andrew's. As for the taste, it was deemed "alright."

I went for the Western Burger, which is topped with mayo, crispy onions, pickles, and BBQ sauce. I also opted to add mozzarella cheese, since I'm lucky enough to not be lactose intolerant. In the end, I thought that the BBQ sauce was a bit too mild. The flavor didn't really stand out, but it did leave me feeling a little thirsty afterwards. Maybe a bit TOO much of the umami? Like Andrew, I felt that the beef patty was a bit drier and firmer than I would have liked, and the bun was no longer "toasty" after having been wrapped up with the steam of the burger meat. The crispy onions were sufficiently crispy, but not good enough to save my opinion of the meal as a whole.

The prices were decent, considering that most things in Manhattan are oober expensive, but for the quality of food that we got, I wouldn't consider it that great of a deal. Andrew's hamburger was $5, Tiff's was $5.75, and mine was $5.25 before tax. Both of my buddies seemed to think that their food would have tasted yummier had everything been $1 cheaper, but I disagree. I think the food would have tasted better if we had gone to Shake Shack instead of Black Shack.

Overall rating: 3.5/10

1 comment:

  1. I read this before you sent it to me! I envy your metabolism! Keep up the good work and KEEP EATING! =p