It’s tantamount to blasphemy for a food-obsessed New Yorker to admit this, but I’ve never eaten at the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. The lines have been monstrous every time I’ve stopped by, and after spending ten minutes or so in a barely moving queue, I’ve thrown in the towel and walked away. There was no way the burgers could be worth that kind of stress.
However. I’m willing to admit I might’ve been wrong.
My friend Nicole had an extra ticket to last Wednesday afternoon’s Mets game, and I couldn’t turn it down: I wasn’t working, it was a perfect day for baseball (warm sun, cool breeze, clear sky), and I’d been drooling over write-ups of the food options at the new stadium—technically named Citi Field, but never referred to as anything but Shea by most fans—for months now.
We swung by the Shake Shack outpost at the bottom of the third inning and were back in our seats, burgers, fries, and beers in hand, by the top of the fifth. Given that it took some time to get back to the nosebleed section and that both teams were blazing through those innings, it really wasn’t a bad wait. And, after my first bite, I realized that it would’ve been time well-spent even at twice that long.
Nicole swore that the burgers from Madison Square Park were marginally better, but as I had nothing to use as a comparison, I had no complaints whatsoever. The juicy meat was cooked to medium and just held together as I took my first bite. Topped with tangy “Shack sauce,” melted American cheese, the freshest, most real-tasting tomato I’ve had this season so far, and a single piece of crisp lettuce on a perfectly toasted roll, it was the best burger I’ve had in ages.
A single costs a dollar more at the stadium ($5.75) than it does at the park, but the atmosphere can’t be beat.
12301 Roosevelt Ave.