Danny Meyer has provided the city with yet another transporting experience, and topped off the restoration of Madison Square Park with a very classy retro-Deco "Shake Shack," a silvery structure at the Southeast corner, right off Madison and 23rd. My partner and I luncheoned there yesterday--I think it opened on Friday.
You might have to be from the Midwest and be of a certain age, but he's managed to capture *exactly* what comprised a "great" burger in, say, Missouri (where he's from) in 1964 or so: the Shack Burger ($3.95) is an ample patty with tomato and Romaine in a super-soft, eggy bun, served in a waxed-paper bag so you can eat it without wearing the juices on your shirt. Fresh hot krinkle fries ($1.85), "Chicago" hot dogs (untried), and all sorts of frozen custard preparations. I'm not Mr. Dessert, but my partner had a "Concretion," which was about an 18-oz. plastic cup filled with frozen vanilla custard stirred with your choice of "topping"--he got Chocolate Truffle Cookie Dough. Excellent frozen custard, quite happily reminiscent of Custard Beach's wondrous concoction. Amazingly (given NYC's blue laws), Shake Shack also offers half-bottles of wine, from $12 to $24 (for Shafer Cabernet), and draught beers (Bud Light and Brooklyn Lager). Late-night summer hours "starting soon." There are charming square tables and chairs set about the Shack, near a gorgeous new fountain.
There's nothing like this place in the city. Anyone else already in love with the Shack?