Posts Tagged ‘restaurant new york’

Eating out | Burgers in the park at the Shake Shack

6 June 2011

Shake Shack, the burger, hotdog, and shakes kiosk in Madison Square Park, has been around for a while and become a New York institution, but every time I go I feel a special tingling of excitement conjured from the days when it had just opened, some seven years ago; when the idea of finding good food in a park in New York was a novelty.

It also coincided with the time I fell in love with New York. After I moved here in 1999 and for a good five years, my heart stayed in Berlin; I longed to move back. Then I fell in love. It occurred as a form of contradiction, because if there ever was a reason to stay in New York, it was work, which involved long hours and insufficient pay – as publishing often will – but was always interesting, stimulating, and surrounded by colleagues who not only became friends but family in an uprooted city.

And yet. I started to love New York after I stopped working, when Leo was born. When I finally had the time to while away mornings on a bench outside our local coffee shop and spend lazy afternoons on Sheep Meadow, trudge to the remaining block of Little Italy for good olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar or picnic along the Hudson River at dusk.

Every time I go to Shake Shack I get a whiff of it all. The lines are ridiculously long and I don’t mind. Part of loving New York is loving that people will stand in line for a burger for 50 minutes; it would be disingenuous to be exasperated by that.

I’d like to be able to talk about the hotdogs and the ‘shroom burger, the concretes and sundaes, but I can’t, because I haven’t tried them. I always order the same thing: a shack burger, crinkle fries, perhaps a lemonade, and sometimes a vanilla shake if there’s someone to share it with. It’s still just as good, seven years on, and a perfect park lunch if there ever was one.

Shake Shack

Madison Square Park
Southeast corner nr. Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street

Open daily 11am – 11pm

(Go to the for other locations.)


Related posts

Eating out | Up a cobbled street to Vinegar Hill House

Eating out | Trip to the Balkans at Kafana

Eating out | Brunch at Blaue Gans

Eating out | Fall soba noodles at Sobakoh


Eating out | Up a cobbled street to Vinegar Hill House

19 May 2011

Vinegar Hill House lives on a narrow street that slants up from the East river, an unexpected cobbled block of low brick houses tucked between old factories at one end and uninspired housing towers at the other. It takes its name from the neighborhood, a small anachronistic sliver wedged between Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yards.

From the outside it’s hard to guess which of the houses is a restaurant; inside it’s very much the kind of place you’d hope to walk into. It’s busy but not crowded, friendly without being overbearing, and thoughtful but not overly contrived. The food is simple, seasonal, and mostly very good.

We had no trouble getting a table when we arrived for brunch at 11.30. I ate good scrambled eggs with ramps and a side of completely addictive maple-glazed bacon. Thomas liked the special, a thick corn pancake with pieces of chorizo topped with cream and jalapeno. Balthasar polished off the quiche, though I would have quibbled that it was a bit eggy with too few pieces of asparagus. Leo found the breakfast sandwich with country ham, fried egg, and pepper jelly a bit too sweet, and I was forced to agree (though he did have to finish it). Louise scavenged bits and pieces from everyone.

Then came one large sourdough pancake with pecan bourbon sauce and ricotta, and it would barely have survived a minute under our four-sided fork assault had not the creamy yogurt with homemade preserves accompanied by a granola bar arrived as a propitious diversion. It was a family brunch. It was lovely.

Vinegar Hill House

72 Hudson Avenue (nr. Water Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11201


Open Mon-Thu 6-11pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-11.30, Sun 5.30-11pm
Brunch Sat-Sun 11am-3.30pm


Related posts

Eating out | Brunch at Blaue Gans


%d bloggers like this: