Sunday, April 02, 2006

love shack, baby

two dress down friday'd business guys pull up at the curb next to me and hop out of a cab. one looks at his watch and the other one sprints to the already significant line that has formed outside the shake shack in madison square park. when the second man and i amble up and join the first guy, he points to his watch, nodding and grinning like the cat who caught the canary, "see? 11:30." i'd felt silly arriving for lunch before noon, but no worries, i didn't get my food until 12:22 p.m., a perfectly respectable time to dig in.

" who has time for this?" the man behind me snarked to his girlfriend, both of them on a strict one hour lunch break. and i am wondering the same. who but me, with my underfilled work schedule can wait an hour for her food? and as i am eating, the line is now twice as long as it was. by 1:15 the line is snaking around the curved paths of the park. the people at the back have a two hour wait ahead of them; maybe fridays are slow at their firms?

don't get me wrong, this food is terrific. i got a "shake shack burger" (which was hard for me, since it comes with special sauce and i am a true blue mustard and ketchup on my burger gal), an order of fries, and a black and white milkshake. i ordered nearly perfectly. next time, i'll get a double burger (i could use the protein, yo), share the fries with a friend (note to self: find friend who can go on midday food excursions), and stick with the divine black and white.

i went to the shake shack once before, a year or so ago and got a chocolate peanut butter concrete ( i was a vegetarian, so had to pass on the burgers). at the time i had never heard of a concrete, and was mystified but its solidity and richness. now i have been to the midwest and eaten at a dairy queen and the famous ted drewes in st. louis, so i am like a pro, or whatever. for this reason, i felt comfortable moving on to the traditional shake, and i was not disappointed. it was crazy creamy and rich and the small size was totally reasonable; i didn't feel like barfing at the end.

it was a beautiful day--68 degrees and sunny, and i had nowhere to be. i'd walked over the brooklyn bridge, and stood behind a dog on line. i was reading a good book, and getting in some good nyc eavesdropping, so all was well. but for you regular people, with regular lives, i am not sure a 2 hour wait is reasonable. the burgers are really good, as are the "probably fried in lard" fries, but i am not sure it's worth, say, losing your job over.

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