33th and 7th Ave.
Distance from Shake Shack: 0.79 miles
Travel Time: 23 minutes
# of People in Line: 2
Decked out in full 50's dinner kitsch, Bruce's Burger tries to conjure up the good times of the care free suburbs in the middle of Midtown chaos. It's billed in neon as a drive-in, which of course is impossible considering it doesn't even butt onto a street, being tucked nicely into a shopping center by a K-Mart. The joke is, of course, on us.
But I wasn't there for aesthetics, I was there following a lead from the Chowhound boards, which had me excited at this "hidden" find. All illusions of burger bliss went out the window when I saw that neon sign, but I decided not to give up so quickly. It had a clean grill and a good looking crowd, so I placed an order for a cheeseburger and picked up this:
What on earth...are those jalapenos? Call me stupid, ignorant, and blind, but I didn't catch the writing on the wall, nor did I accidentally ask for some freaking spicy peppers on my sandwich. But there they were, a mound of pickled jalapeno which I thought twice about picking off before I just decided to go with and bit in. It wasn't terrible...
I'm sure there is some kind of precedent for jalapeno burgers, and if anyone can point me to the reason why I'd sure love to hear. Depending on your preference, the jalapeno is either brilliant or cloying and dominant, either way your mind will drift away from the one crucial part of the burger: the beef.
It's overcooked and dry. Charbroiling the burgers is perfectly acceptable cooking technique, and it does conjure up some truly fine memories of backyard days with the dad, but if done incorrectly it just leaves the beef too dry. Too much of the juice creeps out on to the grill and gets burned away, and all that was left was my stinging tongue and the absence of a beverage. And that's about as far from the Shake Shack as you can get.
A part of the Shake Shack Alternatives.