I Hate the Mac Snack Wrap: A Rant

The Big Mac will always be better.

2nd Mar 2010

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I should apologize in advance for this fast food rant. I've never indulged in such a tirade before, but I simply couldn't resist this one. Regularly scheduled content will return later this week, I promise.

The Mac Snack wrap is the stupidest, most idiotic, dumbest fast food creation I've ever seen. It purports to be a Big Mac in flour tortilla, except it betrays logic and any culinary...

Idea Lab: Sliders

How do you make the best mini burgers?

19th Jan 2010

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First things first: there's something to clear up about " sliders ." They are not mini hamburgers. Along with Adam Kuban over at A Hamburger Today, I actually sort of hate mini hamburgers and the implied cuteness . Sliders are a different beast, and not cute. They are compact and small, yes, but they are also haunted by sauteed onion, which they are cooked on top of to create a sort of...

Best of 2008: Hamburgers of the Year

3rd Feb 2009

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Since the beginning of the site, Blake and I have had an unabashed love affair with the burger.  Though often neglected for more highfalutin fare, we've found inspiration in the ground meat patty.  Perhaps we loved it so much because ground beef was cheapest kind of meat in the grocery store when we were poor and living in Manhattan.  There was hardly a week that went by that we didn't have...

The Smash Technique and Skinny Burger Perfection

How to make the best burger at home.

11th Dec 2008

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You know the burger obsession is going off the deep end when semi-serious discussion takes place over the burger making skills of a cartoon .  Please stick with me.  This cartoon happened feature J. Wellington Wimpy, the burger-loving sidekick of Popeye.  Hamburger America author George Motz found this clip and was there to comment on Wimpy's burger making skills: "Notice how even in...

The Quick-Flipped Fat Burger

Keep that spatula at hand.

26th Aug 2008

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At first everything was fine. Taking a cue from Adam Kuban , we decided to make our own onion rings instead of the normal burger pairing of fries. The recipe was taken from Simply Recipes , which soaked the onions in buttermilk and coated them in flour and cornmeal.

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We fried them in canola oil set to 350 degrees for a few minutes, until nice and golden brown.  We stashed them i...

Why Wylie Dufresne Made Me Eat American Cheese

21st Apr 2008

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“American cheese (processed cheese)”
-Wylie Dufresne, describing the type of cheese he likes on his burger

I haven’t exactly made my peace with American cheese .  I still don’t like it cubed, melted in grilled cheese, or laid across a deli sandwich.  I’m not that into reliving my childhood and, really, actual cheese always tastes better.  I thought that was the end of it...

They Came, I Ground, We Ate: Which Cuts Make for the Best Burger?

How to make a better burger at home.

21st Feb 2008

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Grinding meat may seem like an exercise for those with too much time on their hands, or those overly devoted to doing things from scratch--which I am.  But I'm here to argue that there are more compelling and more logical reasons for doing so: for one, the meat will taste better.  You'll also know where it omes from, unlike with a styrofoam tray from the grocery store, which is likely the su...

On New York Apartments, Grilling, and the Aussie Burger

31st May 2007

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By some miracle, my girlfriend and I have recently moved into a beautiful, spacious, freshly painted apartment with a backyard, a washer/dryer, and a dishwasher: three luxuries that most New Yorkers offer up onto the pyre of compromise very early on.  It’s simply assumed: you won’t have those things.  You live in the city because the people that live here are interesting, and there are o...

Schnack: Tiny Burgers, CNN

6th Jul 2006

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It saddens me to point out that Schnack has closed.  What is detailed below is a great restaurant.  Hopefully they will reopen someday.

Like many, many people this week, Blake and I had better things to do.  He's living the good life traveling around Northern Europe right now, eating voisilmapulla and trying to get around in Estonia with only a passable pronunciation of three words.  A...

Shake Shack Alternatives Day 4: The Promised Land

26th May 2006

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I'd eaten the good and the bad , the big and the small , and paid dearly as a result.  The quest had gotten serious, and I was ready to admit defeat and bow at the altar of the shack if I had to eat another huge, dry burger.  A true alternative to the Shake Shack seemed like an idea too good to be true.

But like all quests, the best inevitably came last, far away, in a place...

Burgers & Cupcakes

Two things people like to wait in line for. Again.

25th May 2006

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Burgers and Cupcakes
458 9th Ave, at 36th st.
Distance from Shake Shack: 0.94 miles
Travel Time: 27 minutes

of People in Line: 9

Burgers and Cupcakes is humorous only to New Yorkers, who can't help but smile at the gall of building a restaurant that caters solely to the big apple's idiocy to stand in line for the most obscenely simple things.  I was spurred to undertake the odysse...

Pop Burger

25th May 2006

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Pop Burger
60 9th Ave, b/w 14th and 15th.
Distance from Shake Shack: 0.81 miles
Travel Time: 24 minutes

of People in Line: 5

This place is way too hip for its own good, and you could walk by its meatpacking district location a couple of times before you noticed that it’s not just a club. In fact, there’s just a tiny blue “pop” stuck on the door and that’s all--incognito i...

New York Burger

23rd May 2006

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New York Burger Co.
303 Park Ave. South
Travel Time: 2 minutes

of People in Line: 4

When the grease fumes clear on this little quest for Shake Shack Alternatives , there is really only one place that deserves the mantle, and that is the New York Burger Co.  A block away from the shack, NY Burger Co. provides the shortest walk, shortest line, and shortest wait, which all transla...

Shake Shack Alternatives Day 2: Big and Beefy

23rd May 2006

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As the quest continues , the well reviewed alternatives start disappearing, and things get a little more treacherous.  Big, greasy, disgusting, messes sprout up at every corner, making me want head back defeated into the line of shame at Shake Shack for some real food.  But thanks to some random posting on Chowhound , I was given a little guidance.  Today's search for the best altern...

Shake Shack Alternatives Day 3: A Day for the Lazy

23rd May 2006

Most of the places we've reviewed for our Alternatives to...

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Most of the places we've reviewed for our Alternatives to Shake Shack extravaganza of grease have been within a short walking distance of the Shack.  But few would allow you to order your food, receive your food, and still leave you enough time to walk back to Madison Square Park to enjoy the grub the real way.

Fortunately,...

Eisenberg''s Sandwich Shop

23rd May 2006

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Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop
174 Fifth Ave, at 22nd st.
Distance from Shake Shack: 0.05 miles
Travel Time: 2 minutes

of People in Line: 7

You want close to Shake Shack?  How about half a block from Madison Square Park?  Charmingly vintage, Eisenberg’s is run by a big friendly guy who takes every order and scrawls it on a paper bag, sending it down to the far end of the restaurant...

Bruce''s Burger

23rd May 2006

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Bruce’s Burger
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 t...

American Burger & Co.

23rd May 2006

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American Burger
100 W 32nd St
Distance from Shake Shack: 0.53 miles
Travel Time: 16 minutes

of People in Line: 3

Once I'd scanned both New York Magazine's and Village Voice's online restaurant section a few times, it was time to delve into some of the less charted and less proofread parts of the web.  That usually involves a good Google scan and then devolves into hour lon...

The Burger Joint

22nd May 2006

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The Burger Joint
241 Third Ave.
Distance from Shake Shack: 0.33 miles
Travel Time: 11 minutes

of People in Line: 4

Not to be confused with its definite-article-less famous namesake, Burger Joint , which is famously "hidden" in the Le Parker Meridien, this joint is just a short jaunt over from Madison Square Park on 3rd Avenue and 20th Street and is home to some serious sliders....

Blue 9 Burger

22nd May 2006

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Blue 9 Burger
92 Third Ave
Distance from Shake Shack: 0.61 miles
Travel Time: 18 minutes

of People in Line: 0

Of all the burgers around the area, this one probably comes the closest to replicating the style of the Shake Shack.  They are both in the same vein as the West Coast burger staple, In-N-Out Burgers, which are hyper-fresh and vegetable laden.  Everything is made to order,...

Beating the Waiting Game: Alternatives to the Shake Shack

22nd May 2006

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I dream of Shake Shack.  That beacon of irresistible American fare starts simmering in my brain around noon, when I can begin to smell the delectable combination of sirloin and brisket, the potato bun, the perfectly proportioned fresh ingredients, and that secret sauce.  We all have our favorite lunch time spots, the local place around the corner, and this one is mine.  Being just two block...

The Paupered Chefs Attend an Art Brut Concert at Bowery Ballroom and Make Beer Shakes and Gourmet Cheeseburgers Before the Show

Yes, you read right: beer shakes

9th Apr 2006

We asked Schnack what the beer shake recipe was, and they said they use 3 oz. of ice cream mixed with 3 oz. of dark beer.  We went with the cheapest vanilla we could find and a six pack of McSorley's ale, which is pretty cheap and basically tasty.  On second thought, a dark stout might have been the better choice--Guiness is practically a milkshake anyway.  The carbonation in our version made i...