Black Shack is Not a Destination Burger, But Will Work Out Just Fine For the Area
Considering how burger obsessed NYC is, it still amazing to me that Black Shack (the new burger spot on Lexington btw. 37+38th) managed to fly under the radar all this time. Fork in the Road broke the news on Wednesday, and yesterday I headed over to check the place out. The whole thing is less surprising once you see the joint. With only a paper “Black Shack” sign in the window, it would be real easy to walk right by this place and not notice it. Black Shack is owned by the same folks that opened 67 Burger in Fort Greene- but unlike that place, which has 14 different toppings and a “beer milkshake”, Black Shack is a completely pared-down old-school fast-food burger joint.
Check out what they’re serving, after the jump.
The menu is pretty simple, and cheap. A burger ($4.50) comes with onions, pickles, and ketchup… or, for 75 cents more you can get the Black Shack Burger (which also includes mustard, lettuce, tomato and mayo.) The third option is the Western Burger ($4.75) which comes with BBQ sauce, crispy onions, and pickles. You can add cheese to any burger for 50 cents.
I have started to subscribe to the less is more stance taken by A Hamburger Today. So we tried the regular burger + cheese ($5) instead of the Black Shack Burger (no thank you lettuce and tomato.) It’s a 4 ounce burger, and they’ll only cook it medium or well done… and with this meat it’s probably a good idea. I’m not saying it’s not quality meat, but if you are expecting Shake Shack you’re going to be very disappointed.
The patty is fast food burger thin, but they still manage to get some pink in there (which is nice) and so it’s juicy, borderline greasy (the toasted bun, which is probably buttered, adds to that.) Nothing special, but certainly not bad. The biggest complaint people will have is the burger size. At 4 ounces it’s on the small side, but for the price in Midtown it’s not terrible. And, you can add a second patty for $2.
I was a big fan of the crispy onions that came on the Western Burger, which reminded me of the dregs you find at the bottom of an onion loaf (delicious, delicious dregs.) Their BBQ sauce is fine, if unmemorable, so if you’re not into BBQ sauce you can add crispy onions to any burger for 50 cents (although it’s cheaper to just order the Western Burger with no BBQ sauce on it.)
The french fries ($2.50) and sweet potato fries ($3.00) were both fine for fast fries, although the portions are not huge.
I did like their drink options, which kind of solidified their pared-down old-school fast-food mentality. Not only did they have RC Cola, Bosco, and Sunkist, but also lemonade and fresh iced tea, making a delicious Arnold Palmer possible! And you get free refills for your $1.95.
They also have sandwiches made with chicken, tofu (?), or fresh mozzarella… but I’ll leave those to somebody else.
I think Black Shack will have an equal number of lovers and haters. With Five Guys, Goodburger, HB Burger, and Shake Shack offering a slightly (and in some cases more than slightly) higher quality burger, Black Shack is not going to replace your favorite. But for those of you who work in the area, it will be nice to finally have a place where a decent fast food cheeseburger, fries, soda will cost you under $10.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place will say.)
- The price is right. It’s nice to be able to score a cheeseburger, fries and a drink for under $10
- I like shoestrings… and they’ve got sweet potato fries!
- And unlimited refills on the drinks are nice too. (Hello Arnold Palmer!)
- Despite being thin, and grilled, the burger isn’t dried out
- Maybe when they get their beer license they’ll start selling the beer milkshake!
- Hello crispy onions!
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place will say)
- The burger is more greasy than juicy.
- I love 67 Burger and this place isn’t anything like it! (Although the meat is exactly the same)
- For fast food it kind of takes awhile (although they’re new, so I’m sure eventually they’ll work through the kinks)
- Five Guys is way better, and there is one opening on 3rd Ave. and 43rd Street very soon
Black Shack Burger, 320 Lexington Ave. (btw. 38+39th), 212-213-0042