So I get into NY at about 6:30 and check into a hotel that a friend of a friend told me about, The Gershwin on 27th and Park. The postcard I had of the place made it look swank and when I checked yesterday the cost was well within my range.

When I get into the lobby, I know something isn't right. Everything looks like was really cool…

in 1983

Walking into my room and I realize I'm in a hotel one step above hostel. I have a tv and a private bath, but that's where the amenities end. I wish I had my camera so I could take a pitcure of its ghettoness.

Oh well, I'm only here one night.

I work for a bit and decide I should get something to eat. I hit Seno's site and The Girl Who Ate Everything, but all of her stuff is about NJ these days and not of much help. By chance I look at the Shake Shack Alternative Map and realize I'm just a couple blocks from the infamous Shake Shack.


But anybody can just go to the Shake Shack. I mean, with this limited opportunity I really should put together my own test. Checking the map I see that NY Burger Company and The Burger Joint are only a couple blocks away. Everybody else is doing the burger test, right? It's like THE thing to do these days. 

I think to myself, this is a clique I belong in. Eating for knowledge. 

(I should point out that I ate 2.5 burgers this last weekend – That's a lot of ground beef. My stomach really doesn't need any more. but to stop now would be to admit defeat. Off to the shack!

I notice the weatherman is predicting on and off thunderstorms throughout the night. Rain? Pffft! I'm from Seattle, the land of rain! I disregard this silly man's notice.

As I leave the hotel, a few drops hit me. I notice right away that they are bigger drops than the ones I'm use to in Seattle, but I push on. When I get to the Shack there isn't much of a line… to order. The line to pickup seems pretty long though.

A few more drops. At this point I should point out that the shack is OUTSIDE. I didn't realize this from the web articles. No worries though, the shack has a pretty big overhang. I order a shack burger and fries. I thought about ordering a shake but I'm thinking I need to save some space for the next burger joint.

It starts to rain. I notice that the overhang is a mesh and provides no rain protection. Still lots of people in front of me. A bit concerning…
5 minutes later. It's raining harder. I don't even have a jacket. I notice a spot under the trees. It seems dry. I watch as others without umbrellas start getting wet. HA HA suckers I found a dry spot.

5 minutes later. More rain. Now wind. My spot is no longer dry. Still at least 20 people ahead of me. Other people are eating their burgers in the rain. I think these NY people are pretty determined. I think of Japan for some reason.

Another five minutes. The thunder has gotten pretty loud, but I can't see the lightning. Turns out there are a lot of tall buildings in NY. It's raining damn hard by this point. Lots of people still waiting. Some soaked. Some with umbrellas. I'm amazed at how many girls are waiting out in the rain for a burger. I think "there's no way in hell K would last out here", especially since she doesn't like eat red meat. My pride keeps me from asking to stand underneath a stranger's umbrella.

What pride?! It's pouring now. I ask a girl if I can use her umbrella with her. She's very nice and let's me. However, I'm still getting soaked. What do you discuss with a strange girl underneath her umbrella when you're waiting in the cold darkness for a burger and shake.

The topic of weather comes up.
WHAT AM I DOING? It's only 7 bucks worth of food that I'm going to write off anyway. But I can't give up now. I'm already wet. To leave now would be to admit failure. Now I'm determined. I'm not backing down if all these new yorkers don't!

My source of rain protection's order comes up and she leaves. There are only three of us left. I stick my head in through the little window just to keep it a little more dry. I wait another 2-3 minutes for my order. I take it and run, just in time to miss the WALK sign to cross the street. I wait in the rain for what feels like 10 minutes. I'm completely drenched at this point. There's a Quiznoes across the street with an awning over the sidewalk. I stand underneath and wait for a taxi.


After all this, there's no way I'm letting this burger get cold. I open the bag and start eating right there on the street, in the rain, under the awning.

It's a damn good burger, I have to say. It's not worth waiting 2 hours for, but it's damn good. It's cooked perfectly on a griddle, medium rare, and the fries are great too, even though I don't usually like the krinkle fries. I enjoy every bite but only eat a handful of fries.

To go home now would admit defeat. I'm on a mission for a burger to compare against and a beer. I hit the NY Burger Joint and get their Dallas burger. This is probably cheating because it has bbq sauce and onions. Whatever, I'm really in it for myself. Luckily the NY Burger Joint is inside. I get my burger, but can't find a beer. Oh well. back to the hotel.

I have to take all my clothes off to let them dry as EVERYTHING is soaked. Luckily I have brought a bunch of extra clothes.

I dig into my next burger and am immediately disappointed. It's nothing compared to the Shake Shake Burger. It's grilled dry but probably fine otherwise, but after the Shack it tastes bland and overdone. I eat maybe half of it before trashing it. The fries are a disappointment as well, soggy and bland.

If I was around tomorrow I might try another place, but I'm on the 6pm return out of Newark. It's probably a good thing as i don't think my stomach can take anymore ground beef.