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With waits of 40 minutes or more for a hamburger, thank goodness Danny Meyer opened an indoor Upper West Side outpost of his popular Madison Square Park . Like most food phenoms, has drawn “Yelps” from obsessive fans (“Insanely delicious!!!!!”) and equally obsessive detractors (“The is Port-Authority bad—not worth the wait”).
For the uninitiated—are there any?—a shackburger ($4.95) is crafted from a combo of brisket, chuck and sirloin, all seared to juicy perfection and stuffed in a charred bun with tomato, lettuce, cheese and Shack sauce (mayo and “secret” ingredients). The burger’s popularity is due to two items that have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but which are key to

Photo by Daniel S. Burnstein

Photo by Daniel S. Burnstein

its über-goodness: salt and fat. The crisp crinkle-cut fries ($2.75) are excellent, too, but ask for ones piping hot from the fryer. This points out a failing of the Upper West Side Shake Shack. As you wait—a mere nine minutes when I went—you see the fries lined up, cooling off before they’re put on your tray. And the place has all the atmosphere of a Chipotle, with blue-latex gloved workers bustling in front of you. Still, when it’s 20 degrees out, and I’m craving a shackburger, I’m not complaining.

Shake Shack
366 Columbus Ave. (near West 77th Street)

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