Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Black Shack Is Goin' Way Back

A true burger craze has been taking place in New York City for the past few years...and it still appears to be going strong. There are blogs that are written only about burgers. There are gourmet burgers costing upwards of $25 to $50. Yet, somehow, no one is getting sick of them!

When I spotted Black Shack, a new burger place that opened a few months ago near Grand Central, I couldn't imagine what these owners could to do to differentiate themselves from the dozens of other burger joints in NYC. But, after trying it out last week with AM and SN, it's safe to say that they found their niche: a kitschy atmosphere and menu, delicious and inexpensive food, and a friendly staff.

The decor of the restaurant feels a little bit retro, with an old-fashioned menu board and chrome and turquoise touches, and a little bit cozy, with exposed brick, dark wood furniture, and dim lighting.

One of the nice things about Black Shack is that they offer the same toppings (or fixin's as they're called in the South!) for all different levels of meat/non-meat eaters. They are available for regular burgers, chicken, mozzarella sandwiches, and tofu sandwiches.

I decided to order the Western chicken sandwich. We asked how the chicken was cooked, and were told that they poached it rather than grilled or fried. Definitely a different technique...and one that paid off! The chicken was moist, tender and seasoned really nicely. It was then topped with a delicious BBQ sauce, crispy onions, and pickles. This sandwich was a total mess to eat, requiring A LOT of napkins, but well worth it.

The three of us decided to split two orders of fries...one regular and one sweet potato. Both were crispy, piping hot, and gone in minutes!

Black Shack also has another fantastic feature...a fountain soda with unlimited refills! They feature a really funny collection of sodas: 7Up, Dr. Pepper (OK, those two are normal), RC Cola, Diet Rite, Stewart's Root Beer, Bosco Chocolate Soda, and Orange. It added to the kitschy retro vibe and was really fun to try a few out. Milkshakes are also available, and definitely on my "must order" list for my next visit.

The owner/manager came by to see how we liked everything, and he certain got all smiles from us! When chatting with the girl at the register, in addition to learning about the chicken being poached, we found out that while it was pretty empty when we were there for dinner, it is absolutely packed for lunch during the work week. And I can see why. I'd choose a sandwich from Black Shack over a standard deli sandwich any day of the week!

Black Shack
320 Lexington Avenue
b/t 38th & 39th Streets
website
Menu Pages listing