Restaurant Review of Shake Shack – 86th St
By Laura Brown, NYU Grad Student
Address: 154 East 86th Street between Third and Lexington
Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00AM – 11:00PM
Outdoor Dining: Yes
Attire: Shorts and Flip-Flop approved.
Best For: A bite for lunch, quick evening meal, or late night crave.
Danny Meyer has bestowed to NoLIta, the Upper West Side, Miami, and even the Left Bank of France, American burger perfection. It seems only natural that another branch of Shake Shack should nestle into Upper East Side Manhattan on East 86th between Third and Lexington.
If one word could depict this art-nouveau locale, it would be desire. The long, curving line seems as much a fixture as the iconic stainless steel and lime striped interior. Half of the waiting is done outside, peering longingly through finger printed glass, the rest inside, the air sensually flavored with cooking beef.
However, for the beef-intolerant, the offerings of chicken hot-dogs and portabella cheeseburgers are also well worth the wait. The L.A. sized burgers come wrapped in waxy sheaths, sporting unnaturally colored condiments: neon green pickles and unnervingly rosy-red tomato slices.
There is a separate register line entirely dedicated to a quick hit of frozen delight. The flavors range from the familiar vanilla and chocolate to the experimental green tea, basil and mango. Though without a bar, the Shack offers a wide selection of beers and half-bottles of red and white wine.
The metallic table and benches as well as the outdoor seating reflect Shake Shack’s original concept: a modernization of the traditional American picnic. Shake Shack puts a fresh face on fast food and brings an American classic to new zenith of cool.