Dish No. 60: Cheeseburger at Shake Shack
Welcome to 100 Dishes to Eat Now, Fork in the Road's handy list of some of our favorite dishes -- old standbys and new finds alike -- compiled daily.
Today's Pick: The cheeseburger ($4.25) at Shake Shack.
The Shake Shack cheeseburger is a classic of Americana in the heart of the city. Even if you prefer giant, bloody, pub-style burgers, you must admit that the Shake burger is a paragon of its restrained form, a compact patty of juicy, medium-cooked meat plied with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle, slotted neatly into a squishy potato bun -- buttered and griddled -- that is somehow both resilient enough to hold up under the beef-juice onslaught, and soft enough to practically dissolve in your mouth into a whisper of butter and starch.
And then there is the cheese, which is the element that makes the sandwich sing. This is yellow American cheese, unreconstructed, not pretending to be anything else -- a salty, perfectly melted goo that tastes like childhood, or what you wish you were allowed to eat in your childhood. A Shake Shack burger is similar in style to the West Coast's In-N-Out burger, but more substantial and far, far superior.
For dessert -- frozen custard, a creamy cross between soft-serve and ice cream. Today, the flavor is blueberry coffee cake, the blue-purple custard topped with blueberries and sugary crumbs.
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