Food

Dish No. 60: Cheeseburger at Shake Shack

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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.


Next: Survey the entire countdown so far …

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Previously in the countdown:
Dish No. 100: Zaragoza Grocery’s Flor de Calabaza Quesadilla
Dish No. 99: No. 7 Sub Shop’s General Tso’s Tofu Sandwich
Dish No. 98: Nigerian Goat Stew From Baku
Dish No. 97: The Captain’s Daughter From Saltie
Dish No. 96: Bun Bo Hue From Thanh Da
Dish No. 95: The Beauty From Mile End
Dish No. 94: Potato, Egg, and Provolone on a Roll at Torrisi Italian Specialties
Dish No. 93: The Terrine Board at the Breslin Bar and Dining Room
Dish No. 92: Sausage and Egg Breakfast at La Bonbonniere
Dish No. 91: Roasted Carrots at Porchettta

Dish No. 90: Spicy Miso Ramen at Ramen Setagaya
Dish No. 89: Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie From First Prize Pies
Dish No. 88: Brown Butter, Corn, and Mushroom Linguine at Buttermilk Channel
Dish No. 87: Katsudon at Ennju
Dish No. 86: Fried Chicken With Two Sides at Soul Fixins
Dish No. 85: Fried Lamb Intestines at El Quinto Pino
Dish No. 84: Kunafa From Nablus Sweets
Dish No. 83: Potato Flatbread at Sahadi’s
Dish No. 82: Chicken-Fried Chicken Livers at Cornbread Diner
Dish No. 81: Taleggio, Broccoli Rabe, and Sausage Panini at Bocca Lupo

Dish No. 80: Hamburger at M. Wells in Long Island City
Dish No. 79: Vanilla Malted at Brooklyn Farmacy
Dish No. 78: Seafood Combo With Hot Sauce From Randazzo’s Clam Bar
Dish No. 77: Fried Ipswich Clams at Ed’s Lobster Bar
Dish No. 76: Banh Uot Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork and Noodles) at Co Ba
Dish No. 75: Schiacciata con l’Uva at Sullivan Street Bakery
Dish No. 74: Cornish Pasty at Myers of Keswick
Dish No. 73: Baklava at Güllüoglu
Dish No. 72: Sauerkraut Noodles at 8th Avenue Noodles
Dish No. 71: The Super Heebster at Russ & Daughters

Dish No. 70: Grilled Octopus at Thistle Hill Tavern
Dish No. 69: Firefly Squid at Momokawa
Dish No. 68: Chicken Mole Enchiladas at Tulcingo Del Valle
Dish No. 67: Fish ‘n’ Chips at Sel de Mer
Dish No. 66: Whole Grilled Striped Bass at Okeanos
Dish No. 65: Spinach Pie at Paradis To-Go
Dish No. 64: Frisée aux Lardons With Tripe at Má Pêche
Dish No. 63: Pickle Dog at Bark Hot Dogs
Dish No. 62: ‘Cue Coriander Bacon at Fatty ‘Cue
Dish No. 61: No. 12 Sandwich at Press 195