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The Shake Shack in Madison Square Park has its die-hard fans, but unlike at the other locations around the city, when the weather gets frigid, patrons are kind of screwed. Sure, there are heat lamps, but it’s just not as fun eating a burger with your coat, hat, and mittens on. A reasonable alternative, however, has presented itself. Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen recently opened its second New York City branch in a cavernous, 4,800-square-foot space at 23 East 23rd Street (212-233-1025), selling, much like Shake Shack, burgers, fries, and shakes, plus sloppy joes and macaroni and cheese.
We popped in for a quick visit over the weekend. You order at the counter, and then the food is brought to your table mere minutes later. We opted for the Schnipper’s Classic Burger, which featured a thin beef patty (a Pat LaFrieda blend, at that), plus lots of melted cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, and a mayo-based sauce, all on a soft, squishy bun. The patty was juicy enough and the arugula tasted quite fresh: a decent, filling snack, though maybe a little overpriced at $7.
We also got the $6 Chick Filet sandwich, which was composed of a crispy, breaded chicken filet, plus pickle slices and the same mayonnaisey sauce. Juicy and tender, reminiscent of both Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich. Not bad, but not necessarily adding anything new to the culinary equation.
All in all, if you’re looking for fast-food fare and don’t want to patronize one of the mega chains, Schnipper’s is a decent option. Service is speedy, and while the grub won’t necessarily convert Shake Shack devotees, at least the massive dining room is warm and toasty.