Faith Is An “Island”



Island Burgers & Shakes | 766 9th Ave. (bet. 51st & 52nd Sts.) | 212.307.7934 | islandburgersandshakesnyc.com | | | |

BEING A FREELANCER MEANS I work most of the time from home. Doing PHUDE is usually the only opportunity I have to get out of my apartment, much less out of my neighborhood. That conversely means that on the rare occasion my freelance work requires me to leave the neighborhood—as it did this past Monday—it is an almost a guarantee that I’d use the opportunity to get some Dining Out done as well.

Seeking suggestions of where to eat in the Midtown West area, where I would be dropping off some software, I was told/reminded of Totto Ramen and VYNL, as well as Island Burgers & Shakes, I place I had been dying to try for almost a decade.

So Island it was, and impressed I was to find an design-wise unassuming strip of a restaurant space, with the nostalgic charm of an old school NYC diner inside and out, with sparse touches of “island”-inspired visual touches.

The menu, conversely, is a much more thought-out affair, with a list of unique and intersting burgers alone numbering almost into the seventies, even divided into separate categories such as Mild, Hot, and A Little Kick. I am drawn to the Hobie’s burger—in the “Decadent” category—which comes with with an au poivre (black pepper cream) sauce, blue cheese, sautéed onions, and bacon, served on sourdough toast.

Lucky enough, while I waited for my Hobie’s, two fellow diners, Saryn(sp?) and Cheeza(sp?), were kind enough to offer me a try of their cheese fries, properly gooey, crispy, and tasty. I had chosen not to get a side of fries myself, deciding instead to save my gut-busting for a malted black & white shake.

Once my burger did show up, I realized I had tricked myself; as explained in my present list of Favorite NYC Burgers, I usually, at a new burger spot, sample the burger pretty much unencumbered—maybe a slice of cheese—to get a really thorough taste of the burger. Not that the Hobie’s wasn’t chock full of flavor, with the kick of black pepper, the sweet aromatic of sautéed onions, the smokiness of bacon, and the salty, pungent, creaming bitterness of melted blue cheese. The perfectly medium-rare burger was a joy to taste with all these flavors.

This particular burger only suffered architecturally. With so much going on, I quickly figured out that it would be near impossible to eat by hand, its innards barely maintaining their composition under the slightest pressure. And possibly since it took at least 7 minutes of picture-taking before I actually tried to eat the burger, the edge of the sourdough toast was dry and hard, causing me to pretty much destroy the integrity of the burger try to even navigate it with a fork and steak knife.

I saw several other customers with simpler burgers—on standard hamburger buns—and they seem to be getting along just fine if not more. That made me more excited to eventually return and try a simple cheeseburger on a simple bun and see if Island Burger & Shakes puts as much thought and love into just their burgers as they do their menu.

And here’s hoping that my next outdoor client meeting is on the Upper West Side, a quick crosstown bus ride for me, and where their second outpost is located.


Island Burgers & Shakes

Island Burgers & Shakes

Island Burgers & Shakes

Island Burgers & Shakes


Island Burgers & Shakes

Island Burgers & Shakes


Hobie's Burger | Island Burgers & Shakes

Hobie's Burger | Island Burgers & Shakes

Hobie's Burger | Island Burgers & Shakes

Hobie's Burger | Island Burgers & Shakes

Hobie's Burger | Island Burgers & Shakes


Bun Apple Tea!

KAC


Island Burgers and Shakes on Urbanspoon


Island Burgers & Shakes | 766 9th Ave. (bet. 51st & 52nd Sts.) | 212.307.7934 | islandburgersandshakesnyc.com | | | |



wine.com