May 5, 2007

Shake Shack, Lombardi's, and Stuff in Chinatown

[Update (5/11/07): Not that anyone thinks I'm dead, but I just want you to know that I WILL update soon! I don't like to leave my site stagnant for so long, it's just that this week has been kind of busy. I must have four entries worth of material to write. Or two really long entries. Anyhoo, please stay tuned.]

No matter how many burgers I eat, the top spot is still taken by the shack of the shake. And by that I mean The Shake Shack, the hamburger stand that everyone loves to hate, or loves to love, or happily queues in front of for 45 minutes for the honor of eating their easily snarf-able lightly griddled bun-hugged beef patties. Why all this madness? Why?

shack burger
shack burger, oh dear god

Because. These burgers are bits of heaven reincarnated on our pitiful hate-filled earth as divine combinations of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. And by that I mean I have no freakin' clue if it's nutritionally balanced in any way (I think it's safe to say that it's not), but it tastes awesome. And that's all that matters when you're mad at the world and want to get away from it all without numbing yourself with alcohol or illegal substances that enter the body through injection or snorting. (Just so you know, I am very much alcohol and drug-free. All I need to worry myself with are the fat globules constantly floating through my blood and tissues! Yes!)

I ate it

How could a simple lettuce leaf and slice of tomato look so perfect? So fresh? So pristine? As though they were dabbed with morning dew? Were they touched by angels? YES. ANNGEEELLLLS. And the yellow processed cheese substance, flowing into the bumpy crevices of the meat, gripping onto the slightly charred surface like a baby to its mother, or a face-hugging alien to a...face? DELICIOUUSSSS. And the slightly pink meat, mild juiciness held in by a thin meat coagulated crust, bursting with the tongue-tingling flavor of sodium and cattle? I LOOOVEE YEWWWW.


And the fries aren't bad either.

custard of the day

The custard, in this case coconut chocolate chip, was also good. It came out of the shack strangely melted, but I overlooked this small problem because it wasn't like I had a choice. I'd prefer that it be more frozen to give it, you know, the more solid quality that separates ice cream and custards from being milkshakes, but it was creamy and dense enough for me to forgive that it really was just an ice cream-y dessert mid-transformation into a milkshake. Which is why you should probably just get a milkshake, something that Shake Shake makes very well.

Get a burger. Get a shake. Be overcome with the tastiness and surge in body fat percentage. I wouldn't advice waiting 45 minutes to get a taste of Shake Shack (15 minutes perhaps, for I am very lazy), but when it's good it's really good. ...Or rather, if you've eaten a bunch of mediocre burgers in the past, it's really good. I haven't eaten there enough times to have it when it's bad. Or to know if it's bad.

Ahhhh, Shake Shack...

And this is where I talk about other stuff


Lombardi's has been on my "to eat" list for a long time. I have no good reason for not having eaten there earlier, considering that I've passed it innumerable times on my walks between NYU and my former Financial District-located dorm. I'm just lazy. Yeah. Surely you figured that out by now.

So when Nick suggested that we eat out somewhere involving thin rounds of dough topped with smashed tomatoes and plops of mozzarella (I think this is called a "pizza"), I commanded that we go to Lombardi's. Then I wouldn't be alone in saying, "Mm, this pizza is awesome", or "Mm, this sucks." I hoped for the former.

half white, half regular with garlic and pancetta
giant pizza

The two of us comfortable split a 8-slice large pie, half white and half regular with pancetta and garlic. Is it alarming that I don't find my consumption of four slices at all alarming? I really didn't. Why did I eat that much pizza? Because it was really awesome. Duh.

Update (5/26): I only just realized that I must've fucked up this entry and accidentally cut off a large chunk of it during a later edit. I don't have an older version of this entry, so guess it unceremoniously ends here. SORRY. UM.

Posted by roboppy at 2:37 AM

Tags: burgers, Chinatown, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, hamburgers, ice cream, Lombardi's, Madison Square Park, pizza, pizzeria, Shake Shack, XO Cafe and Grill


You forgot Tristan's birthday? How could you? He's cute! Heheh. :P

That being said now I crave burger and other meaty things.

It's been so hot here (88 F but feels like 97 F according to that a shake sounds absolutely perfect.

Posted by: Mahar at May 5, 2007 5:12 AM [#]

Eventhough my stomach is filled with a pizza the size of a small baby your Shake Shack shots made my stomach gurgle. So what are the plans now that you're finished with higher education, more higher education?

Posted by: Alison at May 5, 2007 9:17 AM [#]

Tristan, please accept Robyn's best wishes, she's the bestest!

Posted by: Marcia at May 5, 2007 11:55 AM [#]

Congrats on your graduation! What are you planning on doin next other than a nice summer off? or are you going to take a summer off?

Posted by: Wei at May 5, 2007 1:31 PM [#]

congratulations! man, you're done with school forever.

Posted by: susannah at May 5, 2007 3:05 PM [#]

I'm having a problem uploading to Flickr too (via email)
It's a first for me :(
So where's the big report on the CHOCOLATE SYMPOSIUM?
Did you go Gurl?
Will we get it? soon?
waiting with baited breath..whatever that is?

Posted by: ParisBreakfasts at May 5, 2007 3:47 PM [#]

Ohhhh Shake Shack. I still dream of that burger I ate there. Why did I waste valuable stomach space at that bagel place when I could have gotten another SHAKE SHACK CHEESEBURGER?! =( Also, that beef belly stew looks like a plate full of happiness. Congratulations on graduating! Now bring your newly degree awarded self to the west coast!

Posted by: Jeanne at May 5, 2007 4:01 PM [#]

Congrats on graduating! :D You're finished with your formal education...unless you want to do more schooling? I dunno.

You wanna go to Grom on Monday afternoon? I'm really planning on going there around 12:40 or so...

Posted by: Tina at May 5, 2007 6:28 PM [#]

Congrats on finishing school!

Posted by: yoko at May 5, 2007 7:27 PM [#]

I know you didn't care much for the ice cream, but right now you've got me craving for chinese boiled sesame ball desserts with mochi-like dumpling. Shame on me, I'm chinese. I really should know the name for this dessert. Anyways, I would pay $50 for a pint of ice cream that flavor. YUMMMMM....

Posted by: Steamy Kitchen at May 5, 2007 7:28 PM [#]

Mahar: I know, it was very evil of me! The has been burned INTO MAH SKULL!

97 = too hot! That's ice cream weather. And "cover self with ice" weather.

Alison: No more edumuhcation, just SLEEP!!! :D :D :D

Marcia: :D Thanks for backing me up!

Wei: I dunno! I would like a summer off, but I may start working! Or not! Or maybe I WILL ACTUALLY WORK OUT AND LOSE SOME POUNDAGE? Anything can happen...

Susannah: Yessss, and I do not feel at all prepared for the real world!

Carol: Yup, I went! I don't think I'll have much of a write up...I didn't take as many photos as last year (they had an actual PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER this year). Oh, they videotaped everything for a webcast, methinks? Also, I didn't eat much chocolate. They gave me a lot and I, gave a lot away, hehe. It was fun though, of course!

Jeanne: Three? YOU ARE AWESOME!

Ahh I should go to the west at some point, you are right. SOOMEDAAAY?

Tina: I dunno if I want to do more schooling. Right now I think...not so much. .__.

I'm afraid I can't make it to Grom graduation is on Monday! AHHH! But I am so going. Or rather, I will read your report about it on your blog and then go. :)

Yoko: Thanks!

Steamy Kitchen: Ahh, my friend sitting next to me just told me that they're called tangyuan! And he has it in his kitchen! ohhaahahrarh...I want some.

Posted by: roboppy at May 5, 2007 10:09 PM [#]

Gongratulations on your craduation!

When you did upskirt shot, I thought I saw the image of the Virgin Mary, but it turned out to be Tony the Tiger.

Posted by: Marvo at May 6, 2007 12:11 AM [#]

Baby bunnies don't have paws, silly! They are all being dyed multiple colors and being hanged on key chains!

Posted by: Cassandra Tan at May 6, 2007 1:00 AM [#]

Robyn, come over here! :P Manila is conveniently near Taiwan, you can do a series of visits! :p

Bring Tristan too. heehee!

Posted by: Mahar at May 6, 2007 3:35 AM [#]

Marvo: Yank thou!

I actually tried to see if there was any image in that shot too. But my unimaginative mind only saw lots of black specks. Um. Mmm.

Cassandra:, how did I totally miss that? Aw, feets. ...Okay now I am sad.

Mahar: I'd love to go to Manila! Preferably when it's less hot though. :)

Posted by: roboppy at May 6, 2007 10:25 AM [#]

So dare I ask...what does an inner chinese person look like? like innards? Like tofu? Are they small or is more of an alien type skin thing going in men in black. At any moment someone can press a little spot behind your ear forcing your face to fly off revealing the control console and the inner chinese person.

No wonder you have a weakness for mini macarons and burger sliders.

Yeah, I lingered on that comment way too long, sorry.

Anyways, that description for ice cream really did sound awe inspiring so it's a bit of a shame it came out so lack luster. Kind of like this gelato place that served an ice cream called "durty chunky munkey" only for me to find out it lacked any real chunks. Very upsetting, I wept a little even. But I'm glad they had a satisfying black sesame concotion, everytime someone mentions black sesame now I think of this black sesame pocky that I found in a back alley store somewhere where we buy it like the good drug deals and all turn into greedy gollum like creatures the minute someone asks to share.

Posted by: Jay at May 6, 2007 2:41 PM [#]

mmm yummy,... i still like difaras better!

hahaha btw now you can say...
"i went to nyu, and all i got was this lousy tassle"

It now hangs on my rear view mirror... a constant reminder of all that hard work gone down the drain!

grad school here we come hahahha

Posted by: Mike at May 6, 2007 10:28 PM [#]

OMG -- That is cheeseburger porn and you are a dirty, dirty girl for posting it online and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! :-)

Is it any wonder I have your site linked? It's like the food photos just giggle at you from the screen, teasingly: "Oh, you KNOW you want me..."

Thanks for this fabtabulous site. I do think about it whenever I have no choice but to hit my at-work vendie for yet another bag of stale pretzels.

Posted by: rekkidbraka at May 6, 2007 10:53 PM [#]

Maybe it's a Chinese Restaurant syndrome to forget to take down the xmas deco once it's up. In all the chinese restaurants in China, we'd go in May and find dorky Santa paper cutouts still hanging around the ceiling, etc. We started making bets when I was a student there how long it would take to remove them, in one case we won when we bet they'd never take them down, just recycle them in time for the next xmas season.

Love the burger photo, but don't think I'll wait in line for 45 minutes. I can go to In-N-Out in california and get meaty, greasy goodness in less than 10! But that's if I fly all the way to the US! Argh.

Congratulations on graduation, Robyn!

Posted by: Mila at May 6, 2007 10:57 PM [#]

Best ode to the Shack burger I've ever read. A burger touched by angels indeed!

Posted by: Lisa (Homesick Texan) at May 7, 2007 1:26 PM [#]

What's next for you after graduation? I think you should be a food columnist!

Posted by: Clare at May 7, 2007 2:41 PM [#]

Congratulations on graduation! Have fun at commencement (hopefully!)

Posted by: Loretta at May 7, 2007 5:52 PM [#]

Jay: Inner chinese person looks like...INTESTINES. Which is kind of confusing since I also have...REAL INTESTINES.

Anything with the word "chunk" in it should have chunks. That sounds like false advertising!

As for that pocky, like OMG (like for sure yeah) that is my favorite pocky flavor! I actually have some on me riiight now. And I will eat it riiight now. [chomp] Ahh the sweet scent of toasted sesame seeds is filling up my's awesome...

Mike: I still haven't gone to DiFara's! Someday, someday...

Rear-view mirror would involve getting a car.

rekkidbraka: I'm glad you enjoyed the burger porn. That means I should post some more? Which involves eating more burgers? YEEEAAH?!

No more stale pretzels! Stop the madness!

Mila: I think it is Chinese Restaurant Syndrome! :) It's kinda festive. I guess I can live with it.

I've never been to In-N-Out! :( If I ever, ye know, get CLOSE to one, I will go.

Thanks! I had my ceremony today and it was alright. Overall message seemed to be, "GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD, OR ELSE."

Lisa: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! If only ever burger were that good...

Clare: SLEEP! That is my long term goal. Eternal sleep...

Loretta: Thanks! It was fun enough. I almost fell asleep from having to wake up so early and hear a gazillion names be read off before mine, but...YEEY...YEYEYE!!

Posted by: roboppy at May 7, 2007 8:10 PM [#]

yay to graduating!! :)

the hamburger looks so delicious... oh em gee. tummy rumbles!! and i don't even eat red meat!

and the pizza... *swoon*

Posted by: tamstar at May 8, 2007 11:37 AM [#]

OMG, Shake Shack! 45 minutes in line for a Shake Shack burger seems like such a reasonable thing... when you're in California... and calculating how long it would take you to get to the shack of the shake... if you started now. :)

Congrats on graduating!

Posted by: Nina at May 8, 2007 9:25 PM [#]

CONGRATS on graduating!!!!! Feels mightly good doesn't it? hehe :) Lombardi's was the first pizza place I ever went to in nyc...good memories! I'm moving up in mid-August and I better see you. No hot potting for us, but lots of baked goods and desserts (in addition to normal food), I'm so excited!!!...and starting work, sigh, I almost forgot about that ;)

Have fun at Vassar!

Posted by: Kathy at May 8, 2007 10:50 PM [#]

tamstar: Red meat = delicious!!! But it's okay if you don't eat it. More dead cows for me? ...euh...

Nina: Okay, YOU can wait 45 minutes. :) You can get the real New York experience! Packaged with other experiences such as waiting for the subway in a station that smells faintly of urine.

Kathy: Thanks! Feels kind of anticlimactic, but it's alllright. Normal food, HERE WE COME!

Posted by: roboppy at May 9, 2007 1:21 PM [#]

OK. weird connection.
I visit this blog to see and read about amazingly good food when I suddendly stumble upon a link to your homepage - where it is a link to, a good fansite for Magnet. Wow! I think, she likes Magnet, Magnet is Norwegian. Magnet is from Bergen, just like me! And I like Magnet! Wow. Then I find another link, WITH PICTURES FROM BERGEN. :D The writer of the most amazing food-blog ever has been in Bergen.
That is really cool.

(By the way, your pictures of the Disneyland-pizza actually made it look tasty).

Posted by: Jorid at May 9, 2007 2:28 PM [#]

Congrats on grajimicating!!!

Posted by: Manda at May 9, 2007 4:49 PM [#]

I think your love of Shake Shack burgers is so much better off than my love of Popeyes.

Posted by: Kay at May 9, 2007 5:37 PM [#]

Jorid: I don't just LIKE Magnet, I LOOOVES Magnet! evenmagnet is kind of neglected now because I update the official site, which I'll admit is ALSO neglected because, what do you know, NO ONE TELLS ME NEWS ANYMORE! HEHEH, HEHEHEAH EAH they hate me. (Okay, probably don't hate me as much as forgot about me, but I can't blame em...there's not much of a connection with the American fan base as with the weegies!)

I loved visiting Bergen. Oh dear god. So fun. And ridiculously beautiful. [sob] WHY MUST I BE REMINDED OF THISSS?

Oh no, do not be fooled by the photos. That pizza was...n't the worst thing ever, but meh.

Manda: Thanks!

Kay: Maybe I'd love Popeye's too if I tried it? Haven't eaten there since I was 5. Or younger? Eek! (Actually, it's probably best that I stay away.)

Posted by: roboppy at May 10, 2007 4:13 PM [#]

Stole the shack burger picture for one of their recipes. (Just scroll down)

Posted by: Blah at January 16, 2008 2:56 AM [#]

I am trying to recreate the Shake Shack burger at home. Do you recall what is in the Shack Sauce?

My understanding is the meat is a mixture of mostly brisket with chuck and short rib mixed in.

And another rumour I heard is 50:25:25 ratio of sirloin:chuck:brisket.

I dunno which one is correct so I will have to make them both, but the sauce is the secret!! If you remember, let me know because I am far too lazy to go downtown and wait in line all day long.

Posted by: Jonathan at September 8, 2009 4:38 PM [#]

Jonathan: I don't know off the top of my head what's in the sauce, but I'd assume it's something Thousand Island-y. And yup, that's the meat ratio I've heard of too.

Posted by: roboppy at September 8, 2009 10:35 PM [#]

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previous entries

» 06/20/15: Bye, Taipei, and Thanks for the Despair Juice

» 11/17/14: Visiting Seoul from November 23 to 30

» 11/10/14: Thank You, Cafe Kuroshio, For Pulling Me Out of "I Don't Know How to Chinese" Dumpsville

» 08/27/14: How to Throw a Surprise Birthday Party (From Someone Who Has Been Surprised Too Many Times)

» 07/10/14: Everything I Ate During Istanbul Eats' Six-Hour Food Tour

» 06/07/14: Good-Bye, Serious Eats and NYC; Hello, Unemployment and Taipei!

» 05/19/14: Curry-Ya's Baked Curry Is a Most Beautiful Egg-Topped, Cheese-Crusted Thing

» 04/28/14: A Random Conversation About Hot Loose Apples

» 03/19/14: Taipei 2011, Day 5: Mussels, Fried Oysters, and Extreme Soft Serve in Danshui

» 03/09/14: Taipei 2011, Day 4: Keelung River Bikeway, TAS, Beef "Pie," and Din Tai Fung

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